Pinch yourself: Blair goes out on a high

It is an indictment of our system of government that Tony Blair was able to remain in office despite Iraq. Even if he was not culpable of deception, as he insists he was not, even if he only ever did what he thought was right, he was guilty of the grossest misjudgment – one that has led to the deaths of at least 118 British service personnel, along with as many as 655,000 Iraqis. For that mistake alone, even if it was an honest one, he should have paid with his job. It is a badge of shame for the parliamentary Labour party and the cabinet (and indeed his successor), who between them could have driven Blair from office, that they did not do so earlier. But it also reflects a moral failure by Blair that he leaves today believing himself to be a star, going out on a high.

Jonathan Freedland, writing in yesterday’s Guardian.