The real problem with Blair
The reason many of us are so enraged about Tony Blair’s dissembling over Iraq is that it threatens to destroy confidence in what is otherwise — in an imperfect world — quite a good government (and certainly the best likely to be available to the UK electorate for quite a while). If you look across the policy spectrum — on education, health, the environment, for example — what you see is a government doing good stuff and trying to tackle the legacy of three decades’ of Tory neglect and incompetence. (Security and civil liberties are a different matter, alas.) And yet many of us who think like this are so angry about Blair’s dishonesty over Iraq that we are contemplating voting against Labour in the next election. The Guardian‘s Madelaine Bunting got it right in an excellent column yesterday: the right solution is for Blair to stand down (and pay the price for his Iraq adventure), leaving Gordon Brown (who is relatively untainted over the war) to lead the party into the next election.