The Times has fallen into line with its stable–companions The Sun and The News of the World in opting for a Labour victory in the British general election tomorrow. It qualifies this choice by stating a preference for ”a smaller but viable Labour majority and a larger, renewed Tory opposition”. Curiously, however, in a closely–argued and extremely long leading article yesterday, The Times did not find space even for a sentence on what many people believe to have been the issue at the centre of this election campaign, Mr Tony Blair's trustworthiness in general and his deceit over the Iraq war in particular. Indeed Mr Blair's involvement with Iraq occupied only part of one sentence in some two thousand words: ”...his willingness to be at the heart of the mission to liberate Iraq and play a notable part in the democratisation of a vital region on the world do count in his favour.” When IThe Times is able to find fault with Mr Blair in the area of foreign policy it is only over ”his misguided passion for an ill–conceived EU constitutional text”.
As it happened, my election choice appeared in the Looking Around column in yesterday´s Bulletin at the same time as the Times leader, and began in a similar way by calling for ”a greatly reduced Labour majority”. Thereafter, however, it parted company by calling for ”a greatly increased Liberal Democrat representation sufficient, with or without Conservative participation, to prevent a new Labour administration formed by Mr Tony Blair from governing effectively.” My idea was that, stung by the loss of his large majority and frustrated by a hung parliament, Mr Blair would bring forward his retirement and depart from Britain's corridors of power, taking with him his devalued conviction that the end justifies the means.
Somehow Mr Blair has to be brought to book for his shameless lies over Britain's involvement in the Iraq war. If the election does not do it, another way must be found, if necessary in the courts of law.