Anorak News | The Lie Of The Land

The Lie Of The Land

by | 8th, January 2004

‘TONY Blair is a pretty regular sort of guy and when he says he didn’t have sexual relations with that woman (indeed, any woman other than Cherie), we are inclined to believe him.

Ugly Rumours – the 2004 line-up

We were less inclined to believe his erstwhile friend, President Clinton, when he issued a similar denial – but it turned out that it was all a simple misunderstanding over the exact meaning of the words ”sexual”, ”relations” and indeed ”woman”. Oh, and ”not” as well.

We suspect a similar misunderstanding is responsible for the impression given in evidence to the Hutton Inquiry that Our Beloved Leader may have been economical with the actualite.

The Prime Minister yesterday told MPs that he would quit if the inquiry shows that he lied to Parliament over his role in ”outing” scientist Dr David Kelly.

But Gordon Brown shouldn’t be getting out the celebratory bottle of double malt just yet.

On July 22 last year, Blair told journalists that he ”emphatically” did not authorise the leaking of Dr Kelly’s name.

However, permanent secretary at the MoD Sir Kevin Tebbit told the inquiry in October that Blair had chaired the key meetings to discuss the ”naming strategy” with regard to the release of Dr Kelly’s name.

And Tory leader Michael Howard was yesterday anxious to lay the ground for the publication of the inquiry report (probably in early February) by challenging Blair to stand by his July statement.

”Either the permanent secretary or the prime minister is not telling the truth,” he said.

But we suspect that it will be found that in fact neither man lied, with Blair yesterday saying that he stood by ”the totality of what I said at that time”.

”On such nuances careers may turn,” says the Guardian sagely.

Indeed, we are likely to hear a lot about the difference between ”leaking” and ”releasing” in the coming weeks. Not least on flights from London to the US.’

Posted: 8th, January 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink