Was Hain’s discomfiture a taste of what’s to come?
Anybody who followed the previous thread will have got a taste of the passions and anger that were aroused by the discussion on Labour and Iraq on last night’s BBC Question Time programme. It takes up the first twenty minutes and is well worth watching.
Already it has prompted that arch-Blair defender, the Indy’s John Rentoul, to blog with his misgiving about how the programme panned out.
“…Sometimes the lynch mob atmosphere on BBC Question Time is genuinely frightening. I understand that people who want to be in the audience tend to feel strongly about issues that are likely to come up, but the wall of ignorant hate faced by Peter Hain was nearly unprecedented…”
With the next big event at the Iraq inquiry being the public appearance of Tony Blair it’s going to be increasingly difficult for Lord Chilcott and ministers to maintain that Gordon Brown should be able to put off his appearance until after the election.
The clamour for Brown to appear early is just going to grow and the more that this is resisted the more it could appear that there is something to hide.
Whatever Blair tells the inquiry his primary objective will be to protect his reputation not to help his successor. It’s hard to see how any of this can help Labour.