May 02, 2005

Iraq: the thorn in Blair's side

So, there's just 3 days left in the general election campaign. In the first instances it seemed there would be very little contest - Labour would win again, most people seemed to think - certainly with a smaller majority, but a win none-the-less.

And then, like a sandstorm rising from the desert, the Iraq issue came and enveloped Blair's base camp. First Howard attacked him for lying over Iraq, then Kennedy did the same – with the added bonus that he was actually against the war.

Then last week, the Attorney General's report, released after a leak to the media, revealed that just a few days before the invasion began on 20th March 2003, Lord Goldsmith had trouble legally justifying the war. Instead he suggested another UN resolution.

Blair dismissed this as "a damp squib". But it didn't end there. The Lib Dems continued their attack, saying every Labour and Tory MP in favour of the war should be held to account. And yesterday, Blair faced some tough questions from radio listeners over the Iraq issue.

Today, Labour seem rattled. The campaign co-ordinator, Alan Millburn said earlier that it the result would be far closer than they thought. Meanwhile Blair, it seems, was trying to frighten undecided voters, claiming if 1 in 10 Labour supporters stayed at home or voted Lib Dem, a Conservative government would be issued in "through the back door".

When RaW News spoke to the local candidates for Leamington and Warwickshire last week, they didn't seem to think that the 'Iraq Issue' was damaging the campaign. "The opposition aren't bringing up anything new" Labour candidate James Plaskitt told us, "and I think people's views on this are settled."

Maybe Mr Plaskitt hasn't seen the grafittied Labour billboards by the Leamington train station that have "Blair lied over Iraq" stamped over the them.

So far into the campaign do you think Iraq has come back to bite Blair? Has it changed the way you thought you were going to vote? Or is it just a piece of the usual election smear campaigning we're all used to from politicians today?

Let us know what you think below!


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