Daily Kos thinks we are seeing the end of Tony Blair’s career. He points to the “scandal” over the suicide of scientist David Kelly.

The government had suspected Kelly of being the unnamed source in a BBC story alleging that Blair’s office “sexed up” intelligence on Iraq to strengthen the case for war. Kelly admitted he had spoken to the radio reporter involved, but denied he gave the explosive information.

The widespread charges against key members of Blair’s government is that they were so determined to win their “vendetta” against the BBC that they “outed” Kelly as the source for the story, triggering a chain of events that led to his suicide.

The Sunday Times today published an interview it said Kelly gave them days before his death. They say he complained of being betrayed when the ministry of defence, his employer, told him he would be identified.

Even if true, it’s unclear why this is a scandal. Kelly either did or didn’t tell the papers something that either was or wasn’t true and officials in the Blair Government either did or didn’t threaten to reveal his name. So?

Interesting. The thing is, you can’t beat somebody with nobody. Who in Labour is going to cause his ouster? Would they risk a No Confidence vote and Tory control? Who are the Tories going to run against him and on what basis? They supported the war, too. I’m not sure what would cause Blair to fall at this stage.

I hope he at least makes it to tomorrow so that he can be the longest serving Labour PM. . . .

(Hat tip: Kris Vilamaa)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ian S. says:

    I think the scandal is probably more likely to hurt the BBC the way things stand.

  2. Kristopher says:

    They won’t run against him because he pushed for war. They’ll run against him on the “lies and deceit”. And look what could happen to Gray Davis when no strong opponent has yet emerged.

  3. kenny says:

    Labour don’t have to risk a confidence vote to drop blair. It could be done in one of 2 ways,

    1. The cabinet tell him his time is up. He wouldn’t have to quit at this point but he would be dead in the water when the next step was taken.

    2. The National Comittee calls a special conference to vote on a leadership vote. If they did it could only mean that the party was solidly against blair and it would be almost impossible for him to win.