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Tuesday, March 30, 2004
The Left's ultimate litmus test

While Tribune editor Mark Seddon says the Prime Minister must now choose whether he wants Bush or Kerry to take America into 2009, pro-war leftie Harry Hatchet is sceptical. First, Harry rightly notes the diplomatic niceties democracies normally extend one another by trying as far as is reasonable not to interfere in each other's elections. Second, he wonders why Blair should feel any need to make a choice even if he did have a preference.

I think this criticism is right on both counts, and I also suspect that most of the lefties now considering this same question recognise that the boundaries of political reality would rule out any attempt by Blair to intervene in the American election. They don't realistically expect Tony Blair to do anything publicly that shows partiality towards Kerry. What motivates their intense interest in the Prime Minister's leanings on this issue is the belief that it could answer the question of whether he and they actually occupy the same planet politically.

If, whatever his faults, Blair at least can see that Kerry would be better than Bush, then they can breathe a rare sigh of relief. But if he can bring himself to support George Bush even given the alternative of John Kerry, then they will know that this is a man they just cannot understand, and with whom they just cannot share more similarities than differences. If the traditional Left can have it confirmed that Blair supports Bush, then they will know for sure that their own support for Blair was a really horrible mistake.

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