Friday, June 29, 2007

Blair questioned for 3rd time: "cash for honours" investigation continues

Seemingly announced just after midday and timed to be conveniently lost in the re-shuffle, there's this bit of news:
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been questioned for a third time by detectives investigating allegations of "cash-for-honours."

Quick reminder: prosecutors asked the police to carry out a further round of investigation to work out if charges could be brought: Lord Levy and Downing Street aide Ruth Turner were both re-bailed at the start of the month.

The Times has this account of the spin-machine in action:
On the former Prime Minister's first day away from Downing Street, sources confirmed that the Metropolitan Police had questioned him as a witness once again, possibly in the past week.

The former Prime Minister's official spokesman had told reporters as recently as last Monday that he was not aware of Mr Blair being questioned. [my emphasis]

"Not aware" is what you might call the product plausible deniability - or, alternatively, lying through your teeth.
Today, Downing Street refused to answer questions on the affair, with a spokeswoman telling Times Online: "We only speak for the current Prime Minister." Mr Blair's office could not immediately be contacted.

Which is quite remarkable, given that Blair's been in front of cameras in his Sedgefield constituency for most of the afternoon.


Unsworth said...

Being 'not aware' is a traditional speciality of the PMOS. In fact the PMOS is entirely 'unaware' of almost everything. It's my belief that the PMOS is kept in a hermetically sealed chamber at all times other than those when the he/she is paraded in front of the Press.

It must be an awful existence - total sensory deprivation. I do hope there are some compensations...

Mark Wadsworth said...

Chuck, surely being kept blissfully unaware of anything Tony Blair ever says or does is compensation enough?

laurence said...

Oh well - you never know. Perhaps for once an ex-Prime Minister will actually be held to account for his crimes? Don't hold your breath, though!
I myself had rather an amusing rude song about Blair I'd made up ready for a rousing chorus at St. Stephen's Tavern - but then I considered being handcuffed, thrown violently into a police van and being subjected to 'terrorist'-style interrogation for the next 12 hours or so for raising my voice above a whisper in the vicinity of our rulers, and thought better of it.
And then quite soon after I'd had far too much to drink and forgot about it all anyway! Entertaining gathering, anyway - must do it again some time.
Mr. Hughes

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