Keynesian Spirits



Did Blair Seek Murdoch’s Blessing for Iraq War?

How important was the support of the Times and the Sun for Blair in finally deciding to attack Iraq? See below a troubling, though not entirely conclusive, insight from a Guardian story:

Throughout his years in power, Blair had regular secret meetings with Murdoch, many abroad, and was in regular telephone contact. [Lance] Price [‘a journalist and ex-spin doctor who worked at No 10 as Campbell’s deputy’] has gone as far as to claim that Murdoch “seemed like the 24th member of the cabinet”.

Blair insisted no record was ever kept of the meetings or calls, so they were totally deniable. Cherie Blair has said that her husband’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was a “close call”. So it was – and there is evidence that the final decision was taken only after Murdoch’s encouragement was received and his blessing given. Blair talked to the media tycoon three times on the telephone in the 10 days before the US-led invasion. Details obtained under freedom of information show Blair called Murdoch on 11 March, 13 March and 19 March 2003. British and US troops began the invasion on 20 March, with the Times and Sun voicing total support.

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