The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, July 20, 2003  

Yankee Poodle’s Standing Curls in Latest Poll

The Telegraph today reports all is not well for Prime Minister Tony Blair (“Voters Pile Blame on Blair,” by Toby Helm; registration required):

Tony Blair has suffered huge damage to his reputation among voters as a direct result of the death of Dr David Kelly, the weapons expert, and the Government’s bitter and protracted dispute with the BBC, according to a poll.

The row has also inflicted damage on the BBC after it admitted yesterday that the scientist had been the main source for its story claiming that the Government had “sexed up” a dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction [sic]. […]

The YouGov survey for The Telegraph, conducted after Dr Kelly’s death had been confirmed, found that almost as many voters believe Mr Blair should resign (39 per cent) as think he should stay on as Prime Minister (41 per cent).

Equally damaging for Mr Blair is that 59 per cent of voters said their opinion of him had gone down since the Dr Kelly affair.

I guess that’s the risk you take when you pin your reputation, your career even, on to the tail of the dimmest star in the political universe.

I wonder, though, where the buck stops in London: At Prime Minister Blair’s desk, or will it, not unlike here in the U.S., meander over to that of Alastair Campbell, his director of communications? Of those surveyed, 65 percent believe Campbell should resign, an action another London daily, The Independent, reports Campbell already is planning.

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