Snow Mail sums it all up yet again
Basra deaths overshadow Blair speech
Two soldiers' deaths in Basra in an ambush provided a sombre Iraqi backdrop to today's Blair moment at Labour's conference. The leader turned on the pre-planned magic - entering the hall to a standing ovation, strategically-planted cameras at every turn, and another backing along in front of him to record the adulation from the delegates.
There was a most awkward disjunction as Blair tried to turn the corner from arrival to 'in memoriam,' completing the operation with a cheery indication of "right let's get on..." as he launched into his speech.
Pretty soon the lone war protestor crying 'blood on your hands' got up and shouted and was summarily removed.
It was a beautiful Blair speech, no question. Well crafted, well delivered as only he knows how. He was motoring happily along with not a peep from the so many delegates that grumble to one in the wings about the war and the 'terrible misjudgement'.
When suddenly, a bellow and kerfuffle in the most prominent seats in the balcony right in Blair's eyeline, yes - the Ledbury set has struck again. Of more than half a dozen suited respectable types two of them were of the Commons Invasion Brigade (who struck two weeks ago).
May I be forgiven a question? What on earth is UK internal security doing if it keeps no trace of these chaps? No, maybe you're right, it's a free country, and they played on that freedom. They even managed to leave disruptive noisy little bleepers bleeping away long after they themselves had been ejected.But the speech was comprehensive and of both past and future, and far more elegantly wove the intellectually-suspect link between 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq into a seamless tale. Far more effectively than Bush's cruder linkages have ever achieved.
The delegates were buoyed and confident as they filed out after.Stench of dead horse split the Brighton air outside as maybe 10,000 pro-fox hunting protestors took to the sea shore. Some went further, delicate debutantes stripped to their bras, to the huge excitement of attendant cameras, and took to the icy Brighton waves. The dead horse was left within smelling distance of the conference centre and business was resumed.
I will comment on Blair speech in my next post