The date is Sunday 24 February, 2002. You are with cutting edge reporter, Andrew Rawnsley, of the newspaper prepared to ask the hard questions, The Observer. Rawnsley gives us the low-down on “how to deal with the American goliath”:
Downing Street’s intelligent diplomacy with Washington is more grown-up than European whining at the megapower
… Those in his government and party who expect Mr Blair to restrain Mr Bush’s ambitions to strike against Iraq are likely to be disappointed. The intelligence material that the Prime Minister sees makes him genuinely disturbed – it would not being going too far to say petrified – about Saddam Hussein’s potential ability to use weapons of mass destruction.
Bloody Continental whingers. Of the evidence which Tony Blair cited which was available to reporters, it could quickly have been demonstrated that things were being made up. However, the evidence remained unexamined, and the Government line that poor Tony was “genuine disturbed” (by what?) was repeated by the media – hook, party line, and sinker. Business as usual.
“it would not being [sic] going too far to say petrified” – Andrew Rawnsley