Even the most finance-focused entrepreneur can see that the unfolding disaster in Iraq, rather than tax and trade, will define Blair's reputation.Well, we (or, at least, I) agree that Iraq will define his reputation. But "…unfolding disaster in Iraq"? I am sure that the 100,000-plus US and coalition troops, the British and coalition troops in the South, the Iraqi Army and police forces, who are all struggling to turn the situation round – and appear to be making some headway – will be heartily cheered to have their efforts dismissed in such a cavalier fashion.
This is, of course, another example of how the ruling consciousness works. The narrative is that we are losing, and this is so locked into the system that even significant progress simply goes unheeded.
And to illustrate just how far below the radar defence issues have sunk, we see the Queen clever-dick Rachel Sylvester giving us the benefit of her wisdom on the potential shape of the Brown cabinet. She goes through the various portfolios but one notable omission is any speculation on who might be the new secretary of state for defence. This is simply not important enough for la Sylvester to mention.
Our prediction, for what it is worth, is that Des Browne will survive the reshuffle and remain in post.