BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 23:20 GMT 00:20 UK
Blair's new Iraq strategy
Journalists bombarded Mr Blair with questions

When Tony Blair arrived at his Sedgefield constituency press conference, we knew he had a problem.

Seventy-one per cent of the public against an attack on Iraq and a growing Labour and trades union rebellion just ahead of the party conferences - never mind the hostility overseas.

By the time he left, 90 stuffy minutes later, we had an idea at least of how he'd try to tackle it.

Mr Blair has changed tactics.

He had meant to publish his dossier of evidence against Saddam Hussein just before any US and British attack.

But he's recognised how strongly British public opinion has swung against him over the summer and so now he told us that evidence will be laid sooner, within weeks.

It will accuse Saddam of plotting to buy nuclear weapons and of intending to use them or threatening to do so.

Tough argument

Mr Blair thinks that when the public really listens to his case for the prosecution they will come round. Maybe.

His own party will be tougher.

The Tories were quick to applaud him and to suggest that his cabinet should back him as firmly and enthusiastically as they do.

It's the kind of endorsement that will make it harder for him, of course, but this is a major national argument that Mr Blair seems grimly determined to win.

One thing was absolutely clear from his press conference here.

If it comes to a choice between endless negotiation and conflict - what they used to call jaw-jaw or war-war - then you'd better believe it, it's going to be the second.

Something pretty substantial and serious is going to happen this winter.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andrew Marr
"He could not have been more unequivocal"
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Click here to watch the news conference

Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

03 Sep 02 | Middle East
03 Sep 02 | Politics
02 Sep 02 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes