Anyway, we (me, my boss and my bosses' boss*) were talking about it in the car on the way home from Milton Keynes and I think I might have remembered what I said that Niall thought was perceptive.
I do believe that Tony Blair believed what he said about Iraq. What he said might have been un-true but there was no intent to decieve. And that's where the problem lies. Tony wanted to attack Iraq. I can only think that George filled his head with ideas of himself as the valiant knight, the brave liberator who helped to usher in a new era of Middle East democracy. God knows, things in Iraq weren't great. So, they look at the evidence and to be frank it's not there. But Tony wants it to be. And so he convinces himself that it is. That the word of one unreliable person with their own reasons for putting Saddam out of the way is enough to prove that Saddam is ready to shoot nukes at us right now. And this is not just the benefit of hind-sight. Apart from the fact that the enquiries have show the evidence wasn't there, it wasn't that long ago. I remember when I was standing in the street protesting because even I could see that the evidence wasn't there.
It's something you see all the time in decision making. You know the decision you want to arrive at and then you pick out the facts that support what you want and any that don't you ignore or decide are false or whatever. And you convince yourself. They might have been using Reason 2.0 (or possibly even an earlier version), as described by Douglas Adams in Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency.
The thing is, that is something that I find extremely worrying in a Prime Minister - certainly much more so than lying. After all, all politicians lie all the time. Unfortunatly, what we've seen is that Tony's judgement can't be relied upon. Who knows when this will happen again. What is he going to want to believe next? Are we throwing away perfectly good options for running our services because Tony believes in the path we're on? It's a fatal flaw.
* Calling grammer nazis: What is the correct form here? Everything I try (bosses boss, boss' boss, bosses' boss) looks wrong.