Leadership

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After last week's vote against Labour, it was a defiant Tony Blair who insisted yesterday that he was absolutely right to take military action against Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein.

After last week's vote against Labour, it was a defiant Tony Blair who insisted yesterday that he was absolutely right to take military action against Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein. And perhaps he will, as he so confidently claimed, be vindicated by history - although it looks unlikely. But when he says leadership is not always about taking popular decisions, he omits one crucial point. Leadership is not only about "believing passionately" that you are right, but about convincing the voting public and taking them with you. By that definition, Mr Blair has shown himself to be less of a leader than a politician out on a limb.

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