That predictable backlash in full.
Most interesting now will be how the other Blairite boot-lickers and sycophants will respond.
With all the dignity that is rightly associated with them. First up, Martin Kettle:
Unsatisfactory it may be, but this is the political reality of the cash-for-honours saga now. Tempting though it is to spend time being indignant about the disproportionate police inquiry, the leaks to the media, the impact on the blameless Ruth Turner, the anti-semitic undertone against Lord Levy, the all-round political opportunism at Westminster, and the hypocrisy of those who rushed to judgment about Tony Blair in defiance of due process, the truth is that the whole thing was an overinflated episode from an era that has passed. It was an instructive glimpse into the not particularly edifying intestines of the political system that morphed into a general Get Blair binge. And that particular party is over now.
Just drink it all in. Disproportionate, blameless, anti-semitic, opportunism, hypocrisy, defiance of due process, overinflated, binge, Kettle's certainly not averse to bringing out the hyperbole himself in his mission to defend our sainted ex-prime minister. To claim that the attention on Lord Levy was in any way racist is to enter into the fantasy land which previously resulted in Levy's rabbi turning up on Newsnight to make the absurd accusation in the first place. Moreover, who is Kettle to decide that the police investigation was "disproportionate"? The allegations made against the government and its advisers were some of the most serious that can be leveled against a government: that it was in effect selling honours in return for cash. As Yates himself yesterday pointed out, the very reason it lasted so long was because they came to believe that there had been an attempt to pervert the course of justice. If Downing Street and all those associated it with it had fully cooperated from the beginning it might well have been over with far sooner.
Kettle at least didn't fill his entire column with just how unfair Yates' inquiry was. The Scum however does nearly fill its entire leader with its own dismal rant:
THE “cash for honours” inquiry was shameful, spurious and damaging to Britain.
Here then is the country's biggest supporter of the police, cheerleader for ever increased powers biting the hand that feeds. Only when such an inquiry involved either Blair or a Murdoch entity could the Scum refer to it in such disingenuous terms.
For 16 interminable months the police cast a shadow over Tony Blair’s Premiership and wrongly conveyed the impression that our entire political process was corrupt.
Sorry, is this the same Sun which regularly decries politicians for doing anything other than that which it advocates in its leader columns? As Jeremy Paxman has pointed out in the past, it hasn't been the BBC and others that have helped destroy faith in politics, it's been the Murdoch press which demands constant loyalty and obeisance, knowing full well it can decimate politicians just as it can build them up. It was in this climate that Blair and his hangers-on started to believe that they were invincible, so much so that they felt they could get away with such downright devious methods of funding as secret loans. We expected that from the Tories, but not from Labour, until the rise of Blair and his Faustian pact with Murdoch. To now attempt to shift all the blame on to the police shows where the real corruption lies in our democracy.
About £1million of our money was wasted as over-zealous Scotland Yard chief John Yates desperately ferreted around for evidence of criminality.
He found nothing. Not a shred.
Oh, except for those 10 files of evidence, some themselves containing over 1,000 pages, all of which were handed over to the CPS. Yates found plenty of evidence; it was the CPS that felt it wouldn't bring a prosecution.
Meanwhile senior Labour figures were put through hell by persistent leaks from the Met cynically designed to convey their guilt and against which they could not publicly defend themselves.
Oh, boo fucking hoo. When the leaks concern alleged terrorists, or the latest horrific crime the Scum's describing in all its gory details, the paper can't get enough of them. Even if the leaks did come from the Met, something by no means proved, it seems some sort of justice that a government that lived by spin and briefings finally came unstuck through their own methods being used against them.
Fundraiser Lord Levy was arrested twice. Downing Street aide Ruth Turner was seized at dawn.
Poor diddums! Blameless Ruth Turner, suffering the indignity of the police turning up on her doorstep at dawn, which is a well-known police tactic because it's the one time that they're almost certain to find someone in. Someone somewhere is playing the world's tiniest violin for the both of them.
Mr Blair suffered the stress and humiliation of being the first serving PM quizzed over a criminal matter.
If there was any justice, Blair would be suffering the stress and humiliation of being the first former PM to be quizzed over committing a war crime.
It is now the Met’s turn to answer some questions.
Commissioner Ian Blair must explain why the probe he launched on the back of a politically-motivated request from the Scottish Nationalists was so long and costly.
Err, because the police were doing their job, and as previously stated, Downing Street wasn't exactly helpful.
Questions must also be asked of Yates’ conduct — fruitlessly searching, month after month, seemingly determined to keep going because his reputation hinged on it.
That reputation is in tatters now. He is in danger of looking like an ambitious chancer who was hell bent on staking his claim as the Met’s next commissioner.
Here commences the smearing. Unlike all those other noble policemen the Scum salutes on a daily basis, whose devotion to their duty is never questioned, Yates is pilloried because he dared to take seriously accusations of dishonesty concerning the highest echelons of our parliamentary system.
Yates quizzed 136 people. Finding no evidence to support the original accusation he switched his attention to vague stories of a cover-up.
Yes, of course he did. Nothing to do with the possibility that Levy and Turner were being less than honest, as the leaks to the BBC and Grauniad showed back in March.
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown stoically defend the police’s right to carry out the investigation. But the truth is that it was a disgrace.
Treasure this. It might be the only time the Sun ever decides that a police investigation was a disgrace.
Our ex-PM, who knew he and his aides were innocent, is exonerated.
Yes, it was all just a massive coincidence those donors were nominated for peerages. The ex-PM is cleaner than clean!
He begins his new career with his reputation unsullied.
He might be a warmongering, lying, obfuscating, murdering bastard, but at least he's not corrupt. Maybe he can have that on his tombstone. The Sun meanwhile, remains the disgusting, whitewashing, brown-nosing rag it's been throughout the Blair years.