Blair on the left and the right

We were “the most successful centre-left government in the world”, says Blair.

Tony Blair has been giving evidence again at the Iraq inquiry for just over an hour, and the most revealing moment came when he was asked about the cabinet's fears ahead of the war.

He replied that, as members of "the most successful centre-left government in the world", ministers were most concerned by the prospect of an alliance with a "right-wing conservative Republican president". One likes to imagine that other concerns – the inevitable loss of civilian life, the increased terrorist threat, the empowerment of Iran – would have been at the forefront of ministers' minds, but here is a reminder of the primacy of politics over policy.

Incidentally, it might appear rather pompous of Blair to boast that he was the leader of what was the "most successful centre-left government in the world", but can you name any progressive administration that achieved more during the same period?

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.