With Tony Blair's close friend and adviser, Lord Levy, arrested for selling honours, can Blair's reputation really survive?
I should stress that Blair has not been arrested, and Levy himself has not been convicted, or even charged. But it is difficult to imagine constructing a charge against Levy that does not also include Blair. At least, it should be. Only one person has ever been convicted under the Honours (Prevention of Abuse) Act - Maundy Gregory, honours broker to David Lloyd George. Lloyd George was never convicted.
But to return to the present. Levy is accused of soliciting donations and loans to the Labour Party in exchange for honours. But the honours were never under his control. Are we expected to believe that he persuaded Blair to add names to the honours list without ever saying why? Are we expected to believe that Blair never asked? Because if he never asked, we can legitimately wonder if that is because he suspected the answer and did not want to have it confirmed.
Even a conviction of Lord Levy will be a long way from convicting Tony Blair, but it is difficult to imagine Blair continuing to hold the confidence of the House if a trial begins.