Today Ed Balls said in the Telegraph that the war on Iraq was was "wrong" and "a mistake". Going on to say:
"We shouldn't have changed our argument from international law to regime change in a non-transparent way. It was an error for which we as a country paid a heavy price, and for which many people paid with their lives.
"Saddam Hussein was a horrible man, and I am pleased he is no longer running Iraq. But the war was wrong."
Ed Miliband told the Guardian the decision to go to war was taken "led to a catastrophic loss of trust in Labour" adding:
"I was pretty clear at the time that I thought there needs to be more due process here.You'd think there was a leadership election on or something. Oh yes there is.
"As we all know, the basis for going to war was on the basis of Saddam's threat in terms of weapons of mass destruction and therefore that is why I felt the weapons inspectors should have been given more time to find out whether he had those weapons, and Hans Blix – the head of the UN weapons inspectorate – was saying that he wanted to be given more time. The basis for going to war was the threat that he posed.
"The combination of not giving the weapons inspectors more time, and then the weapons not being found, I think for a lot of people it led to a catastrophic loss of trust for us, and we do need to draw a line under it."
Of course Balls was an advisor for Gordon Brown at the time of the invasion and is going to some lengths to try to distance himself from the decision that was backed by his then boss. Strange then that he also says if he had been an MP at the time he would have voted for the decision based on the evidence provided and at the same time saying:
"It was a mistake. On the information we had, we shouldn't have prosecuted the war."So on the information he was privy to he said we shouldn't have prosecuted the war yet at the same time says if he'd been elected he would have voted for it. Huh? Is it just me that finds that argument doesn't add up.
Miliband was in the states at the time unlike big brother David but said he had 'some very heated arguments' with Gordon Brown about it but decided it was better to fight for climate change from inside the cabinet. That would be fighting so hard that you couldn't even get the party to make Parliament cut their own carbon emissions by 10% in 2010 as part of the 10:10 initiative that you said you supported in principle, right?
Well as the only two leadership candidates who weren't elected to the House of Commons at the time of the vote to go to war on Iraq these two may have been able to put a line under it. Sadly they failed to do that with their diversionary tactics.