Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Book of Blair

Bibliophiles who revel in juicy political memoirs were bracing themselves, and their bookshelves, for the imminent arrival of Alistair Campbell’s 330,000 word volume, The Blair Years. But it seems they may be a might disappointed, both in size and in juiciness.
For Tony “I’m a straight kind of guy” Blair and the delightful Cherie have jibbed at the thought of having their unlaundered nether garments being washed in public by their former PR man.
And, disappointingly, Campbell has agreed to excise what most of us would have thought were the best bits. I suppose he’s got enough words left over to justify his advance from the publishers, but it must be putting a dent in the prospective readership and visions of another Blunkett flop must be dancing in their heads.
Mind you, most of us could have summed up the Blair years in half a dozen well chosen words and Campbell must have used all his skills, honed at Forum magazine and The Daily Mirror to fill the void.
Possibly the Blairs had a justifiable concern. After all, Campbell was a “spin doctor,” someone who is paid to lie on behalf of his employer, and separating truth from fiction might well have been a difficult task for his readers.
Not all famous people have been so reticent concerning their personal lives.
When the eminent biographer, Philip Ziegler, was commissioned to write Lord Louis Mountbatten’s life story, he enquired, delicately, what should he leave out? It was a fair question. Mountbatten had himself declared that he and Edwina had spent their lives “hopping in and out of other people’s beds.”
He instructed Ziegler to put it all in, “warts and all!”
But the Blairs are sensitive about even the slightest pimple appearing on their powdered visage.
Mr. Campbell has shown an unexpectedly generous streak. He agreed not to publish his memoirs until Mr. Blair had left office. True to his word, he waited twelve days.
I suppose this was to give the Blairs time to flee the country and hole up in one of the luxurious resorts of their showbiz friends. This morning, I read that Tony Blair has been made a Paramount Chief of Sierra Leone. Perhaps he’ll be tempted to stay - and let Alastair Campbell put all the best bits back into his book.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home