Sunday, September 18


Tony Blair has been hanging around with George W. Bush just too too much. Dubya's worst qualities seem to have rubbed off on the British Prime Minister. Stories from a recently published diary kept by a former Downing Street press aide, have Blair sounding eerily similar to our own Chimpster.

An explosive political row erupted last night after Downing Street tried to censor a book by one of Tony Blair's most senior former aides, revealing shocking details of how the Prime Minister runs the country.

Ex-No 10 spin doctor Lance Price has enraged Mr Blair by publishing the first-ever first-hand account of the inner workings of New Labour.

And he has defied the Cabinet Secretary's attempts to prevent the publication of his devastating memoirs, The Spin Doctor's Diary, serialised in The Mail on Sunday today.

They give a blow-by-blow account of endless backbiting, tantrums and rows between senior Ministers and officials and lay bare the cynicism of Blair's team.
Astonishingly, Downing Street hit back last night by launching a campaign to smear Price, who remains a staunch New Labour supporter.

One senior civil servant told The Mail on Sunday: "Officials in No10 met last week and decided to go for Price's jugular by claiming he is a liar and fantasist. They know he isn't, but they have read the book and are horrified at what people will think."

In a bitter irony, the dirty tricks targeted at Price are almost identical to those he exposes in his book.
More details here.

So what's changed Tony Boy in the past four years? His position as Bush's poodle.

Former UK Minister for International Development (she resigned over the Iraq war) Clare Short's book, Honorable Deception, "is a forensic dissection of Tony Blair's leadership style, his folly over Iraq and his enormous propensity for spin. That's telling lies, to you and me." Sound like anyone we know?

During the Clinton administration, he and Blair had a "warm, mutually supportive relationship." Then came Dubya.

Four years of tagging after Bush, Blair, who has long pushed for "a binding international treaty on climate change," one part of the Eurolefty agenda he has traditionally kept faith with, "plugged the plug" on the Kyoto Treaty at the recent Clinton Global Initiative summit. "Blair, a longtime supporter of the Kyoto treaty, further prefaced his remarks by noting, 'My thinking has changed in the past three or four years. So what does he think now? 'No country,' he declared, 'is going to cut its growth.' That is, no country is going to allow the Kyoto treaty, or any other such global-warming treaty, to crimp -- some say cripple -- its economy."

Indeed, the widely held view was that Blair would "cash in" his geopolitical chits -- that is, those he gained with George W. Bush over his support for the Iraq war, in order to get the Texan to sign on to some form of Kyoto. But even before the Gleneagles G-8 summit in July, it seemed pretty clear that Bush was not going to go along with Blair's deal; in fact, Bush rebuffed Blair.

After the election of Mr Bush, Downing Street aides were anxious to maintain the "special relationship" between the US and the UK. Private polling for No 10 during the build-up to war showed hostility towards Mr Bush among British voters and Labour MPs, who disliked his language and manner.

Blair has paid, and is still paying, for his mistaken embrace of Bush.

Too bad Tony didn't take a leaf from the Hugh Grant book of Prime Ministership in the film Love Actually:

Press Conference Reporter: Mr. President, has it been a good visit?

The President: Very satisfactory indeed. We got what we came for and our special relationship is still very special.
Press Conference Reporter: Prime Minister?

Prime Minister: I love that word "relationship". Covers all manner of sins, doesn't it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship. A relationship based on the President taking exactly what he wants and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to, erm... Britain. We may be a small country but we're a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham's right foot. David Beckham's left foot, come to that. And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward, I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.


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