Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Blair is completely right in his observations about the 'feral' media. As I have said here many times before, politics is now covered as little more than a Westminster soap. But, of course, we all know that New Labour is at least as much at fault as the media. Blair partly acknowledges this by saying they did try to 'court' and 'assuage' the press in the early days. But this leaves out the way his entire administration has been defined by empty initiatives and endless manipulation, all intended to write the next day's headlines. What, in fact, this speech represents is Blair's limitless talent for holding two utterly opposed positions. The most spectacular example of this was during the G8 summit at Gleneagles. One minute he was chairing the summit; the next he was sitting next to Bob Geldof in a TV studio backing the Live 8 protesters against the summit. That was pure political genius because nobody seemed to notice it. This latest act of brazen doublethink is less impressive because everybody has noticed. Nevertheless, the speech is, as I say, true. It's as if a bank robber has told us that, sadly, there's a lot of bank robbery around these days. He's the expert, he should know.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:09 am