Posts Tagged ‘Chilcot’

Never mind Brooks, Chilcot is set to make 2014 Blair’s annus horibilis

26/02/2014, 10:49:37 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Last week’s row over his telephone conversation with Rebekah Brooks and the alleged offer of behind-the scenes help doesn’t really tell us anything we did not already know about Tony Blair.

Even in retirement, he moves in rarefied circles and the lure of being at the centre of the action, (albeit in what he thought was a private capacity), helps dull the boredom of being just 60 and having his best political days long behind him.

Of course, there is no post-career plan that will ever satisfy someone like Tony Blair. The most accomplished political communicator of his generation and a figure who has single-handedly defined our understanding of the modern-day Premiership, his life after Number 10 was always going to be a long, protracted anti-climax.

What do you do when there are no more 4am moments, or press conferences to prep for, or crises in the Northern Ireland peace process that require your personal intervention?

Indeed, who actually made the phone call that Rebekah Brooks so assiduously took notes from? Did Blair himself phone and offer his services to her and the Murdochs? Or did he eagerly take Brooks’ call, knowing it was unlikely she was phoning for a catch-up to see how his role as the Quartet’s under-employed negotiator on the Middle East was shaping up?

Blair’s advice to her – establish a credible independent investigation with the aim of establishing wrong-doing, but hopefully not serious criminality – was smart and cynical, but pretty sound counsel nonetheless. He has a big future as a public affairs consultant.


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