Alistair Campbell, former Labour Party spin-doctor, has released extracts from his diaries which go some way to showing that Tony Blair really is a psycho who heard God telling him to go to war with Iraq.
There are extracts from the time just before the invasion of Iraq. Campbell writes about a tense Cabinet meeting: he says that John Reid and John Prescott “looked physically sick.”
“All of us, I think, had had pretty severe moments of doubt,” Campbell writes. That partly contradicts the impression we were given at the time that the Cabinet were all 100% behind the war plan – but it’s only to be expected really. Making a decision to go to war with another country is bound to be difficult!
But he then goes on to say that Blair, alone amongst his colleagues, didn’t have any doubts – “or if he had he had hidden them even from us.” That’s got to be down to God telling him it was the right thing to do. The guy obviously was hearing voices telling him what to do!
On the other hand, it seems that Blair really was the calming influence on America that he was painted as at the time. Apparently, George Bush and Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, were split over whether to go back to the United Nations to seek a new security council resolution in the run-up to the Iraq war. At talks with Mr Blair at Camp David, Mr Bush said Mr Cheney wanted an immediate invasion. “As we left, Bush joked to me ‘I suppose you can tell the story of how Tony flew in and pulled the crazed unilateralist back from the brink’,” Campbell reveals.
He also writes about Blair’s bizarre political stance too – telling how Blair was never a real Labour Party man, and was in fact a real Thatcherite! “TB said it was important I understood why parts of Thatcherism were right…’What gives me real edge is that I’m not as Labour as you lot’.”
By releasing the diaries at this time, Campbell is deliberately trying to weaken Brown’s position. Campbell has edited the released extracts to remove stuff that’s critical of Brown – but he’s made a point of saying that the critical material exists! “What I’m not going to do is publish a book that allows David Cameron to think he’s got a goldmine to use against the new Labour prime minister,” Mr Blair’s former spin doctor said disingenuously.Mr Campbell, a former political editor of the Daily Mirror who joined Mr Blair as press secretary in 1994, accepted that his initial intention had been to publish the diaries once Tony Blair and Mr Brown had left office. “It’s true that initially I thought, well I’ll just wait, I don’t know, 10, 15, 20 years, and then just put them all out there,” Mr Campbell said in a BBC interview.
But he decided it was “a bit a waste for that just to sort of sit there and we just wait until frankly, Tony, I, and the rest of us are just, you know, people are no longer thinking that much about us”. So, his motive was just vanity, huh? I don’t think so. This guy knows all about publicity, and saying stuff without actually saying it. He released this now to screw Brown. Ouch!