As the pressure mounts on Tony Blair to step down, or at least name a date when he intends to do so, The Daily Mirror has published an excruciating and, frankly, hilarious memo which, they claim, originates from the prime minister’s advisors. This memo details the action plan that will kick in during the build up to his handover of power. The BBC has summarised the main points of the leak and it is a veritable mine of comic gold.
So without further ado, let’s go through some of the best pieces of this document, offering advice and comment as we do so. Because it’ll be fun, and I’ve got little else to do this evening…
Time is not an unlimited commodity. His genuine legacy is not the delivery, important though that is, but the dominance of new Labour ideas … the triumph of Blairism.
Unbelievable pomposity. My jaw is agape. Very astute observation about time, though. For it is, indeed, not an unlimited commodity. At least, not in politics. Although it is infinite, according to Einstein. But we won’t nit pick.
As TB enters his final phase he needs to be focusing way beyond the finishing line, not looking at it.
And don’t forget to think outside the box while you’re at it, TB. Then stop to pick the low hanging fruit. Ah, platitudes. Platitudes and clichés. You can’t beat them.
He needs to go with the crowds wanting more. He should be the star who won’t even play that last encore. In moving towards the end he must focus on the future.
I can’t improve on this one.
As much as possible a farewell tour, looking to the future, making sure the party is in the right place and the public remember him as he should be.
Looking to the future. Again. And it should be like a farewell tour – perhaps with Elton John? But remember the point above: no encore.
He needs to embrace open spaces, the arts and businesses, he needs to be seen to be travelling on different forms of transport. He needs to be seen with people who will raise eyebrows.
How, exactly, does one embrace an open space? Actually, let’s not linger on that one. Different forms of transport… A bus, a moped, a skateboard? How about a camel? Be seen with people who will raise eyebrows? Peter Sutcliffe, perhaps? That would certainly raise a few eyebrows. Roller blading with Osama Bin Laden. A candlelit dinner with Gary Glitter, followed by dancing. These would all be remembered, I assure you.
He needs to travel around the UK to be carefully positioned as someone who while not above politics, is certainly distancing himself from the political village.
By all means travel around the UK, but don’t forget that earlier commitment to embracing open spaces while you’re at it. But while you’re embracing those open spaces you have to distance yourself from the political village. Got that? Good.
He should be dropping references in all that he does which reflect his energy and enthusiasm.
OK Tone, to summarise thus far: you need to embark on that farewell tour (but no encore!), travelling by camel in tandem with Peter Sutcliffe (must raise eyebrows!). All the while, you have to embrace open spaces while distancing yourself from the political village. But is the political village surrounded by embraceable open spaces? We’ll check that out. Anyway, when you’ve done all that, drop some references that demonstrate your commitment to the future. While not forgetting the past. And perhaps a quick nod to the present, too. But then back to the future. Hang on, that was a film. Scrap that. Oh, and keep those energy levels up, especially as you’re looking beyond the finishing line. Jesus, this is getting confusing.
While we need to do what is required to defend the government and ensure a clarity of message, we should not be drawn into hand-to-hand combat.
Oh, I disagree. I think hand-to-hand combat is the way to go. Remember: you want to raise eyebrows. So be seen with Osama Bin Laden, then take him on in hand-to-hand combat. When you’re done there, you should twat Gordon Brown live on television, then walk off camera. But don’t walk back on – must remember that “no encore” rule…
Another gem is the proposal to have Mr Blair appearing on high profile shows: Blue Peter, Songs of Praise, the Chris Evans radio show. This is the problem: these advisors appear to be trapped in a time where Tony Blair and Chris Evans are both popular. I believe most people would agree that such a time was…. 1996.
How genuine this leaked memo is, I have no idea. It reads like something Gordon Brown’s camp has put together for a laugh. The scary thing is, I would be no more or less surprised to know that it is completely authentic. Still, it gave us a few laughs, whatever its origin.
Dear oh dear Tony. Who are you surrounded by? When you do go, don’t listen to any of this tosh. Remember: all farewells should be sudden and if you follow this advice you will be a laughing stock for the rest of your days. Just say goodbye, and walk away with some remnants of dignity. You don’t really care about the Labour Party anyway, especially now that even your own loyalists are turning on you like wolves. This is all going to be Gordon Brown’s problem soon and you should leave him to it. Given that he’s going to inherit a country in recession, facing a resurgent Conservative Party rejuvenated under Cuddly Dave Cameron, he doesn’t stand a chance anyway. Leave, write your memoirs, be a grumpy backbencher, earn a fortune on the speeches circuit. Just don’t let yourself be stage managed like a fading boy band.