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Anorak | Panting For More

Panting For More

by | 8th, March 2004

‘THE truth is out there, as someone once said. But whose version of it should we believe?

Peter and Carole warm another pair of Tony’s pants

Helping us to decide are a couple of former members of Tony Blair’s coterie, namely Peter Foster, former boyfriend of Cherie Blair’s lifestyle guru, Carole Caplin, and Alistair Campbell, the now retired No.10 spin doctor.

Let’s begin with Foster, who is telling anyone who will listen that Caplin was closer to the Blairs than many thought.

“The true relationship is between Carole and Tony,” says Foster in an interview with an Australian paper, which is now relayed to Tony’s breakfast table via the Guardian.

“British people would be flabbergasted if they knew the extent to which Mr Blair is reliant on Carole. Carole coached him on how to handle people, how to handle situations, how to present himself. She picked his clothes, right down to his underpants.”

The part about the underpants is not such a surprising thing, since, having flaunted hers in a previous incarnation as a glamour mo-del, Carole knows the power of good underwear.

But anything about the Blairs, even what spills from the mouth of a convicted fraudster who plans to put his version of events in print, makes good reading.

Ms Caplin may well call Foster a “fantasist” in the Times, and David Blunkett is within his rights to say that Foster’s aim is to raise money and “I would not give him a cup of tea”, but underpants!

Perhaps the one person other than Tony and Cherie who can get to the, er, bottom of this story is Alastair Campbell. After all, if anyone knows about working closely with the PM it is he.

But as bad luck has it, Campbell has his own book to plug, and although, like Foster’s, it is not yet written, the work based on his diary needs marketing from the off.

So the Guardian shares a table with Campbell and hears Campbell on Campbell.

“I’m very tribal,” says he. “I’m Labour, I’m Burnley, I’m Campbell.”

But what is Campbell? Whatever the answer, it is not a thing that is happy at the mess the BBC now finds itself in after the David Kelly affair.

“When I got the [Hutton] report I felt no sense of triumphalism at all.” Er… ”I don’t take any pleasure in seeing the BBC in its current state.”

So there we are. We have heard from Foster and we have heard from Campbell. Now decide which is telling the truth. If either.’



Posted: 8th, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink