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Anorak | Dirty Den

Dirty Den

by | 16th, July 2004

‘THERE has been a lot of speculation about Tony Blair’s state of mind of late, and still more discussion of the psychological traits that allowed him to ruthlessly pursue the war in Iraq despite its effects on his personal popularity.

‘Trust me – I’m a lawyer and a politician’

The Daily Mail, in keeping with other papers, has devoted hundreds of thousands of words to this subject without ever getting any nearer to solving the man described (by us) as “a mystery buried in an enigma and wrapped in a riddle”.

But now, quite unexpectedly, the paper’s coverage of the Butler report offers a genuine insight into the influences brought to bear on the beleaguered Prime Minister. And as usual, a picture proves to be worth a thousand words.

Using one of their very finest illustrators, they have recreated the scene at No. 10 as Tony planned his war.

The caption reads: “Members of the Downing Street ‘Den’”, and the drawing shows the Leader leaning forward to deliver words of wisdom to a select group of acolytes, including Sir David Manning (Special foreign policy advisor), John Scarlett (Director-designate of MI6), and Jonathan Powell (Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff).

However, the picture itself shows that these are just cunning aliases. The above figures are clearly recognisable as cricket writer par excellence Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the bloke who played the camp vicar in Dad’s Army, and Colin Hunt, the self-confessed office loon from The Fast Show.

No wonder Alastair Campbell is seen brooding in the background, eyes casting an “I dare you” look at the Mail’s nervous yet steady-handed scribbler.’



Posted: 16th, July 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink