Anorak News | Tony Blair & George Bush In Private

Tony Blair & George Bush In Private

by | 18th, July 2006


Former public schoolboys like Tony Blair, for it is he, know that hearing someone shout your surname out is often a prelude to receiving a darn good thrashing.

Happily, President George Bush shows little sings of having been schooled in the ways of Fettes, Tony’s alma mater, indeed, Dubya too frequently shows little sign of being schooled anywhere.

And so it is that “Yo Blair!” is not followed by a sound of a fizzing fist. It is merely the opening line to an exchange between Dubya and Tony, as reported on the Independent’s front page.

The Indy gives over its entire lead page to the off-the-record conversation between the two leaders. “Overheard at G8: The truth about our special relationship.”

The Times hears the same greeting. And, like the Indy, it transcribes the conversation.

And to avoid debate and polemic, unlike in the case of Zinedine Zidane’s tête-á-tête with Marco Materazzi in the World up final, no lip readers are required. This one is picked up by a microphone.

Bush: “Yo, Blair. How are you doing?
Blair: I’m just…
Bush: You’re leaving?
Blair: No, no, no not yet. On this trade thingy….[inaudible]
Bush: Yeah, I told that to the man.

And then… Well, the problem it the papers can’t agree on what to tell their readers. While the Times has the next lines as Bush saying “Thanks for [inaudible] it’s awfully thoughtful of you”, the Indy hears Blair ask: “Are you planning to say that here or not?”

The Telegraph does away with any doubt and rather than making any play at reporting the conversation in full just selects the bits it likes best.

So we hear Bush say: “What they need to do is get Syria to get Hizbollah to stop doing this shit, and it’s over." The Telegraph says it is unclear who "they" are, but we imagine them to be toss up between the Big Brother contestants and Israel.

Back we go to the Indy, which has seen fit to equip the words with stage direction and sub-texts.

Bush: What about Kofi? (inaudible) His attitude to ceasefire and everything else … happens. (Change of subject. Now they are on to Lebanon and the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan)
Blair: Yeah, no I think the (inaudible) is really difficult. We can’t stop this unless you get this international business agreed.
Bush: Yeah. (Mr Blair is trying to push the idea of a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. That ‘yeah’ does not sound like a wholehearted agreement)
Blair: I don’t know what you guys have talked about, but as I say I am perfectly happy to try and see what the lie of the land is, but you need that done quickly because otherwise it will spiral. (Meaning: ‘Please, George, let me go to the Middle East and be a world statesman’)
Bush: I think Condi is going to go pretty soon. (Meaning: ‘No’)

A few more words are exchanged until Tony spots the microphone.
Blair: Is this…? (at this point Blair taps the microphone in front of him and the sound is cut.) “

Exit pursued by a Russian bear and much laughter…

Posted: 18th, July 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink