As a child I was told that a wasp can sting as much as it likes whereas a bee can sting only once, then it dies. Is this true? No matter; it could be the situation the Guardian is in. Apart from the BBC no section of the MSM has worked harder on the Andy Coulson case. So his departure from the Cameron inner circle at No 10 must have brought the Guardian joy, given them a buzz if you like, so what happens now? Following the successful sting, the very health of the Guardian comes into focus as well as the life of the political spinner. It's said that the sales figures of the Guardian are going down at an alarming rate; how long can this go on? It's wise to remind ourselves that Coulson denies any wrongdoing and would appear to be innocent until proven guilty. You may regard this as either a tiresome tradition that means nothing or a corner-stone of good legal practice, feel free to choose.
Also feel free to wonder at the lives of the assorted celebs and smart people who are not smart enough to live without a mobile phone. The Coulson case goes back years and is not the first case of this sort. It would seem smart people have yet to learn that mobile phones are not totally secure and have been leaking data for years. We also have to wonder why Cameron wanted to employ a house trained version of Alistair Campbell.
With comedians a sense of timing is vital, it appears to be the same with memoirs. As we see HERE Gordon Brown is still typing his and, recalling those speeches by Tony Blair, the ones he peppered with pauses for dramatic effect, perhaps his typing stops dead now-and-then too, for the great big book from Blair is rumoured to be still months away from publication. If as reports suggest Brown is typing 10,000 words a day, although the man was prone to fibbing, all eyes will be on the work by Peter Mandelson. For his book is the first to appear, first past the post if you like and no, this is not, for once, the main point. What is of real interest is the length of it and the estimated speed of typing, as the question must be-"when did he start writing it"?
The Icelandic volcano spewing forth ash has done its bit to derail Blairism. Tony Blair is unable to fly to London to promote his book or help on the election trail. The London Book Fair is badly hit by the ash cloud and we can imagine the publicity for Blair at this event might have been used by the living saint as a platform for a bit of glad-handing in key marginals. This however, would not have suited Harriet Harman. The Times tell us that-
Deputy leader Harriet Harman has played down Tony Blair’s role in the election, fuelling speculation he is being discouraged from playing a more prominent role.
With the election in the state it is, have you seen many posters, had a canvasser at your door? You would have thought that Nulabour would have been only too pleased for Blair to put up a show and liven things up. Indeed the Times also tells us -
Blair is expected to make at least one more high-profile appearance in the UK before polling day
Let's hope that Nulabour HQ are not banking on this event as Blair has lost so much credibility he could be more trouble than he's worth.
Two names, Tony Blair and Stephen Byers, are both in the news now. However, the glare of the spotlight is brightest on Byers. The Times has a story about Byers with a video clip showing Byers doing what Tom Wise did, remember him? Wise was the UKIP MEP who boasted to a journalist about his income and way of working the system. Eventually reality caught up with Wise and he went to prison, he's there now. If he is allowed newspapers no doubt there will be a booming laugh echoing around the building as he reads the detail. I've met both Byers and Wise. The latter a big booming bully ex-policeman, the former a small apparatchik prone, like his mentor Blair, to near permanent rictus smile. And of course for Blair that's the problem, Byers is like a stick of rock, he has the word 'Blairite' running all the way through his soul.
I thought we might need bit of light relief from, "is Gordon Brown a bully?". A question that may one day get an answer but not just yet. A question that is still rolling along despite the best efforts of the spinners to make it go away. All along the common response to this story has been laughter. The thought of John Prescott talking up the PM's gentle side is hilarious, but then that is what he has been doing. I wonder what Craig Evans, the man punched by Prescott is up to? He did not become a celebrity after throwing an egg at Prescott, he was famous for not much longer than 15 minutes, it was different in those days. Mandelson never likes to be left out either, so he has delivered a smooth rebuttal of the charges against the PM. But this, coming from a man who has trouble filling in a mortgage application form is no help at all! And then the PM's wife has a go, prompting the notion she is well on her way to a safe seat, what a laugh!
But down to business. The Blair/Bush relationship has always had a gruesome fascination. Did they pray together all those years ago before the invasion of Iraq? When Blair gets close to Bush something happens. For proof of this look at the picture. Blair must have been photographed a trillion times, for him the rictus is both instinctive and natural.