Friday, November 05, 2010

Journalists at War Over Blair v Maggie Award

Reports reach me of a titanic dust up on Wednesday between Telegraph political grandees Peter Oborne, columnist on the Daily Telegraph, and Patrick Hennessy, political editor of the Sunday Telegraph at a Spectator lunch to decide a special prize to mark the Speccie's forthcoming 25th annual Parliamentary awards ceremony.

Fuelled by jugs of claret, tempers flared at Marcus Wareing's £100 a head restaurant in London's Berkeley Hotel as the great and good of the Westminster lobby was poised to give the top 25 year Parliamentary gong to Tony Blair.

Oborne, whose lexicon of fruity abuse makes comedian Frankie Boyle resemble saintly Ann Widdecombe, threatened to storm out if Blair got the prize.

Undeterred by jibes that he 'hadn't bothered' to attend an earlier lunch when Blair's award was more or less settled, Oborne said it would be a 'bloody outrage' if did not go to Margaret Thatcher. Hennessy, known for his closeness to Gordon Brown and co, led Blair's defence, arguing he was in a league of his own over the period in question, 1985-2010. Oborne's lone resistance gathered momentum when The Sun's greybearded elder statesman Trevor Kavanagh roused himself to wade in on Oborne's side. Then Sunday Times columnist Martin Ivens piled in too as Blairite cheerleaders like the Observer's Andrew Rawnsley, who thought the Blair award was a done deal, looked on in despair. It is still not clear who won the sozzled skirmish.

Regardless of the true but nitpicking point that Maggie was half way through her term when the 1985-2010 period began, they couldn't give the crown to Blair and not her, could they? Not The Speccie?

If they need a third lunch to sort it out, there can be only one winner - Marcus Wareing.


Bill Quango MP said...

Needs to settled by statistics.
Top trumps style.

Tony Blair:

elections won - 3.
Wars fought - 3
Illegal wars fought - 1
Serious strikes -Postal strike x 2, Fire-services strike and fuel protests.
Called in for questioning by the police - 2
Countries Financial security end of term- 67%
Personal financial security end of term - 110%
Times kicked out -1
Sleaze rating - 7

Margaret Thatcher:
elections won - 3.
Wars fought - 1.5 {incl N.Ireland}
Illegal wars fought - 0
Serious strikes - Too many to list. . Miners is trumps.
Called in for questioning by the Police - 0
Countries Financial security end of term- 77%
Personal financial security end of term - 11%
Times kicked out -1
Sleaze rating - 7

Looks like a draw. We need some more categories.

JoeF said...

Has to be Maggie by miles

Economy- Maggie turned around one going backwards for 30 years and economy went up from 7th in world (behing Italy in 79) to 4th. Blair led massive credit boom that ended up with Britain on verge of bankrupcy- and back down at no 6 economy globally.
Wars- Maggie won all (under Blair British army lost in Iraq- had to leave Basra and get bailed out by US) and may lose in Afganistan, too early to tell)
Global politics- Maggie helped Reagan to defeat communism and free hundreds of million of people from oppression(my wife is Polish, so feel kind of stronly about this). Blair... well suppose he sort of helped in ex-Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone. Does not compare really does it?
Blair- well him and Cherie certainly did do better on feathering their nest
Blair is a disgrace, will go down in history as one of most disastrous PMs ever.

Anonymous said...

Given that Blair was a lying sleazy conniving bastard what does this say about the hacks?

Give it to a backbencher - Frank Field.

neil craig said...

It is difficult to list any actual Parliamentary achievements of Bliar except for wars. He played a major part in reforming Labour but that isn't a parliamentary achievement. He didn't complete reforming the Lords, he didn't particularly like devolution, it had already been promised,. He didn't improve they economy, though unlike Brown ge didn't destroy it, which may be some sort of achievement for a Labour politician. Is it simply the award for being longest serving PM during the last 25 years?

Snotrocket said...

Just to satisfy this old pedant, the possessive form of country is country's (or, countrys', if more than one). It is NOT 'countries'!

Here endeth then rant.

Paddy Briggs said...


Splendid piece of writing - I enjoyed it very much!

Tapestry said...

David Blunkett's Dog knows how to make political decisions better than any human. GIve the award to him.

Little Black Sambo said...

Phil, the possessive plural must be countries' because "countries" is the plural of "country". "Countrys" is not the correct form of anything.