Marr Show on Iraq: Alastair Campbell cracking up? No bloody wonder!

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    7th February, 2010

    On BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning Alastair Campbell lost his composure and to at least some extent broke down on live television.  It won’t make any difference to “public opinion” so honed by our blessed press over the last 7  or 8 years to distrust anything from those they seek to vilify.

    Alastair Campbell upset and emotional (5mins 19secs)

    From about 1m 10s in you can see that Campbell is starting to breathe heavily. His chest heaves, and he is clearly   hyper-ventilating.  His stopping for over 20 seconds mid-stream (around 1m 25s to 1m 48s) to control his emotions is most unlike Campbell. Already, to many all of this has been derided out of hand. It is said to be an act – put on for the camera.  Yet his eyes look heavy with bags under them. Hard to fake that.

    [See earlier Marr interview with Campbell on his book – “All  In The Mind”]

    At The Mail here you only have to read the comments to see the absolute, untarnished, unforgiving nature of the hatred felt for him and for Tony Blair. And WHO is responsible for this “vilification”? You got it – the Daily MAUL and the rest.


    “Alastair Campbell broke down and seemed close to tears on live television today as he was quizzed about his role in the Iraq war.

    Tony Blair’s chief spin doctor suddenly froze in his seat and appeared to be struggling to contain his emotions as he stared blankly at the floor during an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

    The political interviewer was asking him about the ‘dodgy dossier’ and whether the ex-PM had misled Parliament over the threat posed by Saddam Hussein when Campbell went into meltdown.”

    The Mail provides these stills from The Andrew Marr Show.

    Top pic: “Alastair Campbell suddenly stops during the interview and closes his eyes…”

    Centre: “he exhales and looks away from interviewer Andrew Marr…”

    Bottom: “‘Forgive me for this, I’ve …’He finally broke a long and dramatic silence by saying: ‘I’ve been through a lot of this, Andrew… Tony Blair, I think, is a totally honourable man’.”


    Reading this from The Mail, especially its heavily ‘moderated’ and ‘selected’ commenters, I see NO human empathy. None whatsoever, though I can’t stand being there long enough to read much of the junk. There may be a few human beings commenting there.

    A visitor from Mars would have to conclude that Campbell and his then-boss were tyrannical dictators being revenged for destroying their own people and their own countries.

    But that is what the chosen commenters at the Mail actually DO believe. WHY? The Mail and the rest of the British press, nothing else. They talk “public opinion” while feeding that ravenous public opinion with lies dressed up as truths. Added to by titbits of other reasons not to like Tony Blair, his wife, Campbell and Labour.

    (I repeat, if you are interested, that I am NOT a member or even a supporter of Labour and I have no party political axe to grind. But I am appalled at this destructive treatment of anyone.)

    The Tory supporting Daily MAUL is Hypocrisy Personified. The Daily Mail and the Conservatives KNOW that if the (Iraq war supporting) Tories had been in power at the time, they’d have done exactly the same as did Blair and with exactly the same assistance to get over the message as was Campbell’s job.

    Discussion on Campbell’s breakdown at the New Statesman.

    Suggestively titled –

    “Alastair Campbell – overcome by emotion? Really?”

    Stan Rosenthal, a frequent commenter here at this blog, and the man behind the Ban Blair-Baiting petition as well as the man who put his hand in his own pocket in order to put the other side of the “Blair the war criminal lied” story says this:

    So only anti-war people are allowed to be emotional?This is just another example of the kind of Blair baiting referred to in my New Statesman blog post “Why I placed that Ban Blair-baiting ad” and which also prompted me to put a 4 screen version of the ad at the website of those who are indulging in this latest blood sport. Click on here and scroll down to see it.


    1. Read “Campbell defends Blair in emotional interview”, by David Hughes. This is a reporting article of the old-fashioned type, fair, and good to read. But note the commenters there too to see why I am so utterly ashamed at the semi-ignorant and dangerous ease of judgement of my fellow-countrymen.

    2. Confirming visibly exactly WHY Alastair Campbell is upset about the coverage of the Iraq Inquiry and the press’s and others’ relentless vilification of himself and Tony Blair over the decisions,  this is another YouTube video posted this morning. Same footage as the one above but a bit longer. A WHOLLY different approach from the ‘unbiased’ and non-judgemental poster and his heavily anti- commenters. Note its title:

    Alistair Campbell fake crocodile tears on difficult questions (07Feb1) (8mins 2secs)

    3. The Sun report – Excerpt:

    He added: “I don’t think people are interested in the truth any more.”

    Mr Campbell said the media was obsessed with “settling your scores and setting your own agenda”.

    He added: “I’m sorry if I do get upset about this but I was there alongside Tony, I know how that decision weighed on him, I know the care that we took.”

    He said he understood why people were “upset” about the decision to become involved in the conflict.

    But he said: “Tony Blair and the government made a decision. He has to stand by that decision.”


    Campbell has suffered greatly from depression over the years and has had mental breakdowns on more than one occasion, on which he has gone public.

    It is time the vicious attack dogs in the press and on the internet understood that we are all people.

    Whatever you think of the Iraq war or of Labour as a party, or of Tony Blair or Alastair Campbell, please don’t drive Campbell to another breakdown. He already looks halfway there to me.

    Watch the entire Andrew Marr show here.  See 3 minute clip from the Andrew Marr website here.

    William Hague sounding more reasonable than he often does on Iraq and expressing personal sympathy for Campbell still maintains that “Parliament was misled”. At the same time he says that before we can decide whether or not he (and the Tories) would still have voted for the invasion, he says “we have to see the Inquiry as a whole.”

    Quite.  So WHY opine on it now, discrediting and vilifying Blair, Campbell and your political opponents along the way to seeing “the Inquiry as a whole”?


    Shame on you, Mr Hague.

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    18 Responses to “Marr Show on Iraq: Alastair Campbell cracking up? No bloody wonder!”

    1. Ross Kelly Says:

      I quote -I repeat, if you are interested, that I am NOT a member or even a supporter of Labour and I have no party political axe to grind. But I am appalled at this destructive treatment of anyone.

      The people who don’t like Campbell and Blair are totally with you on that.
      600,000 to 1.1 million times over. Campbell is just reacting to personal pressure, the others are dead.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Ross Kelly,

        MOST of the people who died were not killed by the allied forces but by others in Iraq or from Iran and other neighbours with an agenda too complex for you to understand.

        Ever heard of car bombs or IEDs? Open your eyes. Being anti-war, per se, as you clearly are (I’m not pro-war, btw, just pro- bearing some responsibility for the mess this world is in – i.e. I don’t sit back wringing my pacifist hands) means that if no-one had died you’d still moan about warmongers and dictatorial ELECTED, btw, government decisions.

        At no time did Blair or Bush say – “I know, let’s go into Iraq and kill LOTS OF PEOPLE.”

        Grow up.

    2. margaret walters Says:

      Don’t the papers realise these are human beings like them? after all Campbell has had a nervous breakdown poor bugger and Brown too has been vilified for crying in public over the death of his child. haven’t they lost anyone close to them? Perhaps we should highlight the private lives of these people who vilify others so much. they might understand how they feel. I doubt it though. I FEEL for both of them.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        The papers don’t give a damn, Margaret. As Campbell said this morning they are not interested in getting to the truth.

        Only if it’s their truth. Which is – not to put too fine a point on it – LIES.

        That’s why I still have concerns as to what might happen to Blair or Campbell at the hands of the “justice seekers” – the anti-war warriors. Those who have been trained by the press to believe that Blair will have got away with murder – if the Inquiry doesn’t send at least him to court.

    3. Peter Says:

      ‘At no time did Blair or Bush say – “I know, let’s go into Iraq and kill LOTS OF PEOPLE.”’

      You’re right. But neither were they that bothered about the death of lots of people that followed their war of aggression. Who cares about the brown people? Just ants on a footpath to these monsters without conscience.

      (By the way, if this blog isn’t a satire, you really ought to find a good therapist.)

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:


        How did YOU know that they were “not bothered”? Fly on the wall time, again? Time you were swatted off.

        As for your racist remark – go and do your homework. Blair is a hero in Kosovo to the (“brown people”?) Muslims there for saving them from Christian (“white people”?) ethnic cleansing. And he is a hero in Sierra Leone, to the black people there.

        I may sound satirical to you, but YOU sound monstrously stoooopid to me.

    4. Peter Says:

      Politicians like your Tony often argue that they invaded Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran (?) to protect the Fatherland from terrorism, ignoring that this has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

      Implicit in the “fighting them there so they don’t come here” argument is that the life of a westerner is worth far more than the lives of those brown people over there.

      Don’t need to be a fly on the wall – their actions tell us everything.

      (Jesus, you’re really seeeerious about this blog.)

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Peter, you said:

        Politicians like your Tony often argue that they invaded Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran (?) to protect the Fatherland from terrorism, ignoring that this has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

        WRONG! Until recent years they have NEVER said this. WHY? Because this kind of international Islamist terrorism is recent, and was not CAUSED by the west. Get that through your thick skull.

        The rest of your racist nonsense is worthless and lies. See Sierra Leone/Kosovo in my earlier response to you. Learn not to repeat lies and your tiny mind might find space for the truth.

        Serious? You bet.

    5. Ingrid Says:

      Hi B, thanks for this. I watched the Andrew Marr show when it aired this morning and thought that after AC coughed, he seemed to be having problems breathing, like an asthma or heart attack, in response to Marr’s hectoring, constant interruptions and disgusting rudeness. I thought it was cruel and insensitive of Marr not to stop for a moment to check if AC was OK and offer a drink of water. Marr ought to be sacked for such appalling behaviour, clearly he is not up to the job of being an interviewer.

      I think that mainstream media is going down the pan because of its high running costs, low standards and shabby reporting. I used to enjoy watching Frost on a Sunday morning but am finding it stressful watching Marr’s hyper aggressive style. What is the point in watching interviewees not being given a chance to properly answer questions? I find it stressful and a turn off. Lately, after many years, I have stopped watching Channel 4 News and Sky as their reporters act like bullies on speed.

      I agree that the report at The Independent from PA (Press Association) by David Hughes makes a nice change as it was fair and, like you say, good to read. I wonder what he and The Independent make of the comments posted at the report. I wish they’d check out who is behind them. What is the point of publishing anonymously authored comments and spam, I wonder. How do readers know that hateful comments are not all posted by one person who is being paid to do so while sitting in another country. And what are AQ & BNP up to these days, I wonder. I guess we’ll have to find out from blogs and other news outlets online.

    6. Disgusted by the media’s lack of compassion « Julie's think tank Says:

      […] But, as BlairSupporter puts it correctly, No bloody wonder!! […]

    7. Alastair Campbell – “my emotional moment with Marr” « Tony Blair Says:

      […] Following on from his emotional live interview with Andrew Marr. Watch it here […]

    8. connor Says:

      So Blair, Campbell and his illegal war are unpopular because of the press?? You really must have a very low opinion of your countrymen. Most of us quite happily formed our own views. We started from the premise that pre-emptive strikes were not likely to do the county any favours, and that killing is bad. Where did you start? Next question: where did you finish. For those of us who started on the side of right, our arguments never shifted. The only pro-war person I debated whose arguments remained constant took the view that Saddam was a “sand n***er” and deserved to die, period. There must be times guys like you wish you could just blurt that kinda stuff out, no?

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        connor, you say:

        Most of us quite happily formed our own views

        No connor, you had your views formed by the press’s interpretation of the facts. Set to the press’s various agendas.

        I start from the viewpoint that we elect a government to make the big decisions so that WE don’t have to. I do not agree with “war by referendum” nor do I automatically assume MY side is bad and the other side good. I tend to accept that our governments make decisions on war with a heavy heart and with mcuh soul-searching. I do not, unlike yourself, I imagine, ever conclude that British or even American governments go into wars lightly. And I do NOT allow the press to paint a picture of me of my prime minister as a poodle to the USA, who leapt excitedly at the (presumably) American president’s call of “lets go in there and kill a lot of people”. This picture is puerile nonsense.

        Yes, killing is bad. Who says it’s good? Only jihadists (who have killed more people in Ira than the western forces) and such as Saddam Hussein who practised it for decades on his own people.

        But sometimes war is the least worse option. In My Humble Opinion.

        As for where did I finish? If you are talking about my opinion – I haven’t finished. I have my opinions, true, which I too think are on the side of right, but my mind is open, unlike yours. My opinions on many things may change as time goes on, in the light of authoritative evidence, not the press’s filtered branwashing.

        As for Saddam deserving to die – I’m not really keen on the death penalty even for mass murderers. And not because my name is Cherie.

        It isn’t.

    9. connor Says:

      Censorship? Did you delete my comment? Alastair should have taken a leaf out of your book: only speak where you have direct control of the media. Once upon a time he had that sort of control of the entire Brit press. No longer. Shame. Diddums. For a former “director of communications” you’d think he’d be able to guage the mood of the country a little better. Fancy going on the telly hoping he’d only be asked about his latest work of fiction. As for “INGRID” (you also?) bemoaning the horridness of the press, the woman should get real: this guy fed his colleagues to the press like christians to the lions. Neither did he care about the poor people of Iraq or our soldiers and their families.
      To the wider issue of BlairforPM, does it not seem odd to both want him as PM yet also spend all your time explaining that the best thing you can say about him is “he did what he thought was right”? Putting to one side the illegal war, we are still left with an over-bloated public sector, a broken banking system, world beating personal idebtedness, massive deficits in the budget, a credit rating teetering on the brink of downgrade and a necessity to resort to a debauching of our national currency. Just how much deficit spending does it take to wake you up, or are you infinitely bribable until the IMF slams 60% taxes on you or a closure of hospitals and police stations? Blair has wrecked this country both in finance, reputation and morality. Just what is it that is so bloody about Blair’s tenure that inspires you to start a blog? Your name being “Cherie” perhaps?

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Hold your horses, connor. Despite my family’s exasperation I do NOT spend all my life on the internet. Sometimes it takes time to get round to comments. So, no I didn’t delete your previous comment. I only delete abusive and “hang Blair” type comments – usually from the peace’n’lovers you understand.

        One of the problems with people like you is that you are unbalanced. I mean in your judgement of others, rather than in other ways. Though if the shoe fits. This lack of balance is, and here I go again – courtesy of the press. Yes, I DO believe that through the press and their drip-drip of character assassination, people like you are fed the story that your enemies (no not the jihadists, silly – I mean Campbell and Blair, of course) have no humanity worth recognising or considering.

        Campbell has had mental breakdowns, was at one time alcoholic and has been a long-time depression sufferer. Don’t know if he still does suffer in that way, but I think you people should remember these things.

        As for the “poor people of Iraq”. Presumably you will furnish us with ALL the details of all the assistance you offered to them over three decades while Saddam butchered them?

        No? Thought not.

        As for your other remarks on the present state of the economy – might I point to two other influencing factors – the American economic crash whose ripples and waves have been felt worldwide and Gordon Brown, the chancellor in charge of our economy until just before it crashed.

        It may well be that this country has got a lot of suffering to do financially. Having said that, so far I don’t happen to know many, no, any people who have been laid off because of it. Oh, sorry, I do. One guy from the City – now working elsewhere.

        If Blair has wrecked this country’s reputation worldwide, why exactly does he have years of speaking appointments in his diary? And why is he more highly paid than any other speaker including Bill Clinton?

        I started the blog BEFORE Blair left office because I found myself taking exception to his being removed from office by lesser men. I wasn’t even a Labour supporter. But he made me proud of Britain. And the more I have read and learned about the man, the more I conclude that I was right to feel that his opponents both within his party and without were wrong.

        And, no. As I mentioned in the other reply, the name’s not Cherie.

    10. Jack Says:

      Emotional my arse,

      It was the question that goes to the heart of the matter. It hit Campbell like a lump hammer because he knew that if he answered it honestly, it would incriminate him, Blair and the rest of the gang.

      The BBC and others are saying Campbell was emotional – nonsense, reality had just descended upon him whilst he was off guard and he couldn’t answer.

      However, Marr failed to follow it up by saying to Campbell that if we were not under attack or under imminent threat of attack from Iraq (the 45min lie) then the decision to attack Iraq WAS NOT BLAIR’S TO MAKE it was up to the UN. (Blair – “I had a decision to make”) a decision which clearly they didn’t make.

      The only decision Blair had to make was to break his promise of 2002 to Bush when he agreed to join in the attack come what may.

      Campbell knows full well that we committed an act of aggression and if it is proven, he Blair and the rest should be tried for it.

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