Comment at end
27th April 2010
£100 a breath? Only when he’s awake (correction – speaking)
The so-called stalker lyric “Every breath you take” by The Police (video below), exemplifies the love/hate relationship of many in our Blair-baiting/-hating press. Just about every word could be sung in unison by the great British press.
David Jones, a Daily Mail journalist, is obsessed and ever so annoyed by the former prime minister and his capacity for success and money-making. So overcome with envy/irritation/awe/wonder/ is he that he went subterfuge to check him out in Malaysia at a Leading the Future seminar – starring the political superstar, a certain Mr T Blair.
Excerpts (Mr Jones’ words are in blue):
“When Gordon Brown called the election it was widely expected the Blairs would be rolled out as Labour’s secret weapon.
Tony might carry the baggage of Iraq, ran the thinking, and some might despise him, but at least he and Cherie would add a sprinkling of stardust to his anointed successor, who looks old, tired and grey alongside Cameron and Clegg.”
(Sorry to interrupt Mr Jones’ drift, but you need to read and listen to this. Witten by Sting in 1983, it could have been written as today’s press chorus.)
‘Every breath you take, every move you make …
Every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.
Every single day, every word you say,
Every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you.’
‘Oh can’t you see, you belong to me.
How my poor heart aches, with every step you take.
Every move you make. Every vow you break.
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you.
Since you’ve gone I’ve been lost without a trace. I dream at night I can only see your face.
I look around but it’s you I can’t replace, I feel so cold and I long for your embrace.
I keep crying baby, baby please …’
MR JONES DIDN’T GET HIS £2,000’s WORTH! ASK FOR YOUR MONEY BACK!
“Whilst Cherie has done her bit, however, appearing last week at a Dewsbury hospital, her husband has made not one solitary appearance since he spoke in his former constituency of Sedgefield a few days before the poll date was announced. It seemed he had vanished into the ether – and at the weekend I found out why.
Posing as a garden furniture importer hunting for business opportunities in South East Asia, I paid just over £2,000 for a VIP ticket at the three-day convention, held in a huge shopping mall 30 minutes outside the Malaysian capital. Other tickets were cheaper but this inflated fee, available to only 100 guests, promised lunch and a photograph with Blair as well as a front-row seat.”
A photograph? Where is it? You were done, Mr Jones. You don’t mean Tony refused once he saw you and recognised you as a Daily Mail/Tory trickster?
SORRY FOR BEING SUCH A LIAR, SAYS MR JONES TO HIS GRACIOUS HOSTS
“As I was the only British VIP ticket holder, Richard and Veronica Tan, the Singaporean husband-and-wife team whose company, Success Resources, organised the conference, arranged for me to join them and their main sponsors at Blair’s table.
It was good of them to do so and they were obliging hosts throughout, so if I embarrass them I apologise.
Since a British reporter wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near Blair, however, subterfuge was the only way to observe him at close quarters in his new guise as a public speaker; a career reckoned to have amassed more than £25million since he quit office in 2007.”
So what did you learn, Mr Jones? The market value of the world’s biggest draw? The USP of the Blair brand? The magical attraction of the world’s favourite politician? That you were the only one present not impressed?
WHY, WONDERED MR DAILY MAUL, WAS TONY LARGELY ABSENT FROM LABOUR’S CAMPAIGN?
“Wearing his other hat, as Middle East peacebroker, he had been in Israel when the planes were grounded by volcanic ash…”
I suggested that the inconvenience could hardly have come at a worse time, and that he must be keen to return to Britain and join the election fray.
Well, he replied with an impish grin that suggested the volcano had provided him with the perfect excuse, he couldn’t possibly get back, could he?
‘I just kept heading East,’ he said with a shrug. He might do ‘something-before the campaign finished, he went on unenthusiastically, adding: ‘But I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.’
If he appeared on the stump people would accuse him of meddling, he explained, but if he didn’t they’d say he didn’t care.
Nah! No chance, eh, Mr Jones? Admit it – you lot would LOVE him to appear on the hustings here so you could blame him if Brown falls flat on his face or ends up third, whichever comes first. He’s already missed one important appointment in London due to the volcano ash. I wonder if he can depend on another Act of God to keep him out of the country a little longer? Say about 10 days, until his birthday, which just happens to be on the Big Day for Britian’s present politicos (6th May.) The security risk business mentioned here at The Independent? Perhaps we can now see why. It’s not just the Arrest Blair gang or a peace & loving would-be assassin. He’s just too commercially valuable to too many.
CLEGG? HMMMM… DON’T ASK. I WON’T TELL
“So what did he think of Nick Clegg, I asked, telling him that my two daughters, both in their early twenties, had been impressed by the Lib-Dem leader’s performances during the live TV debates, as had many of their friends.
Sensing, perhaps, that I was a mite too curious for a garden furniture importer, Blair said nothing.
But his gaze – sardonic and open-mouthed – spoke volumes. Before I could press him further, he was rescued by a brusque female assistant from his agency, the Washington Speakers Bureau, who ushered him away to glad-hand the other guests and pose for souvenir photographs.
Surely he must get fed up with all this, I said, tagging along behind him. ‘No, this is the easy bit,’ he said through his fixed grin, and seemed to mean it.”
Though quite where this part of the encounter happened, I can’t make out.
‘Hi, what brings you out here?’ he greeted me, offering his hand – and quickly glazing over when I started talking about the merits of sustainable-hardwood and rattan.
Don’t you think he should glaze over, Mr Jones, knowing you were a fraud, and that you knew as much about rattan as he did?
“AMAZING ROCK STAR”, SAYS MS TAN
So irritating, is it not, Mr Jones?
“After he had left, Veronica Tan pronounced his performance ‘amazing’ and described him as the ‘rock star’ of the congress, which presumably meant he was worth his exorbitant purse.”
You got it, mister.
“Leaving aside the merits of his speech, however, one would have liked to ask Blair another question. How does his appearance at a rally of this type square with his purportedly socialist principles?”
So there we have it. If he’d been a Conservative former PM he’d have been lauded as a hero of capitalism and the pride of Blighty.
Since he was not a Tory, oops – what uppity impudence!
Mr Jones’s sums on Blair’s market value don’t even add up.
Hopefully his party’s economic numbers are better. He says –
“Labour’s ‘secret weapon’ Blair makes £350,000 for four hours’ work”
Er, no, Mr Jones.
My calculator makes it £87,500 per hour, or £1,458.33 per minute or £24.30 per second – if you want to evaluate every breath he takes while performing to his grateful audiences. So The MAUL has undervalued Tony Blair by £24,800 – making his total account according to them just £325,200. That’s just over 7% of his gig money gone astray!
Perhaps that’s The Mail subterfuge guest’s percentage for reminding us what a success the Former is. The present political crowd remind us daily just what a success he was.
Please note my £100 a breath heading is based on this rough calculation – 13 breaths a minute or 4.6 seconds per breath. (See How many times does the average human breathe in one minute?)
Mr and Mrs Blair are not newcomers to Malaysia. Pictured here in 2008.
- Tony Blair at National Achievers Congress in Kuala Lumpur
- Braindead Alert, by Julie (with video of peace ‘n’ lovers)
- Tony Blair – the Political Superstar ALSO in Britain
- Tony Blair is a true friend to Sierra Leone
- I was a witness (more or less) to the TRIAL of Tony Blair, aka the Iraq Inquiry
- Tony Blair – the Political Superstar ALSO in Britain! Ask Jeeves searches say “YES, he is”
- Superstar Blair signs autographs after Letterman show
- Tony Blair – The SuperStar in Hollywood
Tony chooses – heaven or hell And don’t say I haven’t got a sense of humour!
Sorry I haven’t had time to get deeper into my ‘true fiction’ efforts. The first two parts of pure fantasy are here, if you must.
Tags: Daily Mail, David Jones, Every (£100) breath Tony Blair takes, every breath you take, Kuala Lumpur, lyrics, Malaysia, political superstar, Richard & Veronica Tan, stalking press are watching, Sting, The Police, YouTube video