UPDATE: The Special Relationship, BBC 2 – Watch on iPlayer now
Update 2: A very perceptive review of ‘The Special Relationship’: Whilst it may be too much to expect Morgan to illuminate Iraq’s emergence as a functioning Arab democracy, let us hope he includes (if not concludes) his forthcoming script with footage of Blair meeting nine boys named after him in central Pristina when a choir of Toniblers sang Michael Jackson’s “We Are The World” against the backdrop of a huge billboard that said “a leader, a friend, a hero”.
[Fat chance, of course. Now we await the sequel as Morgan puts the knife in. See the Toniblers here.]
My old mate Peter reminded me of this movie on BBC2 last night. I’d have forgotten otherwise. So first off, thanks P.
I did NOT expect this.
OUR MAN was a Hero. THE hero. Nothing less. He was the blue-eyed boy, even though brown-eyed Michael Sheen portrayed him as far too wide-eyed and immature at least initially in comprehending the power of power. Blair was never in wide-eyed, subservient, brain-numbing awe over Clinton, America or even Bush.
None of this is to say that this impression was what was actually INTENDED by Peter Morgan. It might be described as – UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. There were many between-the lines-messages, (*asterisked throughout my review below). I’ve marked some of them so that Mr Morgan understands that his underlying messages were clear to some of us, anyway. No doubt Morgan will return in flashbacks in the Sequel – THE NOT SO SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP – starring Bush and Blair. Just to remind us why and when, in his opinion, it all went so wrong. None of that detracts from my main impression as a viewer.
THIS film was just what Blair supporters have long awaited.
FIRST, WHAT ALASTAIR CAMPBELL THINKS
But before I try to explain WHY this movie was in the end a positive portrayal of Tony Blair and the reasons for Blair and his New Labour project, I will defer to someone who knows the TRUE story of the times and people portrayed in the film. Someone who does not rate the film.
Alastair Campbell, former newspaper man, was Blair’s communications supremo. He knows a fair bit about public relations and message delivery and a lot about Blair and the New Labour project and government. He has this at his blog – “it is not a very special film”.
Well, that depends, Alastair. Campbell’s basic argument is the film’s factual inaccuracy, and this –
“Here is the trouble with dramatised accounts of real events, especially when mixed with real footage. People start to think both are real.
Yet the gap between what actually happened and what is portrayed is even bigger in this one than in The Queen. What’s more, there is enough material out there for that to have been discerned, which makes me think the makers simply decided facts would not be allowed to get in the way of a good story.”
So far, so absolutely right. There is an agenda among the anti-Iraq war, anti-Blair luvvies. We all know that. But some people think that the Harris/Polanski ‘The Ghost (Writer)’ is real, only some of it hasn’t yet come to pass, for instance the disgraceful ending for the PM character. I’d far rather people believe a fraction of “The Special Relationship” than ANY of “The Ghost’s” imaginings. Harris’s book and Polanski’s film were both utterly reprehensible as works of fiction/faction for reasons I aired here in earlier posts.
- The Ghost Writer: Review by Blair Supporter
- Adam Lang IS Tony Blair. So, will Cherie sue Polanski & Harris?
- Mandelson watches as former PM’s brains are blown out
- Who is the REAL villain of ‘THE GHOST’? (Watch cast interviews and THEN decide)
Campbell continues, on The Special Relationship –
“The ‘story’ is of young Tony Blair essentially using the weakening of Bill Clinton via Monica Lewinsky, and TB’s genuine revulsion at ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, to make himself the main man on the world stage. And it ends with Clinton watching on as Blair talks on the phone to George Bush, and then telling his young heir that he always had doubts about him and wonders now whether he was ever a progressive at all. Somewhere between fanciful and preposterous.”
Really, Alastair? “Using” Clinton weakness? Untrue, of course, but that’s not the point. Most of what is written or filmed about Blair is untrue. If the end result is that for once Blair is NOT depicted as America’s poodle, is it really such a bad thing? In public relations terms, given many in this country’s continual hate-story with America and American power? It certainly beats the British PM’s “Love, Actually” swipe for a hitting back score. In p.r. terms. Far more subtle, far less nonsensically unlikely. In p.r. terms. (Repetition of p.r. is intentional.)
The story also showed (true or not, probably untrue) that Cherie (the sharp, conniving one again, also untrue) explaining to her husband that since he had covered Clinton’s back over his affair, Clinton owed him big time. Blair, as portrayed, seemingly hadn’t considered this. His was a principled position of support – doing, naively, what he saw as the right thing by a friend and fellow leader under fire.
I DO agree with Campbell on much of his criticism though, even though his points are actually outwith the effect of the film, and so, probably not as important as Alastair Campbell thinks they are. My criticism includes the depiction of Morgan’s interpretation of the ending, as Clinton departs Chequers concerned that Blair might capitulate to the agenda of the Republicans. That, of course, is to set us up, Blair et al, for a fall. We are being nicely positioned for the next part of the ongoing tale – “The REALLY SPECIAL Relationship” (Blair & Bush.) But for now, in purely p.r. terms this film portrayed Blair as tough and principled, despite a touchy-feely, rather innocent exterior.
Campbell continues –
“A few facts. Kosovo was difficult. There were real pressures on both leaders from different directions. As he acknowledges in his book, TB put considerable pressure on BC over ground troops. Clinton did at one point think – wrongly – that we were building up TB at his expense. There was one particularly angry phone call. There was one particularly difficult meeting in Washington. In real life, it ended with everyone having a drink and agreeing to talk again tomorrow. In the film Clinton asks Blair to ‘step outside’. And at one point he says ‘what a tough son of a bitch you are … Stabbing me in the back in my own backyard.’ Never happened. Nothing like it. Period.
But the film gets nowhere near the truth about the Blair-Clinton relationship, and the closing scenes expose the real agenda, Clinton being used to warn TB in lurid terms not to get close to Bush.”
Yes, the Rise warmed us up nicely for The Fall in the Special Relationship. The Sequel – and the fall of the British hero. In the usual way. In fact, I could write it myself. Perhaps I should. Any takers?
More from Alastair Campbell’s blog
To see evidence of the continual closeness of the pair, watch Clinton awarding Blair his Liberty Medal recently in Philadelphia.
The Special Relationship, BBC 2 – Watch on iPlayer now
BACK TO MY THOUGHTS
So, I think that despite Alastair Campbell’s unhappiness with this film it’s actually by far the best movie portrait that we have had of Blair, or are ever likely to have by luvvies with agendas.
The below serves as both a review and a rundown of the film. Helpful, hopefully, if you missed it.
Note: when, below, I refer to the characters with the names of the real people, it is for ease of telling and reading. Not because I am fooled, Alastair, into thinking they WERE the real people.
Tony Blair, subtleties aside, was depicted as principled, tough, visionary, leading the Americans and the world against tyrannical, murdering Milosevic. It really is hard to overstate the impact this film could have. And all it’s done is tell it like it was.
Well, not perhaps quite like it was as far as Bill Clinton was concerned. But here I’m talking about OUR MAN. The Americans have NOT taken too kindly to it, I understand. That indicates something.
For once, on the overall impression it left of Blair, it was very positive. I’m tempted to say “well done Mr Morgan”, but I am not quite so gullible. Still, well done the Beeb for gritting your teeth. I may not send you that complaint letter asking you to kindly desist from allowing “war criminal” to be voiced as fact by nincompoops on your current affairs programmes. Well, I MAY not.
So a quick rundown/review. It started with this Oscar Wilde quote: “True friends stab you in the front” and the m0od-making music:
*We got the message, Mr Morgan.
Disregard for a moment some inexact time issues. For instance I believe it said that the Blair character’s first visit to the USA was in 1992, when Tony Blair, the film said, was leader of the opposition. (He wasn’t leader until 1994.)
But the first things that struck me were kind of negative. Michael Sheen does not have Blair’s presence. Well, who does? Nor his height. Sheen is about four or five inches shorter.
I also thought the Clinton character played by Dennis Quaid was a little too unsympathetic. Clinton, like Blair, is warm and very charming, or so they say. He did not come over as that in any of the film.
It gets off to an unflattering start for the British Labour leader as he seems to soak up ALL that the US Democrats team have to tell him on how to win, and keep winning. Re-defining themselves, tough on crime and causes of etc.
*We got the message, Mr Morgan.
I wondered if all of that was just to lay the plot and prove that Blair never had an original thought of his own. I needn’t have worried. Intentionally or not Morgan soon had him showing he had plenty of original thoughts.
Four years later Blair is in Paris impressing other EU leaders. Accustomed to negativism over EU matters from the previous 18 years of Tory government, they are elated as the aspiring leader of Britain says to applause from the Chirac character and other EU leaders, “I am a European. I always will be a European.”
With his two advisers, the Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell characters, he meets Clinton for the first time in the Oval Office. He is told by the US President Clinton, up for re-election himself, “Welcome to the White House. I’ve been watching you. We think you’re going to win… with a landslide.”
The ‘high-profile’ visit to the USA, not normally afforded opposition leaders, was suggested to have been offered as something to assist Blair’s fight for the premiership. He and the US president shared the same political centre-left politics; the third way, though I do not recall those words being used. Not highlighted so starkly at this time was the fact that Clinton was up for re-election a few months before Blair’s first win. A little high-profile connection too, from Clinton’s side? Clinton won a second term then Blair won his first of three election victories a few months later. The world seemed to be moving centre left politically. And these two men were ambitious for others too to go in that direction.
Clinton calls to congratulate Blair after his election win, upon which Blair is seen putting down the phone on Chirac ending their two-language conversation. Highly unlikely and quite unbelievable. Tony Blair is far too polite to do that. But it lays the thought in our minds that Blair had less time for Chirac (who would turn out to be anti-Iraq war) than he had for ANY American president.) All good brain-seeping info, eh?
*We got the message, Mr Morgan.
As Blair wins in 1997, Clinton greets Blair in a phone call as “The new dictator of Britain, with a majority of 179.” Elegant use of the word “dictator” in the script. But mind-entering, nonetheless.
*We got the message, Mr Morgan.
It is also, utterly self-important dreamland to imagine that Clinton would have thought in majority numbers or worse, as shown, in particular constituency details!? Do we, regarding American elections?
All of this is designed to set the background for how we Brits, and particularly the naive Blair, were being used and abused by those nasty Americans.
*Yes, we got that message, Mr Morgan.
To add to the background of – knowing our place – the conversation moves on to the words “special relationship”. Clinton rattles off a few countries with which America has such relationships, including Ireland, omitting Britain.
*Another message. Understood. Pity it is wrong.
Still, in order to be sure we know there is a PLAN unfolding between these two, Clinton says to Blair regarding their new centre-left electoral authority – “Do you think this is one of those moments? I do actually … we could put right-wing politics out of business for a generation… a global consensus … a slam dunk.”
*Ahhh – the awful dreadfulness of another American-led conspiracy for worldwide dominance. And our PM just went quietly along with it. Yep, Mr Morgan, we got that message too.
We then cut to Clinton and his wife Hillary, whose actress I think was the most persuasively realistic of the lot. Clinton is telling her, “he’s a visionary, a true visionary.”
Hillary informs her husband that while entertaining Cherie, Mrs Blair was pointing to the fact that Bill and Hillary worked so closely on policy and politics.
And Cherie, at home with Tony, after saying it is “quite romantic” that they were called “Billary” in some US quarters, seems to insist that Tony should to consult HER on policy and politics. He, in the bath, as happens a couple of times, clean-living, hairy-chested boy as he is, insists he DOES consult her.
*Yep, we got that message too, Mr Morgan. Cherie the evil power behind the throne.
After some slightly sexist and rather odd chats between Bill and Hillary where Bill refers to the “handsome” Blair, with “it is not often that a man is more attractive than the wife”, Hillary mentions that Cherie whined a lot.
Now, how does the scriptwriter work the “attractive” thing out? Don’t women want handsome husbands? Are all the ugly women unmarried? Or is he suggesting that Bill thinks he is more attractive than Hillary? All a rather weird scene, to be blunt, and highly unbelievable.
*But as for the message about Cherie, yes, we got those TWO, Mr Morgan – plain and whining!
This scene ends with Clinton defending himself from Hillary’s raised eyebrows – “My momma told me I’m just too good to be true.”
Then we see the Clintons and The Blairs at Chequers for dinner. Clinton is telling Blair to “hit the ground running – work out what you want your legacy will be.”
*Oh yes. Legacy. We got that message, Mr Morgan.
On the Northern Ireland situation we are led to believe that Clinton is more concerned about this than is Blair. Really, it seems, if it hadn’t been for Clinton’s push, Blair might not have pursued the settlement so relentlessly. (for TEN years!?)
*Yes, right, Mr Morgan. Except you’re wrong.
Blair says – “I feel a proud sense of responsibility … for the people here … 25 years … but the legacy of bitterness has made give and take virtually impossible.”
*Message – er WRONG, Mr Morgan! Blair, the eternal optimist NEVER felt like that. Never. But we got the message, Mr Morgan: Clinton gave him backbone.
We then see Blair in Northern Ireland, prompted no doubt by Clinton’s concerns, talking across the media’s airwaves to the IRA/Sinn Fein.
“My message is clear. The settlement train is leaving. I want you on that train but it is leaving anyway, and I will not allow it to wait for you.”
After two subsequent killings, a despairing Blair then asks Clinton, “How could they do that? I merely suggest they talk and they kill two people. Gerry Adams said he was ready and he says nothing. Nothing. Not a word against those who killed those men.”
*Yes, we got the message: Blair didn’t understand the complexities so people died. (Cross reference, Iraq.) Except of course, he did understand.
Clinton is then shown doing his bit on TV from the White House.
“The ball is in Sinn Fein’s court. Their decision – are they going to be part of the peace process or not?” There followed a real video clip of Adams and colleagues at Downing Street.
*The message: Bringing Sinn Fein/IRA back on board? All Clinton’s doing? Yes, we got that message too, Mr Morgan. No credit for Blair even when and where credit is due.
And on the British news – “It is thought that President Bill Clinton helped to revive the peace process today.”
*Yes, we noticed.
And then there was Blair on the phone – “Bill, thank you.”
*Look, Morgan – I TOLD you we’d noticed!
Bill Clinton then hung up hurriedly “Gotta go” just as Blair is saying – “call me … anything … any time.”
*Message logged and understood: Blair is not important to America. But is still offering himself and us for American disposal. Pity the message is SO wrong-headed.
Now we came to the Monika Lewinsky confession from Bill to Hillary. He says to his wife, “There’s going to be something in the news today you should know about.”
Hillary: “What? what is it?”
Cuts to Campbell ringing Blair re TV coverage. He is in his kitchen with Cherie and the children.
As they listen and watch some colourful language and description of Lewinsky’s – on “The Big He” and “The Creep” it is suggested to Blair that perhaps he should call off his trip to Washington. Blair responds, “Who says any of it is true?” Cherie quips, knowingly, so much more wisely, “The story hasn’t even started.”
*Message: Blair is gullible.
It cuts back to Bill and Hillary who is defending her husband and seems more concerned that “Ken Starr [prosecuting counsel whose investigation would later lead to the impeachment of Bill Clinton] will be after you”.
* Got the message. To retain power, some (wives) will defend the indefensible.
Hillary, though, continues with, “I’ve learned, take a deep breath and truth will come out. There is a vast right-wing conspiracy … not yet fully revealed to the American public. In a bizarre sort of way this may do it.”
She exits their bedroom as Bill looks despairing.
*Got the message: The lying, perjuring, guilty man knows there is no way out.
Next we see Blair and his two advisers on the plane to the USA. Campbell is urging him to accept that “all political friendship is strategic.” Jonathan Powell is suggesting he should “back off … re-evaluate… take a step back.”
*Message: Blair listens to no advice. Got it. Except that it’s wrong, of course.
On arrival at Washington all eyes are on Blair, who is even then widely admired in the USA.
Powell reminds Blair that the NY Times is saying Clinton “coached” his secretary to lie. “Infidelity is one thing. Perjury is quite another.”
But at the US press call, Blair says “We are on the verge of new century. A new millennium … it continues our special relationship.”
In an effort to move the conversation away from Lewinsky (an effort which was successful) Blair says, “You heard the president on standing shoulder to shoulder. That reminded me of World War 2. We needed America’s help.” Then Blair quoted Harry Hopkins’ biblical message from Churchill to Roosevelt: “Whither thou goest, I will go and where thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”
*Messages received and understood, Mr Morgan. We are at America’s disposal. And, both loyalty to America and his (Christian) religious convictions are at the very core of Mr Blair’s being and every action.
But this press conference lightened the mood for Clinton, and took the pressure off him regarding Lewinsky. Asked by the press if he appreciated Mr Blair’s support, Clinton joked, “No. I think he should have just come over here and jumped all over me.”
That, at least, was an accurate re-run of Clinton’s remarks.
On the way to the airport, the ever-scheming Cherie says to a bewildered and seemingly innocent Tony, “Now he owes you.
* Yip. Message received: The scheming Cherie keeping the score for future reference. Pity it is far from the truth.
Then we moved to the heavy international business on the Balkans, and payback time, as it were.
Blair is discussing how to handle the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. He says to Clinton, “Milosevic is playing us for fools.” He is insisted that they cannot wait for UN decisions.
*Yes, message received: a determination to ignore the UN (Iraq crossover.)
But Clinton wants to do things the usual way. “We start with the full range of economic sanctions…”
Blair asks, “What about Russia”, to which Clinton responds, “leave Boris to me”. Blair says “Chirac will want to play by the book.”
*Got the message: Chirac played ‘by the (UN) book’ over Iraq too.
Blair is then seen at the EU, where Chirac, with a group of other EU politicians asks Blair, in reference to Clinton, “Exactly how many centimetres is five and a half inches?”
Oh, the joy of seeing an American president slip up.
Back in the USA Clinton is under pressure. He says he will testify.
Then we are treated to a confessional, Bill to Hillary. He says, “I need to tell you about the situation. It’s much more serious than I let on. I’m going to say in my testimony that there was something inappropriate about the relationship.”
When Clinton does his “I did not have sex with that woman” on TV, Tony asks Cherie, “Do you think she’ll leave him? ” to which Cherie responds in the negative. Blair asks Cherie, “Would you leave me?” – ” No, but Id make your life hell.”
Moving on from the ins and outs of the Clinton affair, as Hillary tells Bill, “I have to find my way through this in my own time”, Clinton’s court case is not studied in any detail.
*Message received: he got off. Bad decision. Ignore it.
Tony Blair to the EU members – “evil triumphs when good men do nothing.” In Kosovo, he says, there is ethnic cleansing, mass murder. We are a community. There is only one place to be. In the thick of it, trying to sort it out.
*Noted the plug for “In The Thick Of It”.
Information was received that following the limited air bombardment Milosevic had backed down. Most leaders were relieved and ready to step back. Not Blair. He did not accept this.
“It’s not enough Bill, winter’s coming, hundreds of thousands want to get back to their own villages.”
Clinton : “What do you want me to say, Tony?”
Blair insists that troops on the ground are needed, not just the ineffective and collateral-damage inducing bombing campaign.
Clinton: “That’s a pretty tough sell.”
Blair: “I want to do it because it’s the right thing to do, and we’ll be forced to do it later.”
* Noted: “the right thing to do”. (Blair, departing speech, May 2007. Over Iraq.)
Clinton remains unsure and uncommitted: “Until Milosevic does something that proves he violated the deal on the table we do nothing.”
Blair back in Britain, considers his options: “The lives of these people depend on the whims of an insane tyrant and if Bill won’t, it’s up to me.”
There follows more to and fro-ing, as Clinton slowly comes round to Blair’s thinking. “It’s the right thing to do, and you don’t need me to tell you that.”
“No”, says Clinton, “but it sure does make me feel better hearing you say it”, even as bombing from 15,000 feet brings more unwanted civilian casualties.
Following further televised atrocities, Blair calls in the Secretary of State for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff.
He tells them that the western alliance is at war with Milosevic, and he tells parliament that this is a “just cause … a battle for humanity.”
Tony and Cherie then make a visit to a refugee camp in the region to see the people. Moved by this he is told of unspeakable horrors and has a message for the people of Kosovo – “We will not let you down.” He now needs to explain to fellow leaders how they are justified in launching a full-blown military campaign against the Serbs, knowing he has made promises to the Kosovan people. NATO still has not committed fully and there are concerns about the EU’s commitment. Have they made matters worse?
Tony Blair asks the Americans to also commit to a ground campaign, saying, “unless we do so Milosevic will think NATO lacks the will. He laid down two possible plans – 80,000 troops or a general invasion of Serbia itself with as many as 200,000 troops. He said that he favoured the former option.
Objections raised included, “we’re in his territory, fighting on his terms in his backyard.”
*Message understood: crossover to Iraq & Afghanistan.
He was also challenged, “Are you going to send over as many troops? You’re ready to fight to the last American?”
Blair responds, “I’ve made a promise. Politically I’ve really stuck my neck out there.”
Then Clinton, seemingly feeling pushed by Blair asks Blair to step outside for moment.”
*Message: Oh, my! Fisticuffs between friends, before bed.
The conversation seemed to result in Clinton’s being willing to take on what Blair describes as “our Christian duty”, but he is unwilling to say so upfront to the American people. “Losing is not an option. If you want to talk about sending in ground troops keep it off the record.” Still he insists, “NATO won’t go for ground troops and neither will I.”
Then we see Blair, Campbell and Powell in the gents as Blair says, “this could be the end of me.”
As it happens (in the film) Blair has his famous Chicago Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention the following day. Blair, according to this telling of the tale, sees his opportunity to show the weakness of Clinton over Kosovo. Gloves off, he says to Campbell, “I want every hack there to see the moral bankruptcy of this administration.”
In his much-lauded “Doctrine of the International Community/Humanitarian Intervention” speech he says to Americans, “You are the most powerful country in the world. It must be difficult.” He then urges the USA to accept that with great power they have the greatest responsibility, and they should steer clear of isolationism. He also tells them they have a friend in Britain.
As invariably in the USA, even today, he receives a resounding standing ovation.
Said to have shown courage while the White House vacillates, he is told approvingly by Campbell, “In terms of public approval you’re the number one leader in the world right now.”
But has “All Hail King Tony” shamed Clinton? Well, in this film he accuses Blair of stabbing him in the back in his own front yard.
Blair responds, “I had no choice. My head was on the block.”
“Your head’s still on the block”, responds Clinton.
But immediately a Washington delegation is sent to Belgrade to talk to Milosevic.
In London at PMQs William Hague, the opposition Tory leader is speaking on Blair’s approach to the Balkans. Powell calls Blair out of the chamber with the news – “Yugoslavia is under NATO administration. We’ve won.”
“This”, says Blair “is a victory for civilisation. Every human being has the inalienable right to live free from racial intolerance. Let no one ever doubt again the moral justification for invading another country for humanitarian ends.”
*Message received: (Iraq crossover reference.)
Blair to Clinton: “Bill, I’d like to apologise to you for what happened over Kosovo, briefing against you in your own media. You’ve been a good friend. It was wrong.”
Clinton: “Seven out of ten Americans would like to have Tony Blair as their president. Are you sure you weren’t born in America?”
“Too bad. You’d win by a landslide.”
*Message received: Blair is American by instinct, not a Brit.
Blair and Clinton sit in Chequers and watch TV coverage of the American election.
Bush: “It is a privilege for me to be able to serve as your next President.”
Clinton to Blair: “What do you want to do with Bush?”
Blair: “I want to get things done, Bill. I’d rather be in the room where the big decisions are being made than outside it, whingeing about it. I just want to do the right thing for my country … in my country’s interests.
*Message: Power, under the guise of ‘doing the right thing’. Yeah, we heard.
Bill Clinton muses on the thought that the best way to make sure any leadership is remembered 50, 100 years from now is to link itself to an American President. He then says with reference to the Republicans now taking office in the USA, “What business could a progressive centre left politician have to do with people like that?”
*Message: See previous message above.
Clinton is seen leaving Chequers as Blair talks to Bush on the phone inside. He parts from Blair with the words, “Did you decide which way to jump yet? Hug him close or head for home?”
Answer came there none. “Goodbye Tony”, ” Goodbye Mr President.”
*Message: No more “Bill”. Dropped when powerless. All tripe, of course.
CAMP DAVID WITH PRESIDENT BUSH
As the film ends we cut to real footage of Blair and Bush at Camp David, at their ‘Colgate’ press conference.
Immediately we see how impressed Bush is with Blair, even though Bush is of the right, and Blair of the Left.
Bush: “Britain is America’s longest friend and closest ally … he is a pretty charming guy. He put the charm offensive on me and it worked.”
Asked if they share any personal interests in common, Bush says “Colgate”, and Blair says, “They’re going to wonder how you knew that George.”
*Yes, Mr Morgan. We GOT the facile innuendo. And the suggestion, if true, would have gladly and openly been confirmed by our former prime minister to a waiting scandal-hungry press? Yeah?
It ends with the sound track background of this Conway Twitty song – LONELY BLUE BOY. That tells us all we need to know about the upcoming angle of attack in the Sequel to The Special Relationship does it not?
A footnote to Alastair Campbell: As you can see from the 30+ “got the message” indents, I have my ifs and buts too. But I am in no doubt that THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP from one of today’s dullard and agenda’d movie-makers is the best we are likely to get on our GREAT TONY BLAIR. Unless, between us, we can come up with a more realistic telling of the tale. The real tale.
The Special Relationship, BBC 2 – Watch on iPlayer now
- Blair’s 1999, Chicago: ‘Doctrine of the International Community‘
- Kosovo Speech, Blair, March 25th 1999
- John Rentoul has this – “Special Relationship With Reality”
- Telegraph’s Charles Moore -“The Special Relationship, and the Deviousness of a Straight Sort of Guy”. Moore is right. His commenters are numpties.
- Phil Hogan at The Guardian has a review of ‘The Special Relationship’
- Sheen’s Blair swansong (bbc.co.uk)
- Rewind TV: The Special Relationship; The Road to Coronation Street; First Light; Wellington Bomber | Observer TV review (guardian.co.uk)
- Peter Morgan: I can do one more Tony Blair film (guardian.co.uk)
- Clinton defends Blair (telegraph.co.uk)
- Balancing fact and fiction in The Special Relationship (guardian.co.uk)
- Alastair Campbell attacks The Special Relationship film (telegraph.co.uk)
- Beehive City: ‘How Tony Blair shafted Bill Clinton’ – “Morgan’s not done with Blair yet. He wants a final chapter in which Blair turns into “the monster”, reflecting the anger of the protestors forcing him to lie low.”
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