Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Blair in the Brown Stuff

It's been a while since we had one of our stories where, in the tradition of George Orwell, we translate the language of politics into straightforward English. Appropriately, today's example comes from the just-published memoirs of Tony Blair, never a man to say what he means straight out if he can make it sound better with a little obfuscation. To quote the BBC, speaking of his successor:

Blair argued that, had he sacked or demoted the Chancellor, "the party and the government would have been severely and immediately destabilised and his [Gordon Brown's] ascent to the office of Prime Minister would probably have been even faster".

In plain English, what this means is: If I'd sacked Brown, he would have stirred up the party against me and grabbed my job earlier. So what sounds on first reading like a principled decision in the interests of the party and the country turns out to be a self-serving calculation on how best Blair could hang on to his job at the top.

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