Thursday, March 08, 2007

Memories of Tony

Interesting to see that the BBC is inviting people to send in their stories of the day I met Tony Blair, doubtless as part of some valedictory package it is currently putting together.

I can't really help them as I have only ever met him in a professional capacity, and that doesn't really count. But for the record, even though I interviewed him five times between 1995 and 2001, I always found him a rather shy individual who found small-talk difficult and was extremely reluctant to give anything of himself away.

Gordon Brown on the other hand, on the sole occasion at which I managed to interact with him at any length, came over as ebullient, witty and not at all afraid to indulge in general chit-chat with a journalist.

What I find interesting about this is that it is in complete contradiction to their public personas, of Brown as dour and charmless and Blair as bright and outgoing. It makes me wonder how much we really know about what our leaders are actually like.

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14 comments:

David Gladwin said...

Shouldn't we be judging them by their deeds?

Anonymous said...

Yes - just like we should be judging Cameron by his deeds (hugging huskies, hoodies and having his shoes chauffeured).

But sadly that's not how things actually turn out.

Neil Foster said...

I think that the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer naturally encourages serious and substantial persona. These can be good qualities for Prime Minister too, but I sense that we will see a slightly different Gordon Brown if and when he becomes Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

I well remember the day I met Paul Linford.
Sitting on his own in the Press Bar in the Commons, while the A listers had other things to do and other people to talk to.
You never cut the mustard at Westminster, did you Paulie?
Poor old Derby Evening Telegraph. no wonder it is now such a crap paper.
Can't afford to employ decent journalists.
Did you pass English O level?
Actually, sweets, I bet you did. Probably the equivalent of a B at O level and a C/D at A level.
Not really in the Anthony Howard league, are we angel toes?
Never mind baby.
Remember, those who can, edit The Daily Mail.
those who can't , blog.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more.
Apparently the reason that noone spoke to Linners is that he had B.O., nevr paid for a drink and when he did have a skinful, puked up in the Press Bar.

David Gladwin said...

Hey, anonymous, both of you.

Paul's a good friend of mine, and if you talk to him like that, then you're sizing up against me, too.

Next time, leave your name, if you've got one, and we'll see who can cut the mustard.

Anonymous said...

What a sad pair of bastards the people who posted the pathetic personal abuse of Paul are.

"You must have got bad marks at O-level English" - what a biting, insightful piece of criticism that is.

Meanwhile Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde sleep soundly in their graves...

Mark said...

2nd anonymous poster: "Couldn't agree more."

Er...is that not because you are one and the same as the previous poster - given that only two minutes separate the posts.

Mmm...Posting anonymous abuse on a blog and then making another post to agree with yourself! What a good way to spend your time.

Now be a love and piss off...

nuj member said...

What a rotten thing to do and say. Anonymous abuse is pathetic and disgusting

Liam Murray said...

"not at all afraid to indulge in general chit-chat with a journalist"

On one level of course this is an admirable trait of Browns but the cynic in me can't help but wonder if Blair's 'shy reluctance' to engage is evidence of a more realistic and sensible approach to to you fourth estate types!

I also suspect if you spoke to them both again in 9 months time the roles would be revered somewhat.

Paul Linford said...

Anonymous abuse on this blog is something I'm fairly used to by now, David.

I do find it rather baffling though that this person continually feels the need to trash my career at Westminster. I may not have become editor of the Daily Mail - only one person in a generation can, after all - but I was immensely proud just to have worked there for as long as I did.

For the record, I always stand my round (as you, David, will no doubt testify) and although I did once puke up in the press gallery toilets after consuming a dodgy oyster at the DEFRA departmental reception, I can confirm I never threw up in the Press Bar.

David Gladwin said...

Well, anonymous abuse is the easiest to brush aside, Paul.

If anyone wants to be taken seriously, they know they have to put their name to a posting.

And yes, you do always stand your round; also I've never seen you throw up anywhere.

But if you even consider becoming the editor of the Daily Mail then you've had your last pint out of me.

james higham said...

Paul, can't you remove the anonymous facility?

Paul Linford said...

James

It wouldn't stop the astroturfers would it? All they would need to do is get themselves Google accounts and invent stupid names like Peter Hitchens and so on.

Besides, I find this character's antics quite amusing on one level. It's the same person, s/he has been on other blogs making the same sort of comments about A-listers and Z-listers and so on. I'm old enough and ugly enough to deal with it.