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The Attack Dog barks on the office intercom

I went out for a drink this evening and had two, which given my (in)ability to function under the influence of alcohol is the equivalent of more like four or five. So this posting may be erratic and won’t have any links. But it’s been a slow day here, so every bit helps.

I picked up a nice political anecdote while imbibing. It seems that not long ago, Blair’s media enforcer Alastair Campbell wanted the political editor of the Sun, Trevor Kavanagh fired. Kavanagh is the sort of bloke we like and who would like us, and may actually like us for all I know.

So anyway, Campbell invited himself to the office of Kavanagh’s boss, a man called … can’t remember but it may come to me. But this Boss, the editor I assume it must have been, was not as easily intimidated as Campbell would have liked. Because, as soon as Campbell started in on his usual effing and blinding and threatening and carrying on, the Boss pressed a button on his desk, which had the effect of broadcasting all this Campbellising all over the Sun offices. Everyone could hear it, and they were both appalled at its barbarity and amused by its presumption.

The usual description of Alastair Campbell is that he is, or was, a “Spin Doctor”, a job description which implies nuance, subtlety, finesse, and also mental stability and poise. None of that is true. “Attack Dog” would be nearer the mark, and it says a hell of a lot about Tony Blair’s true character that he should have such a bizarre and unbalanced individual as his Number Two, and for so long. Campbell in full flood is apparently a remarkable sound, but this time, it hurt him more than it hurt his victim.

Trevor Kavanagh kept his job. I still can’t remember the Boss’s name for sure, but it may have been Yelland. David Yelland, I think. Commenters feel free to correct me.

As I say, this wasn’t that long ago. Politically, in Britain now, the times they are a-changing.

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4 comments to The Attack Dog barks on the office intercom

  • You’re not boozing up as a matter of course? I’m afraid we at the US Bureau of Genius Writers In English (accented and not) are going to have to revoke your writing liscenses if you don’t learn to imbibe like a Faulkner, but quick.

    This has ruined my vision of fair Albion. Current US intelligence reports clearly indicate the last sober Brit left for Switzerland “to live on their great beaches” in 1986. Have you no writer’s pride? No occasional, discursive rants about the NHS that end in “kell tham all, the bastds. Right!!” For shame, libertarian. For shame.

  • Nancy

    Too bad the button couldn’t have been like the button Mr Burns has on his desk; whereby the offending visitor disappears through a hole in the floor. By all means, release the hounds.

  • One wonders how long it took the Sun staff to recover sufficiently to do anything more than have total giggling fits !!

  • Andrew Duffin

    Can you spell “Urban Legend”?