If anyone is interested in what Blair is actually doing as Quartet envoy in Israel-Palestine, as opposed to what the Daily Mail and Guardian say he is doing, I recently recommended an excellent article by Toby Greene in the Jewish Chronicle.
I have since read Greene’s equally commendable book. It is a clear and balanced account [...]
The origin of Donald Rumsfeld’s best-known phrase, about “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”, turns out to be a known unknown. The former US Secretary of Defense was asked by Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, whether he had written the phrase. Rumsfeld said: “There were 15 smart people in the room for three days – I don’t [...]
Everyone knows that crazed warmonger Tony Blair “took us to war” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that professional British soldiers did the best they could to carry out the foolish orders of political donkeys, do they not? One person who does not know this is James de Waal, a visiting fellow at Chatham House, who [...]
I thought I had come across a sensational story when reading Lord Butler’s comments at a Foreign Office seminar in February – the one in which he repeated his disparaging views of Tony Blair’s decision-making before the Iraq invasion. As an aside, talking about how Harold Wilson managed his Cabinet in the European referendum of 1975, [...]
I have an article in The Independent and i today, about what can be learned from Tony Blair. Many others have commented on different things that he said, and the transcript of his question and answer session at the Mile End Group on Monday will yield much more.
Hopi Sen is typically brilliant in advising people [...]
Tony Blair came to talk to the Mile End Group at Queen Mary University of London this morning. It was a seminar about “How Government Works” (as opposed to how academic theory says government works), and the video and transcript are up on the Mile End Group website.
Here he is with Dr Jon Davis, director [...]
Peter Hennessy – Professor the Lord H to give him his full title – delivered the Sir John Cass’s Foundation Lecture tonight, another of his brilliant essays on the office of prime minister. I couldn’t be there but I have a copy and there are some interesting things in it – apart of course from the style, wit [...]
I thought this was a passage from Damian McBride’s serialisation today that stood out.
Two more interviews with former Cabinet Secretaries have been added to the Number 10 website created by the Mile End Group. As with the previous three, that with Andrew Turnbull, Cabinet Secretary 2002-05 (pictured), is full of interest. I shall come to Gus O’Donnell later.
Too Late for Iraq
Turnbull started as Cabinet Secretary two weeks [...]
Who was the best prime minister we never had? I compiled a Top 10 of candidates last month, but didn’t get round to finishing this post to go with it.
I suffer from a triple bias, but my answer is Alan Johnson. The first bias is towards the recent. So recent is Johnson’s non-premiership that he [...]
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