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When the power of black eyes fades

Posted on 30 June 2009 | 9:06am

What with meetings, family stuff, a funeral and then a train journey north, I missed all the political excitement yesterday. I saw a couple of headlines suggesting Peter Mandelson was suggesting the economy is on the mend, then a couple more in which Dave was having a pop at GB, but beyond that, it sort of passed me by.

And beyond a few minutes to knock this out after a nice early morning run through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, I won’t have much time to catch up as I am filming all day in Burnley, making a documentary for BBC NW on what our promotion means to the town. A lot!

What is clear is that the skirmishes on spending are in a sense only just beginning, and that argument has a long way to run.

One other thought from yesterday, which came to me as the train sped (ish) north, and I was reflecting on Henry Hodge’s funeral. As I mentioned on the blog last night, TB was there sporting a black eye. And I was thinking what manner of frenzy would that have unleashed by such a sight in the days when he was PM.

As it is, he will probably get photographed, and it will appear in a few places, his spokesman will say how he got it, and that’ll be that.

When I think back on the volume of coverage generated by the first time he wore glasses, or the mug he was holding on the day Leo was born, or the new Caesar haircut he once wore, not to mention some of the casual clothes disaster areas he kept lurching into (see diaries for full details) what would they have done if he turned up at PMQs with a shiner?

OMG, as my daughter says. Guaranteed front page picture everywhere. The need for Number 10 spokesman to explain in graphic detail, blow by blow, minute by minute, what happened. None of which would stop a host of conspiracy theories, not to mention days worth of cartoons.

There are definitely advantages to being a former PM, and a former spokesman to said PM.

‘How did your old boss get that black eye?’ asked one of the mourners yesterday. ‘Dunno,’ I said. ‘Something about an accident in the gym.’

‘Oh.’ And that was that.

Off to Turf Moor now, and the season is still weeks away.

  • Fran

    Blair. Black eye… wish it had been me!

  • Charlie Wills

    You get all the tough gigs… enjoy Burnley.

  • Harry Deans

    You need to take a look at yesterday’s debates. Cameron did not look comfortable. He played the man not the ball, which usually means he’s worried about the argument

  • Ged Robinson

    Hi Alistair. Sorry to raise a trivial point but do you know when the the show will go out?

  • Laura P

    perhaps ex NO 10 spokesman should be wary of phrase ‘blow by blow’ in black eye story?!

  • Em

    PM with a shiner? I’d have a few questions myself.

  • Wyrdtimes

    PM with a shiner – 50 million suspects.

  • christine higginbottom

    Dear Alastair,

    Had a reply from the Department of Health. Basically the Government must reduce social exclusion within the mentally ill community. Also, the mentally ill should be “supported” to take up and retain work.

    The Government won’t be doing this though, it’s up to the local authorities to carry this out, and decide what day care provision will be provided.

    It is going to be an absolute disaster for the severely mentally ill.

    Why do the most ill and vulnerable have to put up with this nonesense? This policy will put the severely mentally ill at greater risk of relapse.

    Why is it the people who ‘decide’ these matters are so stupid?

  • Alina Palimaru

    Ha ha, agree on coverage re black-eyed PM… you probably forgot to mention all the snippets offering black-eye remedies đŸ™‚

    Anyway, enjoy Burnley!


  • gary Enefer

    ah,my chance at last! Please recommend my favourite hobby to TB – Yoga. I knew I would get him eventually!?