Where’s Tony?

Just as ‘tired and emotional’ is the euphemism for being drunk, so it seems ‘national security’ is becoming the phrase du jour for anything politically embarrassing. Nothing better exemplifies the devaluation of this term than the decision made by the Prime Minister’s office to gag the press from naming Tony Blair’s holiday destination.

This bizarre fact first came to light in the Daily Mail and was followed by an interesting article in the Washington Post. The Daily Mail launched a ‘where’s tony?’ competition and once our dear leader outed himself at a public event in Barbados, the competition shifted to naming the millionaire holiday host (something No 10 is also refusing to release on grounds of ‘national security’).

There are no reporters with the Prime Minister, nor has he been seen or heard from publicly since he gave a news conference Aug. 5 and left Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in charge. President Bush, meanwhile, cannot leave Washington without a forwarding address, nor can he ditch the press corps and ask the American people to mind their own business for a couple of weeks.

I particularly like this section of the Post’s article that sums up the way British politicians treat their public.

Pressed for details of Blair’s location, his spokesman offered that the prime minister left London, perhaps two weeks or so ago. “I can’t remember the date,” he said, insisting that his name not be used, as is customary here. “When he comes back, he will have a press conference and people can ask him where he’s been.”

The Daily Mail’s competition: Can you put words in sunny Blair’s mouth?

Press Gazette: The PM’s in Barbados – so why are we still in the dark?

Leave a Reply