Tuesday, May 09, 2006

hoggart on blair

I still have trouble liking Simon Hoggart after all the grim Spectator gossip a year or two back, but I have to admit that he is one of several journalists - like Nancy Banks Smith, Craig Brown or Jon Ronson - whose style can be much imitated but never bettered. His sketch of the extraordinary press conference Blair gave yesterday, in today's Guardian, is delightful.

""Oh, he's going to go all right. But not until he has transformed this country - health, education, climate change, housing, parliament itself. Yesterday he outlined a programme that would have kept the Victorians flat out for a century, while insisting that he would leave his successor plenty of time "to bed himself in".

It was wonderful: demented, mad, crazed. Did he hear what he was saying? Blazing neologisms flew past like those plasma things airmen imagine are flying saucers".

Later, having painted a precise verbal picture of our PM (specifically his eye, "closed like a lizard's when the questioning got rough, or else opened wide, like a poached egg on a slice of grilled gammon."), Hoggart goes on to address Blair on Brown...

""He will be absolutely New Labour to his fingertips!" he added, and we recalled that the chancellor's fingernails are chewed to rags, as if he is trying to get rid of the New Labour taint by eating it."

Brilliant stuff - more here, if you're minded.

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