This spat between senior ministers and the former British ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, continues to be highly amusing. Deputy PM (let’s be honest, a title utterly meaningless in British politics) John ‘Two Jags’ Prescott has a go at him in the press and joins his colleague Jack ‘Used to be a Marxist now wear Jackboots’ Straw in demanding he resign from his position on the Press Complaints Commission. Has Meyer done anything in his position at the PCC? Nope – but his new tell-all book about his time as ambassador to the US during the run up to the Iraq war has been rubbing Blair’s team up the wrong way.
Prescott comes off especially badly – portrayed as an ignorant fool, full of his own self importance and determined to be involved (to show being deputy PM really means something, honest). Alas he ends up talking to senior Washington figures about the war in the Balklands… As thick mentally as his waist is physically… Of course, this isn’t a personal issue for Prescott… Heaven forbid anyone should tell the public what our esteemed representatives get up to behind closed doors… Blair’s cronies seem to be remarkably sensitive to any criticism, which is odd because life in public such as that of a senior politician should require a thick skin and the common sense to be able to ignore or laugh off some attacks instead of fuelling media coverage by vindictive counter-attacks.
Prescott, the great Brontosaurus of the Labour Party (but without the charm, grace or intellect of that creature) seems especially sensitive – witness not just his fisticuffs (great example for a government committed to stamping out violent yobbish behaviour!) but his virulent attacks on journalists over the two Jaguars story.