Michael White on John Bercow – the “teenager”

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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Comment at end

29th February 2012

Michael White: “The Speaker John Bercow must still have been an impressionable Tebbit-ite teenager when Tony Blair made his famous Chicago speech promoting liberal interventionism. But he took its message to heart and is always intervening to prevent the ministerial equivalent of failed states being overrun by Westminster’s tribal warlords.” (source)

Call it artistic/historical/narrative licence. Call it what you will. It happens all the time. But it evades me as to why the eminently sensible Michael White used it here.

If this had been written by just about any other Guardian writer I’d have assumed it was meant, in their usual air-brushing manner, to inform us that Mr Blair is past retirement age.  Which he isn’t, of course.

As it is I have to conclude it was just an easy link in his narrative on the kids in the House of Commons. Sorry – the honourable members of parliament.

What a pity Mr White hadn’t thought to link readers through to the aforementioned Chicago speech – aka Tony Blair’s “Doctrine of The International Community” [1999].  I have to tell you it is not the easiest thing to find on the internet, not even at the font of all knowledge – Wikipedia. But worry not, truth hunters. ‘Young’ Blair Supporter is here to save the day! (see here)

As for Mr Bercow the “teenager”. In April 1999 he was 36 years old. Tony Blair was not yet 46.

Michael White displayed this picture of Speaker John Bercow. Some might notice he is greyer and even suggest he looks 10 years older than Tony Blair

By the way, for what it’s worth, I rather admire John Bercow.

Tony Blair on 24 February 2012 with China's Middle East Envoy, Wu Sike

More on John Bercow (presently 49) & Tony Blair (presently 58)

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