27th March 2012
I mentioned the other day that Tony Blair gets around.
Yesterday it was Romania. Today, Sweden.
In a speech on leadership in Gothenburg today he said this. (My thanks to tweep – Mariah ben Salem
Tony Blair: “My staff always wanted me to be more like Hugh Grant, but I didn’t quite make it.”
Some might suggest that Mr Grant, or rather the script, didn’t quite make it.
In ‘Love Actually’, the 2003 film where the PM was played by Hugh Grant there is this facile section. (One knows it was facile when cinema audiences applaud such populist press-inspired anti-American tripe as ‘USA are bullies‘)
The President: Very satisfactory indeed. We got what we came for, and our special relationship is still very special.
Press Conference Reporter: Prime Minister?
Prime Minister: I love that word “relationship.” Covers all manner of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship; a relationship based on the President taking exactly what he wants and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to, erm… Britain. We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that. And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.
“I know there’s a bit of us that would like me to do a Hugh Grant in Love Actually and tell America where to get off. But the difference between a good film and real life is that in real life there’s the next day, the next year, the next lifetime to contemplate the ruinous consequences of easy applause.
I never doubted after September 11th that our place was alongside America and I don’t doubt it now.
And for a very simple reason. Terrorism struck most dramatically in New York but it was aimed then, and is aimed now, at us all, at our way of life.
This is a global struggle.”
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