Tony Blair audition at Leveson Productions. Lie – halfway round world – truth – boots on

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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3rd June 2012

Thought I’d better catch up on some of my thoughts regarding The Master’s glowing audition at the only show in town – Leveson, My Part In Their Downfall.

The would-be bit parter, looking for a big breakthrough, seemed to have the waiting audience/directors/producer warmed-up, primed and waiting for him to shine. His reputation had travelled before him. But anyway we knew all that. The papers told us if we didn’t. So before any more detailed analysis of content and context, a little word to the good people at DayLife.

I found the picture above at their excellent site, unfortunately with this accompanying caption:

‘A still image from broadcast footage shows Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair reacting after a protester disrupted his testimony at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the media at the High Court in London May 28, 2012.’

Although I’m sure it wasn’t intended to mislead, the caption attached reminded me how ‘a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on’. (source)

We also know that a picture paints a thousand words.

TWENTY SECONDS OF FAME INFAMY

The intruder/protester burst in on the proceedings, accompanied by an as yet unexplained clunking noise, at 15:27 into the video below.

By 15:47 the “war criminal” accuser had said his piece. Between the spoiler’s bundling offstage by a few burly stagehands and the picture shown above, there was this –

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At 16:09 a shocked Leveson reacted:

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: I’m sorry for that, Mr Blair. I’d like to find out how this gentleman managed to access the court through what is supposed to be a secure corridor. I’ll have an investigation undertaken about that immediately.  I apologise.

TONY BLAIR:  That’s fine. Can I just say, actually, on the record, what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely and totally untrue. I have never had a discussion with them about that or any relationship between them and Iraq.

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: You’re entitled to say what you want, but you should not feel it necessary to answer somebody else’s points.

TONY BLAIR: No, I appreciate that, but part of the difficulty actually with modern politics — and I say this not as a criticism of the media — is that my experience of the reporting of these events is that you can have 1,000 people in a room and someone gets up and shouts or throws something. That’s the news. The other 999 might as well not have bothered turning up. But anyway, we were back in —

[THIS IS WHERE, WHEN & WHY MR BLAIR SMILED. At 17:22 he smiled at the fact that the barrister could resume his questioning. Not as a sort of dismissive comment on the intruder.]

MR JAY: We were back in 1997.

TONY BLAIR: Right.

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The above transcript excerpt was taken from the Leveson Inquiry website, transcript, morning session, 28th May. Pages 86-87.

To describe this still-shot of the TV coverage as his “reacting” is misleading. His actual reaction to the intruder was calm. He had his elbow on the table and his hand on his chin throughout the disturbance and remained serious but unperturbed. Most definitely not smiling in reaction to the incident itself.

To say that this smile was “reacting after a protester disrupted his testimony” is to imply “and look what he thought of that man’s protest. What arrogance!”

The reason I have spent some time detailing the timings of these few minutes is that it is important that we get the full facts, in words and pictures. As Tony Blair himself said “That’s the news”.
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Next – a cross-post. A pointer to other would-be thespians on the world stage.

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