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The Tony Blair Interview with Andrew Marr, BBC Two: The Twitter Review | reviews, news & interviews

The Tony Blair Interview with Andrew Marr, BBC Two: The Twitter Review

The Tony Blair Interview with Andrew Marr, BBC Two: The Twitter Review

Our live Twitter response to the ex-PM's grilling/book promo

Kennard Phillipps, 'Photo Op', 2005Tate Britain

JasperRees Not long now till Tony Blair faces interrogation by A Marr. GraemeAThomson and I tweeting a live review

GraemeAThomson Nice to see they’ve scheduled it straight after Restoration Roadshow. Someone at the Beeb with a GSOH?

GraemeAThomson Marr's gone with the orange tie. Provocative

JasperRees Are you prepared to speculate about the timing of the Hague twin-bed allegations? Who wins? Who loses?

GraemeAThomson I admired the directness of Hague’s statement earlier on. May make everything Blair says seem a bit evasive by comparison

JasperRees Can’t quite tell if he's really slagging off Gordo for “departing from the New Labour programme”

GraemeAThomson Wouldn’t it be great if he just said, "Gordon broke my heart, ALL RIGHT! Just drop it."

JasperRees A fiver says they never shared twin beds in a hotel room Team Hague style

GraemeAThomson Bunk beds?

JasperRees Ah. The destiny question. "I thought it was going to fall to me" before Smith died

GraemeAThomson Quite extraordinary story that, about foreseeing Smith's death

JasperRees Well he did see himself as a prophet. I just started transcribing a sentence

GraemeAThomson Fairly straight answers so far. Nursery slopes before Iraq looms, though...

JasperRees Gave up when the main verb refused to show. Whose shade of blue suit are you favouring in the early rounds?

JasperRees I think I need to adjust the colour. Blair's sunlamp epidermis not working with the hot pastel backdrop

blair460GraemeAThomson I hope Michael Sheen has a sunbed... (pre-sheen Sheen as Blair in The Queen, pictured right)

GraemeAThomson Big stuff: foxes...

JasperRees You could have laid a million quid on him conceding fox hunting as his one mistake in government.

GraemeAThomson Yep. Classic bargain. "I'll admit I'm wrong on foxes, but not on the war...”

JasperRees Someone recently told me that at Oxford he was amazingly funny. And no one ever sees it (evidence circled below).

GraemeAThomson Marr bowls a googly on spin. "I never lost faith in the British people." Thanks Tone

JasperRees I think that counts as a dead bat. And here comes Iraq. And Dubya.

GraemeAThomson Here we go

JasperRees Oh no. Ireland first. I sniff a contractual obligation. Nice little mention for Mo whom he fired for Mandy

GraemeAThomson Open goal for TB, Ireland.

JasperRees “You pushed a truth beyond breaking point” “Occasionally it was stretched pretty far” Sadly not a dossier question

blairhandSWNS_468x516GraemeAThomson Yes, cheeky. Paxo would have drawn blood by now.

GraemeAThomson 9/11 "altered the calculus of risk". A bit shifty about his alliance with Dubya...

JasperRees I always wonder who minted that phrase. He's used it before.

GraemeAThomson Saddam & WMD. First signs of TB getting a little edgy.

JasperRees “I’ve always apologised for the fact that the intelligence was wrong.” Think I missed that announcement.

JasperRees Could a non-barrister have led us into war through the slippery byways of equivocation and casuisty?

GraemeAThomson Good for Marr; getting stuck into the nitty-gritty & nuts and bolts of the war issue.

JasperRees "FO lawyers didn’t think it was clear" "Other lawyers DID think it was clear" One is reduced to firing off exclamation marks

GraemeAThomson Ultimately, he still comes to that argument: the world is better off without Saddam. Yes, but...

JasperRees The non-link between Al Qaeda and Saddam has not been examined unless I missed it in the flim-flam

GraemeAThomson You're right. Flipped straight from 9/11 to Saddam & WMD. Presumably it's all explained by the "axis of evil"

JasperRees A phrase he doesn’t quite have the stupidity to use. Waiting for the divine inspiration thing to come up.

GraemeAThomson Marr plugging away for The Big Apology. Ain't gonna happen.

JasperRees “Look, I’m sorry but I’m not sorry.” He's just said “evil” for the first time

JasperRees For those not watching, he didn’t actually say “Look, I’m sorry but I’m not sorry” btw

JasperRees Easy for us couch potatoes and barroom philosophes to barrack after the event, of course. So let's carry on...

James_Bond_You_Only_Live_Twice_Ken_Adam_set_designGraemeAThomson So, where do you think Blair is right now? I picture him watching from the hollow volcano in You Only Live Twice (pictured adjacently)

JasperRees On Cliff Richard’s private island karaoke-duetting on “Summer Holiday”.

JasperRees Actually I cycle past his house quite often. Not Cliff’s. Coppers out front and back

GraemeAThomson Afghanistan reduced to - "Is it us or them who are the baddies? That's the big debate for the West"

JasperRees But not for this interview. Onto the economy. Hoping for questions on binge drinking: Gordo drove him to it

GraemeAThomson "Some politics is Right vs Left, and some is right vs wrong." Never did like the soundbites, did he?

JasperRees Just clocked Marr’s tie. A very eager shade of orange. Not that I’m superficial or anything as we move to economic matters

GraemeAThomson Mentioned Marr's tie right at the top. "Provocative".

abbottJasperRees Apols. “Even if it’s Diane she’ll have my 100 per cent support” Wish he'd asked about wrecking Balls, Gordo's pitbull

GraemeAThomson TB's hand gestures are still designed to be seen from the back of the hall

GraemeAThomson Rousing, Kevin Keegan-style team talk for New Labour there.

JasperRees Keegan as in the curse of King Kev? I would love it if we beat them in the next election.

JasperRees Stones alert: ‘You can’t please all the people all the time.’ But you can always get what you want.

GraemeAThomson "The worst thing you can do is have someone who used to do the job popping up.." Oh

JasperRees Re-donating book money, the joke is there will be no royalties for his book. It’ll never earn out its advance.

GraemeAThomson Marr digging away about money like a dog with a bone.

JasperRees Not sure how many houses he owns? He wouldn’t have said that on the stump. McCain did. And look what happened to him

GraemeAThomson Legacy time. History will be my judge... 15 years, still hard to work out how much is an act and how much is real.

JasperRees And so concludes probably the last grilling he’ll ever face. Did he come through unscathed?

GraemeAThomson The TV adaptation of A Journey. Blair heads off to the helipad

JasperRees Buy the book and, as Mandy said of his own apologia, "read it in the round". Or alternatively don’t.

GraemeAThomson I think Blair escaped without any major wounds. Might have been more interesting had it been b/cast live


Did I miss it? It was about me and 64 million other people. What is a PM supposed to be doing? Fighting with his team or dealing with my pension. They told us there were no disagreements.

Is there anyone on this planet who is better because Tony Blair was born?

Not quite as sickening as his nation building diatribe at the enquiry but still sickening. Blair is most concerned to sustain his own self-image of a great statesman. Great is a definite No and statesman, well he definitely left Iraq and Afghanistan in a state. Is it the fault of the West Mr Blair or is it simply unforseen insurgence in those regions? Well, if the West had taken different steps in relation to the international tension after 9/11 the loss of life would certainly be less.

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