Blair on Brown (Cherie, that is...)
So the last thing you want when you're down is a potentially gloating memoir from your predecessor's wife, detailing the ins and outs of that tricky relationship. Entirely true to form, Cherie Blair has brought the publication of her memoirs forward, and they do not make the easiest reading for Gordon Brown. Her disdain for him, and her admirable belief in her husband, only reawakes memories of when Labour used to win things - under Tony. She also suggests that Tony would have stood down earlier if he had any confidence in Brown's willingness to maintain his public service reforms.
Cherie Blair maintains that she has no animosity towards her former neighbour, but who could blame her if there isn't a feeling that Gordon Brown is seeing his appropriate nemesis. For ten years, Brown seethed at not having the top job and plotted continuously to gain it sooner rather than later. It must seem a little bit of bitter sweet revenge for the Blairs to witness his troubles today, and the Cherie memoirs, whilst not triumphalist, are hardly designed to soothe the present leader's troubled brow.
Oh, and if you've read Robert Harris's admirable novel 'The Ghost', you will have real trouble reading Cherie's own words with anything like due objectivity!
The Times extracts from Cherie's book are here.