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Labour do not realise how their fortunes have been umbilically linked with Blair. When he goes British politics is transformed.

Fantastic. He is a star.

Labour will miss him so much.

It was heartening to watch, after his equally wonderful final Lab conference speech, that Labour's odds to win the next election lengethened immediately as the market priced in the unfortunate contrast with Dour boring private-dentist Brown.

This is mildly cringeworthy.

But far more funny than it should be! He is a 'celebrity' in a way Brown never will be, though this has good and bad points...

I will grudgingly admit this sketch was rather good, although Tony Blair has already demonstrated his acting skills in that chummy PPB with Gordon Brown for the 2005 election and also showed a natural instinct for comedy in that infamous 'buying an ice cream for my best pal' skit he performed with Brown during the same campaign.

Labour do not realise how their fortunes have been umbilically linked with Blair.
It was the failure of the Major administration to deal with the issue of Europe - he and his ministers talked all the time about how bad Brussels was and yet the government caved in on almost everything, people saw that the government was not in control - the things that the government were complaining about were mostly things either that had been signed up to in the 1980's or 1990's or had been introduced under provisions that the government had signed up to. The ERM for example - Margaret Thatcher signed up to it at a time in Mid Term when the Europhiles were banging their drums, she was opposed to it but signed up under pressure from Douglas Hurd, Nigel Lawson and John Major with Michael Hestletine cheering on from the sidelines, Labour was already well on course for victory before Tony Blair became leader, I don't think Clause IV made much difference as everyone had got used to past Labour leaders ignoring the Labour Party conference and the party constitution when it suited them - ERM, Maastricht, Rail privatisation, BSE, reduced majority - all of these things had already happened, Neil Kinnock had marginalised Trotskyite elements in the party and John Smith had already worn the government down with some rather skillfull strategic operations and Tony Blair didn't have to do much - if anything John Smith would have been much more politically successful than Tony Blair if he had lived because he was far more able to bring together different parts of the Labour Party and he had a clear strategy for policy making that was based on what he thought was in the best interests of the UK and most people even where they disagreed with him appreciated this - so although probably the result in 1997 wouldn't have been much different I rather think that the Labour vote woudl have held up much more than it has. Gordon Brown is not liked in the way that John Smith was, but he does have a clear view of what he thinks it is neccessary to do in the interests of the UK, he isn't likely to be as swayed by short term political problems as Tony Blair has been - he's more of a long term thinker.

The BBC is so amazingly shallow. Last night, after weeks of build-up devoted to Comic Relief, at 8:50pm we were treated to the final twitches of a dying three year-old child. Necessarily emotive coverage for such a serious cause they would argue.

Comic Relief earned £40 million.

At £100 million, government spending on translation services is 2.5 times more.

At £189 million, government spending on advertising is almost 5 times more.

At £2.3 billion, the Olympic contingency fund alone is 57 times more.

At £9 billion the Olympics will cost 225 times more.

If the BBC really wanted to help it would help hold the government to account on waste. For example, preventing the contingency fund from being spent would be 57 times more effective at freeing funds for good causes.

Blair, a comedian? You must be joking? Perhaps not.........

Well said Mark Fulford.

Chirac's greatest political success in his career was ensuring that Paris did not get laden with the albatros of the olympics, shoving it onto us instead. Just think what 9 billion squid could be used for, instead of a big swimming pool in East London and accomodation for drug abusing prima donna's claiming to be amateurs.

Mark Fulford

Do you have no soul. Anything else you want to make political capital out of?

This is hilarious!! If only he'd gone into acting rather than politics....


Many big government ad campaigns are run through the Central Office of Information. Last year their turnover, ad spending to you and me, was £321 million or 8 times Red Nose.

See their last Annual Report: http://www.coi.gov.uk/documents/coi-annualreport2005-6.pdf

There are many campaigns that don't go through COI and many state and quasi-state bodies do all their comms without help from COI. For instance, last year Transport for London spent £78 million on comms all by itself - 2 Red Nose days and it is not like they have any competition so too much of this is telling commuters on overcrowded tube trains how great TfL is and how much more they want in above inflation fare increases.

Total spending on comms across the state is hard to measure but must be in the order of £ billions rather than £100 millions.

Why is Mr. Fulford being called 'souless' and accused of making political capital for pointing out FACTS?

I woulkd much rather see the £9 billion of tax payers money (mainly, of course, the already over-taxed London council tax payer) being given to desrving causes such as Red Nose Day, than p****d away on the debacle of this sham athletics tournament.

Pointing out facts? If Mr Fulford has been pointing out facts, he should resign ...

It was funny but then we all know Tony missed his vocation. Maybe he will go into film?!


All I get is a Q. There must be a socalist blocker turned on.

Charity, I’ll give the BBC the benefit of the doubt and say that they are genuinely trying to help reduce injustice. My point is that they are going about it in a thoroughly ineffective way. If the BBC devoted 100 hours or programming to, say, campaigning for any unspent Olympic contingency fund to go to good causes, they could raise the equivalent of 60 Red Nose days. Then they could genuinely pat themselves on the back.

It seems to me that Red Nose day is more about entertainment and participation than actually doing the most good it can. If you need to be bludgeoned with images of dying children in order to open your wallet, it doesn’t say much about your charity.

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