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Final flourish

Nick Robinson | 13:29 UK time, Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Extraordinary. Gob-smackingly spine-chillingly hair-raisingly extraordinary.

Cherie BlairTony Blair planned to say nothing as he left Downing Street for the last time, but his carefully laid plans were once again torn up by his wife. As Mrs Blair got into the Jaguar to leave Downing Street for the last time, she looked directly into the cameras just feet away from her and spoke - not whispered, not mouthed - the following: "Goodbye. I don't think we'll miss you" (watch for yourself here).

Now that's an end to suggestions that Tony Blair is leaving entirely at a time of his own choosing (though he did choose the day and wishing all well as he did so).

One more thing. Earlier when I bumped into Mrs Blair and three of her four children as they were waiting in Parliament's central lobby to be escorted to the public gallery to watch prime minister's questions, I said to one of her children: "I hope you enjoy the day." They smiled. She looked at me with daggers.

CLARIFICATION 1600 BST: When earlier I wrote that this was "an end to suggestions that Tony Blair is leaving entirely at a time of his own choosing", I seem to have provoked some consternation.

Let me explain what I meant. The attempted coup last autumn DID force Tony Blair to promise to leave office before he wanted although he was nevertheless able to choose the precise date on which he left. Cherie Blair is angry with Gordon Brown for those events and with the media for the way she perceives they attacked her and her husband.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 01:50 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Gabriel Gould wrote:

"Now that's an end to suggestions that Tony Blair is leaving entirely at a time of his own choosing "..
Utter nonsense.. it doesnt suggest ANYTHING to do with the time of his leaving.. awful logic again from bad journalists.. the ONLY thing it suggests is that they are sick of the press.. and who blames them!

  • 2.
  • At 01:50 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

What a missed opportunity, not to have taken a page out of Richard Nixon's book and said; "You won't have Tony Blair to kick around anymore." A lost moment.

  • 3.
  • At 01:52 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Richard Carnie wrote:

Perhaps I'm being thick, but I'm not sure I see your point about Cherie Blair's words being "extraordinary": doesn't it fit right in with her well-known antipathy to the press?

  • 4.
  • At 01:56 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Haroon Mazhar wrote:

Cherie Blair "Goodbye. I don't think we'll miss you" to the media

I am sure most of the people would love to say the same to her !

She sounds like a very streightforward women.I dont evnvy tony at all.He has the worst of the both worlds.Iraq and Cherrie to put up with

  • 5.
  • At 01:56 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

Extraordinary, as you say. The media has been very fair to Mr Blair over the years.

In fact, if they had been harsher on him and not published the "45 minutes from attack" rubbish he fed them we might not be in the mess we're in in Iraq.

  • 6.
  • At 02:02 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • chris wrote:

She really is a poisonous individual. Good riddance to her. I feel sorry for Tony Blair

  • 7.
  • At 02:03 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

I don't blame her! The media have been vile to her for the last 10 years and it is blatantly obvious that it is all because she is a successful and intelligent woman. I'm surprised she didn't do a 'Two Jabs' on the lot of you.

  • 8.
  • At 02:03 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • chris wrote:

She really is a poisonous individual. Good riddance to her. I feel sorry for Tony Blair

  • 9.
  • At 02:05 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Paul Smith wrote:

I fail to see how Cherie Blair's comment is any kind of confirmation as to the manner of Tony's departure - that's pure speculation on your part.

Furthermore, why should she have been happy for you to talk to her children? The press are hardly an element to be liked by anyone in the public eye. (Or even the public, come to that...)

Maybe you made it seem too much like you were gloating.

  • 10.
  • At 02:05 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Kris wrote:

I doubt this was a case of cherie speaking out of turn, moreso cherie having the last word which im sure she is entitled to,after the unnecessary grilling she has had over the last 10 years

I've found your coverage of the blair years very one dimensional and would expect more from the bbc

  • 11.
  • At 02:06 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • David O'Brien wrote:

What a lot of nonsense. The media really are awfull. Oh er missus that was frankie wasn't it!

That was a little strange. After all that planning to leave in silence, I wonder what Tony said when he got in the car with Cherie.

"Oh Cherie"

  • 13.
  • At 02:07 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • john wrote:

I don't get it?

She says 'I don't think we'll miss you' and this is a definate sign that Blair was pushed?

I've no time for Mrs Blair but this is a comment on the press not the position that Blair took on the Israel Lebanon work which finally pushed him from office.

  • 14.
  • At 02:07 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Dave Edwards wrote:

I don't think we'll miss you Cherie.

Mr Gould obviously must work for Labour, and we have seen them on sites before masquerading as ?the public?. There is a quote in Roger's Profanisaurus and it is called a ?Tony Blair?, it is to describe going to the toilet expecting great things and nothing happens. Blair was a 'loud sounding nothing', a sycophant who kept Corporate America happy while ignoring ?the people? who had employed him. Along with his bitter lemon sucking smiling wife, we are better off without him. We need a media that doesn't hound but finds truth, unfortunately in the UK we have a mixture. But I can accept the hounding if we discover truths about politicians.

Goodbye, I don't think we'll miss you, Cherie...

  • 17.
  • At 02:12 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

How ill-bred! (and silly too...)

  • 18.
  • At 02:13 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Michael Winston wrote:

So what, Nick? You (or your editor) must be desperate for a new angle if this 'story' is anything to go by. I usually enjoy your pithy analyses but reading this is like watching three men share the last parachute. I never thought I'd say 'could do better' on your end of term report, but life is full of surprises, many of them unpleasant. Just like your article, in fact.

  • 19.
  • At 02:14 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Peter Traynor wrote:

Gobsmackingly chillingly hair raisingly extraordinary??? That's an extraordinary bit of hyperbole to put onto what actually was a fairly mundane incident - Mrs Blair saying 'I don't think we'll miss you' not as you said into the camera Nick, but to the press gathered outside their house: you and the rest of the mob who have set yourselves up as guardians of truth and upholders of justice.

When apparently credible journalists like yourself put such spin onto a few words, I don't blame her for not missing you.

  • 20.
  • At 02:15 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Her last chance to embarrass Tony...and she dives in feet first. I wonder if he sometimes wishes Gordon could inherit her along with No.10.

  • 21.
  • At 02:16 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Sean wrote:

"Now that's an end to suggestions that Tony Blair is leaving entirely at a time of his own choosing"

Excuse me if I'm being thick, but I think I may need some help in understanding the analytical thought processes behind this conclusion - anyone?...

This post reveals in microcosm the extent to which Cherie Blair has been a soft target for media vitriol that they haven't been able to aim at her husband - I'm not a particular fan of hers, but if I were Cherie, I wouldn't miss you lot either.

  • 22.
  • At 02:16 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • sara farrington wrote:

Nonsense, she was just speaking the truth!

  • 23.
  • At 02:16 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Steve H wrote:

Good on you Cherie. I wish your husband had stood up to the press a bit more (and I don't mean the Indie).

Nick - I think it's fair to assume her scorn was more reserved for the likes of the Daily Mail than broadcasters like the BBC, so there's no need to sound so offronted. You might be chummy with the political hacks of various newspapers, but don't pretend you can't see the corrosive impact those papers have on political discourse, or the brutal things that get written.

It can't possibly have escaped your attention how the right wing press has treated her over the years. So let's have a bit of honesty from you.

I have to agree with Gabriel Gould.

So Cherie Blair won't miss the media attention and intrusion. Hardly a surprise. It certainly does not justify the conclusion you draw.

I am always skeptical about suggestions that this or that journalist has and agenda - but I do think this qualifies as an error of judgement on your part.

  • 25.
  • At 02:18 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Chris Cole wrote:

Whilst no fan of the Blairs, I believe the tone that Mrs Blair used when conveying her message was more in jest than in anger. Lets give her the benfit of the doubt today.

PS Still glad to see them both go though!

  • 26.
  • At 02:18 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • John wrote:

I think it was perhaps slightly more good humoured than that suggests, but it does show again Cherie's complete lack of judgement.

  • 27.
  • At 02:20 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • colin wrote:

got to agree with many of the comments above - there was nothing in this remark. To try and read something into it is a ridiculous over-analysis of what happened.

  • 28.
  • At 02:20 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Ben Jephcott wrote:

I always thought Nick Robinson averse to hyperbole, but 'spine-chilling'? What exactly is spine-chilling about Cherie's feelings about the media or her natural wish to defend her husband. I have been fighting Blairism politically for a decade but this use of words is ridiculous.

Life for the Blair family in No 10 can't have been easy and it is understandable, to say the least.

  • 29.
  • At 02:21 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Stephen Baker wrote:

On a day that the out-going PM retained dignity and the rest of the country, by and large, wished him well, Cherrie decided that the image that we'll retain is one of a sad women who has no dignity. I feel sorry for Blair for being married to such a harriden.

  • 30.
  • At 02:22 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Chris L wrote:

How does her comment, obviously designed to leave the press in little doubt of her feeling towards them, insinuate anything into Tony Blair's choice of departure date?

I have no axe to grind here but your interpretation is quite "extraordinary" - not her words. On a day like today you cannot surely be struggling for a story to come up with!

  • 31.
  • At 02:23 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • whisky-joe wrote:

Thank goodness they've gone. Now brace yourselves!

  • 32.
  • At 02:23 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Ken wrote:

Nick, she's just saying that she hasn't enjoyed her treatment by the media. If that strikes you as gob-smackingly spine-chingingly hair-raisingly extraordinary you ought either to get out more or stay in more and read the comments of this blog make.

  • 33.
  • At 02:24 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Nick Perks wrote:

I agree with Peter (19). From Nick's analysis I presume that Cherie rushed up to the waiting press, grabbed some lead journalist by the collar, and shouted the words into their face, administered a few punches and then did a commando roll into the waiting car. In fact, it was a fairly cheery comment delivered with no obvious malice.

If journalists have nothing to say, say nothing.

  • 34.
  • At 02:24 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Steve Crietzman wrote:

Extraordinary.

Not what Cherie said, but at how the press YET AGAIN choose to twist words and "spin" her words against her.

Frankly, her words were crystal clear, as what it's meaning. It is entirely disingenuous, even extraordinary, that the press are now trying to "spin" this is into anything other than it clearly was: a stinging attack on the press's childishness in trying to "protect" it's image.

She's quite right to feel the way she does about the media. The comment should have been left to stand "as is". Its meaning was clear. All attempts to spin it just look desperate on the press' part, exposing both the press's obsession with its image, its own insecurity, and the fact she was correct. The press are just as obsessed by their appearance to the public as the politicians they criticise for doing the same. Perhaps thats what the press can't stand the most: her comments helped expose the truth.

(This post comes from someone who considers themselves a great critic of the Blair government.

  • 35.
  • At 02:25 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

"Extraordinary. Gob-smackingly spine-chillingly hair-raisingly extraordinary."

I started to read this post expecting her to have spewed a tirade of expletives, or have at least said something to justify such ridiculous, over the top journalism.

How very dare you... and on the bbc no less, I'm so glad I pay your wages.

  • 36.
  • At 02:25 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Justin Flook wrote:

What were you doing in with daggers Nick? I'm suprised security let you in with them.

  • 37.
  • At 02:25 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Johnny wrote:

so none of you think that it was horribly misjudged by cherie. i'm with nick, it was very, very strange.

  • 38.
  • At 02:26 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • George wrote:

Nick, i think you've lost the plot. How on earth does Cherie Blair saying "Goodbye, I don't think we'll miss you" to the media, with whom she has always had a fraught relationship, confirm that Blair is not leaving at a time of his choosing.

Your linking of the two facts is a complete non-sequitur. It's rather like me saying that your use of the word 'Gob-smacking' means you like, I don't know, eating goat's cheese on Tuesdays.

  • 39.
  • At 02:27 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Nick,
your writing is pathetic! Trying to make something out of nothing. Rubbish...

  • 40.
  • At 02:27 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Joe wrote:

It isn't even slightly surprising, Nick. It was a completely ordinary thing to do and just confirmed she is a human being like any other.

If someone had been as vile to me as the press has to her then I'd say something like that.

  • 41.
  • At 02:28 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Julie wrote:

Does she think we're going to miss them? Not in a million years! I am dancing round my living room - good riddance to this smug, hypocritical, self-serving idiot.

Sorry Nick, you're a great communicator and I was delighted when you were made political editor, but I agree with the majority of the foregoing - your analysis (and hyperbole) doesn't hold water. All her comment proves is that she hates the press! And who wouldn't, given the sort of nonsense that she has had to put up with from them, for the 'crime' of being a successful independent woman who enjoys her earned wealth. Norma Major, who was demure and quiet and 'knew her place,' was treated with kid gloves in contrast.

  • 43.
  • At 02:29 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

Be fair here! Cherie Blair appears to have made a very fair comment which I suspect was meant as lighthearted banter.

As for the looking at Nick with daggers - me thinks this is a bit of a stretch. Based on her experiance of the press she is not likely to give you a kiss on each cheeky!

  • 44.
  • At 02:29 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Harry Jo wrote:

By the way, Nick, how many hair have you got to make it "hair raisingly extraordinary"?? Calm down! There was nothing extraordinary about it. Do not be unnecessarily excited and prove yourself unworthy of your job by injecting your excitement into minor incidents!

  • 45.
  • At 02:30 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • DT wrote:

What of the BBC's promise to indulge less in bias in its reporting? The media constantly "spin" so ensuring that political parties must as well (whether they try to or not).

  • 46.
  • At 02:31 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I am sorry, but i dont agree
She is poison through and through and has used the press and Tony Blairs position to her and their own personal advantage for the last 10 years, i would hate to have her as a boss as she seems vindictive sort. Look at the palava in the press when she bought that property then gave a public apology tears and all..yeah well believable!!

  • 47.
  • At 02:34 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Paul wrote:


11. At 02:06 PM on 27 Jun 2007, David O'Brien wrote:
What a lot of nonsense. The media really are awfull. Oh er missus that was frankie wasn't it!

************

No, it was Dick Emery who said "You Are Awful"....

Awful sums up Cherie Blair quite well. She couldn't just leave quietly and with dignity, could she. She had to open her mouth one last time and put her expensively-heeled foot in it once again.

  • 48.
  • At 02:35 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Rob King wrote:

You really are being ridiculous, Nick. The wife of a departing PM saying she won't miss the Press, is spine chilling?

Do get a grip.

  • 49.
  • At 02:40 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • John wrote:

Listening to the clip with headphones, what's more interesting is the woman somewhere in the background, sounding like Barbara Woodhouse on acid, screeching "War criminal! You're a war criminal!"

  • 50.
  • At 02:42 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Mac Eddey wrote:

I don't think we'll miss them, either.

  • 51.
  • At 02:43 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • DAVID REARDON wrote:

mrs blair goodbye we will definately not miss you, l feel better already not having you using my tax for free hairdo's. One thing you are good at is excepting freebies. GOODBYE

  • 52.
  • At 02:44 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

ill judged, petty, graceless, predictable even - yes.
Spine chilling, hair raising - no.
I know today is all very exciting for you types, Nick butI think you may need to sit in a darkened room for a while...

  • 53.
  • At 02:45 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Anthony Wornum wrote:

In fact she said: "I don't think I'll miss you".

"I", not "we". Makes it slightly different. And it came from the heart. Whatever one might think of Cherie or her alleged wrongdoings, the Press do hound people, rightly or wrongly.

  • 54.
  • At 02:47 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • bill 1946 wrote:

I don't think it is spine-chilling, etc. But it is surprising coming from a woman who was moderately successful in her profession until her husband became PM, and who has made huge sums of money from 'lectures' which are just her crass exploitation of a position she 'earned' by marriage, not merit. Her only selling power is her celebrity, thanks to that press she doesn't like. Nobody would pay for the opinions of Cherie Booth if she had not married Tony Blair.

  • 55.
  • At 02:50 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

Who can blame Cherie for that sentiment? The media have no masters but themselves, believe in nothing support nothing, just stand on the sidelines shouting and pointing. Whereas, politicians (and judges) have to make real life decisions on the basis of facts presented which they know people without responsibility will judge them on with the benefit of hindsight.

  • 56.
  • At 02:53 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • schauspiele wrote:

Adding voice to those who would like the logic explained, please.

  • 57.
  • At 02:55 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • David O'Brien wrote:

Cherie Blair has a habit of putting her foot in it so why should we be surprised that she says something abrasive while leaving Downing Street for the last time ? I don't think for a minute that she has been the key factor in Tony stepping down or that this comment of hers suggests that this is the case. It's just another example of her difficult personality

Dear Mr Witchell and the absolutely perfect BBC tv team - that crude comment by Mrs Blair was totally impolite and also out of order in any acceptable social circles , thus proving to myself - a lifelong Tory - at long last that she most certainly might have been the wife of the former Prime Minister, but she most certainly was NOT a true "First LADY !"

  • 59.
  • At 03:02 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Jenny Jones wrote:

If the Blairs didn't like dealing with the press they didn't have to. They could have left Downing Street a long time ago. Cherie could have had a little more dignity at the last gasp and at the very least allowed her husband, who was after all the outgoing PM, the last word. But no.

I hate to say it bill1946 (post 47, though they seem to keep changing numbers), but people did pay for the opinions of Cherie Booth if she hadn't married Tony Blair. She was a barrister, a pretty successful one as I understand it, and that's what they do: provide legal opinions to solicitors and other professionals. For money. Shocking isn't it?

  • 61.
  • At 03:09 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Paul Berry wrote:

Either you're more thick skinned than can be believed to miss an insult when it's thrown at our odious Press from a few feet away - or you're simply playing thick in the name of reporting.

Leave the spin to the politicians and concentrate on doing a professional reporting job. It's time the BBC climbed from the gutter and acknowledged that not all their viewers need reporting dressed down for the 'Eastenders audience'.

  • 62.
  • At 03:18 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • glyn williams wrote:

Re Cherie Blair's comment on the Press - How typically self centred and piously Cherie Blair /New Labour. She / NL has used the press where & when it suites but when the scribe has been critical all hell has been let loose. Whatever it was that won three elections for New Labour it certainly was not class ,dignity, manners or humility. One does not need to be rich to have these qualities. Years ago such qualities were in abundance throughout the social structure. Cherie and Tony Blair will no doubt go on great riches so let us hope when, out of Number 10, they learn some humilty and sportmanship along the way.

  • 63.
  • At 03:18 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Nick Whittome wrote:

"Extraordinary. Gob-smackingly spine-chillingly hair-raisingly extraordinary."

Hardly. How about - boy, am I relieved to get my husband and family back out of the spotlight after 10 years of unbelievable pressure...?

The thought of having to face you lot even once terrifies me, let alone routinely for a decade.

So - not that extraordinary, really.

  • 64.
  • At 03:19 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Nat wrote:

What else the press can expect? They have villified her and Blair for more than they deserve. Now, do you expect her to say that she will miss the press so much? In that case, it would be a blatant lie, and I am glad that she spoke what is the truth! One more credit to the Blairs!

Entire British press should be ashamed of themselves!

Hats off Mrs.Blair! I wish you all the good luck!

  • 65.
  • At 03:23 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Jonathan Bennett wrote:

Nick; I am glad to see that you are alive and kicking. As to the events of the day, Jeremy Vine's show was full of it so much so that I had tears of joy running down my cheeks. Tony Blair couldn't have done any better if he was an actor, actually I think he is an actor. Cherie on the other hand, well, what does one say about her, I think nothing would be appropriate.

  • 66.
  • At 03:26 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Mark Simmo wrote:

The feeling is entirely mutual Mrs Blair.

  • 67.
  • At 03:26 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • airforceone wrote:

Cherie is media savvy, she knows how to look "off camera" when addressing the journo's. If she stared into a camera lens and said those words, by default she is addressing the nation - most of whom have the same sentiments and will not miss the Blairs either!

  • 68.
  • At 03:27 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Christopher wrote:

Mrs Blair's comment to the media in Downing Street was unnecessary and completely at odds with the tone of the rest of the day. Mr Blair has aspirations to continue to play the role of a great statesman on the world stage. Mrs Blair will not help him with behaviour such as this. He will need to leave her at home! I agree with Nick, it was an extraordinary moment - and a creepy one.

  • 69.
  • At 03:28 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Maria Quinn wrote:

I'm neither gob-smacked, spine-chilled nor hair-raised by Mrs Blair's comment. Perhaps this kind of biased reporting is exactly the reason that she said what she said.

  • 70.
  • At 03:29 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Rose Thomas wrote:

Your comments were beneath you Nick!

  • 71.
  • At 03:29 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Charles E Hardwidge wrote:

Cherie Blair would have been better off smiling and saying nothing. There's nothing wrong with being truthful and open but this looked a little spiteful. Likewise, I think, Tony Blair's dismissive attitude at the very end of his final speech was uncalled for. They had the good ending they wanted but couldn't accept that with good grace. Better these caustic individuals are cast aside and forgotten if they can't be more mature than that. Sad, quite sad.

  • 72.
  • At 03:30 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Oscar Miller wrote:

Cherie Blair was being honest - not a trait that goes down well at the BBC obviously.

  • 73.
  • At 03:35 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Jeremy Cox wrote:

I have a huge amount of sympathy for Cherie Blair. She is the PMs wife, but she is NOT an elected servant of the people; as such, she and her kids have the right to be treated as private citizens, with private lives, regardless of what you may think of her taste in partners.
yet she has been subjected to vilification and demonisation on a huge and frankly disgusting scale. Norma Major never got that treatment, neither did mary Wilson or audrey Callaghan. Denis Thatcher - in truth, a right-wing oilco businessman with some truly repellent views - waas treated practically as a loveable natioonal mascot. all Mrs Blair did was try to maintain her own life and career - a reasonable request in my view. In return, she got turned into a cross of Mrs Ceausescu and Lady Macbeth.
Mr Robinson, you and your colleagues should feel ashamed of yourselves - she has every right to hate your guts.

  • 74.
  • At 03:46 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Dr Scrote wrote:

She was trying to have the last word against you all, and you let her. Why didn't one of you just shout something back at her? I'm fond of the Garrison Keillor comment in his scathing review of Bernard-Henri LĂ©vy's book American Vertigo:'Thanks, pal . . . Thanks for coming. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.'

  • 75.
  • At 03:50 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

I bet she took the lightbulbs...

  • 76.
  • At 04:32 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Danny Black wrote:

Well done Cherie for trying to steal the limelight at the closing moments. Great to show the world that you have to speak for Tony.

Just like school during half-term - no class.

  • 77.
  • At 05:03 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Paul Dockree wrote:

Mine were selfish ears admittedly - so I listened carefully for clarification. He thanked our brave armed services which I applauded.

Mr Blair later alluded to the occasional "Low Skullduggery" in politics. "Trust in Government" and "Old Politics" were our new PMs take I believe.

Low Skullduggery. Something else dismissed in two words. Just two words - so that was all it was - was it?

Not much of a legacy for someone is it?

Thank your Tony.

  • 78.
  • At 05:07 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

I couldn't have put the 'lightbulbs' comment better myself.

Unfortunately, the champagne socialists who just departed from Number 10 will be roaming the world taking freebies and making bucket loads of dollars, francs, deutschmarks and lire on the back of their celebrity status (fanned by the flames of publicity from the press and media) for some time to come. Mrs Blair's comment sums up their contempt for whoever dares to criticise their sneering attitudes and unprincipled behaviour.

Au revoir, auf wiedersehen and arrivederci indeed, Mr and Mrs Blair.

  • 79.
  • At 05:18 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Shawn wrote:

I see no logical reason in claiming Cherie's comments sheds light on the way Blair left office. She made a light-hearted jestful comment which we all know she means deep down. I thought journalists were meant to have thick skins. Stop being so sensative and allow Cherie her moment to flick you on the nose!

Also who can blame her for not wanting the press to speak to her children. You might have meant it in kindness but try living a day in their shoes. They know full well journalists are never off duty.

  • 80.
  • At 05:22 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Yes I think her comment was extraordinary, but only because Mr Blair did not say a word. I think her comment was just an off-the-cuff, slightly ironic comment to the assembled press - something that anyone in the public eye would say in such circumstances. I'm not sure Nick is right to infer so much from her comment in this instance.

  • 81.
  • At 05:53 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • JS wrote:

Daggers from Cherie and George Bush - a fine pair of enemies you have made in the last 6 months.

  • 82.
  • At 05:57 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • alexasher wrote:

Well at least you haven't blown it out of proportion. God, that would be the last thing you want to do.

You know what, I think every time SOMEONE says SOMETHING you should post it immediately then try and find some kind of "EXTRAORDINARY" speculation about it and hype it up just to try and justify having a "blog" and create a false impact when in reality nothing "EXTRAORDINARY" is really happening.

It is no secret that Cherie hates the press. How is it "Gob-smackingly spine-chillingly hair-raisingly extraordinary"? Stop being sucked into the shock-factor style of news reporting.

  • 83.
  • At 06:01 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Ron Daniel wrote:

Having looked at the video clip several times, I really can't see what the fuss is all about. All in all a very poor piece of biased reporting, making something out of nothing.

  • 84.
  • At 06:23 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • gwenhwyfaer wrote:

airforceone (#67), you said "If she stared into a camera lens and said those words, by default she is addressing the nation".

But if the appalling comments some people have left here are at all representative of the nation's general conduct, especially towards successful professional women who dare to have opinions, let alone voice them - and frankly, it dismays me to think that they probably are - who on earth could blame her? I wouldn't have been all that surprised to hear she'd uttered "f--- the lot of you", and I'd have quite seen her point.

  • 85.
  • At 06:55 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Bruce Osborne wrote:

I have to admit I too was shocked - I expected her to walk over to the press corps and kiss the ground they were standing on.

Or was her comment some secret plot to install a Chavez-style press? Who knows.

And wasn't I Gob-smackingly spine-chillingly hair-raisingly extraordinarily shocked - truly shocked as we all must be - not to see Tony carry on as an MP rather that accept a part on the world stage. "British" Prime Minister ...?

  • 86.
  • At 07:02 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • james alexander wrote:

I have a feeling that my earlier comment about this reporter being biased and a poor journalist has been removed!??? Mmmmmm so much for "impartiality"! to say nothing of personal comments on the former PM's wife being tacky

  • 87.
  • At 07:10 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Steve Way wrote:

If this comment chilled your spine and raised your hair then please stick to politics and stay away from the sharp end of reporting.

You've never had to endure the press intrusion that anyone in the public eye has. I saw it at first hand once after an IRA attack I was involved in. The typical press approaches include lies deciet and bullying their way into peoples live's if they sniff a story.

She probably wasn't aiming her (to my ears joking comment) at the BBC but the papers. Although yet again it makes me ask who sexes up news most New Labour or the bitter BBC still smarting after Hutton...

  • 88.
  • At 07:23 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • John Whyte wrote:

So, Nick, where do you stand on Sir Humphrey's dictat that a clarification is not meant to make oneself clear, it is to put oneself IN the clear? :)

  • 89.
  • At 07:33 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Alice wrote:

I can understand why Cherie said what she did, but it wasn't an appropriate time or appropriate behaviour. Don't forget that the Blair administration expended a lot of time and energy courting elements of the media. Slightly hypocritical perhaps? Those comments ruined what was otherwise a nice moment.
And glaring at Nick after he wished the Blairs well etc? Plain rude I'm afraid!
Even so, best wishes to the family, it must have been difficult raising four children in that goldfish bowl.
And lets give Nick a break, how many hours must he be working at the moment?!

  • 90.
  • At 08:11 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • susan hutton wrote:

I am sick of the way many in the media attack Cherie Blair for the least little thing - here is the BBC, as represented by Nick Robinson, attacking her for a harmless jokey comment.

  • 91.
  • At 08:13 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • David Evans wrote:

I find myself oddly emotional on this historic day. It was an extraordinarily dignified political exit. I do also wonder if Cherie was not making a tactical point about her husband's departure so much as a strategic one about the media invasion of her family life.

Either way, it felt strangely like watching the Blair family enter number 10 in 1997. I feel oddly proud to be British, and as if I have just seen the end of an era. I'm sure it will pass though...

  • 92.
  • At 08:43 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • David Faltskog wrote:

You know i quite fancy Cherie now! good to see her get the boot into the tabloid numpties :)

  • 93.
  • At 09:24 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Chris C wrote:

Having now seen this 'Extraordinary. Gob-smackingly spine-chillingly hair-raisingly extraordinary.' comment from Cherie I'm wondering what most of you actually saw and heard or what you THOUGHT or WANTED to heae!

What I saw and heard was Cherie making a jokey comemnt to the media, with a sparkle in her eye and a grin and a wave as she got in the car.

Hardly a 'Lady Macbeth' moment.!

Mrs Blair's little stunt had "sore loser" written all over it.

  • 95.
  • At 10:04 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Jon B wrote:

Even the "moving out" was spin - why were items being moved out of Number 10 when the Blairs were actually living in Number 11 as it was a larger flat?

  • 96.
  • At 10:05 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • delyse silverstone wrote:

I am with the Cherie people. Good for her. You were vile to her and in fact are 'feral'

  • 97.
  • At 11:01 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Chris Voisey wrote:

Jog on Cherie... Jeez I wonder which of the Blairs will get their book out first.

  • 98.
  • At 11:43 PM on 27 Jun 2007,
  • Gareth Jones wrote:

My abiding memory of Margaret Thatcher's departure from Downing Street is the tearful face in the car supported by her ever dignified husband. My memory of Tony Blair's departure will not feature him at all, just his wife, once again displaying the lack of dignity that sits so uncomfortably with her undoubtedly deserved reputation as a lawyer.

  • 99.
  • At 12:44 AM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • Simon Tushingham wrote:

This is simple: cake and eat it.

Mrs Blair/Ms Booth has always been held in contempt by me with regard to her activities outside of her legal practice ... and this merely confirms her duplicity. Although she will certainly have influenced her husband's opinions and decisions over the years he most decidedly is the lesser of the two evils. Good riddance to bad rubbish, as they used to say in childhood reading.

  • 100.
  • At 08:06 AM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • Craig wrote:

Mrs Blair was obviously joking; the media have no sense of humour and like Blair's "feral beast" comments, can give criticsm, but can't take it.

  • 101.
  • At 10:45 AM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • Edward wrote:

Regarding the 'lightbulbs' comment, it's a case of 'what comes round, goes round'.

Unfortunately, the Champagne Socialists who just departed from Number 10 will be roaming the world taking freebies and making bucket loads of dollars, francs, deutschmarks and lire on the back of their celebrity status (fanned by the flames of publicity from the press and media) for some time to come.

Mrs Blair's comment sums up their contempt for whoever dares to criticise their sneering attitudes and unprincipled behaviour.

Au revoir, auf wiedersehen and arrivederci indeed, Mr and Mrs Blair.

  • 102.
  • At 11:12 AM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • Michael Winston wrote:

''My abiding memory of Margaret Thatcher's departure from Downing Street is the tearful face in the car supported by her ever dignified husband.''

That's because her own party kicked her out. Unlike the Blairs, who left of their own volition in a truly dignified manner i.e not given the bum's rush!

  • 103.
  • At 11:15 AM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • Carl Eve wrote:

I can't imagine Mrs David Kelly will miss Cherie and her signed copy of the Hutton Report either...

  • 104.
  • At 12:54 PM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • Tom Scott wrote:

Nick, I'm afraid your clarification doesn't work for me. Cherie Blair has many, many reasons for being angry with the media. So to conclude from her jokey (but heartfelt) comment that her husband was definitely forced out of office is, frankly, ridiculous.

It really seems that you have allowed Cherie's alleged glare at you to influence your reporting.

Not your finest hour, Nick.

  • 105.
  • At 02:45 PM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • D Jones wrote:


"Gob-smackingly spine-chillingly hair-raisingly extraordinary."

You need to get out more, Nick.

  • 106.
  • At 05:55 PM on 28 Jun 2007,
  • B. Hughes wrote:

An Ode To The Retiree

He’s seen the Queen, and had his tea,
Now they’ve gone, both he and Cherie.
T’was with a tear in their eye, they left Her Majesty’s pad,
But as Prince Phillip waved good bye, he looked mighty glad.

Hooray, hooray I say! At long last Blair is no more.
Good riddance I say... but what now lies in store?
No more spin, no more lies, no more con?
'I know', I say, 'let's try some trust’: that's a new one.

He’s said his farewells, but was in no rush,
He kept his fondest, for his special pal Bush.
Blair thought he was special, but must have been barmy,
As it turns out, his best friend was Barney.

A new sheriff is in town, and his name is Gordon Brown,
He may have a new suit, but it's the same old frown.
It's just another politician, just another name.
Oh no, he says 'Trust me': it's more of the same.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he had a red case,
Now he stands outside No. 10, with a grin on his face.
As Trust Me Tony sits back and relaxes,
We’re left to wonder, about the next round of taxes.

So it’s more of the same, there’s nothing new,
If you want some work, come join the queue.
We need someone strong, we need a new leader,
Come on out Maggie, our country needs yer!


  • 107.
  • At 12:52 PM on 02 Jul 2007,
  • margot parker wrote:

Delighted to say good bye to Cherie but sorry the BBC are giving her air time with her life in number 10. Cherie sends out mixed signals and I am afraid she deserves all she gets,the press love to wind her up and she responds always.

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