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THEWEEKLYWORLDEDITION OF The DailyTelegraph AND The SundayTelegraph
September8-142010 No. 998
:: SPORT P46
New arrival in Downing Street
Rooney in new infidelity row Prostitute says starpaidforsex :: NEWS P3
By Andrew Porter, James Kirkup and Robert Winnett THE ferocity of Tony Blair’s attack on Gordon Brown threatened to plunge Labour into a fresh civil war last week and send the party into the electoral wilderness.
Published on the day Labour members received their leadership ballot papers, the former prime minister’s detailed and sustained criticism of Mr Brown in his memoir was greeted with dismay and astonishment by senior figures in the party. They said it risked reopening the wounds that scarred the New Labour era and could be “very, very damaging” as the party tried to move on from a general election defeat.
Figures close to Mr Brown accused Mr Blair of being “delusional” and warned that the book could unleash a course of “mutual destruction” and dominate the current leadership election.
The row threatens to intensify the rift between the two front-runners for the leadership, the brothers David and Ed Miliband, who are widely seen to represent the Blairite and Brownite wings of the party.
Mr Blair uses his memoir to give tacit support to David Miliband’s candidacy and offers a scathing criticism of Ed Balls, another candidate and a close ally of Mr Brown.
The memoir paints Mr Brown as a manipulative figure who lost a winnable election by abandoning the principles of New Labour.
The former prime minister’s memoir discloses that a “maddening” Mr Brown effectively blackmailed him while he was in No10. He suspects the then chancellor of orchestrating the investigation into the cashfor-honours scandal.
INSIDE Page by page: the attacks on Brown p4-5 Blair on politicians and infidelity p4-5 Simon Heffer p19 Matthew d’Ancona p20 Boris Johnson p21
The pressure on Mr Blair to step aside became so great that he admits he may have become reliant on alcohol as he faced coup attempts from Mr Brown’s supporters. He discloses that he began drinking every day and needed the “support” that alcohol provided.
Mr Blair’s memoir, entitled A Journey, published last Wednesday, provides the first definitive account of the relationship between the two men which dogged the Labour government from 1997.
The former prime minister discloses that some of his biggest mistakes in office were his failure to predict and tackle the boom in asylum seekers and to address the emerging “underclass”.
He discloses his “anguish” over the Iraq war and its aftermath. But he insists going to war was correct and says he will devote the rest of his life to making amends.
In the postscript, Mr Blair lays the blame for Labour’s landslide general election defeat earlier this year squarely on his successor’s change in strategy.
He asks why Labour lost, and replies: “It won as New Labour. It lost by ceasing to be that.” He adds that Mr Brown was not able to handle modern politics, which dissects personality, but insists that, had Mr Brown continued New Labour politics, victory would have been possible.
His successor failed to make political capital out of the economic crisis, Mr Blair adds. The initial bank bail-out plan was “excellent”, but later decisions to raise taxes and abandon reforms proved fatal at the ballot box.
He says that “competitive” taxes on income should have been maintained and other levies, such as VAT, raised instead. Mr Blair finishes the book by urging Labour members not to “slide” or “veer” to the Left now. Ed Miliband and other leadership
Continued on page 2
Dannatt speaks out Blair andBrown betrayedus, claimsgeneral :: NEWS P6
David and Samantha Cameron show off their baby for the first time outside No10
last Friday. Florence Rose Endellion, who is two weeks old,
was in a crocheted shawl sent by a charity fund-raiser
Middle East peace process Hamasvowsto derail newtalks :: WORLD NEWS P14
‘Seven men in one room – the internet bloggers will have a field day’ William Hague denies gay affair after sharing hotel room with aide Report, page 5