Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Westminster Unites over Terrorist Attack"

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Westminster Unites over Terrorist Attack"

Article excerpt

I was waiting for a taxi to take me to the Daily Politics show when news of the London bombs began to filter through. The TV discussion I was due to join was about how well Tony Blair was doing, and did this mean he could go on for ever?

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Having seen off Europe as an issue and won the Olympics for London, and being ready to claim a G8 summit victory on Africa (went this argument), Blair would see out a full term. The tragic events of 7 July only added to the siren voices claiming that their man was indestructible.

For fans such as John Rentoul at the Independent on Sunday, the only question is "how many people seriously think there is an alternative leader of this country". Plenty, actually, and they say that Blair is just a brilliant actor, even if he seems to have the right words at times of crisis.

For now, however, we are not allowed to state the obvious--that the Prime Minister's foreign policy just might have something to do with London being a target for terrorists. …

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