It is bizarre. As he often demonstrated in the House of Commons, Tony Blair knows how to use words. He could also have mobilised a team to help him write his memoirs. Instead, it is all his own work, and the words mutinied. This book is not just badly written. It is atrociously written. For almost 700 pages, Tony Blair stumbles between mawkishness and banality.Prime ministers send soldiers into combat.
This memoir is not a requiem for Tony Blair’s past, says Fraser Nelson. It’s a manifesto for his future — as a highly paid freelance statesman with no electorate to hold him backMany prime ministers view their memoirs as their pension, but Tony Blair always had far greater ambitions. In the three years that it has taken him to write A Journey, he has become so wealthy that he does not need the royalties — and is giving them to charity.
As Pope Benedict’s visit approaches, Katie Grant, a cradle Catholic, feels torn between her loyalty to the Church and anger at its callous insensitivityIn 2005, shortly after Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, my then 19-year-old daughter and I walked into St Peter’s in Rome. I don’t like St Peter’s, so superior and crushing, though the dead popes with their paper skin and velvet slippers offer a chilly thrill.
Cricket is often said to be a game of inches. An inch is the difference between a fatal edge to the slips and a safe play-and-miss; an inch is the difference between being clean bowled and a mere dot ball; only an inch separates a no-ball from a legitimate delivery that could take a wicket.But for Mohammad Amir, just a few inches have taken on a far greater significance than the question of winning or losing.
Joan Collins says that St Tropez’s unique beach culture is in danger from the local council. Taki wonders if the changes will see off the disgusting super-richWhen people think about St Tropez, they visualise miles of golden sand and dozens of wonderful beach bars, shacks and restaurants catering to an eclectic clientele. But that could all be about to change. Those beaches belong to Pampelonne, which is part of the city of Ramatuelle, and the bars and restaurants face demolition if local council plans are given the go-ahead on 16 September.
There’s nothing new about this summer’s outbreak of gypsy-bashing, writes Clover Stroud, who puts it down to our secret wish to enjoy the same freedoms they doIt has not been a good summer for gypsies. In France, President Sarkozy has begun his purge: nearly a thousand Roma have been flown back to Bucharest, hundreds of their camps have been dismantled by police and one poor gypsy was shot dead during a car chase in Saint-Aignan.
Well, thank the Lord there were no cctv cameras around when I caught Mr Tibbles in my garden a few weeks back, before the whole furore began. Luckily, I read about Mary Bale and surreptitiously took down the mini-gibbet and buried the remains in a small trench behind the pond, before the Facebook maniacs had a chance to get on the case. The cat had been doing its usual stuff — crapping on the lawn, eating wild animals, urinating in my daughter’s sandpit — before it was unfortunately snagged in the wooden peg and wire snare I had laid by the hedge.