» Monday, March 1, 2004

PM Parklife

Asked to confirm reports at the weekend that the Prime Minister had slept on a bench in his gap year when he had first come to London, the PMOS said that the Press Office had been taking bets this morning as to which journalist would ask about this story today. We had confirmed yesterday that the Prime Minister had slept on a bench for one night. Which bench that might have been, whether it had been preserved for historical interest or whether a plaque would be attached to it, he didn’t know. Nor did he know, before anybody asked, what the Prime Minister might have had to eat while inhabiting the bench.

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  1. In a very real sense, I think this shows just how much of a normal bloke our PM is.

    Comment by pid — 1 Mar 2004 on 6:15 pm | Link
  2. *struggles to think of a front bench / back bench / park bench gag*

    Comment by Pauly — 1 Mar 2004 on 6:23 pm | Link
  3. *Gasp* – the PM as a "normal bloke"? Now there’s a concept. Guess he puts his trousers on one leg at a time just like the rest of us after all…

    Comment by MikeB — 1 Mar 2004 on 6:56 pm | Link
  4. For goodness sake, this was over 30 years ago; he probably did lots of \x93normal people\x94 things. God forbid any other revelations that might prove he is normal.

    Comment by AndyD — 1 Mar 2004 on 10:11 pm | Link
  5. Is it now considered normal to sleep on a park bench???

    Comment by JohnB — 1 Mar 2004 on 10:36 pm | Link
  6. Well its not exactly living on the edge is it! TB had one night on a bench, with sufficient money for food and drink – Really hard core man!!

    Comment by AndyD — 2 Mar 2004 on 12:15 am | Link
  7. Tony Blair is anything but a ‘normal bloke’, whatever that is. Normal people do not generally rise to the top of a political party, become Prime Minister and go on to wage war in Iraq. But it is not difficult to see how it might suit Downing Street to have people talking about TB in these terms. Every little spin counts.

    Comment by Anthony Fisher — 2 Mar 2004 on 2:03 am | Link
  8. I think TB needs to be careful with stories like this. I suspect he was going for the "I was young and cool once (by the way, I was in a rock band)"; but it sounds unpleasantly like an unconvincing and opportunistic attempt to say "I get the plight of the homeless, because I’ve been there" (possibly with the word "man" attached). It comes across as pretty patronizing.

    Comment by Jonn Elledge — 2 Mar 2004 on 3:32 am | Link
  9. When I slept on a park bench, not only did I get a stiff neck but I was also told by a policeman to "Move along! Haven’t you got a home to go to?" How come Blair gets special treatment and is not only allowed to continue his kip but is also given a job? It’s one law for them and another for us as usual. Bloody toffs.

    Comment by xorg — 2 Mar 2004 on 8:00 am | Link
  10. Tony Blair as a "proper lad" enjoying his parklife and dreaming of a career as a rock star, thats wicked! Dreadful to think how our visions of the future may be confronted with the reality later on – now he has Parliament instead of Glastonbury and a green bench instead of a bench on the green!

    Comment by Kate — 2 Mar 2004 on 9:00 am | Link
  11. Another example of Tony Blair pretending that he’s got the common touch – rather like his "memory" of watching football players who’d retired when he was 4 in stands that weren’t constructed when he said they were. It’s spin, why don’t you recognise it as such?

    Comment by Guy — 2 Mar 2004 on 9:34 am | Link
  12. Question is why did he have to sleep on a bench. Was it a overdose of some sort and he lost his way…..

    Comment by Geoff — 2 Mar 2004 on 10:51 am | Link
  13. i bet hes never fallen asleep in a graveyard though….

    Comment by Kate Anderson — 2 Mar 2004 on 11:38 am | Link
  14. Well, it seems Tony Blair really is a normal bloke after all. Reminds me of my dad, who would often take my mum, my sister and me out for a good spin in our Vauxhall Victor when I was a child. First he’d spin us around the town, and then we’d have a good spin over the Penines before spinning back home for a nice cup of tea and a boiled fish supper. Of course, my dad didn’t depose any middle eatern dictators, although he did once have a proper go at the milman for leaving gold top on a weekday.

    Comment by Bobby Fishlegs — 2 Mar 2004 on 12:36 pm | Link
  15. Do we believe anything this man says anymore anyway? Park bench, war, who cares?? says one thing does another.

    And so the vicious cycle of people in power goes on.

    As they say, no matter who you vote for… the government always gets in.

    Comment by Neo — 2 Mar 2004 on 1:13 pm | Link
  16. with thousands of people sleeping rough each and every night in towns and cities around the UK is it correct for the PMOS to be making jokes about the PM sleeping on a park bench?

    maybe we should have a judical inquiry into it?

    Comment by Rob — 2 Mar 2004 on 2:52 pm | Link
  17. Oh this is utterly ludicrous.
    Lets consider for a second: In 197x , young Tone comes down to London and ends up spending a night on a park bench. I would think this was an exceptionally common occurance in the early 70’s – a time before cashpoints and night buses. If you missed the last train/bus and couldn’t afford a cab, I’d say the park bench would be your best option. For Cherie to try and suggest that this ‘experience’ 30+ years ago somehow qualifies him to understand and identify with the plight of the homeless is yet another example of how disconnected from reality the Blair’s are. If Liam didnt have a Special Branch chappie to tidy him up, I’m sure he might end up doing the same after a particularly boisterous night on the tiles…..
    *rolls eyes*

    Comment by BiZ R — 2 Mar 2004 on 2:54 pm | Link
  18. I slept in a public lavatory in Bodmin once, and in a bus shelter in Amsterdam.

    Can I be Prime Minister please?

    Comment by James Graham — 2 Mar 2004 on 3:17 pm | Link
  19. Only as long as you didn’t touch anything "naughty" in Amsterdam…

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 2 Mar 2004 on 4:13 pm | Link
  20. Suddenly Cherie’s hairstyle is explained!

    Now we know where Liam learnt his tricks that night in Liecester Sq.

    Comment by Crazyman — 2 Mar 2004 on 6:36 pm | Link
  21. Either this statement was set out to say "I’ve been there (man)" or it should have immediately been followed by a retraction saying "There’s no story here, it’s not like he was homeless" — which would have been better spin as well as just plain good manners. I’m persuaded by London News Review <a href="http://www.lnreview.co.uk/hi/politics/000639.php">http://www.lnreview.co.uk/hi/politics/000639.php</a&gt; that it’sa stunt, though. It’s not like this is the first time that we’ve been given tidbids from Blair’s "biography".

    Comment by Mike — 3 Mar 2004 on 12:38 am | Link

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