» Wednesday, September 15, 2004

PM/Lord Bragg

Asked if John Reid had been confirming in an interview this morning that the Prime Minister had been under a great deal of stress earlier this year, the PMOS observed that any Prime Minister experienced tough times while in office. That was a fact of political life. However, as he had made clear yesterday, he did not recognise the stories being reported and had nothing further to say about the matter. Asked why he didn’t say that the stories were ‘not true’ as John Reid had underlined this morning, the PMOS referred journalists to the Prime Minister’s words when asked about this matter in his July press conference. Had he considered moving on? Answer: no. End of story. Put to him that there was a difference between not recognising a story and saying it was untrue, the PMOS said he thought journalists were able to understand what he meant when he used that particular term. Moreover, one would think that the Prime Minister’s words would carry more weight than his own.

Asked for a reaction to suggestions that Lord Bragg’s comments had been sanctioned by Downing Street, the PMOS said that some journalists had phoned him immediately after Lord Bragg’s interview yesterday. As they would be able to verify, he had been genuinely surprised by what had been said. The first we had known about the comments was when they had been broadcast. Asked if the Prime Minister had contacted Lord Bragg to voice his displeasure, the PMOS said that, tempting as it was to answer that question, he thought it would be better to stick to his customary response and point out that it wasn’t our practice to comment on private conversations the Prime Minister might or might not have had. That should be taken as neither confirmation nor denial that the two had spoken. Asked if Downing Street had sought an apology, clarification or explanation from Lord Bragg, the PMOS said that Lord Bragg was a private individual and was therefore entitled to express his views. It was our job to state the reality of the situation, which was precisely what we had been trying to do ever since these stories had first appeared.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. "Had he considered moving on? Answer: no. End of story."

    a total lack of imagination then ….

    most of us even when contented try to imagine what life would be like if circumstances changed. Often when considering unfavorable changes it is called ‘rehearsing the worst’ and is a function of normal humans ….

    Oh there we are I just answered my own posting by using the words ‘normal humans’


    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 15 Sep 2004 on 7:41 pm | Link
  2. And if he said he had? Everyone would be on him like wolves. That’s my problem with this whole thing – we slate him for not giving "human-like responses" to questions, but treat humanity, when it does appear, as a weakness to be exploited.

    Comment by Gregory Block — 16 Sep 2004 on 10:54 am | Link
  3. I see what you mean Gregory, but also I think that it would have been interpreted not just as a weakness, but also as an admittance of failure; and that errors had occured for which Mr "Place in History" Blair was in fact, personally resposible. Such little things as misleading the electorate over a war, etc…

    At least he could have shown by such "human" doubts that he cared that he had lied to everyone, and that people had/are died/dying as a result of his own personal voyage into history.

    You are right, he should not be slated for being human, he should be slated for his inhumanity.

    Comment by Lodjer — 16 Sep 2004 on 12:54 pm | Link

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


September 2004
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Aug   Oct »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh