Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mrs. Blair's Discretion

On the Andrew Marr Show this morning the subject of Cherie Blair and her memoirs came up during the discussion on what was in the papers. Most of the broadsheets contain more revelations as to what Cherie did with Tony and where – so much for the privacy of their children, a card the Blair’s played often when in power. During the piece, when the general tenor of the discussion was, why on earth did Mrs Blair give out so much information on her personal life and on the behind the scenes goings on with Gordon Brown, Andrew Marr said. “Well it was probably because the publishers demanded she spill the beans.”

Having been involved in some celebrity autobiographies I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to blame the publisher, not that I’m saying they would refuse some dirt. I presume when Mrs Blair’s agent, or maybe even Mrs Blair herself first started talking to publishers she said something along the lines of. It will be a frank story of my life both before Tony went into No.10 and afterwards. No doubt when the bidding got serious Mrs Blair would definitely have sat down with the front running one, two or three publishers and talked about the kind of things that would be in the book. Unlike some celebs – is she a celeb? – I’m not sure whether Mrs Blair had a written outline of her book that she used to ‘sell’ her story. She may not have done, but If I had to bet I reckon she did have a written synopsis.

If when the book was delivered it didn’t contain the kind of revelations that we are now privy too and the synopsis said it would, and or Mrs Blair had told the publishers that it would, then they had every right to ask for them to be included. If her promise, before writing the book, did not include such revelations then Mrs Blair had every right to refuse to include them. Even if she had said she would include things and then changed her mind then she could have decided not to proceed with the book if she felt what the publisher was asking for was not acceptable to her or her family.

There’s no question that some publishers want the sorts of things that appear in a biography but want the kudos of an autobiography, there’s a dichotomy in the whole process. But, when all is said and done no one is forced to write their story, and no one is forced to tell things they don’t want to. In the book Mrs Blair says, “I had never been taught the meaning of the phrase ‘discretion is the better part of valour’.” Well it’s sad that she hadn’t because we might all have been spared the spectacle of her parading herself in such a way, some trees would have survived and there would have been some more money in the publisher’s coffers to perhaps fund some more worthwhile books. This has little to do with publisher’s demands and most everything to do with the mercenary antics of Mrs. Blair.

You choose.....


Richard Evans said...

A truly ghastly woman.

Tell-all biogs by her, Prescott and Levy - and Campbell too - barely months after they've left Westminster speak volumes about them without one having to read a single word any of them have put down on paper.

CityUnslicker said...

she enjoys spenidng more time with more money; that is the right phrase isn't it?

Birthday Girl said...

I'm just so fed up that the BBC has serialised it as book of the week on Radio 4. Is there no escaping the woman?

Richard Havers said...

More money in their coffers B.G.

What's so irritating is the fact that there are hundreds of better books out there more worthy of serialization by the BBC. Something that may help some struggling others get a leg up, rather than hearing about Tony getting his leg over!