Posted by: James Shaddock | Monday 15th September 2008

Was Alistair Campbell Leaving No.10 The Tipping Point?

One of the most commonly occuring phrases I’ve heard in relation to the current Labour leadearship coup/plot/kerfulfle is ‘This wouldn’t have happened under Alistair Campbell’s watch’, namely in relation to the poor media handling from Number 10 over this, and its got me thinking.

Alistair Campbell left Number 10 in August 2003, and its roughly from that point on that Labour’s woes in government began. Anyone who’s read all or part of his diaries The Blair Years, can see how integral a part he was to Blair’s media operation not only in conveying messages to the press and public, but also keeping a lid on thing within the party. It’s probable that had Campbell not return briefly to assist with the 2005 General Election, Labour would not have done as well.

Therefore, is it right to conclude that if there was an Alistair Campbell figure keeping things in check between Number 10, the Labour Party and the press & public, they would not be in such a mess?



  1. Hmm… not sure it’s just Campbell’s resignation that did it though. Don’t forget he left after it started to become clear that Number 10’s leaking of Dr Kelly’s name may well have had something to do with his subsequent suicide. The 45 minute claim was the thing that broke the bond of trust between the people and Blair – and Campbell seemed to think that he had to go to avoid becoming the story – and clearly to get his life back. But from that point on I don’t think anyone looked at their administration in quite the same way and I doubt that even Campbell could have prevented the decline we’ve seen. Nothing worked for them after that, because the trust had gone.

    All you need is trust if you want to be in Government. Blair squandered his, Brown squandered his almost immediately… it’s tragic because it’s so flippin’ obvious where they went wrong.

  2. Well, seeing as he’s come back perhaps we should expect to see a rocketing ascension in Brown’s popularity?

    Hm, well, the markets did pick up…

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