Tony Blair quotes of the day


On the power of the UK press:“I’m just being open about that and open about the fact, frankly, that I decided, as a political leader – and this was a strategic decision – that I was going to manage that and not confront it.”

The consequences of poor relations:“If you’re a political leader and you have very powerful media groups and you fall out with one of those groups, the consequence is such that it really means that you then are effectively blocked from getting across your message.”

On the conduct of some elements of the UK press:“In certain parts of the media . . . the line between news and commentary gets blurred; so those papers who take a particular view on a policy, a party or a person – then that is driven with an aggression and, frankly, a prejudice that means you cross the line.”

On defending Labour’s press operation from 1997:“The fact that we got a fully professional media operation operating really properly, I think, for the first time in the Labour Party’s history, was a necessary part of being able to deal with a media that was extremely powerful.”

On denying charges of bullying:“I read a lot of things we are supposed to have done. I actually dispute we did those things very, very strongly.”

On power and its use:“It’s what I always say to people about the problem you have as a political leader, that you begin at your least capable and most popular, and you end at your least popular and most capable. Frankly, actually, towards the end, in a way, by then, I had just decided I was going to do what I thought was right.”