Nicholas Jones - Blog and Archive Website

While Tony Blair will be always associated with the word "spin", just as John Major is remembered for "sleaze", the outgoing Prime Minister did, to his credit, ensure that his government transformed the way Whitehall responds to the ever-increasing demands of the twenty-four news media.

Indeed Blair, the consummate communicator, was ideal for the task and a spin doctor’s dream. Once the line had been agreed, he rarely if ever deviated from the message which he intended to deliver. And whatever the pressure, he rarely if ever put a foot wrong in front of camera.

There is no gallery of gaffes in the video and audio archives of television and radio stations. The worst the broadcasters could find for last week’s tributes was the sight and sound of an unnerved Prime Minister being interrupted by a slow handclap from the usually docile massed ranks of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.