Sunday, November 20, 2005


Bitching About Sir Christopher

Sir Christopher Meyer's memoirs, DC Confidential, continue to attract criticism from the government. Rather like Jack Straw,well kebabbed by Meyer, John Prescott suffered the same fate, accused of being badly briefed, not understanding his brief as well as being too prodigal with his trademark malapropisms. 'A red-socked popinjay' accuses the DPM of the socialite exambassador as well as a deal more in similar vein. Evidence, as if we needed it, that professional politicians do get mad and then DO get even.

Reviews of his book have not neglected to accuse Meyer of vanity and an inflated view of his own importance; anyone would think the ambassador outranks the Foreign Secretary or the PM in negotiating with the USA, suggested one review. But Meyer might be justified in feeling a little insecure over the future of his three day a week job as chair of the Press Complaints Commission for which he receives the salary of £155,000 a year. Anyone who discloses 'tittle tattle' about Major in his underwear and details of confidential advice, might just not be best qualified to arbitrate over complaints regarding similar behaviour by the press.

Much has been made of the fact the he has given the quarter million he received for serialisation to charity-albeit one run by his wife- but it remains a fact he will keep all the royalties from the book itself. Indeed, quite a case can be built up against the silky civil servant and his kiss and tell memoirs but his key, no his trump, card is that he submitted the book for approval to No 10 before hand and got it. Maybe they didn't read it properly or maybe they liked his support of the invasion of Iraq plus his demolition of the story that the decision to invade had been made as early as 2002; equally they must have rejoiced at his claim that war was still avoidable right up to a few weeks before it started in 2003. Whatever the reason, Number Ten should pipe down about a book they considered and then approved. Bitching about it merely makes them look even more ridiculous.

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