By Alistair [extracts from the Alistair Campbell diaries] Campbell
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I mentioned that Neil and Glenys were coming over next week, and I could sense he was worried. ‘Neil will be opposed to you doing this, and for genuine reasons of friendship, because he knows how tough it will be. But it will be different. I promise you. ’ Tuesday, August 9 Cherie called to say they were on their way. Tony felt it was important we thrashed it all out and tried to reach a decision. Some holiday this was turning out to be. Neil and Glenys were arriving in a couple of days, and I’d have Neil and Fiona in one room trying to talk me out of it and Tony and Cherie in the other trying to talk me into it.
Sometimes I do, sometimes I hate it, he said. But I know there’s no way back from it now. I just console myself with the thought that one day it will be someone else, but hopefully I’ll have done a fair bit with the time I get. He asked if I was glad I’d done the job. I said up to a point. It was hard work, harder even than I thought it would be. He said he was worried I worked too hard, and I needed to relax whenever I could. Called CB who could barely bring herself to speak to me or Anji at the moment.
My farewell do at the Reform. Mum couldn’t believe there were so many Labour leaders there – Tony, Neil, Jim [Callaghan, Prime Minister 1976–79]. Richard [Stott] made a hilarious speech, his basic theme that it was noble of TB to give up everything to be my press officer. Said the real reason Fiona had never married me was that like so many other women, she was waiting to see if Peter M changes his mind. Sunday, October 23 TB sounded very chirpy, said he’d really enjoyed being able to work on his own for a few hours.
The Blair Years by Alistair [extracts from the Alistair Campbell diaries] Campbell