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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yo, Blair! by Geoffrey Wheatcroft
This revealing account of the Blair years must rank as one of the most important books of our time. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is to be commended for his diligent exposé.

Anyone who has ever entertained any doubts about the integrity of our ex-prime minister, will have their eyes wide open after reading this damning indictment of one of the most corrupt...
Published on 9 Jun 2009 by M. Frankel

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars damn, fooled again!
This guy really hates Blair. He is obsessed with dissecting every word, every speech, every utterance in defence of his thesis that Blair was the most manipulative of politicians, together with the complete baggage of self delusion, vanity, self serving money obsession and all the rest. If that is what you need to hear, in exhaustive detail, then this is the book for...
Published on 7 Mar 2009 by Gargantua Pantaloon


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yo, Blair! by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 9 Jun 2009
By 
M. Frankel (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
This revealing account of the Blair years must rank as one of the most important books of our time. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is to be commended for his diligent exposé.

Anyone who has ever entertained any doubts about the integrity of our ex-prime minister, will have their eyes wide open after reading this damning indictment of one of the most corrupt politicians in British history.

My only regret is that the book clearly hasn't received the publicity it deserves, since I came upon it by mere chance.

Mark Frankel
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106 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How self delusion proved a fatal weakness to truth, 1 April 2007
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
This book titled on a dismissive opening comment by George W. Bush to Blair that was caught by a public microphone when they met at a Summit Conference in 2006, is an exercise in trying to adress one simple question: "Why did Blair end up being such a slave to US policy on Iraq?"

Instead of spending all his efforts in this short 150 page pocket book on the Iraq conflict itself, the author instead focuses on the faults that had developed in the Blair psyche over the prior ten years up to and after this conflict. These start from his opportunistic transformation of his party into "New Labour" and the "third way" (themselves reflecting traits from his education and initial political career and the early usage of the concept of "spin"), through his increasing belief post a landslide election that whatever he said based on the moment and the event was the truth, however fanciful or incorrect. With an increasing lack of accountability to parliament given how he and Brown governed the UK jointly, the fatal flaw in his character developed that was to be so skilfully exploited by the USA.

While this started off under Clinton with the US media in their usual elevation of heroes for the moment adoring him more than he was publicly adored at home (with "Blair for president" bumper stickers), his nemesis came with exposure post 9/11 to Cheney and his neo-conservative policy team. Knowing that the UK could provide much needed credibility to their plans, the manipulation of Blair's psyche and the mis-using of a "special relationship" that merely served to make the UK servile to US interests and Blair's in turn attempted deceit of his own party is concisely detailed. Wheatcroft's analysis is at its best when it interweaves the different interests of Blair's media policy (Campbell); the failing on the UK Intelligence Services to exercise caution and integrity and the Cabinet being ultimately reliant on Tory votes to defeat a major Labour backbench revolt over going to war.

Fortunately the book does not stop at the war and takes matters through to the present in 2007 with ongoing evidence of Blair's previously shown traits of lack of accountability to anyone and dumping people once they had served a purpose (seen before over Ulster especially) hit rock bottom with the Kelly tragedy. His current position is of one having overstayed his welcome with a party that as with Thatcher increasingly realises he may be a liability to their next election chances.

While the remunerative US lecture circuit may await Blair once he resigns, the biggest theme of this book is how undemocratic the UK has become based on such a recent history. While Wheatcroft's narrative bounces around a lot at times (especially in the early chapters) the book is an exercise in precision and brevity. A most useful update and companion to the best book on the subject of UK involvement in Iraq being James Naughtie's "The Reluctant American".
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84 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant study of a despicable man, 7 Jun 2007
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
In this brief and brilliant essay, journalist Geoffrey Wheatcroft tells the story of Blair's premiership, focusing on his disastrous alliance with George W. Bush.

Wheatcroft shows how Blair pursued this alliance against Britain's interests and against the views of the British people. Blair lied to us that Saddam Hussein was a `serious and current threat' to Britain. Blair lied to us that he was pursuing diplomacy, but as early as July 2002 a Downing Street memorandum decreed, "We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action."

Even Thatcher had warned that we should only "use our force to preserve our way of life. We do not use it to walk into other people's countries, independent sovereign territories." If wherever there is an evil regime, "there the United States shall enter, then we are going to have really terrible wars in the world."

Wheatcroft rightly argues that Bush and Blair should have focused on destroying Al Qa'ida. Instead they attacked the Afghan people and their government, maximising the number of enemies.

On the EU Constitution, Blair said in May 2005, "Even if the French voted no, we would have a referendum. That is a government promise." Just three weeks later, the French voted no and he broke that promise: "there is no point in having a referendum, because of the uncertainty it would produce."

Blair pledged that the EU's scheme for devolution would strengthen the Union between England and Scotland. Secessionists saw that it would help them to break up Britain.

All these facts raise the question, why has this government (like all other previous governments) consistently, systematically, produced results that are the opposite of what they proclaim to be their intentions? Is it just because they are pathological liars? No, it's because they represent only a minority ruling class that is consistently, systematically, opposed to the interests of the majority of Britain's people, and this class could not safely maintain its rule if it proclaimed that its interests were opposed to the majority's interests.

In September 2006 Blair promised the Labour faithful - all too apt a phrase - that he would dedicate his last months in office to peace between Israel and Palestine. Blair says, "I only know what I believe." Think about it - it's the wrong way round! But neither God nor history is his judge; in a democracy, we would be.

Grovel to Bush, grovel to the EU, grovel to the über-rich. Is this how we want an independent sovereign country to behave? Wheatcroft sums up Blair's rule, `the most dishonest and disastrous prime ministership of modern times'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yo, Blair - the story of a fool's journey through No.10, 10 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
Anyone who believes in New Labour should read this book. Sure it is dripping with loathing for the man, but it also contains plenty of evidence to support its main thesis; namely, he was not too bright, he was irresponsible and he lied to the British parliament and people on more than one occasion. And oh yes, he had (has) an incredibly inflated opinion about his abilities in all quarters. It probably was produced in a hurry or else employed poor quality proof readers, since there are quite a few minor typographical errors, but these are technicalities.

A good entertaining and at times highly disturbing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blair - where and what is he now?, 8 Mar 2014
By 
Adrian Maxwell "Floreat Aula" (Bedford Falls) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
Geoffrey Wheatcroft writes an unabashed anti Blair polemic. Almost a monograph in the style of Orwell. Only 154 pages in small format. It is unlikely to be read by supporters of Blair (are there any left) and in that sense it succeeds in its apparent object - to reinforce the reader's prejudice against Tony Blair. The question every page raised within me was how on earth did the Labour Party and the electorate allow this crazed snake oil salesman to rise to Prime Minister? Looking back now (I read the book in 2014) I cringe when I remember his sofa style of government, images of him outside No 10 holding a mug, sleeves rolled up, his nonsensical oratory and his smiling righteousness. Now, in 2014, we see he is utterly irrlevant in any attempt to deal with Middle East politics, we see the nature of his relationship with Rupert Murdoch and his interesting and volatile wife, he is mentioned in the increasingly low life phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey and the universal knowledge that he lied to his cabinet, parliament and the people. We also see the slow descent into ignominy, if that is possible, of Blair's apologist and red top hack, the sour and grim Alistair Campbell. How on earth was this man able to involve himself in, and influence, affairs of state that lead to war?

Wheatcrot's book was published in 2007 so Blair was still in office but not in power. I wonder if GW thinks of an update, or, indeed, if one is needed. Will the last supporter of Blair switch off the lights on this awful, tawdry and noir period of UK politics.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny but already dated, 12 Jan 2009
By 
F. G. Lelliott (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
A compact little number, but certainly punches above it's weight. Geoffrey Wheatcroft disects and lays bare the illusion that is Tony Blair. The master of the soundbite, the slave to spin, Yo Blair tears TB apart like candyfloss, such was his substance. From his childhood football memories to his complete refusal to accept any responsibility for the chaos engulfing Iraq, Tony Blair is shown clearly and concisely just how vapid and vainglorious, and how his 'special relationship' with George Bush was no more than a self-delusion. Anyone who is prepared to defend Blair should read this book before uttering another word.
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for faint hearted Labour voters, 30 May 2007
By 
Mike_Brighton (Nr. Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
A quite superb book. It's a short volume but a very well structured, researced and throught out polemic deconstructing Tony Blair's reign as PM. Every page is dripping with contempt for Blair's loathesome tenure and government. If you voted Labour in the past, reading this will be cathartic and you'll think again next time you are in the voting booth. At the end of the book, you are left wondering how many people could have been fooled for so long, and how many are still being fooled.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrage against the regime, 16 July 2007
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
Just a couple of weeks after Prime Minister Blair has departed office, it is amazing how quickly he is forgotten. This little book will remind you of the wasted years, the squandering of a huge parliamentary majority on self-agrandising policies that will make the Blair legacy a running sore for years to come.

This book will appeal to many people, not only those who are interested in politics, for the failures of the Blair years effect us all, not least the on-going situation in Iraq. Wheatcroft reminds us of how much we have all been humiliated by the Blair government, not least by our subservience to the USA, which has been an emabarrasment even from the time of Blair's first visit to President Bush.

The benefit of reading a book like this, is it reminds the reader of so many failures and embarrassments that are fading into the mists of time - the Ecclestone affair, the Millenium Dome, the Mandleson mini-scandals, Carole Caplin and so many others. Wheatcroft effectively links these together by providing a running narrative showing the underlying current of egotism and spin that so marked the Blair government.

The book is written with the passion of a writer who feels deeply about his topic and races along from topic to topic. It is an enjoyable read in the sense that it holds the attention. It is also deeply depressing to see the last ten years summarised so compactly in a book stuffed full of outrage about what we have had to endure from the likes of Campbell, Prescott, Reid and all those other members of the Blair Regime.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars damn, fooled again!, 7 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
This guy really hates Blair. He is obsessed with dissecting every word, every speech, every utterance in defence of his thesis that Blair was the most manipulative of politicians, together with the complete baggage of self delusion, vanity, self serving money obsession and all the rest. If that is what you need to hear, in exhaustive detail, then this is the book for you.

However, whoever said that politics was more than the dirtiest of business, why expect anything else. Peel the top off any politician - and their ghastly wives - and there's the same-worm ridden pathological mess of self righteous pomposity and corruption.

I favour Jeremy Paxman's view of politicians i.e. the only sensible view is that of a dog towards a lamp post. Goffrey Wheatcroft has to make a living, but there's not much here that we didn't know already without labouring the point for a hundred and fifty four pages.

And by the way, look at the alternative, look at the bunch of self serving toadying gangsters that went before.

I suppose history will look back on Blair's tenancy and wonder how we all got wooled like we did; a wrecked economy in the worst mess since well, forever, an unnecessary war that probably dragged us that much further towards Armageddon, the toxic legacy of Afghanistan, the continuing Israel-Palestinian mess, the nightly metropolitan gang stabbings, the filthiest hospitals, the pathetic multiply failing Home Office, the highest youth pregnancy in Europe and an ever richer and more powerful elite with their grubby gilded snouts ever deeper in the expense account economy. All that wool pulling, all that glitter and gloss and how much worse could it actually have been?

At the start of Blair's tenancy there was that OBama feeling, that here was somebody with a vision at last, who could do some real good with real politics, but hey ho, nothing changes, the Lords are still there, the Monarchy is still there, the Archbishops, the sink estates, the people in funny hats, even the fox hunters are still there.

The book was written before Blair's reincarnation as Middle East Fixer and I imagine that act of sheer incomprehensible world lunacy would have been the last gasket blowing, cake icing straw for Mr Wheatcroft. Anyway, enough from me. I'm off to live in a cave, I'm sick of all of them.
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 4 April 2007
By 
Edward West "Ed West" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership (Hardcover)
Blair has always been attacked for either being too left or right wing, but he's neither; he's just a bit of a thicko. But his government is rotten to the core, and after reading the sorry tale of corruption it's easy to see why the PM is so detested. As for his foreign policy, he has made Britain an international laughing stock. The best bits of Yo Blair deal with Blair's bizarre slavish attitude to the United States, and even those of us well-disposed to that country have to laugh at the PM's assertion that the US stood by us during the Blitz.
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Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership
Yo, Blair!: Tony Blair's Disastrous Premiership by Geoffrey Wheatcroft (Hardcover - 12 Feb 2007)
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