Ed Balls delightfully referred to the Blair-Brown wars as “creative tension” yesterday.
The Mandy memoirs this morning offer a rather different perspective, describing the relationship between the two former prime ministers as “like a love affair gone wrong, in which you keep doing terrible things to the other person for no rational or sensible reason”.
In the words of Blair on Brown:
“He’s like something out of the mafiosi. He’s aggressive, brutal – there’s no one to match Gordon for someone who articulates high principles while practicing the lowest skulduggery.”
At one point, Brown was so unhappy that he had effectively gone “on strike”. One meeting was the ugliest he ever had, said Blair. “I have never been confronted with such ugliness in my life. It was a naked, undisguised threat.”
He also said of his Chancellor:
“He’s thinking of only one thing. Only of removing me, but I am not going to be pushed out.”
Blair meanwhile said that John Prescott understood Brown: “He’s not stupid about Gordon. He’s scared by him. He knows there’s something wrong with him.”
In the world of rock music, when bands split up due to “creative tensions” it usually means they hate each other’s guts.