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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Blair on media's influence: vastly overstated

Since leaving government Tony Blair has downgraded the influence the media has on government.
Speaking to the Mile End Group last month he said:
 'One of the most difficult things today in politics is there's such noise generated around you and around your decision making, I think it's really hard for a political leader to take a step back and work out what is real and what isn't… I sometimes get political leaders who'll say to me, you know, "You want to see what's happening on Twitter around such-and-such." And I say to them, "That may be real, and it may be representative, or it may not. Or it may be a spasmodic burst of opinion rather than a considered strand of opinion." …  dealing with that, I think, is very tough. The other thing I think's really interesting, when I look back on my time - and I say this to leaders a lot - is that as a result of the way the media works today, scandals and crises, that is just part of your life. So you're living with a constant, as I say, barrage of noise and static around you.
The interesting thing is when you finish your time and you look back and say, "Well, what did I do and what did I achieve?" a lot of that really falls away, and what's left is the residue of things that are actually important. So I think keeping your mind focused in that way is very hard today, but more necessary than ever.'
Watch the discussion here: 

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