England is merrier than usual today, as ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair's memoir finally hits bookstores! So, is he sorry about Iraq? Did he ever "like-like" the Queen? Many questions remain. Blair makes one thing clear, though: He loved getting drunk.
Blair used alcohol as a "prop" during his time in office, as he reveals in A Journey: My Political Life. The memoir's 720-page tally seems a touch thin, if this sort of meandering confessional prose is any indication (via the Sun):
"The relationship between alcohol and Prime Ministers is a subject for a book all on its own.
"By the standards of days gone by I was not even remotely a toper, and I couldn't do lunchtime drinking except on Christmas Day, but if you took the thing everyone always lied about - units per week - I was definitely at the outer limit.
"Stiff whisky or a G&T before dinner, couple of glasses of wine or even half a bottle with it. So not excessively excessive.
"I had a limit. But I was aware it had become a prop." He adds: "I could never work out whether for me it was, on balance a) good, because it did relax me or b) bad, because I could have been working rather than relaxing.
"I came to the conclusion - conveniently you might think - that a) beat b).
"I thought that escaping the pressure and relaxing was a vital part of keeping the job in proportion, a function rather like my holidays. But I was never sure.
"I believed I was in control of the alcohol. However you have to be honest: it's a drug, there's no getting away from it."
It's painful to picture him cautiously giving dictation to his ghostwriter, working out this dainty, cleansed retelling of his recent terrible alcoholism. Ah, right-ee-o then, so I thinks to meself, there's (a) and there's (b), right-ee-o, and (a) usually defeateths (b), but I was in control, know? But then I has me doubts, royal doubts... ah, hog's breath! New chapter, right-ee-o?
A simple "Man was I trashed constantly" would suffice, and possibly even win back England's hearts of stone.
[Image via AP]