I agree with Tony. (Or why British PMs shouldn’t actually try and do Hugh Grant’s Love Actually PM speech.)

Perhaps it’s because it’s Christmas. Or perhaps it’s because the right-wing press is frothing with excitement at the Prime Minister sticking it to Johnny Foreigner.

Either way, the last few days’ events have put me in mind of the speech Hugh Grant delivers as a British prime minister (coincidentally called David) in the film, Love Actually. You can watch the clip I’m thinking of here.

It’s a knowingly funny pastiche of Little Englander pride in this country’s past glories, invoking cultural icons such as Shakespeare, The Beatles, Sean Connery… and David Beckham’s right foot. And at the end of it the patriotic PM, standing tall for plucky little Britain, socks it to the bullying US President.

Substitute the EU for the US — or the real French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, for the pretend US president — and I think you’ll see where my analogy’s going.

Which brings me to Tony Blair.

For the record, I think his decision to hug the US tightly and take the UK into the disaster that was the war in Iraq was the single worst foreign policy mistake a British prime minister has made in modern times.

But he did make a sound point in 2005 about the nature of diplomacy, and the need for politicians who are world leaders acting in the true best interests of their countries to take a longer-term view than the next day’s headlines:

“I know there’s a bit of us that would like me to do a Hugh Grant in Love Actually and tell America where to get off. But the difference between a good film and real life is that in real life there’s the next day, the next year, the next lifetime to contemplate the ruinous consequences of easy applause.”


Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Andrew Stunell MP Caron Lindsay 14th Dec '11 - 9:44am

    Stephen, we have to remember that the only reason Hugh Grant’s PM told the US President where to go was because he caught him snogging his girlfriend:-). There was no actual principle involved, not even a misguided one like Cameron’s.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • expats
    Those who are struggling should, 'Cut (their) consumption or get a new higher-paid job' says Conservative Party chair Jake Berry.... What is so sickening is...
  • Jenny Barnes
    I think the king should get on and call an election then. Clearly this mob shouldn’t be in charge of the proverbial whelk stall....
  • Nick Collins
    @ Kevin Hawkins Sounds like it: either that or, to paraphrase a song that was popular when I was a child, in the 1940s, he thinks moonlight becomes them....
  • Nick Collins
    The Independent is reporting that the "government" (can we still call it that?) has U turned on a U turn. Having said this morning that it would bring forward ...
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Re: Tory Party Chairman Jake Berry's suggestion that people struggling to pay bills need to get a higher salary. Is he advocating that they should go on strike...