Tony Blair, Blasted And Berated ...
It's doubtful many readers beyond the UK shores have heard of John McCririck. He's a larger than life, national television sports commentator, presenter, pundit and all round minor celebrity. His specialty is horse racing and he's pictured above; top right
Known as much for his outlandish and often outrageous outfits [think, Sherlock Holmes & Basil Rathbone] as he is for his regularly bellowed public pronouncements -- on every single subject under the sun. In fact, John McCririck without doubt, absolutely epitomizes the very essence of English eccentricity.
He also just happened to be an extremely close friend of the recently departed and sadly missed, ex foreign secretary and British parliamentarian par excellence, Robin Cook.
Mr Cook was a keen racing man and it was through their mutual love of 'the turf' that a friendship was struck, which grew and blossomed over the years. So it was not surprising that the Cook family wanted McCririck in attendance at Robin's funeral, yesterday.
However, what did surprise some - though not This Old Brit - was a broadcast [quite literally] via loudspeakers, to an overflow crowd of mourners outside St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh, by Mr McCririck inside.
Here's a sample of what he said.
"Do you mean to say if Tony Blair was up for election in six months time he wouldn't have been there?...Strong stuff, eh? And so was this.
"... Not being there... demonstrated that the prime minister has got his pettiness,And then there was this.
" ... had there been a funeral for President Bush or President Chirac do you mean to say Tony Blair would not have attended? It is inconceivable.
Over the last 24 hours there's been some considerable criticism voiced regarding McCririck's public tongue lashing of the Prime Minister, although much more concern seems to have been aired regarding the time and place of the verbal attack rather than the sentiment or content.
So today, having pondered - the aforementioned pundit proffered further proclaimations to the press.
He said he "certainly did not" regret his words and would do the same again "with reservations".
But he conceded the funeral might not have been the right time to have made his remarks.
This Old Brit is inclined to agree with what old John Mac said yesterday -- and, with what he said today.
Read the rest of this revealing report at the link to the BBC, below.