Owen Jones meets Alastair Campbell – full length interview

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Published on 19 Sep 2017, 9:50
Alastair Campbell was the mastermind behind the New Labour machine, the spin doctor who did his best to ensure Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's project was given the best coverage possible.

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I met with him to talk about the final years of New Labour, discussing his reputation as an aggressive, Machiavellian schemer, his suspicions that Gordon Brown may have been involved in an attempted coup against Tony Blair and the fallout from the disastrous Iraq war.

We also discussed whether the years of stress working at the top of the political pile had contributed to Campbell's long-term suffering with mental health problems, including depression. He reveals his often violent dreams, including one involving Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and an axe.

In terms of today's politics Campbell told me about his surprise at Jeremy Corbyn's campaign for the 2017 general election, though he says he's yet to 'drink the Kool-Aid' when it comes to Labour's vision for Britain's future. He's especially critical on Brexit, where he believes Corbyn and John McDonnell should be doing more to stop Theresa May's rightwing Conservatives driving us off a 'cliff-edge'.

In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

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