Tony Blair today admits he hit the bottle to help him cope with the pressures of life in No 10 The Sun, Sept 1, 2010.
I haven't read Tony Blair's memoirs yet but last night, after a couple of beers and many vodkas, I did manage to lay my hands on what this woman at the bar who claimed she was a very distant cousin of Cherie Blair said was Tony's secret diary, filched by an underling and sold for booze money. Here are some extracts from this fascinating though possibly unreliable document:
January 20, 2001: Had a terrible time at the cabinet meeting, with Gargoyle Gordon gunning for me. Reached home with a raging headache and decided to relax by watching the new American president's inauguration on the telly, with a large bottle of Scotch, of course.
The interesting bit happened about six pegs down, when I suddenly see something different about George Bush. It wasn't his smirk. It wasn't that he looked like Mad magazine's Alfred E Neumann. It was the halo I saw around his head. Curious I hadn't seen that earlier. Amazingly, the halo became brighter and more colourful until, when I was a bottle down, it was a vivid yellow, fringed with purple. Truly a revelation. I resolved then and there to follow this Messiah, this St George of our time, battling dragons even to the uttermost ends of the earth.
September 11, 2001: I had the most awful scare today. It's been tough lately with Gordy the Gecko irritating me and I've been knocking back quite a few. Worse, I know the drink's getting to me. So imagine my shock when I switch on the telly and find myself looking at the Twin Towers in New York collapsing. My first panic-stricken reaction was that the booze had finally taken its toll and I was seeing things. Those solid towers could collapse only in a warped alcohol-fuelled hallucination. I gasped in horror.
'Boozy Blair goes Berserk' was the headline that stared at me. I was vowing never to touch a drop again when the cabinet rushed in with the news that the World Trade Centre had been attacked. "Send a message of condolence at once," I said, pouring myself a stiff one to soothe my quaking nerves.
March 1, 2003: I badly want to go to war against Saddam, but the peace marches have unnerved me. Naturally, I've been hitting the bottle. Tonight, I opened one of Macallan Fine & Rare before poring over some of the satellite photos of Iraq. I couldn't spot much. But late in the evening, after finishing the liquor, I took a closer look and found a picture of what looked like a lot of Iraqi barrels, with a skull and crossbones marked on them and below it the letters WMD. Strangely, the barrels seemed to be dancing around and the letters kind of flickered, but I knew I had finally found the weapons of mass destruction. I telephoned Dubya immediately and he said, "Hallelujah! God has opened your eyes," and so I decided to go to war.
June 27, 2007: I quit being prime minister today. I was totally fed up seeing two Gordon Browns when even one was bad enough.
August 30, 2010: I hear there's an epidemic of binge drinking in Britain. What do you expect people to do, when they have guys like Godawful Gordon and Dumbass David for leaders? Go to it fellows, booze never harmed me.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint The views expressed by the author are personal