Dear Alastair Campbell: Well done on the new job, a former media adviser to the Labour Party tells Tony Blair's new press secretary. But beware of falling into the sea at Blackpool - that way Kinnock lies

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Indy Lifestyle Online
It's a brave move. As if to show self-sacrifice and socialism still march hand in hand, you have given up your assistant editorship of Today, despite a 'substantial cut in salary', and taken on the job of personal press officer to the Labour leader.

At first sight it looks a doddle. Young, bright, dynamic, sexy, Tony is so far ahead in the polls that the Tories have almost lost sight of him, and even the Tatler is suggesting that this is a Labour leader the middle classes can live with. But you know differently, because, as a very close friend of Neil and Glenys, you were around for the previous horror show. Remember how it all ended in tears with the Sun headline on election morning - 'If Kinnock wins today, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights'?

You'll remember that Neil's early days weren't that different. Back in 1983 it was young, bright, dynamic Neil. OK, no one ever said he was sexy, but the general drift was the same, and then it all went oh-so-wrong. Tony Blair obviously has a head start - he isn't Welsh and he hasn't got red hair - but worrying parallels are developing. There are certain things you should do immediately.

Blackpool and the Labour Conference are only a month away. Don't, ever, allow your charge anywhere near the sea shore. Keep his feet on solid ground at all times.

Then there are the foreign trips. Neil's one-and-a-half minutes with President Reagan, around a minute of which was spent explaining that he, and not Denis Healey, was the leader of the Labour Party, was not an unqualified media success. Likewise the trip to Zimbabwe which ended with the entire Kinnock party locked up by soldiers who failed to recognise them. Neil sang hymns to keep everyone's spirits up; the only surprise is that they ever let him out.

We know that Tony does a very good impersonation of Mick Jagger, and that he used to be in a university band called Ugly Rumours. All well and good, but if he ever stands up in a public place and asks a few thousand people if they're 'Awright]' I would recommend immediate physical intervention, violent if need be.

Restaurants, too, are a bit of a no-no. Granita - where Blair had his famous meeting with Brown - sounds awfully like Luigi's - where Kinnock had his famous meeting with the press. If anybody with a tape recorder approaches mid-gnocchi with questions about the tax system, I suggest a nice smile and the words 'ask Gordon'.

Smiles are another thing, black teeth are not becoming in a future prime minister. He needs to get them fixed and quickly. By an NHS dentist, of course. Jo-Ann Goodwin

(Photograph omitted)

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