BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Sunday, 19 April, 1998, 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK
Blair supports Diana mourners
The death of Diana saw unprecendented mourning in Britain
The prime minister has described as "snobs" those people who accused the public of showing "fake sentimentality" after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Tony Blair defended the public outpouring of grief in the days following the princess's death.

Tony Blair: reaction was heartfelt
His comments come after academic Anthony O'Hear questioned both the life of the princess and the reaction to her death.

Mr Blair said: "They are perfectly entitled to their view but I think there is an element of snobbery about it.

"Why is it fake just because there happens to be a lot of people in the country who feel like that? I honestly don't understand the reason for insulting people like that.

"The notion that this somehow makes us fake or this is un-British, I just regard that as absurd."

'Creative juices'

Mr Blair went on to deny coining the Cool Britannia tag but added it was important Britain was seen as a forward-looking country.

He said: "Britain does actually present to the outside world a very dynamic image which is a good thing.

"The idea of Britain being successful and outward-looking is a good not bad."

Speaking on Sky TV, Mr Blair also had strong words for those in the rock industry, particularly Alan McGee, the head of Oasis's Creation Records label.

Mr McGee said promising young rockers would not have time to practise if Labour goes ahead with its plan to force the unemployed into jobs or training schemes.

Mr Blair said: "The one thing you learn in politics is they attack you for whatever you do.

"Some of the rock musicians attacked Margaret Thatcher throughout the 1980s for denying them jobs.

"Now they say a Labour programme that gives all young people a guaranteed chance of high quality training destroys their creative juices to be off the dole and into work."

BBC News
Tony Blair: "Outward-looking Britain"
See also:

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories