Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Cherie Blair: Nancy Reagan Redux

In the final year of Reagan's presidency, a memoir by his chief of staff Don Regan confirmed what so many of us had suspected—that whatever was running the White House wasn't human. It turned out to be the Zodiac.

Scandal ensued, and this one was dubbed "Astrologate." The cover of Time for May 18, 1988 gives something of the flavor of it. An editor for Enigma, D. Trull, offers an interesting and fair account—

Towards the end of Ronald Reagan's second term, sordid unpleasantries were finally starting to stick to the Teflon President. In May 1988, the crushing liabilities of Iran-Contra, the bloated national debt and Reagan's faltering mental acuity were joined by a new revelation: that for the previous seven years of his administration, the president's every important action had been orchestrated by Nancy Reagan's astrologer, Joan Quigley.

Trull quotes from Regan's memoirs—

"Although I had never met this seer -- Mrs. Reagan passed along her prognostications to me after conferring with her on the telephone -- she had become such a factor in my work, and in the highest affairs of the nation, that at one point I kept a color-coded calendar on my desk (numerals highlighted in green ink for "good" days, red for "bad" days, yellow for "iffy" days) as an aid to remembering when it was propitious to move the president of the United States from one place to another, or schedule him to speak in public, or commence negotiations with a foreign power."

Don Regan was forced from the White House for his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, so his revelations were considered to be somewhat vengeful.

In the case of the Blairs of Britain there appear to be a number of aides with tales to tell. Journalist Paul Scott says he's compiled them into a new account of the less-than-royal couple—Tony And Cherie, A Special Relationship. Though I haven't acquired a copy (and doubt I ever will), Cahal Milmo of the Independent gives a good rundown of some of the juicier parts—

Even by the standards of the alternative therapies said to be used by Cherie Blair, seeking enlightenment by submitting her husband's toenail clippings to a health guru's pendulum takes New Age obsession to a higher level.

Cherie Blair, a senior human rights lawyer, has been the subject of a succession of claims about her fondness for weird and wonderful treatments, ranging from a Mayan rebirthing ceremony to eating strawberry leaves to cure swollen ankles, since she entered Downing Street in 1997.
Downing Street felt moved to issue a forthright denial, describing the contents of Tony And Cherie, A Special Relationship as "gossip and fantasy".

The book, written by journalist Paul Scott, uses alleged conversations with members of the couple's entourage to paint a picture of Cherie Blair as ambitious and intelligent but in the thrall of a series of eyebrow-raising practices.

She supposedly uses "white witchcraft" to cast a circle around her and create a "sacred space" while her husband carries a grey velvet pouch around with him wherever he goes, containing a fraying piece of red ribbon and rolled up paper.1

One technique said to be used by Cherie Blair was to take a number of small jars containing hair and nail clippings belonging to herself and her husband to Jack Temple, a gardener turned health guru. Temple, who died in 2004, is claimed to have "dowsed" the jars by waving a pendulum over them to detect "poisons and blockages" that could affect the couple.

Quoting a number of unnamed "Blair court insiders", the book ... said: "Temple told Cherie that his pendulum could tell her when it was a good time or bad time to make major decisions."2

Scott, who spent five years researching the book, claims that Cherie Blair would fax sheets ... to Temple listing decisions she needed to make, which he would list in order of importance according to the "vibe" he received from the prime ministerial nail clippings.

Problems with Princess Anne — Why was this not foreseen?

Scott claims that Cherie Blair has also been locked in a feud with Princess Anne since they first met in the wake of Labour's landslide election victory in 1997. Cherie Blair is alleged to have said "Do call me Cherie", to which the Princess is said to have replied, "Actually, let's not go that way; let's stick to Mrs Blair".

On another occasion, the Princess is claimed to have turned her back on Cherie Blair, prompting her to remark: "That bitch completely blanked me."

I'm always thrilled to learn how government really works.


1That would be the codpiece Bush wore that glorious day he accomplished his mission on the flightdeck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. [back]

2I have doused any number of objects while waving my pendulum over them. Little did I know I could use it to make decisions; I just knew I felt better. [back]

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