Nick Barley meets former Downing Street spin doctor ALASTAIR CAMPBELL, until recently one of the most powerful and still one of the most despised men in Britain, and feels some of that power up Close.


he press ol’lieer is ushering me out ol’ the door. but

Alastair (‘amphell is dragging it out. giying the

impression that he doesn‘t \\ ant our interyieyy to end. ‘l‘tn enjoying this one.‘ he says hrightl). 'llaye _\otl got any time alteryyards‘.’ ()theryyise eall tne il‘)ou want an} more.’ His handshake is firm. his hand misting mine: a linal articulation of the power relationship. It underlines Ill) certainty that [We lailed: l‘ye got absolutely nothing out ol'this intery ie\\.

I Iliink o/~ l‘)‘)7. us ll'(' (/(l/I('('(l on {he grui'e ol'lluilelieriwi. uml I remember [he pulpub/efeeling ()llllfi‘lU/‘fi' being moi/e. .-\ new l(lll(l.\'('(l/’(’ ol'liope nus opening up Inf/ore us. illeunn‘lii/e. you were busy selling po/ilu :y lo Sun rem/em. We all knew you luul to (lo Illa! Io gel elei‘leil. ."IHl [fluili ll'('ll. (nu'e lIe nm in power he n'ouli/ I'('l'(‘(ll o pioneering .yoeioliyl i'ision/in‘ 11y. [fill you Iii'isleil lu'y l'l.\'lUN inlo u .\'ulmiyn'eel .\'II(l('l\. lusty enougli Io make front page news nearly every (lay. ye! lueking in any po/ilieol/iln'e. He gorgeil on Iliisjeosl (ill/Illitllll'i’s, u glorious eoimlerpoinl lo the lu:y .xleu;'e ol./o/in .llojor's government.