Tony Blair discusses 'minefield' of language on mental health
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Since Piers Morgan’s, 56, departure from Good Morning Britain last month, the ITV show have used regular presenters as stand ins, and this week saw former Labour MP Alastair Campbell take the hot seat, coinciding with mental health awareness week. But as the presenter watched with intense scrutiny Campbell and Susanna Reid’s interview with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, he felt he needed to address some of the comments made that came across as hypocrytical.
He only seems to object to stereotypical mental health language when it is other people using it
On Wednesday morning, Blair was quizzed by his own former Downing Street communications chief, about comments he had written about him in his memoirs, where he referred to him as “crazy”.
Campbell, who suffers from depression, told Blair: “‘You said that there are two types of crazy people, there are crazy people who are just dangerous, and there are crazy people who are creative and give you energy and ideas, and that’s Alastair’s type of craziness.'”
“Do you accept that’s a tad stereotyping of mental health?” he then took him to task for his use of language.
Blair replied jokingly: “Yes, but it’s probably better than if I’d put you in the former category.”
But Piers pointed out that Campbell had also referred to himself as “crazy” in a previous interview with UK tech firm Plexal.
He had said: “There is no better feeling than that energy that you have when you’re a bit kind of crazy and a bit manic.”
In his latest column for the Mail Online, the former GMB host wasn’t having any of it.
“So, he only seems to object to stereotypical mental health language when it is other people using it,” he wrote.
“The same kind of hypocrisy we see all the time from those woke warriors Meghan and Harry who love to preach about equality and climate change from their Californian mansion and private jets.”
It wasn’t the only thing he picked fault with during the interview.
Following Campbell’s questions about Blair’s memoirs, the former PM admitted he was worried about what he can and can’t say in today’s society.
“I am afraid I am of an age where I am now terrified if I can talk about any of these subjects that I am going to say something that I should not say,” the 68-year-old political told the show.
“It is a minefield on virtually everything. If you are of a certain generation, you are not sure what you can or what you can’t say. Or whether you can make a joke about something you cannot make a joke, so I will leave it at that.”
Piers shared his disappointment, penning: “I was absolutely stunned.
“Here was one of the most famous world leaders for the past 50 years bowing to the woke mob and admitting he dare not say what he thinks for fear of being cancelled.
“Blair may as well have taken both knees to them while he was at it and begged for pre-emptive mercy lest he say anything in the rest of the interview that might upset them.”
He went on to point out the irony in Blair’s “brilliant” piece in New Statesman magazine about the “dangers of cancel culture” in which he urged liberal leaders to stand up to it and stop ‘being backed into electorally off-putting positions’ on cultural issues like transgenderism.
Piers continued: “Blair’s lengthy article was one of the best things I’ve ever read about the menace of woke cancel culture, and all the more powerful coming from a liberal leader who enjoyed huge electoral success.
“But perhaps the biggest powerful message Tony Blair could have possibly sent about woke cancel culture was contained in his own abject surrender to it on Good Morning Britain today.
“If someone who’s run a country like Britain for ten years, a place built on freedom of speech and expression, is now too scared to even speak out about things like mental health, race or gender, lest he upsets the woke mob, then the mob’s battle is nearly won.”
He added: “Shame on you, Mr Blair.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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