Twenty-one years ago, in October 1996, I had the unenviable task of persuading Tony Blair to pose for Vanity Fair, the society magazine where I was working as a contributing editor. This was for the famous Cool Britannia issue in March 1997, celebrating Britain’s moment as the cultural capital of the world, and the editor-in-chief, Graydon Carter, was determined to get the youthful Labour leader of the opposition in the magazine before he was swept to power. Unfortunately, Blair’s deputy press secretary, Tim Allen, was unconvinced.
“Shouldn’t you be asking John Major?” he said. “Why should Tony help you publicise this phenomenon when it’s happened on his rival’s watch?”
He was right to be sceptical. (To read more, click here.)