James Crabtree

James Crabtree is Comment Editor at the Financial Times. He lives in East London.

Recent Articles

W and the TB-GBs

The British public is, by now, quite familiar with blowups between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. An uneasy détente normally exists between the two men. Its periodic breakdown is known affectionately in Westminster as the “TB-GBs.” Yet the dramatic events of last week were no mere spat -- they were an assassination attempt. On this side of the Atlantic, however, the role America played in that attempt's buildup remains poorly understood. It was Blair's good relationship with President Bush, as much as bad blood with Brown, that stands directly responsible for recent crisis -- and in particular Blair's recent, unswerving support for the United States during the Lebanon war. The story behind last week's drama begins in 1994, with the sudden death of then Labour leader John Smith. Blair and Brown were their party's rising stars. They were friends sharing both offices in parliament and a mutual despair over the electoral failure of their party. Brown was the senior...