Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Pass notes No 3,740

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2016-10-04 Guardian G2.jpg


The Master

Age: 63.

How can you be so precise about a Time Lord? I've never heard him called that before. He's either infinitely old - originating before the universe was even formed - or 45, which is when he first appeared in Doctor Who, played with unforgettable panache by the great Roger Delgado.

Ah. I think we may be at cross purposes here.

The Master - the Doctor's greatest adversary, with the possible exception of the Daleks, a renegade Time Lord who bestrides the universe like ... Like Tony Blair, actually, who is the Master I had in mind.

Not the one in Doctor Who who sought to become the master of the universe and control all matter, who has regenerated his physical appearance on numerous occasions, who has survived innumerable attempts to destroy him and who became prime minister under the pseudonym Harold Saxon?

The parallels are uncanny, but no, I definitely mean Blair. In his new memoir Kind of Blue, Ken Clarke says David Cameron and George Osborne referred to Blair as "the Master" and copied his style of government.

In what way? "They shared his inclination for personal decision-making by the prime minister and his close advisers across the whole range of policy," complains Clarke. "David also, as Tony did, believed in constant political campaigning as the daily style of politics and in exerting control-freak discipline over his colleagues:"

The search for instant headlines rather than the pursuit of judicious long-term policies? For a Doctor Who fanatic, you have a very clear grasp of the nature of modern politics.

So Cameron and Blair were both overpromoted PR men? Yes - in Cameron's case, literally. "Media handling and public relations are now regarded as the key elements of governing," says Clarke, "and a small army of supposed PR experts have far too big a role in policy-making."

Odd that Clarke was willing to spend four years in Cameron's cabinet, given that he despised the PM's style of government so much. Another very sharp point, my Cyberman-obsessed friend.

Not to be confused with: Bambi, America's Poodle, Teflon Tony and Bliar's (sorry, Blair's) other nicknames.

Do say: "Good old Ken - the greatest prime minister the Tories never had."

Don't say: "Brexterminate!"

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2016-10-04). Pass notes No 3,740. The Guardian p. G2, p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Pass notes No 3,740." The Guardian [add city] 2016-10-04, G2, p. 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Pass notes No 3,740." The Guardian, edition, sec., 2016-10-04
  • Turabian: "Pass notes No 3,740." The Guardian, 2016-10-04, section, G2, p. 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Pass notes No 3,740 | url=,740 | work=The Guardian | pages=G2, p. 3 | date=2016-10-04 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Pass notes No 3,740 | url=,740 | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023}}</ref>