28 DECEMBER 2002, Page 28

Crucifying Cherie

From Mr Frederick Forsyth Sir: If anyone went for my old lady with lethal intent, he would soon have to accommodate the discomfort of life with two crushed nuts.

For nine days Tony Blair stood and watched as Alastair Campbell systematically, methodically and publicly crucified his wife.

He did not move a muscle, lift a finger or utter a word. When she had achieved her final, scripted, rehearsed and public humiliation, he said he was 'proud' of her.

But of himself?

As my old Dad used to say: 'Not the sort of sod you want to go shooting tigers with, laddie.'

Frederick Forsyth