Posted: Sep 6, 2010 8:44 PM by Alison Haynes
LONDON (AP) - Tony Blair on Monday canceled a planned public
appearance in London to promote his new memoir over concerns about
potential disruption from protesters.
The former British prime minister said he didn't "want the
public to beenjoy the food here."
30. Wide hassle caused by
protesters," during his appearance on Wednesday at Waterstone's
bookstore in central London.
"I know the Metropolitan Police would, as ever, have done a
superb job in managing any disruption, but I do not wish to impose
an extra strain on police resources, simply for a book signing,"
Blair said in a statement.
Earlier, Blair told ITV television that a bookstore signing
session could cause unnecessary "hassle and cost" for police.
Protesters demonstrating against Blair's decision to join the 2003
U.S.-led invasion of Iraq hurled shoes and eggs at him in Dublin on
Anti-war demonstrators had planned to rally outside Blair's
signing, and he said he was also worried that the far right British
National Party might attempt to cause trouble.
"You end up just causing a lot of hassle for people and cost
when there are better things for the police to do and it's not as
if we need to do it,film because it'so added that the book was
"It is sad at the same time, frankly. If people want to have a
book signed, people should protest but not try and physically
prevent you doing it."
Waterstone's managing director Dominic Myers said the
cancellation of the signing "is a matter of regret that because of
the likely actions of a minority, our customers are now not able to
meet a three-times elected prime minister of the United Kingdom,
whose book has become our fastest-selling autobiography ever."
Blair was paid a 4-million-pound ($7-million) advance for the
memoir "A Journey," which mounts a strong defense of his policies
during his years as prime minister from 1997 to 2007.
The book is a best-seller - currently No. 1 in Amazon's British
rankings and in its U.S. top 10 - but it has sparked protests from
opponents of his policies, especially the invasion of Iraq.
A Facebook group callingwar people to "subversively move Tony
Blair's memoirs to the crime section in book shops" has more than
7,000 members. Members have submitted shots of the book sitting on
the fantasy, true crime and horror shelves at stores.