Campbell diaries point the finger

One of the more random observations to emerge from Alastair Campbell's self-aggrandising diary extracts is the Godfather of Spin's unexpected obsession with hands.

Bill Clinton has 'huge hands, long thin fingers, nails clearly manicured and he used his hands a great deal as he spoke', Campbell writes.

Elsewhere he describes a meeting, early in Blair's premiership, with the US ambassador who 'had a weird and very American, over-firm and over-friendly handshake'.

But the best hand-related reference appears when Campbell accompanied Blair to meet then Russian leader Boris Yeltsin at the Kremlin.

Yeltsin, our faithful diarist informs us, was 'a huge physical presence and did everything in an exaggerated way. Big, big handshake, big grin.'

Campbell diligently hid the vodka so that Yeltsin, whose alcohol stream rarely contained more than a pint of blood, could get through the toasts without the press seeing him knocking it back. A true professional.

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