Media Medium
21 May 2001


You Spin Me Round

Alastair Campbell - malign Machiavelli or just a bog-standard
civil servant doing his job?

Gemini Twin Alastair Campbell hits all the fours and celebrates his forty-fourth birthday this week (May 25 1957). The Prime Minister's Press Secretary has become almost as big as the news he is trading, but can we tell from the stars whether he is the malign Machiavelli behind New Labour, or just a bog-standard civil servant doing his job?

Gemini is the classic communication sign, and Campbell is a natural for the media circus with all the sign's gifts - he is intelligent, fast-thinking, street-wise and capable of the shrewd question which hits at the heart of any matter. His Gemini Sun closely aligns with ingenious Uranus in creative Leo, adding a touch of tabloid genius, a magical ability to let language create reality. Smart, funny, witty - in a good mood, he's great company and the man to make you laugh.

It's difficult to discern much of a political ideology in his horoscope but the unique gift of the Gemini-Leo combination is its ability to juggle contradictions and create a coherent whole, a talent much needed in the fragmented and factional world of government and party politics. And this is why Tony Blair adores him. There is an outstanding planetary contact between them which testifies to the place of honour that Blair gives Campbell. The most prominent single factor in the PM's horoscope is his warlike Mars rising at 3 degrees of Gemini. Campbell's Sun is at the same degree, making him Blair's very own rapid reaction force. Look out right now - this week and next - for a further test of their teamwork and Campbell's skills as troublesome Saturn throws a last pre-election wobbly while it crosses over this 3 Gemini point.

So how does a bright spark like Campbell get himself such bad press? His Achilles heel is his own Mars in the sensitive and protective sign of the Cancer Crab. This placing was not at all favoured by the old astrologers who gave it a spin all of their own:

" The temper is sour and bad; one who is given to sottishness; a mean, servile, unfortunate creature; usually he is employed in some low business, being incapable of better." (Zadkiel, 1852).

It gets worse. Campbell's Mars is square to an impulsive Aries Moon, prickly about macho matters and as moody as a woman with PMT:

"The passions are easily roused and a hot temper leads to frequent quarrels ... A domineering manner stirs up antagonism on the part of others, with resultant unpopularity." (Edward Lyndoe).

This also makes him prone to believing that attack is the best form of defence but it doesn't add up to a wicked Grand Plan. The appearance of manipulation probably stems from the covert Cancerian Crab, moving sideways to forestall what it perceives to be a personal attack or an intrusion into private space.

All bodes well for Campbell now but restless Geminis often think that the grass looks greener elsewhere, and he is rumoured to be moving on to a new job as Director of Communications for New Labour. This may appeal at present but Virgo influences and strategic planning could bore the pants off him this autumn. He thrives best on the cut and thrust of unpredictable, everyday challenges. At the end of 2002, his Mars is in the heat of battle (again) but whether he's up to his neck with a New Labour civil war or back on the media waggon, Campbell will still be boxing for Blair.

Meanwhile, perhaps a fellow Gemini Twin who shares the same sun degree has a birthday message for our Sultan of Spin - " let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late" (Bob Dylan, May 24 1941).

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