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Older and wiser societies than ours knew about Tony Blair
June 25, 2014 1:08 AM   Subscribe

Tony Blair rises every couple of months, like a bubble of swamp gas. First there’s an uneasy buried rumbling, then small tremors shake the surface, and then suddenly he bursts through, a gassy eruption stinking of farts and sulphur. It doesn’t matter how many rounds you fire into his shambling frame; he just won’t die. Whenever something unpleasant happens in the Middle East, whenever some huge corporation is discovered to be starving people to death or poisoning them through calculated negligence, whenever the chaos of the international order starts to wobble into another death-spiral, a damp wind blows through a graveyard somewhere in England and Tony Blair emerges from his tomb. There’s something viscerally revolting about the man. His fake chumminess and his sham gravitas are both as nauseatingly contrived as his shiny oily skin, hiding what can only be bloated rotting organs inside. He’s a gremlin, an incubus, very strange and very cruel and very foreign to our world. But still there’s a decaying vestige of that charm, the memory of the love in which he was once held, that universal joy when he finally ended a generation of Conservative rule by ending the Tory monopoly on evil.
Inspired by his latest pronouncements, Sam Kriss talks about the role of Tony Blair in UK politics.
posted by MartinWisse (23 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sounds like a pitch for the "Which Blair Project". I'm in. Who're we casting in the lead?
posted by Josh Rogan at 1:19 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


Good question. Few actors could be oleaginous enough.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:37 AM on June 25


Michael Sheen's got that role tied up, hasn't he?
posted by threetwentytwo at 1:47 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


CGI Andy Serkis?
posted by runincircles at 2:21 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


This is entertaining but some of us that have lived in the swamp like and even love the swamp and especially our neighbors.

No one even likes Tony Blair.
posted by vapidave at 2:34 AM on June 25


Totally should be Michael McKean.
posted by zardoz at 3:19 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Far too kind to the disgraceful war criminal.
posted by Decani at 3:24 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


A vile, lying war criminal who, with Brown, has saddled the people of the UK with over £120 billion of PFI debt that will take decades to pay off. When you hear of hospitals in the UK in the red, cutting wards and nurses, this is mainly due to the interest on the PFI.. And who did Liebour let buy these PFI contracts on the secondary market? The Banks, who have already had £1.2 trillion in welfare from us, mostly paid out by labour, but which we, the people, will have to pay off.

One day, the true scale of his atrocious legacy will be laid bare. All those dodgy tax deals, Mandy on the rich guys boat, etc etc. Anyone who read Private Eye during his time in office will know all about his nasty ways.
posted by marienbad at 4:14 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Could be Alan Rickman, but he might also come across as too likeable.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:17 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


He was a national hero in Kosovo after his interventions in the late 1990s, and several boys there are named Tonibler or just Bler.

There was a good article about them in The Guardian at the weekend.

History will be even less kind to the original 'Tonibler' than it will be to George Bush however.
posted by DanCall at 4:20 AM on June 25


Godzilla?
posted by blue_beetle at 4:56 AM on June 25


Who is this hideous figure? Why is he still alive? Why won’t he just leave us alone? Of course, Tony Blair was never alive. He’ll never leave us alone.

So Blair is the English Dick Cheney?
posted by TedW at 6:10 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


On top of the aforementioned PFI deals which were astounding examples of fiscal irresponsibility and dodgy public accounting, let's not forget the ghastly record on civil liberties under Blair and New Labour:

The passage of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which would punish with jail anyone who is unable to produce an encryption key on demand.

The attempt to institute an ID card system.

The Coroners and Justice Bill, which allows the government to make inquiries into suspicious deaths secret. (Just imagine if these measures had been used to cover up the death of Ian Tomlinson in 2009, and the routinely botched forensic pathology of Freddy Patel.)

Then there was the time they demanded that victims of miscarriages of justice pay for room and board for the time they were in prison.

Terrorism control orders: because if we say "boo!" loudly enough, we can ignore that pesky requirement for a fair trial.

The attempt to pass detention for 90 days without trial. Because fuck habeas corpus.

The right for police to stop and search in designated areas without any reason. (Even though statistics have repeatedly shown that police officers use stop and search in a massively racially biased fashion.)

That's just stuff that comes to mind. I may have mentally suppressed the various other civil liberties horrors from the New Labour years.
posted by tommorris at 6:25 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


You know, it would be cool if, while he's excommunicating all the mobsters in Calabria, the new Pope also just threw Blair in there for good measure. You know, unless he publicly repents and goes to live a life of quiet solitude and poverty, or something like that.

Wait, that gives me an idea...



Dear Holy Father,

I hope you are well and enjoying your travels. It must be nice to get out of Rome for a bit, and I understand that the Italian countryside is very nice at this time of year. I know you keep a busy schedule, but please remember to take some time for yourself as well, and remember to be safe, and tell your driver no to go too fast.

I am not a Catholic, or even a Christian- my parents were raised Catholic, but your "educators" managed to beat it out of them during the '50s and early '60s (although my dad has some nice things to say about the Jesuits he studied with later, so credit to your order, I suppose). However, if you do this thing for me, I will seriously reconsider, and might even go to a catechism class or something:

Please declare Tony Blair anathema and outside the community of the faithful.

If you cannot excommunicate Tony Blair, then for Christmas, please send me a GoPro Hero 3, a Nexus 7 tablet, and a set of new road tires for my Colnago. And please send my little brother a new solid-state hard drive for his studio, he's been ever so good this year.

Thank you in advance,


TheWhiteSkull


P.S.- Colnagos are very nice bicycles. I think you might have a gold one somewhere in the Vatican. You should look for it- they are great to ride.

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:44 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


Do it (things can only get better, skip to 2:20 for the money shot)
posted by lalochezia at 7:11 AM on June 25


I find it almost impossible to describe my feelings for this man without resorting to a barrage of obscenities.

He's clearly intelligent and manipulative, but I can't decide if he doesn't care about the rest of the world, or if he considers it an acceptable consequence of his power.

I'm no Conservative, but it annoys the fuck out of me that the Tories got the blame for the time before and after Blair, when his reign was blatently NewTory not NewLabour. In fact, I'm happier with the conservatives fucking things up in the way they do because at least they're sticking to their own playbook.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 7:26 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I've just realised I went a touch sweary there. Sorry about that...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 7:45 AM on June 25


The truth is that there is no unifying principle behind anything beyond its total incoherency. Every time we think we might have a handle on how things actually work, the ghastly figure of Tony Blair emerges from its ancient swamp to remind us that this world is not a sane or a rational place.
If you believe that there is no unifying principle behind anything beyond its total incoherence, you make Tony Blair inevitable.
For Plato the eternal, for Kant the absolute, for Hegel the unfolding, for Kierkegaard the teleological. All these finely honed contraptions utterly failed to account for the whole of existence.
If you don't want to succumb to Tony Blair, then I guess you'll have to keep looking for a contraption that does account for the whole of existence.
posted by No Robots at 8:25 AM on June 25


Do it (things can only get better, skip to 2:20 for the money shot)

Do not skip to 2:20. If you do that, you'll lose the full effect.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:48 AM on June 25


Do it yt (things can only get better, skip to 2:20 for the money shot)

Good lord, that's terrifying. Though it's an interesting contrast to American political ads.

What's the use of the Sun supposed to signify? Doesn't seem like the tabloid that Labour-leaning (or left-leaning in general) voters would read, so it's some sort of crossover appeal? Like a Democrat using Fox News footage in an ad to appeal to right-leaning independents?
posted by honestcoyote at 1:43 PM on June 25


Pierce Brosnan may be a little too pretty, but he did a fine job as a Blair-a-like in The Ghost Writer.
posted by adrianhon at 1:59 PM on June 25


So, he basically had Bill Clinton as his political role model?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:52 PM on June 25


Good god, I don't think I saw that advert first time around, he looks like a werewolf. Maybe the Tory "mad eyes" campaign wasn't so far off the mark after all.

Honestcoyote, the Sun famously switched over to supporting Labour in the weeks before the 1997 election, hence Blair's championing of the Murdoch papers and phoning up Rebecca Brooks to offer support in the wake of the phone hacking scandals. It's pretty gross.
posted by tinkletown at 5:13 AM on June 26


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