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Home > Politics

Tony Blair: Smug git

18 June 2004

If Michael Howard was buggered to death by bears tomorrow, the British nation wouldn't, on the whole, weep. In fact some people would distribute the incident as a humorous video clip via email, with Teddy Bears' Picnic as the soundtrack.

We certainly would.

But it was hard not to feel a tiny pang of sympathy for Nosferatu when Tony Blair attempted to give him a drubbing (word of the week) during Prime Minister's question time. Not because Howard had a good, or indeed any, point to make, but because Tony's attempted-drub was so contrived and stage-managed.

What happened was this: Howard asked why the NHS is so useless (it isn't). Blair got all shouty and evil, like a spoilt public schoolgirl on CIA combat drugs. He shrieked:

'I read his [Howard's] speech. He says he came back into frontline politics because of his anger at the state of the NHS. Well - he must have been incandescent when he was in government! He was so angry it left him speechless, because he never raised the state of the NHS!'


He then kept twisting round and looking behind him to get the approval of his acolytes, looking like someone who's just discovered a cobra down their shirt. But Tony's drub was clever, very articulate, and probably very pre-prepared.

And that's the point. Tone doesn't just walk into PM's questions and speak off the cuff - on the rare occasions when any politician has to make a meaningful statement on the (cloven) hoof it tends to come out as something like this:


'The right honourable gentlemen will find, um, issue that has been raised that concerns us all, but, um, therefore, um, too early to judge or to begin to realise that in opposition the same might well be said of him and his um. I refer you to the strategy that our, er, party has pursued since, um.'


Blair, who has got his back against a very spiky wall, had come out fighting with a pre-prepared onslaught against Howard. But all he really succeeded in doing was looking like some spotty, middle-class arsehole at the Oxford Union scoring points off his opponent during a political debate, but not having any genuine, heart-felt feelings about the NHS or anything else.

British politics: it's edifying stuff.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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