Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
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Tony Blair admits today his personal standing has become ‘an issue’ in Labour’s election campaign, but warns his party no other leader would fare better.
So says The Grauniad, who had forty-eight hours with the PM. But why is Mr Blair, king of polling data, refusing to accept what the polls are telling Labour – they’d fair much better under Gordon Brown? I suspect it’s because Mr Blair only hears what he wants to hear, and the last thing he wants to hear right now is that his major political rival is more popular than him. Some would call that arrogance, but they must be wrong, because we all know that Mr Blair had a Spring Conference epiphany, and is now a marvellous person.
This is Downing Street’s vaunted ‘masochism strategy’ in action: tackling political apathy by pitching Blair into direct combat with grumpy voters. It has, he says, given him a new perspective on Westminster.
‘What it has done is reinforce how much there are just two different worlds going on.
‘One is very basic things that people want help with in pressured and difficult lives, and that’s their concern – and they really don’t have a lot of interest in things about which I am continually forced to answer questions.’
In other words, ‘Please tell those mean newspaper boys to stop asking me nasty questions’. Of course, this is the first election Blair’s had to fight with the popular media against him, and I don’t think he’s enjoying it. I think that he thought he’d walk this election, just like the last two, and now the pressure’s on and he’s not prepared for it. He looks like he’s floundering, every time he tries his old techniques of fake emotion, people know he’s faking. He desperate, and needing a lot of help right now. He sounds weak. And it’s not making him look good.