On the Non-Existence of Tony Blair
The consequences are startling. Tony Blair, I find, no longer exists to me in any real form. On the rare occasions I see him on television when not being impersonated by a comic (adding further grist to the mill that he is a fictional character) I do not believe I am seeing a person. He is a non-corporeal vessel of self-evident truths, a strange hologrammatical robot that floats around the stage whose voice box is permanently set to "chummy". He is total fiction and nobody seems to have noticed... Indeed, if the ideals and goals of "New Labour" were a long-established political force, Blair would be ubiquitously derided as a stereotype, a satirical figurehead for slick smoke and mirror politics.
This is embellished when you notice that his actions echo through dystopian predictive fiction such as Huxley and Orwell. Take the prevention of terrorism act. The chilly reassurances that, despite the wording, it will be used in a purely sensible and realistic manner all led up to a heavy-handed plot twist in which an elderly man was thrown out of the Labour conference for heckling and then refused re-entry based on that very act designed "solely" to prevent terrorism. Walter Wolfgang is not a terrorist and there is nobody alive who would say, or could prove, otherwise. This much is painfully clear.
But unlike the cold fictions of the past, the administration is hooked on the drug of image. Big Brother never cared how he looked to the voter. So when a shit storm broke in the newspapers, Labour was careful to limit the damage through mumbled apology. The curious thing here was how the commentary centred on the heckler himself as an elderly hero fighting the evil of New Labour and their crackdown on debate, blah blah. No. It was irrelevant patronising of an old man, designed to push the right harrumphing buttons of the man on the street. The real meat was in the abuse of the terrorism act, a stark example of the existence in modern government of Orwell's double-think and Machiavelli's concept of holding power through the fear of war. Fiction, fact...all jumbled together like a puddle of sick.
Watch enough of Tony Blair on television, though, and his mysteries would doubtless open up and reveal him as only too human. But the idea gives me the creeps, so it is back to the broadsheet I go. And when a person is seen only through the lens of newsprint, it is as if their lives are taking place in a concept novel. Pretty celebrities with legs that fall effortlessly out of Westwood gowns seem all too real because their photographs clog up every spare inch of the modern newspaper, confirming their minor existence in this dumb old world. But the political pages take place in a different reality, where the images play second fiddle to the words, which is where the confusion begins.
No...that's not right. This is a problem I have with Tony Blair...the rest of them are real enough. In Prescott's case, all too real. There's little that confirms somebody's existence more than a punch in the face, despite his cartoonish image as Stanley Unwin's scary Northern older brother. The problem Blair has is that he has been controlling and has been controlled since he came to power. He is both puppet and puppet master, both of whom have a creepy unreal ghost-house image. He is both writer and performer, Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey.
The irony of the last example is that they were designed to satirise reality. Whereas now we have reality satirising satire satirising reality. It's all too much. I think I need a lie down.