Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tony Blair: the last days
So, the guitar and all the other bits of glitz are leaving Number Ten. Greyer, no wiser, and underlining his status as a populist Prime Minister, Tony exchanged his last major PM photo-calls and sound bytes with Arnie Schwarzenegger. No doubt they discussed their respective roles in the Terminator films and how closely life has borrowed from art. The differences, after all, between the first five years of his tenure and the second have been quite striking. In his central role in Terminator One, Tony represented hope. If he could prevent the forces of global technological darkness sweeping over us and the horror of a future without Britain as a leading player in the world, he had to stop Arnie’s robot from snuffing him out.
However, in Terminator 2, he, Arnie and their producer decided, amusingly, that they should swap roles and moralities. In this sequel Tony played the quantum bio-killer, sent from the future to assassinate a child who will grow up to save humanity.
Ten years ago, when he first came to light as a young actor, we saw Tony as a piece of raw political material, refreshingly young and apparently solidly human. Gradually, over time, he acquired the ability to be the slinky, fluid shape-changer he is now.
Listening to the wireless this morning I was struck by how much speakers were yearning for solid unspun politics, a PM who cannot change his shape and someone who actually bases his decisions on evidence, made transparent to us all.
Times have suddenly changed. David Cameron, in basing his persona on Tony’s role in Terminator 2, is out of touch. Another film is hitting our screens. The hero is going to be serious and a damn sight more ethical.