Monday, July 02, 2007

Trust me, I'm a guitarist

Thanks to MC Glammer for bringing this to our attention: Bono "knew" Blair was going to be great leader because he played guitar:

"They're often very clever (guitar players), very studious - they spend hours in the bedroom practicing - you know, swottish."

Frantic teenager masturbators also spend hours in their bedrooms, putting in the hours, but I'm not entirely sure I like the idea of a Prime Minister whose red box has got a gunked-up copy of the Damart catalogue hidden at the bottom.

And while it's true that you have to concentrate very hard to be able to play the guitar well, there's little evidence that Blair was anything more than a strum-and-run guy; and isn't every hour spent learning the twiddly bits from I Am The Walrus an hour less spent finding out about the world? After all, Noel Gallagher is a pretty good guitarist, but his lyrics suggest a man whose interests are strongly limited.

But Bono is about to get more facile yet:
"What I admire the most about Tony Blair is that despite all accusations of a slick PR machine, spin doctoring and the like, he has almost all of the time exposed himself to bad press and outcry for doing the things he believed in."

You'll notice that Bono only implies we all hallucinated Alistair Campbell, and the rest of the "slick PR machine", but let's let that one by. The broader question is since when did Blair expose himself to bad press for doing "things he believed in"?

If we recall correctly, at the start of the Iraq War - the source of most of Blair's negative coverage - the bulk of the media stood foursquare behind him. Indeed, the image of a Tony so relaxed at pressing on with conviction in the face of criticism is a little at odds with his reaction when someone suggested that the public may have been lied to in a bid to persuade us into war - a dead scientist, a fix of an inquiry, the sacking of the Director General of the BBC: thank god he was so relaxed in the face of criticism. Just imagine what he'd have done if he hadn't been convinced of his rightness.

The suggestion that Blair spent ten years "almost all of the time" pressing ahead with conviction in the face of negative comment is even more facile than Bono's 'guitarists make the best PMs' bumper-sticker claims.


Anonymous said...

"he has almost all of the time exposed himself to bad press and outcry for doing the things he believed in"

Eh? Two things spring to mind;
1) By "Exposed himself to bad press", does he mean Blair made unpopular decisions? Or that he wasn't scared to face the press over those decisions? Because I don't remember him making a great number of appearances on Newsnight, prefering instead to face grillings from Des O'Connor and Richard and Judy.
2) Facing 'outcry' (presumably Bono's referring here to the biggest protest this country has ever seen, against the Iraq war) became easy for Blair once he realised he could dodge any protest with the mantra "I hear your point, but you should be grateful you live in a country where you're free to make that point"

Still, I bet David Cameron can't play guitar.

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