International Writers Magazine: Comment
too can shine with Blairpaste
Blairpaste now while stocks last soon to be withdrawn from
the market. Ingredients: beaming smile, the moral high ground,
political naivety, and mock sincerity. You are assured to get
it at a reduced price, since it is way past its sell-by date.
on the market in 1997 offering to clean up the British political landscape.
It was an advertising executives delight, with its youthful smile
and apparent vibrancy. This brand of toothpaste was different from previous
ones manufactured by the company. There was no talk of the S
word (Socialism) and Tony represented New Labour
and new values. Tony was hip, Tony was cool; Tony was the brand leader.
He was tuned in and turned on to the meaningless Cool Britannia
soundbite manufactured by the media at that time. Brits were told that
it was cool to be British and to bask in their achievements in music,
industry and youthful endeavour. Indeed, Tonys spin-doctors did
a great job in placing the Tony brand at centre stage.
But nine years later, consumers are wising up and the media are getting
sick and tired. The new brand has become the old brand grey,
worn out and discredited. There was no substance to it. When it arrived
we were hoodwinked into believing that the newer, brighter version of
whiter-than-white Blaire was newer and brighter than any of the previous
bright, new versions. Now we know there is no promised land or pot of
gold at the end, just a bag of slowly rotting, yellowing teeth.
Tonys backers said he would clean whiter than white, and Tony
himself believed this. The small print on the tube proclaimed: Moral
crusades included. Tony has taken Britain to war no less than five times
since 1997 an achievement unequalled by any other British PM.
Blairpaste is more often than not seen on the shinier-than-shiny moral
high shelf of the Freedom and Democracy superstore,
standing shoulder to shoulder with George Ws Good Ol Homemade
Apple Pie. For all the sugar-induced cavities that Georges product
brings, Tony is always at hand with gleaming smile and little-boy innocence
to gloss over wrongdoings. He whitewashes clean with his catchy speeches
and the Im just an ordinary guy like you
persona. He has become Americas PR man par excellence. The small
print on the tube also proclaims: Naivety guaranteed.
Blairpaste was a product of its time. What people didnt realise
was that it differed little from the stale and ugly brand that went
before. In fact, Tony stole Thatchers ingredients to carry on
where she left off, leaving Britain bloated with its misguided importance
on the world stage and in the grip of consumerism where the cut of clothes,
brand of beer or size of car is all that matters.
The truth has been squeezed dry, and sales figures have become disappointingly
low. Voting turnout figures in general elections may soon get below
the 50 per cent mark. Tonys done well. George will be proud. Political
bankruptcy is imminent.
Blairpaste was a flimsy invention based on hollow morality and misguided
jaunts in faraway lands. But we should have known this, as the small
print also said: Fragile: handle with care.
It also read Do not disturb as Tony pressed
ahead with his agenda regardless of that damned inconvenience known
as public opinion.
But at least we may rest assured knowing that the George
and Tony Show may soon be over. Lets hope the replacement
products are a little better.
© Colin Todhunter Sept 2006
and Loathing in the UK
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