4th September 2010
I’ve had my copy of ‘A‘ for a couple of days, but haven’t had much time to devour it all yet, as it were. Still, many speed-readers or index keyword searchers have been hard at it for the last few days. Reading, that is.
FORGET THE POLITICS – GIVE ‘EM THE SEX
Has Tony Blair, to the delight of his admirers and the BALL-SQUEEZING angst of his opponents, proved yet again that he knows how to touch the parts other politicians just cannot?
Sex and power in the suggestive raw? Linda Kelsey’s dinner-burning report at the Telegraph – “Tony Blair: a pretty sexy kind of guy” – indicates that this may well be so. Perhaps even more so than in his assumed heyday.
“There’s something steaming in the kitchen, and it’s not just the courgettes and carrots I’m boiling for supper. I’m sitting at the table, unable to take my nose out of Tony Blair’s memoirs. Between the lines, and sometimes in the lines themselves, things are positively throbbing. I check the fly leaf to be quite sure I’m reading a book published by serious Random House rather than Black Lace, the purveyor of erotic fiction for women. Then I’m lost in a section where the narrative is as breathless as Mills & Boon.
Leafing through A Journey, I’m struck by the fact that this is not the kind of political memoir we’re used to. There’s a palpable sense of pheromones leaping out from the pages; testosterone-fuelled passion in even the most political of descriptions. Even when Blair’s not talking about sex, he’s talking about… well, sex.”
THROBBING AWAY AT THE PRIMEVAL
In this age of dullard, untalented celebrity, he again shows how to craft a memoir. There is far more in this book than just the summoning up of base instincts, rest assured. But that, and the reason for that is not just incidental or for the sake of a momentary distraction.
Nowhere in the index appears the word “sex”, only “sex offenders list”. And clearly his name won’t be found there.
But sexual references are crafted through the book in various ways, even as regards male colleagues, sometimes competitively and sometimes in a man-love sort of way! They are there for a reason or several. Get working all ye amateur psychologists. But don’t look for any similar references in Gordon Brown’s upcoming title. You won’t find them.
Even as the cynic in me wonders this: when all else fails, reason flies out the window and the war criminal is still considered by some a war criminal whose indiscrete head would have been off with in an earlier era, this trying of a little macho-laden tenderness, is mightily impressive.
He may be the wrong end of 50, and steadfastly refuses to have the odd wonky tooth straightened, but somehow that matters not. Forceful yet vulnerable, tough yet tender, the people’s prime minister can still turn ’em on, and what is more important BE turned on. So why not admit it?
Turning thoughts to the primeval urge has worked for millennia. Plant a seed and let it grow…
SEX IN PRINT
Blair’s sexy bits have thrown some commenters into despairing jealous rages. Even those half his age. And invariably those lacking a fraction of his political/populist nous. The balls he talks about (no euphemisms for this man) is not Ed. Definitely not Ed.
A few days ago the antis were already spitting bile about it. The fast-reading Spectator started it with Blair: the Sex Scenes. Then Fraser Nelson tweeted that. In despair, and perhaps understanding this was a game in which he could not compete, Nelson fell back on the tired old Blair for Sale angle – Nelson – “A look at the book’s chapters shows you that this is a case not of a man selling a book, but a book selling a man.”
I expect a little stats checking might find that Ed Howker/Peter Hoskin’s ‘Blair: the sex scenes’ has had one or two more hits than Nelson’s ‘Blair For Sale’ offering.
In case you’ve been out of the country and haven’t read any of Blair’s sexy bits yet – here’s a taster via The Spectator:
CHERIE: “I DEVOURED HER LOVE”
“…that night she cradled me in her arms and soothed me; told me what I needed to be told; strengthened me; made me feel that I was about to do was right … On that night of the 12th May, 1994, I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct, knowing I would need every ounce of emotional power to cope with what lay ahead. I was exhilarated, afraid and determined in roughly equal quantities.”
Not just a Prime Minister, not just a global statesman, in A Journey Tony Blair also demonstrates he knows how to treat a girl:
ANJI HUNTER: “SEXY – WITH DEVASTATING EFFECT”
“Anji was my best friend. We had known each other since the age of 16 when I had tried climbing inside her sleeping bag at a party in the North-West of Scotland (without success!).
She had looked after me at university, turned up in my life again when I was an MP and had been with me ever since. She was sexy and exuberant and used both attributes to devastating effect.”
FIRST LOVE: PUMPING
“We met [Tony and Gordon meet in a variety of clandestine destinations while carving up the Labour leadership in the mid-1990s] in the flat owned by the parents of my old girlfriend and first love, Amanda Mackenzie Stuart … And I loved the romance of meeting at Amanda’s. You know the first person you ever fall in love with; you know the incredible outpouring of desire, the overwhelming sense of something unique, inexpressible, inexplicable and even at points incomprehensible, but so thrilling, uplifting, your heart pumping and soaring? I was eighteen, in my last year of Fettes. She was the only girl at the school – the first, the experiment, and so chosen because she was the daughter of the chairman of the governors… I wasn’t afraid there, and somehow in some slightly odd way, in Amanda’s home, surrounded by evidence of her presence, I felt a confidence about the task in hand…”
- Tony Blair: A pretty sexy kind of guy (telegraph.co.uk)
- Tony Blair’s memoir (theworld.org)
- Politics Weekly: Chris Mullin, Tony Blair and William Hague (guardian.co.uk)
- Tony Blair explains why politicians have affairs (indianexpress.com)
- Tony Blair’s memoirs really freaking popular for some reason (shortformblog.com)
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Tags: a journey, Amanda Mackenzie Stuart, Anji Hunter, Black Lace, Blair for Sale, cherie, Fraser Nelson, history, labour, memoir, memoirs, Mills & Boon, politics, prime minister, Random House, sexy bits, Tony Blair, UK politics