An English Elmer Gantry

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 09.00.50Tony Blair, writes Dalrymple,

keeps inviolable his belief in the existence of a purely beneficent essence of himself, a belief so strong that no quantity of untruthfulness, shady dealings, unscrupulousness, or impropriety can undermine or destroy it. He came into the world marked by Original Virtue.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.26.22Blair

has an unfailing eye and ear for the ersatz and the kitsch, allowing him to play upon the sensibilities of a large section of the population as upon a pipe. He is a devotee of the cult of celebrity, in which the marriage of glamour and banality both reassures democratic sentiment and stimulates fantasies of luxury. He seeks the company of minor showbusiness personalities and stays in their homes during his holidays.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.59.14He is an enemy of freedom.

Starting with an assumption of his infinite beneficence, he assumes infinite responsibility, with the result that Britain has become a country with a degree of official surveillance that would make a Latin American military dictator envious. The only people this troubles are the people who need no surveillance.

Some other qualities of Blair: he

  • Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 09.11.10suffers from delusions of honesty. His capacity to believe his own untruths proves persuasive to others
  • is expert in the postmodernist art of spin. The whole of society finds itself corrupted and infantilised by its inability to talk straight
  • is authoritarian in a Mussolinian or Perónist way
  • is morally and possibly financially corrupt, also shallow and egotistical
  • combines the qualities of Elmer Gantry with those of Juan Perón

(2007)

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