Just by chance, I spent most of the weekend watching Brtitish-related TV. On Friday night, I watched “The Blair Decade” on PBS, which illustrated what an astounding politician Tony Blair has been during his tenure. Tony Blair as Prime Minister is akin to having Robert Deniro as our President – it’s like having the best actor in the country run the show.
Case in point: I also watched the movie “The Queen,” which features Blair prominently. The movie re-enacts Blair’s famous “People’s Princess” speech after Princess Diana had died. Yet Blair’s original speech was five times more convincing than the trained actor they hired to portray him.
See for yourself – check out Blair’s speech here. It’s an Academy Award winning performance by a politician if there ever was one.
The PBS documentary also painted an unflattering picture of Gordon Brown, Blair’s presumed successor as Prime Minister. He is portrayed as stubborn, power-hungry and volatile. Even Blair came around to proposing competition between British hospitals in order to improve services – a move Brown steadfastly opposed. And, of course, it is unlikely that Brown will share in Blair’s enthusiam for working with the U.S. in the War on Terror.
I also share Pugnacious J’s enthusiasm for “Prime Minister’s Questions” on C-Span. Again – another testament to how great Blair was. Does anyone believe George W. Bush could stand up in front of Congress while they fire questions at him? Blair was a master at jumping out of his seat with his giant book and just obliterating the fools asking unfair questions of him. Just a sight to behold.
In fact, I propose we actually do that here in the U.S. In some ways, it would almost be like Campaign Finance Reform. Instead of anonymous third parties shaping the message during campaigns, why not have your congressperson be able to ask the President directly what he (or she) thinks? It would focus a lot more of the public’s attention on legitimate questions of the President, rather than carefully planned press statements.
Then I watched “About a Boy” which has British people in it.