Tony Blair

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    The British LBJ

    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997-2007. Perhaps unusually, Mr. Blair wasn't from the South but in fact started out in Bonnie Scotland and was educated in the English North and Scotland. He became MP for Sedgefield (also Oop North) and fought off Tory John Major as Labour leader to become PM.

    Despite criticism (most notably for shifting the Labour party massively to the right and for invading Iraq), he captained Labour through three consecutive victories and left by own choice in 2007 after seeing off four opposition leaders before handing over to the Chancellor. It goes without saying the switch from Captain Charisma to No-Flash Gordon has fuelled several jokes. Blair currently acts as a UN envoy to the Middle East.

    His most enduring legacy is reinventing the traditionally blue-collar Labour Party into "New Labour", based around middle-class cubicle monkeys. Purists criticized him for this, but Blair was merely a product of his time. His soothing TV manner and propensity to dodge hard issues made him more reminiscent of an American President than PM—a trend that continues with David Cameron, and made life quite difficult for Gordon Brown.

    Not afraid of media, Blair played himself in The Simpsons and a sketch with Catherine Tate. Likely the only Prime Minister to have said "Am I bovvered?".

    In British Media he tends to get portrayed either as a lapdog of George W. Bush or as an insincere spin master. He had a habit, especially towards the end of his tenure, of pausing at the end of every sentence as if trying to make it easier to cut out sound bites. The apex/nadir of his talking in slogans surely came in Northern Ireland, where he said "This is not the time for soundbites, but I feel the hand of history on my shoulder." It got so pronounced that Have I Got News for You once played a minute long speech by Tony, then played it again with "The extraneous material" removed, that is to say they played 25 seconds of silence.

    Early on in his premiership, Blair was noted for the election catchphrases "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" and "we have three priorities: education, education and education". These were widely parodied, madlibs-style, in the media and to some extent have entered the British lexicon.

    Appearances in fiction:
    • He voices himself in The Simpsons episode The Regina Monologues, where the titular family travels to London. Although after he leaves:

    Homer: I can't believe we met Mister Bean!

    • He acted in a sketch for Comic Relief with Catherine Tate.
    • He had a brief appearance in Spooks, where footage of him and George W. Bush was used in the context of the Prime Minister meeting the US President.
    • The unnamed Prime Minister whose dessicated corpse is found in a cupboard in the Doctor Who episode "Aliens of London" is clearly meant to be Tony Blair.
    • Tony Blair is also made fun of as the predecessor of the fictional Prime Minister in Love Actually.
    • Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher come in for some ribbing in Coupling.

    Patrick: You know what? We need Maggie back!

    • There's Tony Blair in the ending of the Albion graphic novel. Heh heh.
    • The Prime Minister in the 2008 Dan Dare miniseries is clearly based on him (confirmed by Word of God). He's also a snivelling opportunist who sells Earth out to the Mekon. Hmmmm...
      • If intentional, this may be Fridge Brilliance - Private Eye ran a Dan Dare parody in The Eighties where the Mekon represented Margaret Thatcher ("The Maggon") and Tony Blair was often accused of selling out Labour's principles to Thatcherism.
      • Cartoons in The Times in the late 1990s flipped the sides, portraying Tony Blair as "Dan Blair, Pilot For The Foreseeable Future" and William Hague, the (bald) leader of the Opposition, as the Mekon.
    • Gary Callahan, the second President in Transmetropolitan, is believed to have been largely based on Tony Blair. Trademarks include a near-permanent grin and an obsession with control and media spin.
    • Played by Michael Sheen in 2006's The Queen, who previously played him in 2003's The Deal and again in 2010's The Special Relationship. Screenwriter Peter Morgan seems to have a strong interest in what Blair is like behind closed doors.
    • Blair was one of Jon Culshaw's most popular impersonations in Dead Ringers: in another Comic Relief sketch, the real Blair appeared alongside Culshaw's version and played along, notably accepting Culshaw's use of his catchphrase " a very real sense..."
    • Private Eye started out with two Blair parodies: Blairzone, referencing his "Cool Britannia" attempts to be hip and with it, and "The Vicar of St. Albion's", referencing how some had compared his speech-giving style to that of a sanctimonious parish vicar preaching a sermon. Perhaps unexpectedly, it was the second one that lasted and became very popular, with Cabinet members fulfilling corresponding roles (for instance, Gordon Brown as the church treasurer) and foreign leaders being slotted into appropriate roles (e.g. American Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were made into the leaders of odd evangelical sects the Church of the Seventh-Day Fornicators and the Church of the Latter Day Morons—or Morbombs during the Iraq War—respectively).
      • "The Vicar of St. Albion's" got weird when Blair very publicly converted to Catholicism shortly after resigning as Prime Minister...
        • And then immediately started offering the Pope unsolicited advice about modernizing his outlook...
      • Actually, Private Eye adapted pretty well: he now makes occasional appearances as the Rev. Imam Rabbi Sri Tony Blair, Chief Executive of super-ecumenical organization Drawing All Faiths Together.
    • The Pet Shop Boys Affectionate Parody of George W. Bush and Tony Blair - "I'm with stupid" - reached number eight as a single on the UK charts.
      • They also wrote "I get along" about his second firing of Peter Mandelson (according to Word of God)
        • They also made the extremely creepy "Integral" about New Labour's increasing tendency to introduce a surveillance society; the fandom sometimes count these three together as the Pet Shop Boys' "Blair Trilogy".
    • Former Prime Minster Adam Lang in The Ghost Writer is clearly a slightly fictionalized version of Blair