August 01, 2006

A Leash For Your Deputy

You can wibble all you like about Tony Blair and his seeming idolising of Maggie "fuck off and die poor people" Thatcher, but I can reveal to you all that careful psychological profiling carried out by Hollyzone (on a delayed train no less) has concluded that Blair does not hold Thatcher has his guiding light in all areas.

Ok, he does a bit. But there's also clear evidence of the influence of Julius Caesar. Sadly this has not yet extended to a hilarious invasion of France, but the influence is rather in the manner of learning from Caesar's mistakes than copying them. It's simple. How much of Brutus do you see in John Prescott? Not much? Very little? Bugger all? All the questions being asked about why the hell Blair is keeping Prescott on are answered when you consider that history has demonstrated the danger of leaving someone with any degree of ambition or competence in charge of your kingdom whilst you go away. Richard I saw John attempt to seize control of England whilst he was on crusade. Caesar got the sharp end of Brutus's objections. Beware the deputy.

I like Prescott in some ways. I like how utterly working class he can be when he forgets his position, lashing out and speaking nonsense despite knowing (in theory) what he thinks he's talking about. It adds a human dimension to the political machine. The news that he had an affair didn't bother me, it happens. What bothers me is when he orders building on the green belt and can't sort those goddam trains.

But whilst everyone else scratches their heads at the staying power of the man from Hull with lightning reflexes (at least when presented with wearers of appalling mullets throwing eggs), Blair grins, knowing that Prescott won't do anything in his absence like run the country better or try and cease power. He is the perfect leader, in the manner of self preservationist leaders who wish to maintain their positions. Prescott is the perfect dumb cypher, a man whose abilities would never allow him to rise to such a height under his own steam, but whose status as a kind of vacuum of ideas means he is the safest pair of hands around to ensure Blair's position. However as MPs and government are meant to be elected to represent not rule us, this does seem a bit morally dodgy, as if Blair places preserving power over the good of the country. But surely that's not true is it Mr Caesar?

I mean Blair. Damn.


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  1. David Metcalfe

    An excellent post. 74%.

    01 Aug 2006, 08:11

  2. αββ–

    01 Aug 2006, 09:42

  3. Daniel

    I wonder if he'll shag Rosie Winterton in Tony and Cherie's bed. Sorry that's a gross thought, I apologise profusely for such a pointless comment.

    01 Aug 2006, 09:52

  4. It may not be high literature but, in the film 'Clear and Present Danger', the US Chief of Staff asks the protagonist: "What does every first term president want?"... "A second term."

    I think few people go into politics for anything other than to enjoy the power (and the other perks: Prescott really is proof that power is an aphrodisiac). Sure, some politicians perhaps have a sense of civic duty but this lot have less than most, it would seem. Therefore, maintenance of their position seems more important.

    Possibly, I would cast Prescott as Mark Anthony rather than as Brutus. In the Roman Triumvirates' school year book, Mark Anthony was listed as 'Roman subordinate most likely to bugger things up if he got his hands on political power'. And he had a fling with his boss' mistress, too. Now all we need to flog the parallel to death is for Prescott to offer a (duke's) crown to Blair – aka getting kicked up to the Lords with a peerage – but I don't think Blair would take it, not even if offered three times…

    01 Aug 2006, 09:55

  5. I'm still holding out for the hilarious invasion of France. And yeah, Mark Anthony looks like a good comparison, especially as he didn't get the throne after JC's death, Gordon Augustus did.

    01 Aug 2006, 10:13

  6. Yeah, it's about time we invaded France, given that the 20th Century must be the only one in which we didn't have a war with the French (unless the Vichy French count?). Somehow, sparring with them over EU farm subsidies just isn't the same…

    01 Aug 2006, 11:03

  7. Not that I'm a pedant…
    [classics hat] Brutus wasn't any kind of deputy to Caesar – mainly becuase no one man really ruled the Roman empire until Augustus popped up. Brutus was a leading member of the opposing faction supporting good old fashioned senate rather than tyrannical rule. Shakespeare decided it would make a rather poignant moment in his plot for 'Julius Ceasar' by highlighting the betrayal of Brutus as one of those who helped murder Caesar when rumour had it he was actually his illegitimate son (nb – never confirmed in any way) – hence the commonly held notion of Brutus as a historical figure close to Caesar when they were probably actually sworn enemies [/classics hat]
    However, in a sense it IS rather appropriate to use a do–anything–to–hold–absolute–power / in–favour–of–tyranny–over–oligarchy / thinks–he's–a–god type of figure to parallel with Tony Blair…

    07 Aug 2006, 21:00


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