It is perhaps inevitable that following any showbiz announcement The Right Dishonourable Tony Blair MP will somehow manage to manoeuvre his grinning face into the picture, be that metaphorically, or sadly as happens all too often with Blair, physically as well.
I mention this because while reading the BBC’s Oscars report today, the writer of the piece lets us know that even though Blair hasn’t actually seen the film, The Queen, we (as a nation), need to know that he’s pleased that Helen Mirren won the Best Actress award because of it. His spokeswoman said:
“We’re delighted Helen’s fantastic performance was rewarded with a well-deserved Oscar and look forward to the film being shown on ITV in the autumn,”.
Of course perhaps I’m being a wee bit cynical, the relevance may come from the fact that he’s in the film, although that is as a character, not as an actor. One would therefore expect to hear a quote from Michael Sheen, the actor who played the part rather than Tony Blair himself? It is after all a ceremony dedicated to cinema, not (as a general rule) politicians. The fact that the Prime Minister is portrayed in none to sweet a light by the film seems no barrier to his blatant ingratiation either. The close association with Oscar success it would appear; is far too desirable an opportunity for him to pass up.
That, combined with the apparent ease with which journalists are able to extract pointless statements from Downing Street’s press office on, and lets face it, some broad winning a foreign award, is a poor indictment of where politics in this country currently resides. That it’s easier to ring up the Prime Minister for a statement on the Oscars than it is to find and talk to an actor is really quite depressing.
Compare and contrast the speed and ease with which we hear about our dear leader’s praising of Helen Mirren’s success with oscar than we did following the botched execution of Saddam Hussein last year. The silence from Blair in the week following the hanging of the ex-president was deafening. Unfortunately for the country we see this obsession with trivia all too often in the present government. New Labour has yet to grasp that people are sick to death with all the posing and celebrity obsession all too often exhibited by our political class. Blair and Brown please take note: Dispense with the comment and opinion where celebrity gossip is concerned. Trying to prove that you’re down with the kids is not going to get you anywhere any more, and it certainly won’t win any elections, and that goes for the Tories too.