Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

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Patrick Bateman
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Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#1 Post by Patrick Bateman »

Hoping for a Miracle is the track from Hotspot that has grown on me most since release. I think my initial sangfroid towards it was learning that it was yet another track about Blair but the gorgeous classical melody and PSB melancholia have won me over.

Why is Neil fascinated by him though? He's just your typical sophist who appealed to a centrist electorate because he appeared unthreatening to their interests - they're ten a penny in politics. Is it because Neil is your archetypal centrist and felt let down by him or perhaps he's half in love with Blair (so special in his heart)? Is there a comparable figure in PSB's canon that has had so many songs written about them? Even Christopher Dowell is only directly associated with four tracks; Blair is the subject of I Get Along, I'm with Stupid, Legacy and Hoping for a Miracle - and arguably the inspiration for more from Fundamental (e.g. Integral) and Potemkin.
Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Fri 13 Mar 2020, 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TallThinMan
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#2 Post by TallThinMan »

I don't really view it in those terms. They've always written about contemporary events, which covers most of the songs you cite. I can't think of any other recent figures who have had quite the spectacular fall from grace in the public's eye that Blair's had, so it's a good subject to write about.

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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#3 Post by jasminewok »

Tony Blair was a narcissist. Still is actually.

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Greendrake
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#4 Post by Greendrake »

[deleted]Isn't Legacy about him as well?[/deleted]

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#5 Post by Patrick Bateman »

TallThinMan wrote:
Fri 13 Mar 2020, 10:56 am
I don't really view it in those terms. They've always written about contemporary events, which covers most of the songs you cite. I can't think of any other recent figures who have had quite the spectacular fall from grace in the public's eye that Blair's had, so it's a good subject to write about.
Neil wrote lots of lyrics about Thatcherism but he didn't have the same fascination with her as a person.

Dog
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#6 Post by Dog »

I think it’s a fair question. Neil’s lyrics tend to take inspiration from specific people and events but then he presents them outside of that context. I like this as it allows people to apply their own interpretations - and the original subject matter kind of becomes a metaphor for any wider truth. I think that’s certainly the case with the Tony Blair tracks.

On a base level, Blair is male, Neil’s age, and they’ve met. But beyond that, Neil has written about leaders balancing the political and the personal on many occasions - it’s one of his common themes:

Confidential
Delusions of grandeur
Give stupidity a chance
Hey, headmaster
In private
My October symphony
Nothing has been proved
Rent
The dictator decides
Woof.

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boyjohn
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#7 Post by boyjohn »

I think he feels the Blair had so much potential but kind of squandered it with the whole cozying up to Bush thing and what followed. I mean every time I watched Blair speak or answer questions I was in awe because he was just so damn good at it (of course this was only from afar, I'm not in the UK). Sure he was a centrist, but I would rather have a pragmatic centrist than a raving lunatic isolationist xenophobe like Boris or Trump.
“Unless you consciously include, you will unconsciously exclude”
-Stephen Frost

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leesmapman
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#8 Post by leesmapman »

Drinking tea like Tony Blair.

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Xakrij
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#9 Post by Xakrij »

leesmapman wrote:
Fri 13 Mar 2020, 10:15 pm
Drinking tea like Tony Blair.
Drinking tea like Tony Benn
Shot in the fatal cause of 'frock-and-droll'

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Pod
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#10 Post by Pod »

Xakrij wrote:
Fri 13 Mar 2020, 10:46 pm
leesmapman wrote:
Fri 13 Mar 2020, 10:15 pm
Drinking tea like Tony Blair.
Drinking tea like Tony Benn
The difference could not be more important.
Just for the sake of it, make sure you're always frowning. :|
It shows the world that you've got substance and depth.

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leesmapman
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#11 Post by leesmapman »

I should have put a smiling emoticon behind my post...

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stussyboy
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#12 Post by stussyboy »

I’m sure I will be flamed for this but there are many people such as myself, and possibly Neil, who rank Blair as the UK’s best ever PM. In my lifetime, Heath, Wilson, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May, Johnson. I know which one I’d choose.
NewYork London Tokyo LosAngeles

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#13 Post by Patrick Bateman »

stussyboy wrote:
Sat 14 Mar 2020, 11:26 pm
I’m sure I will be flamed for this but there are many people such as myself, and possibly Neil, who rank Blair as the UK’s best ever PM. In my lifetime, Heath, Wilson, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May, Johnson. I know which one I’d choose.
Just like Harold Shipman was the UK's best ever medical practitioner.

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boyjohn
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#14 Post by boyjohn »

stussyboy wrote:
Sat 14 Mar 2020, 11:26 pm
I’m sure I will be flamed for this but there are many people such as myself, and possibly Neil, who rank Blair as the UK’s best ever PM. In my lifetime, Heath, Wilson, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May, Johnson. I know which one I’d choose.
He had a good run, but unfortunately made some decisions that were catastrophic. I might go with Wilson instead who really dragged the UK into the modern world.
“Unless you consciously include, you will unconsciously exclude”
-Stephen Frost

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jasonjohn
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Re: Why is Neil fascinated by Tony Blair?

#15 Post by jasonjohn »

Not convinced it's specifically about Blair

The character in Miracle doesn't achieve any heights, while Blair certainly did.

Not sure it's even political, either. Could be theatrical. Though the mention of Oxford seems to suggest power.

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