by Leo Abse - £9.99 Robson Books (2003)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781861056986 | ISBN 10: 1861056982
Tony Blair's prime ministership has undergone an extraordinary transformation: his former gleaming image has been irreparably tarnished as a disillusioned electorate mistrusts his politics of spin and poodle-like compliance with Bush's warmongering.
In this revised edition of the critically acclaimed bestseller Tony Blair: The Man Behind the Smile, former parliamentarian and lawyer Leo Abse draws on his psychoanalytic scholarship to scrutinise the PM's psyche. A startling portrait of an emotionally immature man emerges; scarred by his traumatic childhood, Blair remains fearful of confrontation, sheltering instead in a haven of evasiveness and hesitant policy-making. Probing further, Abse explores Blair's intense relationship with his wife and exposes the similar psychological wounds spurring Cherie Blair's unseemly exhibitionism. Most alarmingly, Abse uncovers the motivation behind Blair's must-questionned stance on Iraq.
Defining Blair's inadequacy by contrasting him with the genuine charismatic Labour leaders Hugh Gaitskell, Aneurin Bevan and John Smith, and the speaker Georg Thomas, Abse illustrates how the private agonies of the politician can be successfully transcended by those who have the necessary strength of character. Turning to the future, he investigates the strengths and worrying weaknesses of Gordon Brown, the man most likely to replace Blair when he crumbles.
This razor-sharp, enlightening polemic presents fascinating insights into the psychology of Tony Blair and its detrimental impact on Britain, while suggesting an alternative route leading away from today's bleak political landscape.
(Price & availability last checked: April 2018)