“Politics of the anger in the era of the loud-mouth”
Tony Blair in his interview with Lionel Barber in the Financial Times magazine (subscription, some articles free) today says three important things.
1. “The purpose of this is not to make money, it’s to make a difference,” he says of his work for the Kazakhstan government.
2. He is bustling with impatience to take a more public role. Does he miss being prime minister? “Some days. Probably because I forget what it was like.” Then he realises his answer sounds phoney. “No, no, it’s the opposite. It is when there are big issues that you want to be there.”
3. We live in “the era of the loud-mouth”, he says (he still does sound bites). “There is an interesting debate – in the west particularly – between the politics of the anger and the politics of the answer.”
Matthew Parris provides the analysis. His column in The Times today (pay wall) is outstanding. Here’s a flavour:
Barclays are bankers. We hate bankers. Whatever it is they’re said to have done, we’re pretty sure it was dreadful and they’re undoubtedly guilty of doing it. The whole lot of them. We started being angry with them even before the exact nature of their dark deeds was revealed.
For all of us, press and public, the sequence is becoming a habit. First the anger. Then a scramble to find out what precisely it is we’re going to be angry about. And finally a bit of hasty cramming so we can express the anger with fluency and apparent authority. Again and again, that has been the story for the past four or five years. We seize upon an abuse, rip it out of context, kick aside the caveats and explanations, stamp our feet, pucker our faces with rage, do a little homework on Wikipedia — and shout. Somebody must swing for this!
On this, he’s right.
Update: Guido Fawkes highlights another paragraph of Parris, which is a bit right too.
Photograph: FTTagged in: blair rage, rage
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