The Guardian today showed Tony Blair offering ‘the universally understood gesture‘ in a photo that has hitherto only been shown from the waist up. I’m not absolutely sure what is to be understood by the gesture – the universal sign of the doughnut perhaps – but in a month that has seen David Cameron’s PR people lose the plot with two unfortunate backdrops, it’s timely.
Which begs the question: why now? In the run up to his departure from No.10, the Farewell Tour has been in full swing, anxious to show our erstwhile leader as basically a fun-lovin’
criminal bloke who would much rather be indulging in high jinks with long hair and a boater than irreparably damaging Middle East-West relations for generations to come taking on the responsibility of high office.
I see the photo as another element of the Tour. Keen to jump on the novelty photo bandwagon, I would put money on someone, somewhere, to have come up with the idea to release this uncropped version in the hope of further massaging his FHM image. The Guardian, and probably many millions of readers, fell for it.
Personally I preferred the dignity of a man who felt the hand of history on his shoulder rather than his own hand around his crotch. Either that, or a man who, if true internet democracy has its way, will juggle ice cream while standing on his head. At least that would be in good taste.