Poetic Licence: Tony Blair and I

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The Independent Culture
Today is the Prime Minister's 46th birthday. He is alarmingly close in age to our resident poet

Born within a few weeks of each other

Tony Blair and I knew heady times

He's become the leader of our nation:

I of course write rhymes.

Nineteen fifty-three, a post-war vintage

Tony Blair and I emerged to light

His dad Mr Blair, mine Sergeant Newell:


I wonder if he still remembers Cuba

The tension in the air in 'sixty-two

Nine years old, anxiety-by-proxy?

Because I still do.

And of the thousands hypnotised by pop stars

Who ultimately left us in the lurch

Which one fell saucer-eyed into the maelstrom

And which one went to church?

A politician married with ambition

Young, perceived as relatively hip

Old incumbents never saw him coming

Hard left curled its lip.

Autumn '96, the troops were marshalled

Shiny happy people holding hands

Union Jeremiahs, old curmudgeons

Wrung their hands.

May-time came for Labour and the country

Britannia yielded Lochinvar her heart

Sleepy woke Cherie, to early flowers

Till death us do part.

In the petit mort of post-election

Middle English baebes with droning voices

Set about the nannying of the country

Our "lifestyle choices".

Tony Blair and I have this in common

Both were given chances at the start

Children of a solid welfare system

Now torn apart.

Hard-man? Gambler? Missionary? Bland-out?

Would-be new Messiah? What should I think?

And what would I do were I to meet him?

Buy the bloke a drink.