A Reaction to Tony Blair’s Demise

Humans have a tendency to believe in what they would like to see happening. It is a natural reflex to invest your energy somewhere where you expect to harvest success and satisfaction. This little flaw of ours, however, makes us highly susceptible to social and political propaganda, and as a recent example in Britain shows, political figures rely precisely on that weakness in order to gain their following. In the case of Tony Blair, although this technique was initially successfully applied, the vast gain of supporters was a huge mistake that caused the shift in the public attitude towards him by the end of his rule.

1997. Tony Blair was the embodiment of hope. With promises for social reforms he appealed to the British nation’s common desire to see these changes implemented. We fell for him.

2007. Complete disappointment. Somewhere along the 10-year rule Blair had lost his focus and by that point none of the promised reforms mattered anymore. The country was facing the serious threat of a war crisis. Blair had fallen out of grace.

In the 10 years of his prime-ministership, Blair managed to fall from the top of the social support ladder to the bottom of public resentment. It seems as if the attitude towards him by the end of his office was so extremely hateful because he had set the expectations for himself way too high. Once extremely supportive, the public response can never become neutral. It is in human nature to either dwell in the middle, or go from one extreme to another. In Blair’s case, it was the latter.

The war crisis in Iraq was indeed a huge mistake of Blair’s government. However, the response towards him personally wouldn’t have been so outrageous had he not appealed to his followers from the start. Having created this image of himself as a person rather than a distant political leader, Blair gave a reason to British people to hate him personally. Thus, political dissatisfaction turned into a particular dislike for Tony Blair.

The man who promised Britain equality and social stability would have been hated even without failing to prevent the war crisis in Iran. A personal promise is much more binding than a political campaign, and a failed promise is enough to break the trust and create hostility towards that person.

Blair is so fiercely hated because he used to be loved. British people /me included/ are disappointed not so much with him as they are with themselves. We all allowed for this person to step into position. We regarded him as a savior. Hating Blair is a defense mechanism: otherwise, the entire nation of Britain would have to confess that we were simply seduced by Tony Blair.

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