Erotic Review Magazine

Horny Tony

by Ian Dunt / 22nd September 2011

I read Tony Blair’s memoir in one day. It was a terrible mistake. Afterwards I was fidgety and nervous. In a strange, Stockholm-syndrome sort of way, I longed for more pages to read, as if I’d forgotten how to do anything else.

At night, when I switched off the lights, something appalling came back to me. Blair describing sex with his wife on the evening he found out Labour leader John Smith had died. “That night she cradled me in her arms and soothed me; told me what I needed to be told; strengthened me; made me feel that what I was about to do was right,” he wrote.

I once had a job cutting sugar cane on Australia’s Gold Coast. In the evenings, when I turned out the light, I could still see sugar cane falling from the cutters, and felt the need to quickly straighten it as the truck rumbled on. The mind was so used to it, it assumed the cane must still be there despite its absence, like a phantom limb. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my mind. It often refuses to do what it’s told. But this was something else, something far more rotten and unforgivable. My bastard brain was putting me back in Tony Blair’s bed.

“On that night of the 12th May, 1994, I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly,” he wrote. “I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct, knowing I would need every ounce of emotional power to cope with what lay ahead. I was exhilarated, afraid and determined in roughly equal quantities.”

The first thought is, of course, disgust. Blair devouring, Blair as an animal. Then there is hilarity. Then, rather suddenly, the mind recoils in horror. It’s the imagery, you see. No matter, how developed the intellect, it’s simply impossible to get past the imagery.

Ah, the perils of Blair on sex. His personal memories play a minor role in the memoirs, thank Christ. But his assessment of sex in politics is actually pretty convincing, despite his whiter-than-white image. He’s particularly interesting when exploring the age-old relationship between politicians and pretty young women.

“Politicians live with pressure,” he says, with the sort of backhanded self-congratulation which defines his approach to writing. “They have to be immensely controlled to get anywhere… And your free-bird instincts want to spring you from that prison of self-control. Then there is that moment of encounter, so exciting, so naughty, so lacking in self-control. Suddenly you are transported out of your world of intrigue and issues and endless machinations and the serious piled on the serious, and just put on a remote desert island of pleasure, out of it all, released, carefree.”

Believe me, I hate to say this, but the man’s onto something. His point is only just interesting enough to agree on, but it’s worth commenting on.

All humans are sexually confused. Society mandates monogamy; our genes often mandate something else entirely. We are a bundle of conflicting, often contradictory needs. This is the stuff that soap opera and Greek tragedy are made of. We’d be bored without it. But certain professions offer a perfect storm of mutually incompatible urges. The priesthood is a rather glaring example. Swear a man to celibacy, fill his head with spiritual mumbo-jumbo, surround him with kids and he’s liable to bugger one or two of them. Prison, while not quite a career, offers men a similar set of option, but with less spiritual guidance. Politics isn’t far off.

Blair discusses the “serious piled on the serious”. It’s a phrase whose ugliness and lack of craft helps enhance its resonance. There is something so all-encompassing about the un-sex of Westminster that sex becomes all you can think about. It took me a while to decipher it. Sex really is all I think about. I don’t mean that in a blokish way but in a really dull meat-and-potatoes way. The rules of Westminster are so epic and so entirely disconnected from reasonable assumptions about human behaviour, that the only people who really know them all are academics. The subject matter of Westminster is, of course, permanently sombre, apart from the entirely unpleasant interruption of party political ribbing, which is usually conducted in the manner of public school bullying. And the responsibility, in all seriousness, is severe. The press traces your every expenditure to see if there’s an expenses story in it. They track every night in a hotel. A Twitter account, Eye Spy MP, literally publishes every movement of any MP spotted doing anything. MPs deal with case work than decides people’s immigration status, criminal record, or the position of their garden fence. Ministers deal with much more than that, and all while being openly detested by the public at large.

There is something else. The political class – lobbyists, policy wonks, activists, councillors and MPs – are usually staggeringly ugly and socially inept. That’s not always true, but it is largely true. In school, and afterwards, they were quite unable to seduce women (most of them are still men). When they secure power they are suddenly presented with the startling fact that women, some women anyway, find them attractive. It’s the power as aphrodisiac thing. These poor people, starved for year of female attention and unable to satisfy their dark urges, of which we must presume there are many, are suddenly offered an outlet. Of course, it comes too late. They are now married with children and possessing sought-after but highly ruinable careers. How cruel it must seem to them, after all those lonely student nights. Some of them succumb of course, and then the press is on them, with all the abject moral hypocrisy it can muster.

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