Tony Blair Copied Hitler's 'Hypnotic' Speech Quality, Says London Mayor

In new book, Boris Johnson takes another jab at the former prime minister.

Reuters

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was once described as U.S. President George W. Bush's poodle, and now he is being compared to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, in a new book by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

More specifically, Johnson accuses Blair of copying some of Hitler's oration techniques in his new biography of Sir Winston Churchill, British media reported.

"Look at Hitler, if you can bear it, and see his hypnotic quality," Johnson writes. "First the long, excruciating pause before he speaks; and then see how he begins so softly - with his arms folded - and how he uncoils them as his voice starts to rise, and then the awful jabbing fluidity of his gestures, perfectly timed to intensify the crescendos of his speech.

"Yes, he has some paper on the table in front: but he hardly refers to it. He seems to be speaking entirely without notes. See the effect on his audience: the happy beams on the faces of the young women, the shouts from the men, and the way their arms rise as one to salute him like the fronds of some huge undersea creature.

"Listen to the way he brings them all to their collective climax: with short verbless phrases – grammatically meaningless, but full of suggestive power. It was to become a highly influential technique, copied, among others, by Tony Blair."

Churchill was "wooden by comparison," Johnson writes of the subject of his book.

This isn't the first time Johnson has made provocative remarks about Blair: Just this summer he said the former prime minister "surely needs professional psychiatric help" for denying that the Iraq War was a "tragic mistake," according to the Daily Mail.
 

London Mayor Boris Johnson
Reuters