25 Citations (Scopus)


In contemporary media dominated democracies, where national populations are complex and citizens increasingly 'individualised', political leaders must cultivate a personalised image of intimacy and equivalence with their populations. Reviewing the leadership theories of Machiavelli, Marx, Gramsci and Weber, this article argues that such intimacy and equivalence is central to the image of Tony Blair. Election broadcasts and other promotional material attempt to portray Blair as an ordinary person whose political commitments derive from everyday personal experience rather than ideology or dogma. Using the styles and codes of popular television, these broadcasts and other such publicity invite viewers to identify with this experience and to see Blair as like them, as ordinary and not extraordinary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-599
Number of pages14
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2002

Cite this