Anorak News | Body Of Evidence

Body Of Evidence

by | 21st, May 2004

‘“SMILE and the world smiles with you” should make a fitting epitaph for Tony Blair’s political career.

‘How do I look, Gordon?’ ‘You Loch Fyne, Tony’

And it would have been a truism had it not been for one dour Scot standing behind him yesterday – oh, and a few thousand Iraqis.

But let’s just concentrate on the Scot, as the Times does, the ambitious Gordon Brown, the man who apparently wants the Prime Minster’s job so much that he’s prepared to share a car journey and a meal with John Prescott to get it.

But the paper is of the mind that Tony and Gordon share a secret.

And Susan Marchant-Haycox, an expert in body language, says she has identified key features which show that the two men are “poles apart, politically and personally”.

Now, we are not yet experts ourselves, but anyone who has seen that Blair grin and the Brown gulp cannot be of a mind that the men are two of a kind.

But politically estranged? Well, that’s another story, and one the Times thinks is worthy of its front page.

Marchant–Haycox looks at the shot of the pair, taken at a joint appearance intended to promote Labour’s economic record in Government before the June 10 European elections, and notes how Brown’s mouth is shielded behind his hand.

“Touching your face means you are disguising something,” says Marchant-Haycox. “It is as if he is laughing behind his hand.”

She then looks at Blair. “Mr Blair’s stiff posture and fixed smile show he is not happy and has a lot of inner tension.” Blair has a “jaunty stance that is hiding something”.

Her thoughtful, scientific conclusion is that Brown and Blair are “sneaky”.

It’s all deeply fascinating stuff, and we’ve taken a few pointers from Marchant–Haycox, and after a 10–minute workshop in body language, we’ve looked afresh at a few more of today’s news photos.

And the stand-out picture is in the Independent, where “specialist” US servicewomen Sabrina Harman is pictured alongside the corpse of a dead Iraqi detainee (name not given).

The Iraqi (eyes taped up; body packed in ice) lies to one side of Harman, who can be seen leaning over him and giving the thumbs up sign to camera.

Having studied the shot, we can say that Harman has absolutely nothing to hide and possesses a smile that suggests a good dental health regime, as well as a large dose of nastiness bordering on evil.

The man is not her chum and his stiff posture and lack of eye contact show that he is ill at ease in Harman’s company.

Of course, there might be a simpler explanation, one based on another kind of language – the Iraqi doesn’t get the joke, while Brown, Blair and Harman have heard President Bush’s views on the Middle East.’

Posted: 21st, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink