Oh, Tony! You had to do it on a slow news day – or at least on one on which the papers finally realised that a certain tragic three-year-old is not being looked after by a kindly mute Portuguese farmer with an ice cream maker. The poor fools on the tabloids had just given up their excuse for veiled racism in slagging off the dopey dago police for not trying hard enough to rescue someone who’s not going to get any more dead than after the first twelve hours and gone to town on every minute aspect (one page each) of the fatuous question of BLAIR’S LEGACY.
So I thought this is a bandwagon that I’d not exactly jump on but tag behind on my skateboard like Michael J Parkinsons. One thing is certain: the most noticeable thing Blair is leaving behind is a vacuum of personality, power, and above all leadership, which will proceed to suck in every principle-flogging succubus in what Alastair Campbell managed to fool us for many a year is not a degraded party: it is one that has managed unbelievably to become more hated than the preceding Tory administration if only because they failed to learn the lessons from it. It seems that, like the popular impression of ‘today’s society ‘, they are so dependent on and expectant of guidance from above that all instinct for a situation has evaporated bar the rat-like urge to scrabble over each others’ backs to fulfil false ambition, in this case of being Him, or the Tone (r) Brand that He sold them (mental image appears of Messiah pose, glinting teeth and corresponding ‘ting’ sound effect…).
Of course, another certainty is that the world has been left with a British Statesman-shaped hole which, looking at the mugs’ gallery mentioned above, is unlikely to be filled – and certainly not by the slavering, corpulent, double-brained, side parted, possibly gay charismectomy patient waiting to try and shoe-horn himself in. A great economist, and an even greater politician, given that he’s always produced a kind of triumphal budget which has consistently left the Daily Racist and Currant Scum reeling in a petty nit-picking stupor (and he got away with the last one, despite raising tax for the poor and cutting it for the rich – genius: Nigel Lawson must be jealous). He’s also on his Third or fourth Shadow Chancellor (now let’s ee, that’s Maude, Letwin, Osborn, and there’s got to be another non-entity in there). However, his greatest repect worldwide has only ever been as a perfect foil to the perfect leader, and his greatest danger besides his appearance and lack of personality is that he hasn’t a foil of his own.
However, after all that it would be ironic if it opened the door for the Posh One from Notting Hill (“I Saw You Coming” – cheers Harry and Paul) – who presumably will in his early days do a sort of Stars in their eyes “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be (shy guffaw)…”: at first the audience applauds wildly because they’re just like them – amazing!, then inevitably it all starts to go a bit flat and hairdresser from Brentwood. Yes, he will be a statesman alright – right up until Sarkozy gives him that look and sends him whimpering up to the top of his wind turbine with his Permanent Secretary between his legs. I look forward to the future once more.