Tony Blair – how can we get rid of the man? – is on the warpath again. Plugging his book (which has been around but which I won’t name) in a BBC interview, he outlined “our” plans for the Middle East, explaining how “we” must ensure that the Arab Spring blossoms into Western-style democracy and religious freedom across the region.
Singling out Egypt as a potential blueprint, the born-again former PM acknowledged that this will be no easy task, given that most Arab countries have little experience of democracy or religious tolerance and are plagued by tribalism. So far so good, and fair enough.
But how do “we” shape the Middle East into the kind of region “we” want it to be? “We” didn’t manage very well when “we” invaded Iraq, where violence persists more than eight years on, though that reality has long faded from newspaper headlines.
That wouldn’t stop Blair, though, would it? He seems to be enjoying the daily bombardment of Libya, confident that regime change will be effected there in due course. What happens after that? He didn’t say. He obviously doesn’t know, though he is the EU Middle East envoy – a very big job indeed, as the BBC points out, without wondering why he has the job in the first place.
I suppose Blair wants us to read his book, but life is too short for that, surely. I wonder what it has to say about David Kelly? Blair had nothing to say today.
Closer to home, yet even closer to Heaven than Blair, the Archbishop of Canterbury drew embarrassed, defensive comments from the Tories and Lib Dems after he excoriated them in the New Statesman for ploughing ahead with an agenda no one voted for. He is right, of course, but with the coalition government all over the place on health and justice and the bankers and just about everything else, Sky News thought it pertinent to remind viewers that the New Statesman virtually speaks for the Labour party (what, as the Spectator speaks for the Tories? Tell us something we don’t know).
Boris Johnson, spluttering away as usual on Sky, suggested the Arch Bish (I kid you not) potter along to a community garden somewhere in London to take a look for himself how the Big Society is actually working. I couldn’t help imagining Boris as a vicar himself, dog collar and all, wandering around a church fête. sampling the cakes and sipping tea – surely a job more suited to him than his current one.
Imagine him at the pulpit: he’d certainly get the congregation up, he’d have them in stitches, but as a politician he’s a twit. They seem to know how to produce them at Eton.