International

Howzat?

Last Saturday I had a piece on CiF arguing that Tony Blair should not be the next president of Europe:

There may be a more unsettling political prospect than Tony Blair as president of Europe but for the moment I really can’t think of one.

Imagine that rictus grin, that crack-jack-rabbit energy, that insatiable hunger for money channelled into the pomp and circumstance of the office of leader of the European Union.

The salaries, the flunkies, the sycophantic welcomes around the world! Irwin Stelzer claims that too many of us hate Tony Blair for what he did: making the Labour party electable, bringing down Saddam Hussein, bouncing along in George W Bush’s slipstream, taking us to war in Afghanistan and so on. I don’t hate Tony Blair for any of these. I don’t hate him at all. I find him morbidly fascinating, as fascinating as those perma-tanned American televangelists who promise eternal salvation but are then revealed to have been spending their spare time not praying but “saving” fallen women in the nearest motel.

and so on

Well, it seems someone was listening, for now The Guardian (and numerous other media) report that he won’t be taking up the post anytime soon:

Tony Blair’s hopes of becoming Europe’s first sitting president were receding fast last night as Britain admitted his chances of success were “fading” after the continent’s centre-right leaders made it clear one of their own must have the post.

Hours after Gordon Brown delivered his strongest statement of support for Blair – disclosing that he had spoken to him earlier this week – British sources indicated that the former prime minister was unlikely to assume the high-profile job.

“It would be right to describe Tony’s chances as fading,” one source said. “Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are not terribly enthusiastic. Silvio Berlusconi remains his strongest backer.”

So that’s that one sorted! Which other pressing geo-political issues could we solve with a well- placed article?

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