Dear Master Blair

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Tony Blair has spoken in an interview of the `admirable' qualities of Baroness Thatcher. The former PM felt flattered enough to draft him a reply ...

I am delighted to acquire in you a new godson - so much more satisfactory than the hereditary article. Your acknowledgement of my role and qualities shows clearly that you should be the chosen instrument of my purposes for the nation in this grey, receding shadowland that passes for a decade.

"She was a thoroughly determined person, and that is an admirable quality," you said. Too right! We fought, we fought on, and we fought to win. We fought the Argentines: we beat them. We fought the French: we beat them. We fought the Germans: we beat them. At least we would have beaten them without the treachery of Gorbachev, who sent them reinforcements from the East. Poor little what's-his-name is hard put to defeat even the pygmies I left behind.

You at least are starting your career by fighting, and with such well- chosen victims too: the demoralised, impoverished and obscurantist forces of the old left, whom I so happily used for a punchbag when I was softening them up for you.

As you praised me for understanding that "it is important in politics to have a clear sense of purpose and direction, and to know where you are going", I feel entitled to a word or two more of godmotherly advice. And that is that you should have an answer ready to the question: where are you going after Number 10?

Of course, no British leader this century can really compare with me, though I suppose Winston had a pretty good shot at prefiguring my qualities.

But you might well make a better job of world fame than poor little what's- his-name. Why, even in the lunatic asylums and homes for the senile they still know that I am Prime Minister. It is only in the Conservative party that the pathetic ingrates seem to have forgotten.

I was delighted to see that you had also picked up from me the trick of using phrases that are only found in fiction. "Heavens above, that is common sense," you said about my trade union legislation. Now neither of us knows anyone who would ever say "Heavens above" in a real conversation. It is one of those pieces of virtual humanity that the successful politician acquires like a trustworthy smile. But it is little touches like that which distinguish those who want to be great from those who merely want to be good.

Compare your "Heavens above" with little what's-his-name's most nearly famous ejaculation, "Oh yes". Only real people in moments of real emotion would say that; and what hope is there for a politician who lets himself be betrayed by emotion into such a show of humanity?

The more I contemplate your qualities, the more I realise that you are not merely the successor I would have wished. You may well be more to me than that. You can hardly be unaware that some of my children have turned out so poorly they might almost be commoners. With a small Bill or two, which, I am told, would pass both Houses of Parliament in about 35 minutes, they could become commoners again. You could then be legally adopted and inherit our barony as well as our mantle.

Yours - we hardly dare sign ourselves -