Diary: Be afraid, Sir Cliff, Tony Blair is the kiss of death

The CIA has explored many unconventional methods of sabotage, as Jon Ronson explored in The Men Who Stare At Goats. But reflecting on recent events, the mystery is why the agency neglects the one guaranteed method of destroying its enemies. All it need do is hire Mr Tony Blair to befriend them. Look at global villains of the age, and there he is, caught on camera winking, embracing and a-schmoozing. Mubarak, at whose Sharm el-Sheikh palace the Blairs enjoyed all those hols; Gadaffi, Mr Tony's partner in that manly hug; Berlusconi, on whose yacht he reposed when Casa Mubarak was taken ... and now Rupert Murdoch, for whom he vainly tried to fix a satellite deal with the Italian Stallion; and Rebekah Brooks, at whom we saw him waving coquettishly on a state visit to Wapping in footage replayed last week. If Cherie is a creature from Greek myth (half woman, half supermarket trolley), her soulmate is a supernatural hybrid spanning the ages. Mr T is the lovechild of Zelig and the Angel of Death. God knows who's next, but right now you wouldn't want to be Sir Cliff Richard.

* Meanwhile, the questions flow like toxic slush. At what, for instance, was Rebekah hinting when she told NOTW sackees that they'll understand in a year why it had to go? What could be so much worse than Millie Dowler? I examine my mind, to adapt PG Wodehouse, and it boggles.

* And what is the true relationship between Rupe 'n' Rebex? A recent observer of the pair describes her role as less his chief executive, or even surrogate daughter, than care-home nurse. Apparently she never stops clucking, forever plumping his cushions and asking if he needs the commode (I exaggerate minimally). With the maltreatment of the vulnerable old such a hot issue, there's a vignette to do the heart some good.

* Speaking of the enfeebled elderly, sad news on David Cameron's quest for a judge to lead the inquiry. Lord Hutton's chief carer at the James Pickles Shelter Home for Retired Judicial Buffoons, Matron Ratched, tells me he isn't up to all the excitement any more. In which case, here's an alternative. Step forward Mr Justice Eady, the Judge Dredd of privacy. Not only is Eady J acknowledged as the finest legal mind since Lord Denning, or possibly Judge Jules. He is well acquainted with the culture, having served as a libel lawyer on The Sunday Times. Go Eady!

* Among the dogs yet to bark is Jeremy Clarkson. This is odd. As the leader of the libertarian provisional wing of the CNA (Chipping Norton Army), fearlessly outspoken Jeremy must have oodles to share with Sun and Sunday Times readers, yet not a dickie bird so far. But the sage we most want to hear from is Kelvin MacKenzie, who with rodential cunning leapt from the ship into a passing Daily Mail lifeboat moments before the iceberg was struck. Kelvin's last contribution to national debate was a beautifully timed Guardian piece headlined "Thank God For Murdoch". That was 11 days ago, but since then nada. Where have you gone, Kelv MacKenzieo? A lonely nation turns its eyes to you.

* I told him. Dave, I said, you'd be crazy. And I wasn't alone. So far from it, indeed, that there's an all-expenses-paid trip to the NOTW Chamber of Horrors, opening on 12 September, to anyone who didn't warn the PM about Andy Coulson.

* There is consolation if a bunch of folks must swap the Socratic symposium that was a NOTW editorial conference for a spell in jug. If the NOTW and The Sun have taught us anything, it's that a British prison is a holiday camp. Enjoy, enjoy.

* Hats off to erstwhile News of the World staffer Paul McMullan, that delectably seedy holographic recreation from the pages of Martin Amis' Yellow Dog, for relegating Alastair Campbell to Second Most Preposterous Newsnight Fixture. The last public defender of the dark arts, Paul now has his own bespoke camp bed in the studio. We'll miss him when it's over.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments