Diary: What's a peacemaking holidaymaker to do?

Matthew Norman on Monday

What a joy to wake yesterday to the dulcets of Mr Tony Blair, who went on Andrew Marr's BBC1 show on a rare visit to the land of his birth to chat about Egypt. If a little drawn from the relentless grind of sprinkling peace over the Middle East, Mr Tony nonetheless seemed enviably relaxed, and no wonder. Andrew is an interviewer on whom he can always rely not to ask impertinent questions ... such as what on earth will the ex-PM do now for freebie holidays?

Although he seems to have downgraded his adoration for Hosni Mubarak, whom a fortnight ago he lauded as "immensely courageous" and "a force for good", the two were once so close that the dictator put at the Blairs' disposal the Sharm El Sheik residence to which he fled on Friday.

Although graciously accepting that dictator's hospitality did Mr Tony only credit, he can hardly go there again. Nor will he and Cherie be spending any languid weeks aboard Silvio Berlusconi's yacht, at least while the Italian Stallion – and whoever guessed he might be a bit of a rotter? – faces trial for underage sex. Not even Harold Wilson showed such exquisite judgment in choosing his friends. That he should be punished for that by having to pay for his own hols is nothing less than an obscenity.

* There is a ray of hope, however, so long as he is willing to downgrade to the B&B in Battle owned by Stan Rosenthal. One of the last surviving Blairite champions, it was Stan who complained to the BBC about Jeremy Paxman's reference to the Iraq war being justified with "lies"; and Stan who took a full-page New Statesman ad demanding a fair hearing for him from the Chilcot inquiry. There are so few of us true believers left that you'll excuse the plug for a compadre. Stan's B&B (grade 2 listed) boasts a suite in the annex above the art gallery. Battle, meanwhile, has no plans whatever to twin itself with The Hague.

More depressing is the championing of the English Defence League by Richard Desmond's Daily Star. What saddens here that in permitting this elegance, Richard formally relinquishes any hope of an overdue honour. All that questing for respectability – the charidee work for Jewish Care, selling his juicier mags, buying Channel 5 – and no longer the sniff of so much as a piddling CBE. The earthly price for integrity can be prohibitive, as other noble souls have learned, and its reward delayed until the next life.

* Anyone offended by the taunting of disabled Tory MP Paul Maynard by Labour members should read Michael White's splendid blog on the Guardian website. Much like Armchair Field Marshall the Lord Aaronovitch, Mike is absolutely the last hack to take a tone of dismissive, I'm-the-only-adult-in-town superiority. So when this voice of common sense dismisses outrage at the mocking of cerebral palsy as "too pious" ... I think we'll all feel pretty chastened by that.

* So will the News of the World, which yesterday ran a leader about discrimination in the Commons that might have appeared verbatim in this paper. "We measure our worth by the dignity with which we treat others," concludes this sinner that repenteth. "Not by cheap and vile sniggers at their expense." All right, we know Rupert is desperate to rebrand in the cause of snaffling that 100 per cent stake in BSkyB, but no need to lay it on quite so thick. Too pious by three quarters.

* I am depressed to read of my old schoolmate Matthew Freud's involvement in another party spat. Within a year of smearing chocolate cake over Hugh Grant's shirt, Matthew threw a martini over London Evening Standard editor Geordie Greig at a pre-Bafta bash, in umbrage at reporting of the proposed sale of wife Elisabeth Murdoch's production company Shine to her father's News Corp. Thankfully, there is a berth available in brother-in-law James Murdoch's Wapping anger-management support group. It's done wonders for James and Rebekah Brooks, and Matthew should claim that place forthwith.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot