Tony Blair's in Pole-position - along with Margaret Thatcher


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Indy Politics

Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher have little in  common beyond their CVs, perhaps, but can now add a peculiar popularity in Poland.

Blair has been honoured in Warsaw with a gold statuette, joining a club of state-approved former world leaders and political bigwigs that also includes Bill Clinton.

Why Blair? Because his support of Poland’s EU membership and embrace of its workers (witness the UK census data on language) merited a “special award” at a ceremony hosted by business leaders.

Blair couldn’t make the do, sending instead a video message from his sun lounger (not really): “To be given this award for the contribution that I’ve made, in my way... is an especial honour,” he said.

Well good for you, Tone, but the bronzed former PM was perhaps wise not to honour his honouring too keenly (Britain’s ambassador collected the gong for him). A scan of a long list of previous winners suggests eligibility requires only that you don’t declare war on Warsaw or diss the President’s mother; George Bush Snr, Bertie Ahern and Jacques Chirac also feature.

Still, popularity comes at a premium for the former PM, and we hear Tuscany isn’t a patch on the Baltic in the summer months.