Blairite loyalists like myself know that Mr Tony Blair only consorts with the nicest dictators around

Rwandans, rejoice! The former Prime Minister is keen to spread goodwill and cheer. For evidence of how that works out, just take a look at the Middle East

Share

With his mission to sprinkle the gold dust of enduring peace over the Middle East complete, a fresh challenge awaits Mr Tony Blair.

Mr Tony is absolutely huge in Rwanda, where former Downing Street staffers and charity workers of his festoon Paul Kagame’s government, though the source of his besottedness with that tiny country is disputed. Where Blairite loyalists like myself accept that he is driven solely by the altruistic urge to help Mr Kagame heal the wounds from the genocidal tribal wars of old, cynics and sneerers mutter about Rwanda – devoid of natural resources itself – enriching itself by thieving chunks of neighbouring Congo’s immense mineral wealth. It’s all most confusing.

Anyway, last week the M23 army of renegade Congolese soldiers, widely believed to be backed by Mr Kagame, seized the eastern city of Goma. Whatever the UN thinks to the contrary, Mr Tony will continue to cite his chum as the model of a modern democratic African leader – and recalling his hugging of Gaddafi and deep affection for that other emblem of progressive leadership, Bashar al-Assad, this will be a relief to the dead and dispossessed of the Congo.

But is it enough? Or is it time Mr Tony vacated the Jerusalem hotel and relocated to Goma, to fight for the brutalised and downtrodden there with the same burning commitment he has shown in defence of the Palestinians?

Tulisa shows Sugar she’s not devoid of wit

I am distressed by a Twitter feud between the reticent Tulisa and Alan Sugar. After the boardroom Fauntleroy asked Simon Cowell to sack her from The X-Factor because “she knows nothing and talks rubbish”, the N-Dubz stalwart retaliated by addressing Alan as “u miserable old man”, and telling him he looks like “an angry hobbit”.

One is nervous of taking a position in a high-minded debate best referred to the All Souls High Table, yet his platform-shoed little lordship does rather resemble a livid inhabitant of Middle Earth. If Tulisa could dredge up such choice aperçus for the acts on Cowell’s ailing karaokefest, Bilbo Sugar would accept her right to a judging berth.

Mystic Mogg gives Ed dubious endorsement

Has William Rees-Mogg, our most venerable columnar sage, ever been on finer form? The Times effort in which he compared Ed Miliband to Clement Attlee, after enjoying a “relaxed and agreeable” and even “academic” chat with him, was a masterclass in humility.

Mystic Mogg revealed he has known every Labour leader of the Opposition since Clem, whom he remembers as far back as 1935 when he was seven (Mogg, that is).

Whether Big Ed should relish the endorsement from the Ardnassac of political soothsaying (this reverse Cassandra is trusted in inverse proportion to his predictive accuracy) is his affair. But with this deliciously unsolipsistic piece, the author reminds us of the origins of the time-honoured chant, “Moggy Moggy Moggy, Moi Moi Moi”.

Time buries old Tory rivalries

Less taken with an Ed Miliband comparison – his own, in this case, to Mrs Thatcher – is Malcolm Rifkind. “He has as much claim to the mantle of Margaret Thatcher,” observes Mal, “as Silvio Berlusconi had to that of Julius Caesar”.

Oh my aching ribs. Recollecting that Malcolm virulently disliked Thatch, you assume that he means to challenge Nadine, Peter Bone and a few others for the title Rentaquote Backbencher of the Age. We wish him well in a quest to which he seems better suited than he was to being Foreign Secretary during his brief period of relevance long ago.

Upright Murdoch holds Beeb to account

How bracing to find Rupert Murdoch’s titles still savaging the Beeb over compensation payments. “BBC unveils new chief as anger grows over pay-offs,” thundered The Times’s front page headline on Friday – the day on which a Sun leader asked: “Can it be right that those abused [by Savile] will get a fraction of the compensation paid to disgraced BBC D-G George Entwistle?” Splendid stuff.

We await similar condemnations in both titles of the £7m parting gift from Rupert to disgraced former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks. The failure to denounce that pay-off – about 14 times larger than Mr Entwistle’s, and more lavish than the compensation any hackee has received – is an oversight guaranteed to  be corrected forthwith.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accountant

£25000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join...

Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Executive - Software

£20000 - £25000 per annum + 55,000 OTE + benifits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Software Sa...

Argyll Scott International: 2x Service Desk Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Uber app allows passengers to hail a taxi with a smartphone  

Who wouldn’t like a sharing economy? Well, me, for one

Mary Dejevsky
David Cameron spoke about immigration at a press conference in Ipswich  

David Cameron’s big problem is that he has been listening to the wrong people

Alan Johnson
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?