Why aren't we celebrating Tony Blair's success as the UN's Middle East peace envoy?

I just can't understand why so many people want to tarnish his peaceful reputation


It is with anguish bordering on physical pain that I must reveal a poisonous attempt to ruin an anniversary. On Friday, it will be seven years precisely since we rejoiced at the news that the Quartet (the UN, EU, US and Russia) had marked Mr Tony Blair’s departure from No 10 by making him its Middle Eastern peace envoy.

While you and I appreciate his transcendent success in that role, others continue to discern a satirical flavour to both the appointment and his subsequent work.

To this end, the team behind The Killing of Tony Blair, a film co-produced by George Galloway and due for release next year, are launching a campaign to get him fired.

They have placed a “Sack Blair” petition, aimed at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on change.org, and hope for 100,000 signatures within days.

A letter featuring signatures from across and beyond the political divide will shortly be sent to the Quartet requesting Blair’s eviction from his Jerusalem penthouse; two stellar names from the world of British comedy will soon be unveiled as supporters; and a video featuring Noam Chomsky and  the Telegraph commentator Peter Oborne is expected imminently.

On Friday, meanwhile, Galloway will be the tour guide as a red bus visits such relevant sights of historical importance to the Sack Blair Experience as parliament, the US and Israeli embassies, and, of course, the London HQ of JP Morgan.

This stubborn refusal to acknowledge Mr T’s avoidance of warmongering as he strives to cement the foundation stones of peace he helped to lay cannot meekly be tolerated.

So I will be hosting a rival Tony Blair: Man of Peace tour on Friday for those who find the sneering equally offensive. Due to high demand, plans to hire a red bus have been abandoned for a two-seater sports car.

Raise a glass to the Tories’ favourite EU minister

I am perplexed by continuing efforts, presumably on David Cameron’s behalf, to damage Jean-Claude Juncker’s candidacy for the European Commission presidency.

Right-leaning tabloids claimed over the weekend that the Luxembourger is a curmudgeonly heavy drinker and smoker who takes a drop of brandy for breakfast.

What’s wrong with any of that that? Sounds reassuringly Churchillian to me.

A lesson in Christian spirit from the Holy Mensch

Louise Mensch’s courage in sustaining her attacks on a deceased 24-year-old is matched only by her theological mastery.

Quoting Peaches Geldof’s remark, just before her death, that “I’m going to die like my mother, it’s preordained,” The Sun on Sunday sage addresses her directly to rebuke her once again for succumbing to heroin.

“No, Peaches,” writes Louise (who does she imagine she is? Doris Stokes?), “nothing is preordained.”

This is a remarkable declaration from a devout Catholic. Catholicism teaches that – free will or no free will – absolutely everything is preordained.

The Catholic Encyclopedia defines predestination as “the Divine decree by which God, owing to His infallible prescience of the future, has appointed and ordained from eternity all events occurring in time, especially those which directly proceed from free will”.

What the Holy See teaches about bullying the dead in print is less clear, but it’s hard to imagine Pope Francis being a huge fan of a vindictive exhibitionist whose best defence is her previous admission that her own appetite for Class A substances damaged her mind.

Will the message get through to Labour’s ex-postie?

With Ed Miliband’s approval rating now  2 per cent lower than ebola’s, the thoughts return to the front-bench truancy of Alan Johnson.

If his self-imposed exile seems increasingly absurd, as a retiring David Blunkett agrees, the chilled-out postie’s explanation for resigning as shadow chancellor early in 2011 is even more so. 

According to an acquaintance, Johnners says he quit because he thought people were laughing at him for being cuckolded by a copper. This is pure paranoia. There was no hint of any sniggering, and the only emotion anyone felt for Johnners was sympathy.

If the guy is too brittle for the brutal demands of leadership, so be it. If not – he hinted at a change of heart on the ambition front recently –  there is still time, just, to present Little Ed with the Glenlivet and trusty Luger and orchestrate the Johnson coronation.

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