Mark Steel: Just when you thought it was safe to come out again

This is what Blair does: he wrecks a place, then gets the job of uniting it

Wednesday 28 October 2009 01:00

Blair can't really become President of Europe, can he? There must be millions of us who've been slowly managing to forget about him for the last two years, recovering as he fades into the past, the way torture victims rebuild their lives day by day, and now this dreadful figure we thought had gone forever might be back ruling us again. It's like finding out your new boss is the PE teacher who used to thrash you with his belt when you were in the shower, or your local councillor is Hughie Greene, or having Black Lace move in next door and sing Agadoo every night.

This is someone who made himself one of the most despised people in Europe, so loathed that Britain came bottom of the Eurovision Song Contest because of an orchestrated protest. So that's the ideal President of a continent, the person who had even the judges in a music contest saying "Hello – Lithuania here, ooh what a splendid night and hard to choose between so many dreadful tunes, the only easy part is giving nought to the warmongering running dogs of poodle-boy Blair's blood-soaked United Kingdom."

Anyway, isn't he supposed to be Middle-East peace envoy? Surely he won't want to give that up just while he's achieving such staggering success in that post. But this appears to be what happens to him; he wrecks a place, then gets the job of uniting it. Even Bin Laden didn't have the cheek to say "Aha, there's a vacancy for President of the New York Tall Buildings Appreciation Society. I think I'll put in for that."

In support of Blair, David Miliband said the post should go to someone who's a "well-known international leader", and who is "not a shrinking violet". And it's true, Blair fits into both those categories – as does Robert Mugabe. Or maybe this explains why Karadzic didn't turn up for his trial – he's busy planning his campaign, in which his slogan will be "I'm no shrinking violet", at which point Austria will put forward Josef Fritzl as a compromise candidate.

Blair's supporters also say the new President has to be someone who "stops the traffic" when he arrives abroad. So the whole campaign revolves around his celebrity status. And in a way he is a political version of Paris Hilton, desperate for whatever role will keep up his global profile. If he gets the job he'll probably arrange for the meetings to be covered by the paparazzi, so the reports will begin "Tony Blair, 53, seen falling out of Beijing's exclusive 'Long March' nightclub, glared at photographers when they suggested he'd been involved in a flare-up with Colonel Gadaffi over a bottle of tequila spilt on the Libyan leader's strapless snakeskin top at last night's climate change summit after-party."

Because fame is his only selling point, unless the argument for electing Blair will be that, faced with today's global challenges, Europe needs a strong voice that can speak up loudly in favour of doing whatever America tells it to.

That may be why his only definite ally so far is Berlusconi. Which means if Miliband was honest he'd say "Tony's the ideal candidate to unite Europe and America – in one continent he's known as the most strident supporter of the most unpopular President ever, and in the other he's endorsed by a man who at 70 can still surround himself with prostitutes. Top that." In any case, many countries could be bankrupted after he's flown in to stop the traffic, when they receive Cherie's demand for an appearance fee.

Typically, it's claimed Blair hasn't officially put himself forward yet, and the story has been derided as "only speculation", even though he's been lobbying for months. As ever, you almost wish they'd make more effort with the lying. But there's marvellous potential here, since his main rival is the current Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said, "If called upon I would have no reason to refuse".

So can you imagine the feverish dealing and smearing Blair's team will be organising against Luxembourg, with rumours being spread that they're building missiles that could reach the edge of Luxembourg, and issuing hypnotic stamps.

But it means this could end gloriously, if only whoever the people are who decide these things have it in them – to make Tony Blair, in his quest for the job he wants so so much, lose to the Prime Minister of bloody Luxembourg. Is there any way we can influence this? There must be bribes that can be made, like they do with the Olympics. Someone must come up with a plan – it'll be the cathartic boost the country and the world so desperately needs.

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