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EU President, Tony Blair

President Blair – or maybe not.

 Napoleon.  Hitler. Tony Blair. The first two tried and failed to become emperors of Europe, and it looked as if  Blair might just have succeeded. They were even calling him “El Presidente”. That was until Gordon Brown stepped in with his fulsome endorsement last week. It was the kiss of death. 
    Within hours European leaders were taking fright at the thought of George Bush’s poodle becoming the face of the European Union.   By Friday, the game was almost over for Blair, as the cheese-eating surrender monkeys got together to block him.  The French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the German chancellor Angela Merkel – both conservatives –  decided that the former Labour leader was far too right wing.  Then there was the thought of Cherie getting here hands on all those Euro-freebies, and buying up houses in Paris, Berlin, Milan. Soon it was only rational and sensible Silvio Berlusconi, the priapic Italian prime minister who was still batting for Blair. 
  In the nick of time, Europe remembered that that Tony Blair is a paranoid egomaniac, who might just decide to declare war on Iran.  Or invade Norway for refusing to accept the Common Fisheries Policy.  The President of the European Council doesn’t have any armed forces or any real executive power. But that wouldn’t have stopped Blair behaving as if he did.  He might have invited America to place nuclear weapons in Belgium; annexed the Balkans; demanded reparations from Russia. Anything could have happened. 
  So why was he ever taken seriously?  Why would Europe want to be represented by an unpopular politician who led his country into an illegal war?  Well, he’s got “motorcade appeal”,apparently,  meaning that when his limo passes people crane their necks to see who it is. This is a good thing –  so long as the punters aren’t too disappointed when they see it’s not Simon Cowell.   
    Given the history of Britain’s frosty relations with the EU – and our refusal to adopt the euro and join Shengen group of borderless nations –  it was always a big ask for a Brit to become president.   Like electing as chairman of a club someone who doesn’t want to be a member of it.  But the intriguing question remains: why did Brown support him so eloquently, only hours before he was unceremoniously dumped? 
    Did the PM sense that things weren’t going Blair’s way and that it was the moment to highlight his misfortune.  Was this yet more pay back for the “Granita” deal?    It would have been excruciating for Brown, just as he is about to be thrown out of Number Ten, to have seen his arch rival being hailed as the first ever leader of the EU.  Now Blair is just another ex-politician looking for a  job.  He who laughs last laughs loudest. 

About @iainmacwhirter

I'm a columnist for the Herald. Author of "Road to Referendum" and "Disunited Kingdom". Was a BBC TV and radio presenter for 25 years - "Westminster Live" and "Holyrood Live" mainly. Spent time as columnist for The Observer, Guardian, New Statesman. Former Rector of Edinburgh University. Live in Edinburgh and spend a lot of time in the French Pyrenees. Will that do?


4 thoughts on “President Blair – or maybe not.

  1. Yes Iain. I did a power of laughing at that one. You can just imagine Brown making his supporting speech and the other leaders looking at each other ad thinking….hummmmm, maybe not then.I think Mr Blair may have been saved from believing that he really does own the world by this little setback in his career. However, having become a catholic he may now have a poke at becoming Pope.Look over your shoulder at all times Benedictus.

    Posted by tris | November 2, 2009, 7:37 pm
  2. I think the post of president being reserved for a right-winger is a smoke-screen to prevent EU leaders offically snubbing Blair.

    Posted by Bucket of Tongues | November 3, 2009, 4:43 am
  3. Bucket… can you think of someone more right wing than George W Bush's poodle?And I think that the "motocade appeal" that Iain talks of may be the desire for people to see, with their own eyes, a monster that can live with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people on his conscience.

    Posted by tris | November 3, 2009, 11:20 am
  4. Just another politician looking for a job. C'mon Iain, he's got a staff of 80 in London alone and is making £9m per year. I wish I could get that kind of a job!

    Posted by Dark Lochnagar | November 5, 2009, 1:58 am

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