Go back a few weeks. The polls said the nation
suspected the Prime Minister of having deceived its
representatives in the House of Commons. The polls
said we believed he had deliberately misled us over
Iraqi munitions to get some urgency into ‘our’ support
for George W. Bush’s Middle Eastern expedition, and
get the sacking of Saddam off the starting blocks.
At the time the Prime Minister looked tired and gloomy.
There was ‘talk’, a lot of it, about whether he’d announce he’d
had enough and when he would throw in the towel.
Gordon stood on a chair and took his old tartan suitcase down off the
top of the wardrobe, where it had lain undisturbed for
the past seven years, and blew the dust off it.
But hey, wait a sec…a touch of the old longhaul, a
choice blend of Caribbean and Sardinian rays, and
bingo! Survival of the fittest. And there’s not a
shadow of doubt that Tony Blair believes himself to be
by far and away the most suitable person to hold the
top job, so he intends to hang on to it for as long
as possible – a trait shared with Churchill,
Thatcher and Mugabe, among many other leaders down
To help him sustain the rectitude of this conclusion
he has a team of brilliant communications worker bees
beavering away (can bees beaver? Certainly!)
effectively handling his PR. They research his
enemies’ flaws while writing to his strengths, and I
genuflect at the shrine of their achievement. Like
Ronald Reagan at his creepiest, however badly Tony (or
his wife) behaves, nothing ever really sticks to him.
Mixing the Teflon, and applying it with the special
brush, used to be Alastair Campbell’s job, and, before
that, Peter Mandelson’s. But Mandy’s off Ruling the
World now, and no one’s seen Alastair for ages, so
Tony has to slap on the non-stick himself, and he
seems to be makng quite a good job of it. He now
resembles the CEO of some major corporation which has
just survived deep scrutiny following a scandal, and
whose Senior Management have been let off the hook.
They are probably even now planning a monster
take-over to confound their critics and give the
impression of going forward. Oh God. What on earth
will it be? Let’s just hope it’s not Iran.