IT is not within the powers of mere mortal journalists to comment on, never mind invent, the following story: Tony Blair, garbed in white and on the banks of the River Jordan, last year became godfather to the twin children of 80-year old Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch, who is not 80. Moreover, Wendi Murdoch and Queen Rania of Jordan, who hosted the event, were on a judging panel for a film prize organised by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
There now. Those are facts. Yes, including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, typing which twice-over caused my incredulous and mutinous fingers to shy and buck like a mustang. It gets better. Tony Blair wrote personal letters to General Gaddafi's son Saif, and even sent in the SAS to train his army (not very well, as it happens). And of course you are aware -- though you probably have banished the memory to the mental dungeon wherein you store all recollection of that really amazing student-party, the morning after which you woke up in bed with a 75-year-old wino -- of Blair's hug-filled meeting in the desert with the Bedouin psycho.
And now it seems that, on Blair's orders, MI6 gave Gaddafi the names of opponents of his regime. Of Gaddafi's regime, that is. But possibly Blair's also.
Yes, I've been here before, but this is still worth persevering with because, by a tolerably wide margin, Tony Blair is the very worst person to be elected leader of a western European democracy in living memory. He is a fantasist, a narcissicist, and a pathological pedlar of untruths. Yet not merely was he thricefold elected British prime minister, but it also seemed that the Tory party was dead and buried by his hand. I am more often wrong than right, but I got Blair: I wrote before he was first elected that Britain would bitterly regret the day that it elected such an unprincipled and vacuous charlatan.
But even I didn't grasp what a monster he was. He took Britain into war on a magic carpet of falsehood, and the British army's subsequent retreat from Basra was, in its own little way, an ignominy to rank with Tobruk or Singapore. Good men went to their deaths because incredibly, in this war-of-choice, the British army was chronically under-equipped. Soldiers had to go into action without body armour, and some died from preventable injuries. Ammunition was limited, and one entire military police patrol was massacred after it ran out of rounds. Things were no better for the next expedition. In Afghanistan, the army didn't have nearly enough helicopters, and soldiers were transported -- and died -- in tracked vehicles that had been designed for Arctic snows. You really couldn't make that up either.
Meanwhile, Tony Blair's truly appalling wife was taking classes in sensuality from her personal trainer, who amongst many other things, apparently shared a shower with her. Yes, I know it sounds as if I'm inventing this too, but I'm not. Nor this: in her memoir, Cherie Blair actually described having unprotected sex with her husband while staying in Balmoral. Or was it Sandringham? Oh, I don't know: look, I'm losing the will to live here.
This Blair creature inherited a healthy economy from John Major -- and God, what a giant he now seems -- which he debauched, ransacked and ruined with a governance that was all about "eye-catching initiatives"; his term, naturally. Illegal immigration and so-called asylum-seeking became major growth industries in the UK, as the third growth industry, the welfare state, mushroomed beyond all control. Thanks to him and Gordon Brown, Britain is now building two aircraft carriers that will not even have interchangeable aircraft, because they have two quite different decks. These two monumental follies will absorb the entire personnel and finance of, and ultimately cripple, the Royal Navy, if they are not cancelled. But even if they are to be cancelled, such was the nature of the insane deal struck by the Blair-Brown governments, the resulting penalty-fees will actually exceed the costs of completion.
Where am I getting to with all this? That Blair is an abomination? But you know that already. The point is that this creature got away with it in a free society with a free press, and only retired at a date of his own choosing -- to some absurd UN sinecure; seaweed farming on Mercury, was it? No, bringing peace to the Middle East. What better man than the chap who invaded one Arab country on the basis of a pack of lies, supposedly because it was led by a tyrant, yet meanwhile was training the army of another Arab tyrant, who just happened to be the fine lad responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. Lovely: just lovely.
So: the real lesson here is not about Blair. It is about the fallibility of human nature that is sometimes so deluded that it can find reeking excrement in a chamber pot, put it on the piano and serenade it, in the apparently passionate belief that it is a bunch of roses.