This week’s Columbo Villain of the week is our former Prime Minster Tony Blair and current envoy of the quartet on the Middle East. So don’t worry about that whole everyone bombing the shit out of each other thing, he’ll have it fixed in a jiffy. After all he’s Tony Blair.
Tony Blair shot to the front of the Labour party following the death of Labour leader, and widely believed to be Prime Minister in waiting, John Smith. In a shining example of democracy in action, Gordon Brown agreed to stand aside from the leadership contest after losing a best of three Paper, Scissors, Stone. In return, allegedly, Blair was to stand down after two terms in order to make way for Brown, a deal he broke when Blair stated he would stand for a full third term.
Blair has the honour of being both the most popular Prime Minister in living memory and the most loathed. A man credited with destroying two party politics by moving Labour so far into the centre as to be indistinguishable from the Tories. He also gave us populist policy making. Yay Tony!
Oh yes, we love Blair in the UK.
And then there’s Iraq. More than anything else Iraq defined Blair’s time in office. Refusing, as he did, to let little things like facts, honesty, the rule of law and proper planning stand in the way of war. Bush’s war.
On stepping down as Prime Minister, Blair was persuaded by Bush to become special envoy to the Middle East, acting for the interests of the UN, EU, US and Russia in the region. That’s right. The leader of the country that, to its shame, produced much of the inaccurate intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq. The man that failed to ask old George W. if he actually had any plans for the country after he decapitated it. That guy. They made a peace envoy.
Anyone feel like they’re in a Joseph Heller novel?
Anyway, other than a brief bit of media interest around Blair’s entirely predictable conversion to Catholicism in December there hasn’t been much from Tony in his new role. However, one can’t help but wonder how long that will continue. After all the man who sensed the Hand Of History on his shoulder must want to leave us wanting more.
I can see it now…
Blair performs a careful analysis of the region by reading all the latest reports from his mate Rupert and then relying on a few trusted advisors puts his cunning plan into action.
The leaders of all factions in the region are assassinated by exploding copies of Alastair Campbell’s diaries – disgruntled postmen in Tooting carry the blame. New leaders are elected for both sides, progressive leaders who want progress; a climate of hope is fostering or is that festering? So a few lives were lost. It’s all in a good cause, right?
Wait. There’s more.
“God has sent you to do this work, it’s why you are there,” whispers the hand of history (cunningly disguised as an albino monk – thanks Ruth!).
At the peace talks Blair stands on stage with the leaders of both sides when a gunman steps forward from the crowd. Blair stands in front of the leaders, ostensibly trying to talk the strangely pasty gunman down.
The shooter opens fire. Only Blair is left standing, spared by God. The assassin somehow manages to escape. Alastair Campbell, by coincidence on a book tour in Tel Aviv, immediately appears on regional telly stating he is not surprised by Blair’s supposed heroism.
In the next few weeks, whilst investigators from all countries including the US search for the assassin, Blair is asked by both Israel and Palestine to become their respective leaders. Renewed conflict brews over who gets Blair.
Finally in a surprise move he is appointed President of a new country called Blairdownia comprising of both states unified under one glorious psychotic grin.
Ain’t compromise great.
A new religion springs up from the miracle of the bullets, adherents refer to themselves as Blairites and their sacrament initially involves the machine-gunning of six out of seven of adherents. Later changed to striking with rubber balls rather than machine guns for the sake of propagating the faith.
As President of Blairdownia Blair takes control of Iran in a peaceful takeover resulting from the mass conversion of its populace to Blairites. Egypt and Syria quickly follow. Blair is amassing true power.
And an albino monk.
All the while the head of the US investigators, a shabby detective who insists on wearing a rumpled raincoat in spite of the arid sun, tries to find the slippery assassin. Always smoking cigars as he pokes around the office, always in the way but not too bright. And so we must try not to get annoyed lest he’s replaced with a sharper cookie.
It’s the big moment. Blair’s address to his new nation, nay to the world judging from the amount of media people sprawled over Mount Sinai – well you have to play all the great venues before you go out eh?
But what’s this? That detective wandering up the mount saying he has just one more question – don’t they all – and look he’s got Alastair with him. Hi Alastair. Gosh, crikey, why I do believe….