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With Friends Like These

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As if there weren’t already enough reasons to think it a bad idea, Silvio Berlusconi has thrown his weight behind the campaign to install his old friend Tony Blair as the first president of the Council of Europe. It would be funny, if it weren’t so depressing (and so depressingly unsurprising), that a demagogue of the right who absurdly claims to be the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy involving judges, politicians, journalists and anyone else he cares to name, should count a former British Labour prime minister among his allies rather than his opponents.

Comments on “With Friends Like These”

  1. Phil says:

    If Tony Blair were an Italian politician he would be
    a) too right-wing for Franceschini
    b) too right-wing for Rutelli
    c) too right-wing for Casini
    d) too right-wing for Fini

    Tick one.

    Mind you, I suspect the real answer would be

    e) running for leader of the PD and claiming to be on the Left

    so maybe the Italians are getting off relatively lightly after all.

  2. Jenny Diski says:

    Not so much depressing as confirmation. A useful insight for anyone who hadn’t quite bitten the bullet on the nature of our former Prime Minister. Mind you, even Berlusconi isn’t indictable as a war criminal.

  3. ranjak says:

    It is similarly bizarre that Signor Blair, during his years in power, kept the Tories at bay by emulating them and maintained control of British Labour by buryin the party’s principles.

  4. jaywalking says:

    Just a small correction. Mr Blair would not be President of the Council of Europe (the democracy and human rights organisation) but the non-revolving President of the European Council. (At present the leader of whichever country holds the presidency is president for 6 months at a time.)

    The prospect of a President Tony has energised the Tories into actively campaigning in Europe (to little effect, amusingly enough) against his candidacy, while assuring everyone that they are committed Europeans.

    In any event it’s no more idiotic than being appointed Middle East Envoy. As Clare Short said at the time: “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

    • Thomas Jones says:

      Oh yes: thanks. That’ll teach me for sloppy translation from Italian. And you’re right about the Middle East job; but just because someone’s been given one job (or rather two, counting his premiership of the UK) they shouldn’t have been, that’s no reason to give them yet another.

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