Friday, 17 February 2017
Things Fall Apart?
Not least because there has never been a critical biography of him, there are all sorts of unappreciated things about Tony Blair.
One is that he is a dedicated Francophile.
Today, he probably sees himself as de Gaulle. But he far more closely resembles Giscard d'Estaing at Verdun-sur-le-Doubs in 1978.
Giscard identified four elements to the French political opinion of the day: Gaullists, Communists, supporters of Mitterrand's Socialist Party, and those whom he himself had decided to organise into the UDF, which was modestly to be named after his own most recent book.
Blair's vision is not dissimilar.
And Giscard's pro-European and pro-American Presidency of economic and social liberalisation may be seen as the original definition of "the centre" in those arbitrary terms.
Blair's latest initiative may well be those terms' last stand.
And his. Although we have thought that before.