Rather horrifying news reaches me from old FCO buddies. Instructions are starting to go out for the first time to British embassies in EU states, telling them to begin discreet lobbying for Tony Blair to be appointed as the first permanent President of the European Union. The post is created by the Lisbon Treaty on which the Irish are being forced to vote repeatedly until they get the answer right.
Horrifyingly, it appears that Blair may well be able to get a majority of EU member governments prepared to support him. That is despite his record as Bush’s poodle in launching illegal war, as one of the chief architects of the banking bubble economic disaster, and as the Middle East Peace Envoy who held the ring for Israel’s murderous assaults on Lebanon and Gaza.
My whole political life I have supported the EU. I was born close enough to the Second World War to understand its most fundamental negotiation, and I have seen the economic and cultural benefits it has brought. But at the same time I have been horrified by its bureaucracy, corruption and the gaping democratic deficit in its structures.
For anyone to occupy the position of President without a popular election would be very, very wrong. But Tony Blair? It is simply an appalling thought.
There are two factors which EU states should take into consideration.
The Irish Factor. The Irish are even less likely to vote for the Lisbon Treaty if they realise that it means they get Tony Blair as President.
British membership. To appoint Tony Blair as EU President will be a massive boost to anti-EU feeling in the UK. I personally pledge to campaign actively to leave the EU if this arch war criminal becomes President – and I will not be alone.
The Conservative, Lib Dem, SNP and Plaid Cymru parties should make plain that the Blair candidacy does not have all-party support in the UK. New Labour are arguing that Blair will command support in the White House. If that’s the criteria, let’s have an Irishman.