He’s not the Messiah – he’s a very naughty boy
Interestingly, for a man previously obsessed with the limelight, he has become a back-room operative. There are no cameras heralding his coming, and no interviews to impart his gospel. He is not eclipsing the majesty of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and neither have rumours of his salvific mission provoked Mr Abbas to issue an edict to slaughter the innocents. He is simply listening and talking, considering and planning how to lay the foundations of a modern, democratic Palestinian state, and simultaneously bequeath to Israel the secure borders for which it longs.
Will he do it? Well, Cranmer has a hunch that he will. He achieved in Northern Ireland what had been deemed a religio-political impossibility, and today The Rt Hon Ian RK Paisley is governing the Province with an unrepentant terrorist at his side. It would be churlish not to put this down in very large part to the conviction, sincerity, charisma, and considerable political skill of Mr Blair.
Having failed to become a pop star, having failed to remould the United Kingdom in his image, having failed to reform the European Union, having failed to take Britain into the Euro, having failed to convince people of the righteousness of his foray into Iraq, having failed to heal Africa, and having failed to halt the apocalypse of global warming, Anthony Blair is a messiah in search of a mission. Middle East peace is a tough one, but he ‘strongly believes that is achievable, not least because Mr Olmert and Mr Abbas – each under acute domestic pressure – have nothing to lose by agreeing a joint declaration and showing a willingness to reach a final deal’.
He is an eternal optimist – self-delusional, puffed up with pride, inflated with a sense of his own immortality, infused with self and vain conceit and a vocation that he believes to be divinely ordained. If anyone can do it, he can. It would be the perfect political precursor to his becoming Europe’s first emperor in half a millennium, and his coming was heralded by Paul-Henri Spaak, a founding father of what is fast becoming the United States of Europe. He declared:
"We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and, be he god or the devil, we will receive him."
Sufficient stature he shall have, and he shall hold the allegiance of all people, and he shall lift them out of their economic morass, and he shall save them from terrorism, turmoil, and war. He shall usher in an age of peace and prosperity…
Sorry, Cranmer thought he was having a prophetic vision. But you get the picture.