I must be charitable. I assume the BBC thought it was being kind to Tony Blair in giving over a large part of the World This Weekend on Radio 4 to an interview with him. The alternative theory, that it was eager to embarrass a man whose former glory has waned so much that he has become a figure of fun, does not bear thinking about.
Oh, how cringe making it was. All the old tricks were there. “You know” started almost every sentence. Ts were carefully dropped to show what a man of the people he was. EU politicians were, of course, “you guys in Europe”. How extraordinary it was, listening to him today, to recall that those tricks used to work, that voters were won over in their hundreds of thousands by his “fresh” approach to politics.
But now, poor chap, it all sounds horribly dated. I felt enormously sorry for him as he droned on, obviously thinking he was the answer to all our prayers. I just prayed that no one would break the news to him that the old magic had gone, that one of the most successful political acts of the late 20th and early 21st centuries was now considered to be no more than a very bad joke.
We must all hope, for his own sake as well as ours, that he resists the temptation to return to mainstream politics.