Maybe if they close the drapes and don’t answer the door, he’ll go away…
We all know the feeling. You glance at the diary and realise you have guests coming to stay next week, when nothing could be less convenient. They’re coming from abroad, expecting to be entertained for several days and it’s far too late to cancel. This is the last thing you need.
So spare a thought for Tony Blair, as he scans the calendar and sighs. There are the dates, circled and unyielding: November 18 to 21 – Bush in Britain. He knows what it will mean. His guest is the most unpopular US president in living memory. The anti-war movement will be back on the march, gearing up for its biggest outing since it brought up to 2 million Britons onto the streets in February. Blair will have to make yet more speeches like the one at Guildhall on Monday, once again defending the war on Iraq. And for a fortnight, starting now, all eyes will focus not on the domestic agenda by which his government will eventually be judged, but on the matter which has brought him greatest grief since taking office.
A Times poll yesterday found half the public regard Blair’s closeness to George Bush as bad for Britain; next week will show the two of them standing shoulder-to-shoulder, in coverage that will be wall-to-wall. Blair must want to shout up the stairs to Cherie: “I never wanted him to come here in the first place. Whose bloody idea was this?”
(Thanks to Bill for the link)