Will the Stop-Blair coalition get its way?
I was slightly reticent about doing this story because the words “Tony Blair” and “European Union” don’t bring out the best in parts of the PBC community. But why not because there is lots of coverage today about Tony Blair’s desire to try to become President of Europe and the coalition of interests that is lining up to try to stop him.
Rod Liddle in the Spectator notes that “..the former PM has pulled off an astonishing feat: uniting Left and Right, Europhiles and Eurosceptics, people of all nations and creeds, online and in print, in their glorious campaign to prevent him becoming President of Europe”.
Under the heading “Merkel says nein to President Blair” the First Post reports that the German Chancellor is solidly against because Tony is not seen as “a good enough European”. Pity about that Iraq thingy.
But all is not lost. President Sarkozy is backing Blair and there could be support, too, from Silvio Berlusconi if he wins back the Italian presidency.
Meanwhile Ben Brogan report in his Mail blog: “I hear for example that Hans-Gert Poettering, the president of the European parliament, has requested a meeting with Mr Blair and will be joining him – and Cherie – for breakfast at Claridge’s next Wednesday. Mr Poettering is in London on an official visit and will meet the Queen and Gordon Brown. While the meeting is ostensibly about Mr Blair’s work in the Middle East, Mr Poettering is a big player and their talk will form part of the slow courtship being engineered by Mr Blair.”
The big factor in Blair’s favour is said to be the opposition to the other major candidate, Jean-Claud Juncker.
In the betting Blair is 2/1 with Junker at 3/1. I don’t know enough about the politics here to judge the value.