Let’s go back in time.
In order to secure the French throne, Henry of Navarre renounced his Protestant faith and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1593 cynically adding that "Paris is worth a mass." He ascended to the French throne a year later in 1594.
Step forward in time to 2008. Tony Blair has recently renounced his Protestant faith and converted to Roman Catholicism. Is he triangulating to become the First President of Europe when this role comes into being in 2009? Is Brussels worth a mass?S
Writing in the Daily Telegraph. Charles Moore makes a very plausible case for the Blair presidency.
Initiated Under Blair, the British net contribution to the EU will rise from €2.8 billion to €5.5 billion by 2014. Blair complained that 40% of the European budget went on the Common Agricultural Policy. He then accepted this should INCREASE to 44%. Whatever could have made Blair so weak-willed when it came to defending British interests with the EU?
Under the thing we are not allowed to call the European Constitution, which the Commons will begin acrimoniously debating next week, a President of the European Council will be created in 2009. He will hold the post for two and a half years (renewable once), and he will have "strategic direction" of the European Union. He will be appointed by the council, ie by the heads of government, under the French presidency in the second half of this year.
It is reported that the Lefties do not much want Mr Blair. In Italy, Romano Prodi disapproves of him because he supported Silvio Berlusconi. In Spain, the Socialist government dislikes him so much that the defence minister unguardedly called him "un gilipollas integral", which is too rude to translate.
But the Germans seem friendly, and the French even more so (though a machiavellian rumour says that perfide Sarko is only pretending). A recent poll in Le Figaro reported that 80 per cent of Frenchmen would like Mr Blair in their government, let alone that of the EU. Enraging the Socialists to whom he is nominally allied, Mr Blair recently addressed the annual conference of Mr Sarkozy’s party. By a happy chance, Tony and Cherie were in the same hotel in Egypt as Sarko and his lovely girlfriend/fiancée/possibly bride, Carla Bruni, and the four had dinner together.
The beauty of all this is that, as so often, Mr Blair’s personal ambition sits neatly with his stated beliefs. Throughout his career, he has been as pro-European as a mainstream British politician can safely be. He is particularly Francophile – remember his immediate welcome for President Chirac in Canary Wharf when he became Prime Minister, his St Malo defence treaty, his eloquent speech, in French, to the National Assembly.
He is so good at timing. Even his decision to become a Roman Catholic, though perfectly sincere, comes at the right moment. It would have been a negative while he was Prime Minister. If he wants a top post in continental Europe, it becomes an advantage. Brussels is worth a Mass.
I believe Charles is 100% right. Blair is a triangulator par excellence. I believe he years to become the First President of Europe – the neo Holy Roman Emperor. Look upon his face my friends, and despair.