Tony Blair back in action.

Simon Hoggart’s column in today’s issue of The Guardian describing how Tony Blair performed, when giving a two hour explanation of how he was faring as Middle East peace envoy – for the EU, UN, US and Russia – to the Commons Foreign Affairs Commitee yesterday, is a nicely judged piece of reporting and dead-pan commentary.

Tony Blair returned to the Commons yesterday. The teeth, the smile, the gleaming white shirt – the sheer relaxed glow! How poised and ­confident he looks, ­compared with his ­successor, who increasingly resembles a leaking whoopee cushion.

In these days of round-the-clock news, nostalgia is catching up fast with the present. Was it only two years ago that he left? It seems like a distant age. Manchester United were top of the ­Premiership, Britain’s Got Talent was the favourite TV show, and you could get a pint of beer for £3. Happy days.

This time he was accompanied by a seemingly endless crowd of staff, young people for the most part, many of whom will soon have to start shaving. They were officious officials, swept up in the glory of working with the peace envoy. They neither took notes nor offered help, so like the posse of a rock star served no useful function except to bestow prestige on the great man. In the same way we could only take a Tory backbencher seriously if he had a sparkling clean moat or a Swedish-style duck house…………..


Video and Audio: Tony Blair evidence session


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