Friday, November 20, 2009

Blair loses. Stop Blair wins!

The European Union has its first permanent council president - and its not Tony Blair. Instead, EU leaders have chosen Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy for the top job. His chief virtues? He's from a small state actually committed to the European project (unlike the UK), and he's a consensus politician, rather than a divisive autocrat (unlike Blair). Plus of course he's not a war criminal - always a bonus when you're trying to run a state committed to peace and international law.

The Stop Blair! campaign is claiming victory, and while I think their influence was small, they did play a role in derailing Blair's "inevitability" spin by highlight the fact that he would come with a lot of baggage if selected. Their victory - and Blair's loss - is certainly worth celebrating.