It was perhaps inevitable that Blair has constructed for himself a fantasy world within which he can escape the guilt of the innocent blood on his hands. His acquaintance with the truth was always peripheral at best, reality being what he wanted it to be. In Blair's private world, Iraq was freed from tyranny and Al Queda destroyed in Afghanistan, the world was a better place and the rest of us are naive and foolish. "Some 650,000 died in Iraq" challenged John Humphrys yesterday; "No, no, it was no more than 100,000" responded Blair rapidly, as though he had formulated some curious self-justifying algebra and the figure was critical. Humphrys challenged that the invasion of Iraq was unjustified as the evidence was false, and that a generation of Moslems had been radicalised by an event that even most of we kuffirs regarded as grossly wrong. No, no, said Blair. No-one had been radicalised. They were already radical; his actions had no effect whatsoever on their degree of frustration, resentment or criminality. You weren't going to lay 7/7 at his door. 100,052 would ruin the algebra.
Listening to Blair interviewed was listening to a man absolutely unfamiliar with the London he'd returned to. In his private Middle-Eastern world of marble floored lobbies, tacky limos and kitsch luxury, insulated from the reality of the way we've moved on in England, surrounded by his Ruritanian bling - Doha gave him another gold medal the other day, to add to his collection of vulgar and pointless 'awards' from tinpot regimes around the Middle East - he simply didn't comprehend that here he wasn't regarded as an elder Statesman, in fact he wasn't recognised as a Statesman at all; he expected deference and hushed attention for his words of wisdom, not scorn and muffled disbelief. He was like the D-list celeb from Thetford, used to being recognised and greeted in every Tesco and shoeshop in the town, who comes to London and is shocked to be jostled, pushed and ignored as someone completely unknown. And this perhaps is Blair's most appropriate penance; for a man so infused with narcissism and self-regard, obscurity and public irrelevance must be a heavy cross to bear.