The release of Baroness Thatcher's death certificate describing her occupation as 'Stateswoman' was something that could be disclosed without fear of contradiction from any quarter. Even her enemies would concede that she strode the world stage with the foremost of that breed. Statesmanship is not something that can be acquired by an individual; it must be bestowed by a caucus of informed opinion.
Blair's tragi-comic cavortings in his attempts to reach that status keep us all entertained, but besides real statesmen he is a pygmy. And Brown seems sensibly to have avoided the ridicule that such a bid on his own behalf would earn. Both will be there tomorrow, still in Margaret's shadow as just ex-Prime Ministers, not as elders and Statesmen. One has only to imagine, in the event of the sudden death of either, the snorts of derision that would be caused if either's death certificate made that absurd claim. But for Thatcher, the term is no more than the simple truth.