The Spectator

Should Gordon worry about Tony’s new job?

Should Gordon worry about Tony's new job?
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There are two reasons for Brown to be concerned about Blair becoming the quartet’s envoy to the Palestinians. First, it is going to exacerbate the problem of Brown establishing himself on the world stage. Back in 2005 one of Brown’s closest allies told Newsweek’s Stryker McGuire how when he was in the States during the Major year “Everybody there thought Thatcher was still prime minister.” The Brownite aim of avoiding a repeat of that embarrassing situation just got a bit more difficult.

The second potential problem is Gaza itself. What happens if attacks on Israel from Gaza reach such a level that the Israelis decide a prolonged military response is needed? Blair as an envoy to the region would likely have something to say about it. Brown would then be peppered with questions about whether he agreed or not with what Blair had said. The media here would have a field day highlighting any differences between the two former colleagues.

Blair’s new role will also make it much harder for Brown’s rather dry efforts on economic reconstruction in the region, that are being spearheaded by Ed Balls, to gain traction.