“Sometimes the right, when outraged, can be as ridiculously narrow-minded as the left,” says Charles Moore in The Daily Telegraph. And on the subject of Tony Blair’s recent knighthood, both sides of the political spectrum seem as angry – and as narrow-minded – as each other. More than 700,000 people have signed a petition calling for the former PM’s title to be removed because of his supposed war crimes. It’s absurd. “Of course Mr Blair should be made a Knight of the Garter.”
I say this not because he was necessarily right about things. “I personally have written tens of thousands of words about the numerous times he was wrong.” No, Blair deserves the honour because he was successful. “He brought Labour out of an 18-year wilderness.” He is one of just three Labour leaders to have won overall majorities in parliament, and the only one to have secured big majorities every time. And as PM, he “made more difference than any other post-war prime minister except Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher”. My only criticism is that Sir Tony accepted the knighthood in the first place. Throughout his premiership he was hellbent on “modernising” Britain. Given the Order of the Garter is such a medieval and monarchical institution, you’d think he would have turned the Queen down.