How easy is it to spot mental illness in the upper echelons of government?  King George III and Henry VI were both pretty crazy and don’t even get me started on Margaret Thatcher.

It seems to me that the next name to be added to the madness list should be Tony Blair, a man who appears to live in a universe entirely of his own construction.  He is a man to whom reality and fantasy are indistinguishable, as evidenced by his claims that he “stretched the truth past breaking point” during peace talks for Northern Ireland.  Of course I’m not saying that the end doesn’t justify the means, but it’s the frequency with which Blair has used this trick to get what he wants.  Know what I mean?

When I think of Tony Blair these days, I’m so often reminded of Armando Iannucci’s Time Trumpet, in which a portrayal of a senile Blair wanders around downtown Baghdad muttering nonsense to himself – or possibly the voices.  It could well happen.

The worst thing about Blair though is the damage he did to the Labour party.  His ‘third way’ rubbish notwithstanding, his actions – often led by his liberal attitude towards the truth – caused damage to the Labour Party that many people are unlikely to forget in a long time.

Although he followed in the footsteps of Neil Kinnock, Blair’s (and Brown’s let’s not forget) ‘New Labour’ vision completely removed any left-wing sentiment from the Parliamentary Labour Party.  A long time in the political wilderness may do that a desperate party, but Blair doesn’t seem to see the failings of the New Labour project.

Even now, after he and his ideas have fallen wildly out of favour with the public and the Labour Party, he insists on calling for a continuation of middle-right Labour party, despite a recent poll suggesting the vast number of people would oppose Labour if that were the case.

It is not for a man who is completely out of touch with Britain in 2010 to decide how his former, battered and bruised party should be run, especially when all but him see the disaster his “stretching the truth” resulted in.

Maybe when Tony was in power, he was just preparing for his life as a writer.  Perhaps at the point at which he decided “we have become an author”, he realised that he was pretty good at writing fiction and his time in Downing Street provided a groundswell of inspiration.