Obama, Blair….sic transit gloria mundi

The Knife’s uncanny predictive powers are evident in a post from February 2012, when Barack picked his fight with the Catholic church. To quote

Look upon my works ye Mighty, and despair..
Look upon my works ye Mighty, and despair..


“A man whose judgement is that it’s wise to repeatedly suck up to militant Islam, yet directly attack Catholicism at home is not displaying game-winning statesmanship. Transient pyrrhic victories fought for reasons of short term political opportunism and spite, won’t beat an institution that famously thinks in centuries.

The Knife is not saying that Obama can’t win the next election, but win or lose, it’s downhill from here.”

Now obviously quite a few people have now dared to criticise the Messiah, but I date his demise to that episode. One might reasonably suggest that winning a second term hardly constitutes failure, but as ever, you should be careful what you wish for.

In another example, closer to home, it looks to me like Tony Blair is still  struggling with the now common belief that he is a warmongering, egomaniac millionaire, which seemed unthinkable to the nation back in the early noughties. These people care desperately about how they’ll be remembered.

Strange how things can turn around. A couple of years ago the civilized West was frothing at the mouth about the evils of bad old Robert Mugabe. I met a black Zimbabwean today, who told me that things had improved significantly – which they have – and that Mugabe was at least a known quantity in an unstable continent. Mugabe is still there, and  by a remarkable coincidence recently opining on British politics:

“Mrs Thatcher, you could trust her. But of course what happened later was a different story with the Labour party and Blair … who you could never trust. You couldn’t compare them to Thatcher and the others … Who can ever believe what Mr Blair says? Here we call him Bliar.”

As the Benghazi/IRS/phone tapping/Planned Parenthood/Obamacare/drone war debacles mount up, it seems fair to say that most people can eventually spot a dud when they see one (VDH is magnificent here). Even if he’s their former best friend. Now that the “Obama is rubbish” line is spreading across the international media, it shows how fickle the world can be. I’m not the first person to hearken back to Ozymandias, but here it is anyway:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away


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