by Jerome a Paris
Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:25:04 PM EST
Or so says Le Monde. Looks like Blair's persistent lobbying did open the route for the UK to grab the most important of the two new jobs. The only silver lining is that the Commissioner in charge of banking reform in the next Commission will not be British...
But Blair did not get the job - and we do claim credit for that, via our 45,000-strong petition against him.
STOP BLAIR! PETITION CLAIMS VICTORY
To be handed in today, a Europe-wide online petition succeeded in spurring opposition to Tony Blair's now-failing bid for the presidency of the European Council.
[ Paris, 19 November 2009 ] With more than 45,000 signatures, the Stop Blair! petition (http://stopblair.eu) will be handed in today, in advance of this evening's summit slated to discuss candidates for the post of President of the European Council. Once tipped as hot favourite, Tony Blair is now understood to have little chance of securing the presidential job.
A volunteer effort with no budget and no advertising, the Stop Blair! petition has nonetheless shown that Mr Blair would not be a popular choice for the post wrongly billed as "EU President".
"It was always our analysis that the smaller EU member states and Germany were not in favour of the 'big' presidency Tony Blair would bring," said John Evans, Stop Blair! coordinator at European Tribune (http://www.eurotrib.com), which organized the petition. "But, when those countries were silent while Blair's communications machine was running full tilt, we were the only ones to stand up and say no. We spoke out early and clearly, and we were heard."
Barring last-minute arm-twisting in the corridors of power, Blair's candidature seems most unlikely to be accepted by the European Council.