Tony Blair is a melancholy conundrum to me. When he was elected Prime Minister, I was still working in the States but I followed his career with close and friendly interest. He, and his wife, seemed cozily familiar - the sort of people who lived nearby, that you ran into at dinner parties. Decent, reasonable, cheerful, caring, compassionate sorts. Like all of us, in fact. Nice. Liberal.Easygoing. In favour of gay marriage and a woman's right to choose. Enjoying both opera and the Stones. Not too intellectual - at least not in public. Fond of a nice glass of wine, provided it's not too costly. Don't own guns, and don't want to. We had mutual friends. Same sort of people. I wished him well. Seems, as usual, I was dead wrong. Seems Tony got some kind of sexy frisson from hanging around the corridors at the White House in order to catch a glimpse of boy George twirling his six-guns and pretending to be Gary Cooper. From time to time Bush would swagger out ('In Texas, we call it walkin!') of the Oval Office, pat the Prime Minister on the top of his pointy head and let him kiss his arse occasionally. Well, horses for courses, as we Brits say. Whatever floats your boat as the Americans put it. Takes all sorts, etc. But, Jesus Christ. I am no snob (Oh, yes you are - says Reb) but I would far sooner be shoveling shit on the Isle of Capri than have to be in the same time zone - let alone the same room - as Bush, or Cheney or Rumsfeld, or any of that detestable, ignorant, vulgar, arrogant, squalid, unlettered, philistine bunch of neocon bastards. But the ongoing Chilcot inquiry will, no doubt, not pursue this line of reasoning. After all, even today in Britain and America both, to consort with a bunch of hyenas and yahoos like the Bushes merits no more than scorn and disgust. Crimes against taste and human dignity are not war crimes. Some of the British newspapers are encouraging readers to say what questions they would like to ask Blair when he presents himself at the Chilcot inquiry. Mine would be, 'How did you manage to sit next to that nauseating prick at luncheon and ask him to pass the salt without vomiting all over him?' Rhetorical to be sure, but I think we should be told.