As Tony Blair steps down (or so he claims - I wouldn't put it past him to stand up at Prime Minster's Questions and say "actually, maybe I'll stay on for another few months..."), eulogies abound in the paper. None is warmer than Bob Geldof's love letter in the Sun. Bob, writing through the tears, remembers the good times:
“Where do you get your suits anyway?” the PM enquired, half genuine, half mickey-taking.
“Clearly not in the same place as you,” I responded tartly, checking out the too-worn, ill-fitting Man At C&A look that Tony Blair was sporting the other week at the German Chancellor’s office in Berlin.
It turns out this was a meeting, rather than a date.
Damn you, Merkel... I think they were about to move on from feeling the quality of their suit vents to grabbing each other's arses.
Bob? Bob? This is meant to be about Blair, not you.
You remember, don't you? Lovely golden Tony:
“Are we doing all right?” or “How are we doing so far?” he would ask everyone, desperate for approval in the early years. It was all so new.
And those eyes.... oh, what a pretty face:
But gone, thankfully, is the nervous need for approval — replaced by the simple human desire to be liked.
Which of us don't want to be liked? Or... or, loved, even. Loved like a man. Loved for being a man.
Of course, there are silly little rows and minor falling outs:
But putting all that aside, he’s all right.
By now, you'll notice, Bob is so spinny in his head, he's suggesting that Blair is alright despite his extraordinary achievements.
Of course, there's never actually been a date, but it does seem like Geldof has spent time daydreaming what it would be like, the pair of them down Cinderella Rockefella's:
It could be boredom or a not knowing what to do or say next, or simply embarrassment, but it passes.
He’s tall and still thin, his French is good and my missus and several other of my female acquaintances think he’s sexy. Gawd help us!
I’ve been with him late at night over a glass of wine, after an impossibly hard day, and it’s like anyone winding down.
Loosened tie, shoes slipped off, slightly giggly... in need of a massage to work out all that stress. It's a lonely job:
Decent jackets, cas’ shirts, dad jeans. He lounges in his chair.
... the sunlight catches his eyelashes, for a moment lighting the spark in those deep eyes... sorry, where were we?
There are always regrets, aren't there? But... now, now there's hope:
I am privileged to have known Tony and to have been a minor spectator to his journey. Bizarrely, we have ended up as friends.
Now, hopefully, we will get the time to be mates. I’d like that. And maybe I’ll tell him where I get my suits.
Maybe... maybe even clothes shopping together?
There are some people who suggest, you know, that the failure of Make Poverty History was down to Geldof and Bono being too close to the politicians they were supposed to be convincing. Funny, that.