Tony Blair’s unexpected and dramatic announcement that he is to stand down as Prime Minister on June 27 throws up numerous intriguing questions.
Top of the list has to be why no-one saw this coming?
Having celebrated 10 glorious years at No.10 Downing Street, Mr Blair has taken his lead from some of the greats of the sporting and entertainment world and retired while he is at the top.
It leaves a vacuum at the heart of British politics which will prove incredibly difficult to fill.
Of course, none of the above is actually true – apart from the fact that Mr Blair will stand down on June 27.
His departure is one of the longest drawn out and arguably most pointless exercises in British politics for many years. The fact that his long goodbye is extended for another seven weeks simply adds to the agony.
As much as he protests that he wants to go quiet and humbly, we will witness a carefully orchestrated and totally overblown farewell in keeping with the perfected art of spin doctoring his time as PM ushered into British politics.
The carefully hand-crafted placards of the Labour faithful privileged to witness his emotional public announcement – “Sedgefield Loves Tony”; “10 Great Years”; “Thank You”; and “Britain is Better” – are just the start.
For the next seven weeks we’ll have to endure more of the same and far worse, whilst in the background we’ll also have the too-close-to-call and keenly contested Labour leadership race to keep us entertained (sic).
Who says British politics has lost its sparkle?