Tony Blair's suntan preceded him by a good yard
, a halo of burnished prosperity. The former PM had vouchsafed an hour of his (these days plentiful) time to a committee of MPs interested in international development.
Mr Blair is the Middle East representative of the Quartet these days but few of us were there simply to hear his views on Gaza. We wanted to run a measure over the old fraud, see how he was bearing up and listen closely in case he said something unhelpful about Gordon Brown.
The event took place in the Thatcher Room
. That must have niggled a bit
. Why no Blair Room yet? Why no equestrian statue of Tony in Parliament Square with the poor ruddy British taxpayer
as his mount?