It really is the end times… Extracts from today’s Quentin Letts column, reporting on Blair’s visit to Quintin Kynaston school in north London yesterday, where he announced his plans to depart office within twelve months:
“By 1240 hours the noise levels were becoming intolerable and blue-uniformed children were running round with ‘Blair Must Go’ banners which bore the Socialist Worker logo…”A Police Dog Section van pulled up. ‘Cherie Blair’s arrived,’ said someone, most unfairly.
“Within 15 minutes the volume had risen, the placards were multplying, Blairite aides were starting to gulp and we had a very satisfactory near-riot in progress. Schoolchildren were chanting ‘Tony, Tony, Tony, out! out! out!’…
“Police reinforcements marched in from the south. A grown-up was trying to bribe the children, offering them a trip to McDonalds if they would leave the scene. They declined, egged on by a woman from International Socialist Resistance who had a megaphone.
“Two beefy blokes hopped out of a van from ‘Even Trakway 24-hour barrier hotline’ and began, noisily, to erect a crowd-control barrier. Officers shouted warnings about Section 14 of the Public Order Act and pushed a large body of schoolchildren to a position 30 yards from the school entrance… Fistifuffs nearly broke out…
“TV camera crews were now filming action shots and a previously placid man who had been waving two Lebanese flags found his collar being felt by a copper…
“Of Mr Blair we saw little. He arrived in a motorcade, to be met with heavy boos from the children behind the riot barriers and girly cheers from some selected goody-goodies who had been allowed to remain inside the school to meet the PM.
“He alighted from his bombproof Jaguar, ear-miked bodyguards shielding him from the terrorists of the Lower Remove. The swots clapped. The children behind the barriers yelled ‘warmonger!’ A police helicopter chatter-chattered overhead. With that Mr Blair disappeared inside to say his piece.
“All in all, a day to make old Kynastonians proud. The Bbritish education system at its very best.”
(Title typo edited – whoops…)