We don’t need Tony Blair in the Middle East.

So this is the time of year when all good Christians rejoice – or so we are told. Many of them will be warmed in the cockels of their hearts by images of Bethlehem as a gently snow dusted idyll straight out of a Christmas carol.

I doubt if Tony Blair is thinking that this Christmas, good Christian as I am sure he is. He will know, I hope, that the new, terrible and unforgiveable slaughter of innocents that is the latest episode in the unending tragedy of the Middle East, is not his fault.

He will also, I hope, take a moment to consider that in his part-time job as Middle East Envoy, he just may not be the right man for the job.

OK, he is not the only politician who can seriously think that his own personal aggrandisement means that he should gather titles and riches after leaving political life but as someone who has now earned millions as an after-dinner speaker and commercial adviser to one of the world’s great investment banks (and look what is happening in that sector), surely he could now consider either giving up all his other interests and become a full-time, non-paid, envoy to that nightmare region of the world or, more honourably, offer up his resignation as a symbol of hope for the new year.

His hands, just like his great political partner, George Bush, are covered in blood. Whether you supported the Iraq War or not – and I certainly did not – these two men are the ultimate symbols of hatred in the Middle East – well excepting Israel. As such it is ludicrous that Tony Blair should carry on his this job. Just as it would be absurd for George Bush, after he leaves office, to join him there.

Blessed are the peacemakers, the Bible says. Well can we not take this peacemaking job away from the warmongers? Can we not find someone who is prepared to work full time to bring these warring factions together? Can we not let George Bush and Tony Blair leave the world stage and get on with their private lives somewhere where they can do no more damage?

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