The 'longest farewell tour', as the visitations of Blair have been dubbed by Cameron ("he who has not yet been tempted") reached the shores of Tripoli yesterday. In this, the Prime Minister attempts to bind the hands of his successor and remind everyone of a foreign policy success, disarming Libya's weapons of mass destruction.
After talks, Libya announced that they would purchase weapons from Britain, as another desert dictator joins the BAe gravy train.
The Libyan Prime Minister, Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoud, announced later that his country would buy missiles and air defence systems under a new agreement. British officials insisted that no such deal had yet been reached.
On his flight from London to Tripoli Mr Blair described his unlikely relationship with the Libyan leader, once regarded as an international pariah for his alleged support of terrorism, including the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. He said that they spoke by telephone several times a year, were on first-name terms and got on “pretty well”.
In this, as in many other areas, Blair has acted as point man for shared attempts by the United States and Britain to achieve joint foreign policy goals. Once Gaddafi was reeled in, Blair has taken it upon himself to massage and feed the old ogre so that he stays onside in the West. One wonders if he decided to cement the relationship with economic access and defence co-operation so that this informal relationship could not be jeopardised by the lumberings of the undiplomatic Brown. Where else will Blair use his charms to prepare for what he sees as damage limitation?