The Long Kiss Goodbye

The Downing Street door has nearly closed on Tony Blair. Martin Amis has been shadowing the prime minister on his farewell tour, watching him preen in Belfast, share bonbons with the Bush administration—and get it badly wrong in Basra. And all the while the Iraq protesters are hovering …

  1. It isn't bad, driving through town with Tony. The car's steel cladding, as the PM points out, is almost comically thick - so thick, indeed, that the interior has the feel of something like a Ford Fiesta rather than a Jaguar; and it takes nearly all your strength to tug shut the slab-like door behind you. But then we're away. The crouched policemen, in their Day-Glo yellow strip, buzz past like purposeful hornets to liberate the road ahead. We barely brake once between Downing Street and the Westway. The power is ebbing from him now; but for a little while longer we can luxuriate in the present tense. And, yes, it's a bit of all right, driving through town with Tony.

    The best moment comes as we approach Hyde Park Corner. Instead of toiling around it, like all the other fools and losers, we sail across it, diagonally, and then curve right past that far from unfashionable address - No 1, London.

    Now I notice that the PM wears no seatbelt. When I tenderly point this out to him, he gives ...

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