I had two great friends who were both die-hard Labour supporters. If you cut off the top of their heads you’d see Labour written right through them like a stick of Barry rock. They both admitted that if you put a three legged donkey up as a Labour candidate they would vote for it. I used to wind them up with my signed photo of Margaret Thatcher.
Our banter was often loud and raucous, usually witty and sometimes hilarious. But it was always good humoured and amusing. It was never nasty or spiteful.
Until Tony Blair.
One friend worshipped Tony Blair, believing him to be the Second Coming of the Messiah. He was going to change the world.
But my other friend thought Tony Blair was the Anti-Christ who was dragging us to the gates of Armageddon.
And suddenly our banter started to become more barbed, with an undercurrent of malice that began to corrode the bond of friendship. Eventually the bond disintegrated and two lifelong friends avoided each other, and two families that shared so many happy times together stopped all contact.
One friend sold his business and went to Spain, and the other became ill and ended up in a nursing home.
And Tony Blair moved on.