Tony Blair's household guide… as told to CRAIG BROWN

My domestic agenda? It’s a basket case: Tony Blair’s household guide part 3… as told to CRAIG BROWN

Hanging Baskets

Look, let’s be frank. The choice facing the global community is stark and simple. There’s no avoiding it. You either hang your basket. Or you don’t. It’s as simple as that.

Frankly, it’s a debate that shows no sign of stopping.

And I welcomed the opportunity to engage with this issue on The Andrew Marr Show last Sunday.

Let’s face it. If you choose to hang your basket — and frankly, there’s no earthly reason why you shouldn’t — then there are further choices to be made.

Tough choices. Where to hang your basket? In your lounge or living room?

What you must remember is this. Baskets don’t hang themselves. They never have. And they never will [Stock image]

Fine. By all means try. But when you water it, don’t complain that your carpet is soaked through.

By the front door? Or round by the patio? These are decisions that won’t just go away. Put them off until tomorrow and you’ll lose a vital day. And that can only mean one thing.

You’ll have 24 hours without that basket hanging. What you must remember is this. Baskets don’t hang themselves. They never have. And they never will.

Ironing

When you’ve won an unprecedented three General Elections in a row, well you begin to know a thing or two about ironing. And I’m happy to share that strategy.

Look, there are tremendous benefits to ironing a shirt or a pair of jeans. Not least an end to unsightly creases and wrinkles.

On a personal note, whenever I visited Camp David, I would always be sure my jeans were freshly ironed. That’s something I first mentioned in an exclusive interview with World At One last Monday.

But to do it properly, let’s face it, you can’t just do it with your right hand or your left hand alone.

If you heat up your hand until it’s hot enough to uncrumple a shirt, you will end up writhing in agony. So you’ve got to have an iron. And that requires investment. And what do you do once you’ve bought your new iron?

Frankly, I don’t know. That’s a question I’ll leave to the experts.

But what I do know is that we, as a global community, will be faced with a lot of ironing in the future. And we have to create the ironing infrastructure to deal with it.

Jars

Marmalade, honey, jam, pickle. Chutney. Mustard, strong or mild. Even pumpkin seed. What does it all come down to?

As I made clear on Woman’s Hour on Friday, it all comes down to jars. Big jars. Small jars. Medium-sized jars. Yes, getting a lid off our jars has never been more necessary. Or more difficult.

What I’ve been saying all along is that a viable solution to the whole global jar question must be both strategic and empowering.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair answers the tough questions all households face [File photo]

Yes, by all means start by trying to open the jar with your thumb and forefinger. But if that doesn’t work, you must face up to reality. Now is the time for leadership with vision.

Look, what I’m saying is this. There are tough lessons to be learned. So, just place the jar on a flat surface. Reach for your hammer. Grip it in both hands. And slam it down hard on that jar. It’s the only way forward.

People say to me — but what about all the broken glass?

Who’s going to clear it all up? And won’t some of the shards bury themselves in the honey or the marmalade?

Fair enough. These are perfectly reasonable questions. So, sure, let’s proceed with caution.

But for pity’s sake, let’s not get bogged down in the niceties.

Kettles

The government I was privileged to lead introduced huge reforms. Things like the minimum wage, civil partnerships, paternity leave. Big, big changes in the way politics operated.

But sadly, despite all our efforts, descaling your kettle continues to be a major problem worldwide.

If you live in a hard water area, your kettle will build up limescale. But, look, regularly descaling your kettle will make it more efficient.

And, hey, it may also extend its useful life.

So, as I mentioned in an exclusive interview on Newsnight yesterday, it’s something that’s well worth doing.

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