On the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, James Delingpole says that the President-elect is horribly reminiscent of Tony Blair in 1997. He may be a fantastic guy, and look great, but he will bring a ragbag of scuzzballs, communists and eco-loons to power with him

No matter how excited you may be about Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday, I bet you’re not as pleased as I am. Never have I wished more devoutly for a presidential victory than the one won by this mighty intellect-cum-healer-cum-fashion-model-cum-general-all-round-Messiah — a man so conscious of his own merit that, unlike any president before him, he plans to swear his inaugural oath on the Lincoln bible.

But this wasn’t because I nurtured a burning desire to see the first ever African-American made US president. Nor because I’d bought into his speeches or that lovely, confident, articulate speaking voice he has. Nor yet because I had the remotest faith in Obama’s ability to change America for the better. Quite the opposite, actually. The reason I wanted him to win was because I was halfway through writing a book called Welcome To Obamaland: I’ve Seen Your Future And It Doesn’t Work. The title just wouldn’t have had the same ring under a President John McCain.

When I tell them about the book, most of my Conservative friends go: ‘Wow! That is such a good idea.’ But all the credit here belongs to a brilliant US publishing vice president named Harry Crocker III who contacted me out of the blue one day with the nicest email I’ve ever received. ‘Dear James,’ it went, ‘as a longstanding Spectator reader and fan of your column I wondered whether you might be interested in writing a book for us…’ ...At which point, it all made such perfect sense that the write-in-a-month part ceased to be a problem. ‘But of course!’ I realised. ‘It’s like May 1997 all over again. Same euphoria. Same sense — even among many Conservatives — that this time it’s different, that this guy’s The One who’s going to change everything. Same subtly bullying, post-Diana’s-death-style atmosphere where if you don’t subscribe to the popular consensus you’re a freak and a cynic and you’re wrong and you should probably be shot.’ ...