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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Tony Bliar  Reply with quote

Are we allowed to swear on this forum?... ohhhh, alright then...  Smilie_PDT ...

Taken from 'MailOnline' (May 3rd 2012)...

'I'm ready for a comeback': Blair's made millions since quitting... now he wants to 're-engage with UK politics'
Tony Blair has hired a new spin doctor to deflect criticism from his complex financial affairs and help him to ‘re-engage’ with British politics, it emerged today.
The former prime minister ‘has things to say’ and believes the time is right for him to make an impact on the home front after years in political exile.
Mr Blair will appear on a joint platform with Labour leader Ed Miliband in July at an event to celebrate the Olympics.
His wife Cherie is also due to attend, making it a rare public outing for the Blairs together.

The ex-PM is understood to believe that enough time has passed for people to have forgotten the disastrous effect of the Iraq war on his image and how he was humiliatingly forced from office by Gordon Brown.
The move to hire a public relations expert is proof that Mr Blair wants to be heard on a range of subjects.
The spin doctor will also attempt to portray Mr Blair's cash schemes - such as charging up to £300,000 for after-dinner speeches - in a more positive light.
It was revealed in January that Mr Blair made millions of pounds last year but paid just a fraction of it in tax thanks to a complicated web of companies he has established.

The former prime minister’s secretive business empire declared an income of £12million.
But he was able to reduce his tax bill to just £315,000 after writing off almost £11million as ‘administrative expenses’ – a ‘surprisingly’ high figure, according to one accountant.

The figures show that Mr Blair employed 26 staff, paying them total wages of almost £2.3million, while another £850,000 went on office rent and equipment.
Yet that leaves almost £8million of unexplained ‘expenses’ in the accounts, lodged at Companies House.
Mr Blair has now recruited Rachel Grant, an ex-Downing Street and Whitehall press officer who is now communications director at charity the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).
The former PM is still employed as a Middle East peace envoy, as well as running a faith foundation and earning millions of pounds in consultancy fees through a complicated web of companies.
But for several months he has been privately meeting small groups of Labour MPs to discuss domestic politics.
Mr Blair has targeted old allies and members of the 2010 intake, advising on how to target the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, who he believes made a historic error by joining the Coalition.
Mr Miliband’s aides say the pair now talk ‘regularly’ – code for chats every few weeks – about domestic politics and foreign affairs.
Mr Blair’s aides think the time is right for him to speak out in the UK. They believe enough time has passed since he was driven from office in 2007 on a wave of at the Iraq War.
A source close to Mr Blair said: ‘He wants to re-engage in the UK. He has things to say and he thinks it’s the right time.
‘The question is how he re-enters the UK scene without re-entering domestic politics and interfering with the Labour Party.
'He wants to intervene where he can add value to political debate, but it will be above party politics.’
Mr Miliband opposed the war in Iraq but respects Mr Blair as one of the most accomplished political message-makers of his time.
Rachel Grant will take up her role later this month, overseeing the former prime minister’s personal public relations and taking charge of the communications strategy for his extensive business operations.
Her appointment has been seen in the PR industry as an attempt to rebuild Mr Blair’s reputation at home, following adverse publicity over his money-spinning ventures.
He has attracted criticism for combining his business interests with charitable work and his Middle East role and is thought to have amassed a fortune in excess of £20million in the five years since he left Downing Street and stepped down as MP for Sedgefield, County Durham, which he had served since 1983.
Mr Blair has also amassed a property portfolio, including homes in London and  country retreats, that at one point was worth £15m.
He has also been criticised for earning cast sums for his after-dinner speeches. He charges up to £250,000 a time for just 90 minutes.
Miss Grant previously worked in No 10 as a senior press officer, going on to be head of news at the Department for Work and Pensions and then the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Former Tory Cabinet minister Lord Tebbit attacked the former PM, branding his political legacy ‘debt, war, ignorance, welfare dependency, social division’.
He said: ‘Blairite education policies have brought about an upsurge in illiteracy and innumeracy, and left a generation of near-unemployable young people.’
Blair's apparent political comeback will mean less attention for his charitable ventures. Upon leaving office he set up the Tony Blair Faith Foundation then the Sports Foundation.
The charities have been so successful that last month it was reported that they were moving out into bigger offices.

Being driven out of office by a plotting former ally may not have seemed like the most edifying climax to his premiership.
But for Tony Blair his fortunes seem to have gone from strength to strength since since leaving Downing Street in June 2007.
It's perhaps no surprise that he quit his job as an MP for Sedgefield - a post he had for two-and-a-half decades - with its £65,000 salary.
Instead, he seems to have left his socialist ideals in County Durham and quickly embarked on the lucrative after-dinner circuit where he could pocket up to £250,000 a night for a 90-minute delivery.
The ex-PM signed a £5million deal with Random House in the same year as leaving office to write his Number 10 memoirs. The royalties from those are said to have earned him millions more.
He was later appointed Middle East peace envoy.
But if he that wasn't keeping him busy enough, Mr Blair set up the the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in May 2008 to spread his message around the world. This spawned the Tony Blair Sports Foundation and the charities are now moving into bigger buildings.
He is also a senior advisor at investment bank JP Morgan (salary estimates range between £500,000 and £2.5m) and advises the Swiss insurance firm Zurich Financial Services on climate change issues for a reputed £1m a year, not to mention his consulting role with luxury goods firm LVMH. And he was said to have been paid an estimated £1m for writing a report for the government of Kuwait on the future of the oil-rich state.
Indeed, such is the demand for Mr Blair's advisory services that he set up a commercial consultancy firm, Tony Blair Associates, which by then end of 2010 had banked at least £2m advising foreign countries and businesses.
Finally, Blair, who is married to Cherie Booth QC, the barrister daughter of actor Tony Booth, also boasts an enviable property portfolio. At one point he had seven homes around the country worth at least £15m.
On top of this, Blair receives £84,000 of taxpayers' money to run a private office, and he is also entitled to draw a pension of £63,468.
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony Blair denies he and Cameron are forging 'special relationship'

Tony Blair's office has scotched rumours that the former Labour prime minister has been busy advising David Cameron, following reports that he and the Conservative premier are forging a "special relationship" on a range of matters, including public service reform.

Blair has visited Chequers and has spoken to the Conservative prime minister at least seven times since Cameron took office, according to the Daily Mail.

Talks between Cameron and Blair, who is special envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East (the UN, US, EU and Russia) were reported to have widened to include other subjects, such as public service reform and Whitehall. They are also believed to have discussed the euro crisis and the economy.

A "senior source" told the Daily Mail that Blair has also been advising Cameron on how to cope with the gruelling task of being prime minister. "They have a lot to talk about. It is quite a special relationship between one prime minister and another. Who else knows what you're going through? They ostensibly talk about the Middle East but when you've got him on the phone, it is natural to talk politics."

But Blair's office swiftly dismissed claims that he was advising the Tory premier – a scenario likely to provoke anger among Labour party supporters – as being wide of the mark.

A spokesman for Blair said there was "no 'special relationship' on either part" and the story was "overblown". He said: "Of course from time to time he speaks to the PM, particularly in his role as Quartet representative, as he does with many world leaders. But he does not routinely advise the PM on domestic or other policy."

The Times reported on Tuesday the admiration for Blair that still exists in Downing Street. Cameron raised eyebrows in 2005 when he claimed he was the "heir to Blair".

A senior Tory told Times columnist Rachel Sylvester. "His influence is very firmly felt. He's like the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo – gone but still greatly admired."

The comment is likely to have infuriated those Conservative backbenchers who already feel Cameron spends too much time listening to the Liberal Democrats in coalition.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "It's fair to say the prime minister has spoken to Tony Blair several times on foreign policy issues. It's not unusual for prime ministers to talk to former prime ministers, particularly ones with significant international roles."

It has also emerged that Lord Adonis, the Labour peer who set up the schools academy programme and who is close to Blair, has visited Downing Street in the past few days. The peer, who accepted a job assisting Labour's policy review a fortnight ago, said his visit was to discuss high-speed rail, "a great cross-party project", and that he had urged Cameron to legislate for it as soon as possible.

Adonis described suggestions that No 10 may offer him a policy role as "pure mischief".

He said: "I am on Labour's policy review and made it very clear when they last played this game before the last election that I wasn't moving."

You can't polish a turd but you can roll it in glitter, green & blue!
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony Blair's moral decline and fall is now complete

If you wanted to see why Tony Blair is finished as a force for good in politics, you should have been at the discreet, if extortionately expensive, Haymarket hotel, off Trafalgar Square. Portland Communications, publicists for what it calls "the government of Russia" and everyone else calls "that thieving bastard Putin", was holding a dinner for journalists and politicians it hoped to seduce on behalf of one of its many other clients.

Blairites headed the guest list: Lord Adonis, who has re-emerged as Ed Miliband's adviser on industrial policy; and James Purnell, whom the Labour right see as the king over the water who will one day return and restore Blair's heirs to their rightful inheritance.

In showing no disdain for the mouthpieces of a dictatorship, Adonis and Purnell were doing no more than following the example of Blair and his circle. Portland Communications is at its heart. Tim Allan, Blair's former media adviser and Portland's founder, recruited his old friend, Alastair Campbell, last week. A few months before, a Financial Times reporter spotted Campbell at the airport at Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. He wondered what had brought Campbell from his London home to a flyblown central Asian dictatorship. Campbell would not say if his visit had anything to do with Blair's latest business dealings. Few would be surprised if it had because Blair's dealings are extensive.

As one astonished and disgusted former supporter put it: "If you want to know what price a great man will sell his legacy for, it's $13m." According to the Financial Times, that is the sum that President Nursultan Nazarbayev has paid for Blair's services. His old gang is along for the ride and eager to see what an oil-rich dictatorship, which shoots strikers, burns the offices of opposition parties and kills their leaders, can offer.

As well as the enigmatic Campbell circling the carousels at Astana airports, a spokesman for Portland told me that it was "reforming Kazakhstan's communications". Sir Richard Evans, formerly of BAE Systems, who was once described as "one of the few businessmen who can see Blair on request", now chairs the £50bn Kazakh state enterprise Samruk and it in turn hires Peter Mandelson to deliver speeches.

The regime is grateful and not just for the uses the Blairites' support can be put to abroad. Like every other dictatorship, Kazakhstan wants to show its subjects that foreigners, who have no reason to fear the secret police, endorse the regime of their own free will. The backing of outsiders makes them seem more powerful and their propaganda sound more plausible. (It is for this reason that George Galloway has been such a popular figure in the presidential palaces of the Middle East.)

I know what you're thinking. Blair selling out is hardly news. But – and Observer readers may not provide the most sympathetic audience for this argument – there was always a case for Blair. His dedicated adherents could see no wrong in whatever he did. But others, including your correspondent, were, if you will, "left" or "anti-totalitarian" Blairites. Whatever criticisms of his domestic policies we had, we thought that when set against his enemies, Tony Blair was an admirable man.

Historians trying to capture the hypocrisy of Britain in the first decade of the 21st century may note, as we did, that Blair's opponents turned on him not for allowing the banks to run riot but for insisting that Britain should play its part in stopping the civil war in Sierra Leone, in ensuring that Slobodan Milosevic could not ethnically cleanse Kosovo, in helping throw the Taliban out of Kabul and in saying that after 24 years of occasionally genocidal rule, Saddam Hussein must be removed from power.

Let one example from countless instances of bad faith stand as an example of how sour polite society became. In 2007, John Humphrys of the BBC interviewed Blair about the oppression in Iran.

Blair: "There is global struggle in which we need a policy based on democracy, on freedom and on justice…"

Humphrys: "Our idea of democracy?"

Blair: "I didn't know that there was another idea of democracy…"

Humphrys: "If I may say so, that's naive…"

Blair: "The one basic fact about democracy, surely, is that you can get rid of your government if you don't like them."

Humphrys: "The Iranians elected their own government and we're now telling them…"

Blair: "Hold on, John, something like 60% of the candidates were excluded."

I do not pick on Humphrys because he was an exceptionally wicked man, but because his approach was so depressingly commonplace. Iranians and other lesser breeds could not expect the rights we enjoyed, and it was "naive to think otherwise". Blair replied in admirably plain language. His commitment to democracy and human rights was absolute. Moreover, it was universal: if free elections are good enough for Britain, they are good enough for Iran and no weasel words about theocrats having their "own" version of democracy can be allowed to pass uncontested.

By necessity, Blair was also an internationalist, because, as he said in his Chicago speech of 1999, which was by some measure his finest: "We are all internationalists now, whether we like it or not… we cannot turn our backs on conflicts and the violation of human rights within other countries if we want still to be secure."

His back is turned now and the plain speaking has gone. He won't explain why he's helping the Kazakh dictator present a better face to the west. Apparently, he has said that he is not personally profiting from appearing in a propaganda video praising the dictatorship's "progress" and hymning its "extraordinary economic potential". (I say apparently because his office would not respond to my repeated inquiries.) But it is beyond doubt that his commitment to democracy is now as flimsy as any relativist's: free elections may be good enough for the people of Britain, but the Kazakhs cannot expect to enjoy the same privileges.

Blair's mindless admiration of wealthy men explains his decline. In the 21st century, they tend to be dictators with sovereign wealth funds and tame oligarchs to command, or financiers. No surprise, then, that as well as advising Kazakhstan, Blair also advises JP Morgan.

His love of money has brought down the worst fate that could have befallen him. He now has the manners and morals of his opponents. He has become a George Galloway with a Learjet at his disposal.

You can't polish a turd but you can roll it in glitter, green & blue!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tutu pushed Blair one step closer to The Hague: Analyst

Thu Sep 6, 2012 3:34PM GMT

Prosecution calls made by the South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu have pushed former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair one step closer to facing justice at The Hague over his role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an analyst says.

“For years it seems impregnable, then suddenly the citadel collapses. An ideology, a fact, a regime appears fixed, unshakeable, almost geological. Then an inch of mortar falls, and the stonework begins to slide. Something of this kind happened over the weekend,” George Monbiot wrote on his website

When Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote that the former UK premier should be treading the path to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, he “de-normalized what Blair has done,” Monbiot said.

“Tutu broke the protocol of power - the implicit accord between those who flit from one grand meeting to another - and named his crime. I expect that Blair will never recover from it.”

In an article in The Observer on Sunday, Tutu wrote, “The immorality of the United States and Great Britain's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.”

Instead of recognizing the sophistications and issues of the world, “the then-leaders of the US and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart,” Tutu, who won the Noble Peace Prize in 1984 following his campaign against the apartheid, added.

Monbiot stated that the invasion of Iraq is known by two names in international law: “the crime of aggression and a crime against peace” and is defined by the Nuremberg principles as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression."

“Without legal justification, the attack on Iraq was an act of mass murder,” he said, adding that the aggression “ranks among the greatest crimes the world has ever seen.”

“The motivation for deposing Saddam Hussein was no more moral than the motivation for arming and funding him, two decades before,” Monbiot said, refuting Blair’s repeated argument that there was a moral case for invading Iraq.

"But when the masonry begins to crack, impossible hopes can become first plausible, then inexorable,” Monbiot said. “Blair will now find himself shut out of places where he was once welcome. One day he may find himself shut in.”

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ex-UK PM Blair threatens Syria, Iran amid calls for military action

Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:20PM GMT

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has used a podium in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to call for the establishment of no-fly zones over Syria.

At a speech to the 2013 Presidential Conference hosted by Shimon Peres, head of the Israeli regime, Tony Blair condemned what he called the “predominant emotion in the West stay out of Syria; indeed to stay out of the region’s politics.”

Blair insisted, just as he once did back in 2002 and 2003 in a different context, that “as every day passes shows, the cost of staying out may be paid in a higher price later”.

The former British premier linked his call for urgent action against Syria to Iran, where he moaned: “We have to be prepared to be strong in defence of our values. It is why Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and export of terrorism round the region are a threat. We must be determined to confront and overcome that threat. Those that truly hold the power in Tehran must know of our determination and feel its vigour. Of course any choice involving military action is fraught. No one wants it. But a nuclear armed Iran is the worst choice and we shouldn’t make it.”

These are not thoughts or analysis, because Blair does not think or analyse; he only ever utters militarist slogans. His pious insistence that ‘ no one wants’ military action is a lie, because the mindless and unrelenting promotion of war and violence is precisely what has earned this vacuous shill the wealth and prestige that he possesses, according to editor.

Blair may talk about preventing ‘catastrophic consequences’, but the dirty and disgusting game that is being played out in Syria now threatens to bring about the most catastrophic military confrontation in the history of the modern Middle East. It will not bring peace, but death, chaos and destruction on a scale that will dwarf previous ‘interventions’ in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, as it sucks in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Iran, Turkey, and Israel.

Whenever the so-called Quartet’s ‘Peace Envoy’ makes any pronouncement on the great issues in the Middle East, you can always guarantee that the missile silos are being readied for action.

The West's escalation of the war will not bring peace in Syria but death, chaos and destruction on a scale that will dwarf previous 'interventions' in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony Blair says UK and US should intervene in Syria

Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:12AM GMT

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on London and Washington to go to war in Syria to end what he claimed to be attacks on civilians “not seen since the dark days of Saddam”.

"People wince at the thought of intervention. But contemplate the future consequence of inaction and shudder," said Blair who took Britain to the war in Iraq based on fabricated claims that Saddam had ready-to-launch weapons of mass destruction.

"Western policy is at a crossroads: commentary or action …. After the long and painful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand every impulse to stay clear of the turmoil …. But we have collectively to understand the consequences of wringing our hands instead of putting them to work," he wrote in an article for The Times on Tuesday.

Blair’s comments come as there are serious qualms that the claims, led by Britain, the US and France, of Syrian government having carried out the chemical attack that allegedly killed hundreds of people on Wednesday are nothing but another deveption to justify war, as it was the case in Iraq.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama have been rattling sabers since Wednesday, saying they should intervene to end what Washington described as a “moral obscenity”.

However, Britain and its western allies have so far offered no evidence to support their claims against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad.

The Conservative British PM will also have a hard time to persuade MPs to start a war after he was forced to promise to put any military action in Syria to parliamentary vote earlier this year after 82 Conservatives MPs signed a letter to demand such a process.

The opposition Labour party has also demanded the coalition government to ask for MPs’ approval before taking any military action.

Cameron has indicated he will consult the parliament with his office saying he could recall the parliament from a summer recess before it ends on Monday to discuss the situation in Syria.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony Blair attacks Islam as “fundamentally extremist” religion

Fri Sep 6, 2013 6:9PM GMT

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has shamelessly attacked Islam as a “fundamentally extremist” religion, which could threaten future security of the UK.

In an interview with the BBC, Tony Blair lashed out at opposition Labour Party chief Ed Miliband for opposing the coalition government’s push for launching an invasion against Syria, moaning that the country “could become a potent source of extremists”.

The former head of the Labour party, who engineered the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq together with former U.S. president George W. Bush on the pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), acknowledged that the true reason western warmongers are spearheading wars in the Middle East region was fighting Islam.

There is a “fundamental battle about religion and politics within Islam, which has vast consequences for our future security”, Tony Blair claimed.

“The truth is, the reason why Iraq makes us hesitant is because Iraq showed that when you intervene in the circumstances, where you have this radical Islamist issue, both on the Shia side and the Sunni side, you are going to face a very difficult, tough conflict”, the warmonger former premier added.

Blair and fellow invading countries in Iraq failed to find even a trace of WMDs in the country, but left the scene with hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed and millions more displaced as a result of expansionist policies of certain warmongers both in the UK and the U.S.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair conceded the fear western warmongers cannot sleep with whenever there is Iran and its anti-imperialistic ideology.

He called for a military intervention in Syria to topple the popular government of President Bashar al Assad, warning “without intervention there would be an Assad-dominated state, and that means in this instance an Iran-dominated state, probably around the borders of Lebanon and controlling most of the wealth of Syria.

“And then you'll have a larger geographical hinterland to the east that will be controlled by various Sunni groups, most of whom are likely in these circumstances to be extreme, and you could have a breeding ground for extremism actually much worse and much more potent than Afghanistan.”

Blair went on to say that he was "disappointed" that the House of Commons killed a government motion that called for invading Syria militarily.

“This is something where I just have to disagree with the leadership of the party,” he said. “I know it's a difficult position for political leaders to be put in when they have got to take decisions like this.”

Blair was forced to resign as premier in 2007 in the aftermath of the failed military invasion of Iraq, after 10 years in office.

Responding to Blair's intervention, a Labour source told The Independent, “We have learnt the lessons of the Iraq War. That is why Ed was determined to stop David Cameron's ill-judged and reckless rush to war.”


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