- Tony Blair
- Some interesting stuff here re Blair and Irwin Stelzer
- Labour PM May.02.1997 – Jun.27.2007
- DDG, DDG
Blair loathed the Labour Party and found it "positively demeaning" having to mix with and pretend concern for ordinary people, many of whom actually worked for a living and some of whom were even poor. He hoped to liberate the Labour Party from its links with the trade union movement, which he believed had long outlived its usefulness, and to instead make it the party of the liberal super-rich. Labour would be turned into a British version of the Clinton-led Democratic Party, funded by the liberal wing of the ruling class... ref
Tony Blair Associates
- Aug.13.2015: The brothers who funded Blair, Israeli settlements and Islamophobia. Blair's conduct since leaving office has received less scrutiny. Our investigations show that while Blair was serving as the special Middle East peace envoy of the Quartet, representing the UN, Russia, US and EU, the American fundraising arm of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation accepted money from a family that finances illegal Israeli settlements via the earnings of a convicted felon. the California-based Milken Family Foundation donated $1 million to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in 2013. The Milken Family Foundation’s director is Michael Milken and its president is his younger brother Lowell, who is also president of another family foundation, the Lowell Milken Family Foundation, registered at the same address. Michael Milken, with the legal assistance of his brother Lowell, is known for having developed the market for high-yield and high-risk bonds in the 1980s, earning him both $billions and the nickname of "Junk Bond King". In 1990, he plead guilty to six felonies and agreed to pay $600 million, including $200 million in fines, to settle what The New York Times had called "the biggest fraud case in the history of the securities industry". Milken was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but served only 22 months. Lowell was also indicted on federal racketeering and fraud charges connected to insider-trading violations at Drexel Burnham Lambert, the now-defunct Wall Street investment bank where both brothers worked. However, in order to get Michael to accept a plea deal, the charges against Lowell were dropped. The magazine further notes that the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert and a number of other savings and loan partnerships (many of them affiliated with the Milken brothers) fuelled the larger savings and loan crisis between 1986 and 1995, creating an economic recession and costing American taxpayers about $500 billion. ... Sarah Marusek, David Miller, Middle East Eye.
Cartoon: "Tony of Shalott" Cash for Peerages; several nominees for life peerages (nominated by Tony Blair), were rejected by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. It was later revealed they had loaned large amounts of money to the Labour Party, apparently at the suggestion of fundraiser Lord Michael Levy. It all began to look a little shaky for Blair, rapidly diving in the polls. Feverish reports in the press suggested that he seemed to be about to sing his swan song. I can't honestly remember why I used Waterhouse's image of Tennyson's Lady of Shalott, but I think it was something to do with a pervasive feeling of Blair being up "Shitte Creeke" without ye paddle and of someone drifting off to death because of succumbing to temptation (money in Blair's case). An opportunistic knight in rusty armour, Gordon Brown, looks on from the bank, rather pleased.", link
Blair shut down an SFO inquiry into arms deals, Blair forced many through. SFO got to the brink of uncovering the secret Swiss bank a/cs that BAE was using to funnel money to the Royal Saudi family. Prince Bandar flew to London... and Blair swung into action, ordered the SFO to close down the investigation. Prince Bandar said if the investigation continued, they would withdraw national security cooperation, which would lead to "blood on the streets of London". See 44:45 on Shadow World.
- Dec.17.2018: Blair v May – the ringside seat absolutely none of us asked for. Some interesting links within the article. Hannah Jane Parkinson, The Times.
- Sept.07.2010: The roots of Blair's hostility to Freedom of Information. Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One boss, had secretly donated £1m to Labour just before the 1997 election. After the election he held private talks about a further donation. At the same time, he successfully lobbied Mr Blair to exempt motor racing from the proposed ban on tobacco advertising in sport. The affair led to allegations that Blair had lied to Parliament and to calls for his resignation. It was Labour’s - and Tony Blair’s - first scandal, deeply damaging to the new PM. Years after the event, FOI disclosures demonstrated what had been denied at the time. Within hours of meeting Ecclestone, Mr Blair instructed the Health Secretary, Tessa Jowell, to look for ways of exempting Formula One from the ban. At the time Mr Blair said the decision was not taken till 2 or 3 weeks later. The fact that these documents did not emerge till 2008, after Mr Blair had left office, is the direct result of his decision to delay the FOI’s implementation to 2005. Maurice Frankel, openDemocracy.
- Sept.07.2018: A new party would just be a Blairite tribute act, discredited from the start. Tony Blair – friend to dictators, enemy of socialist principles – wants a breakaway party. It would be a vehicle for the powerful. Owen Jones, The Guardian.
- Apr.10.2018: Tony Blair says UK should launch military action in Syria because 'non-intervention has consequences'. Former PM said Theresa May should be prepared to support potential US strikes because "non-intervention is also a policy with consequences". Mr Blair said the govt would not necessarily need to seek parliament’s approval for air strikes against the Assad regime. Blair said the govt should "support US action". Syria Benhamin Kentish, The Independent.
- Mar.05.2018: Heseltine and Blair do more harm than good to Remain. There is a brutal truth that hardcore Remainers have to confront. There is no sign that those who voted Leave have changed their minds in anything like the numbers that would be required to alter the fact of Brexit. The Times, Robert Colville / Centre for Policy Studies
- Mar.02.2018: Blair-Major tag team tries to wrestle back Brexit initiative. Tony Blair and Sir John Major have joined forces in a carefully choreographed campaign to shift the terms of the Brexit debate in UK + Brussels. ... an approach co-ordinated by pro-Remain Open Britain. The Times, Oliver Wright, Bruno Waterfield
- Feb.25.2018: Fire and Fury author and Tony Blair accuse each other of lying. The former prime minister Tony Blair and the American author Michael Wolff have accused each other of lying, as the row about Blair’s dealings with Donald Trump's White House reignited. Wolff, whose book Fire and Fury presents a remarkable and highly negative account of Trump's first year in office, said on Sunday that Blair was a "complete liar" in the way he dismissed claims in the book. Blair responded by saying Wolff’'s stories about him were made up. The Guardian, Andrew Sparrow
- Feb.19.2018: Extent of UK cooperation with Gaddafi revealed. Previously secret documents discovered in Tripoli shed fresh light on MI6’s links with Tripoli and Tony Blair’s role. The global extent of MI6’s cooperation with Muammar Gaddafi and Tony Blair’s personal role in negotiating the alliance have emerged in previously secret documents released in a high court case over rendition. The Libyan files show that the then head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, flew to Tripoli in 2004 to discuss how to conduct a joint campaign against exiled Libyan jihadists, who were stigmatised as “heretics” by Gaddafi’s officials. The papers also suggest that Gaddafi wrote to Blair in 2003, listing five demands that he was making in return for Libya giving up its nuclear weapons programme. The material sheds fresh light on the clandestine collaboration between the UK intelligence services and Gaddafi’s regime in organising the kidnapping of members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and their forcible return to the regime’s jails in Tripoli. The Guardian, Ian Cobain, Owen Bowcott
- Jul.13.2016: The EU referendum and Britain's broken immigration politics. The decision in 2004 by Tony Blair's New Labour govt to allow unfettered access to the UK for citizens of the 8 central and east European EU newcomers has had monumentally important implications. Most other member states imposed transitional restrictions of up to 7 years. If Britain had done so too then it's probably safe to say that the scale of movement to Britain would have been tiny in comparison with actual numbers and Britain would still be in the EU. Migration Policy Centre, Andrew Geddes
- Nov.10.2014: £41k a month and 2% on top: Blair's deal with Saudis leads to questions over former PM's lucrative contract. A previously secret contract with a Saudi oil company headed by a member of the country’s royal family has been leaked showing Mr Blair charging £41,000 a month and 2% commission on any of the multi-million-pound deals he helped broker. The contract between Tony Blair Associates (TBA) and PetroSaudi signed in Nov.2010 said Mr Blair would personally arrange introductions to his contacts in China, such as senior politicians. The contract stated that TBA would help find potential sources of new investment, and that Mr Blair would make "introductions to the senior political leadership, industrial policymakers, corporate entities and other persons in China identified and deemed by us and you to be relevant to PetroSaudi's international strategy". He had already attracted scathing criticism after it emerged that he had given Kazakhstan's autocratic president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, advice on how to manage his image after the slaughter of 14 unarmed civilians. Since leaving Downing Street in 2007, he has amassed a fortune including a property portfolio of 31 homes worth at least £25m. He is one of the world's best paid speakers – earning up to £150,000 a speech – and has secured advisory roles with US investment bank JP Morgan and Swiss insurer Zurich International. (Timeline in this article re what Blair's been doing since Jun.2007) The Mail Online, John Stevens
- Nov.10.2014: Tony Blair's insatiable greed exposed by his secret deal with Saudi Arabia. Similar article to the Mail one above, with some extra bits. Stop The War Coalition,
- Apr.03.2013: Was Labour’s ethical foreign policy really responsible for the Iraq War? Jason Ralph, Building Sustainable Societies, Leeds Research Project (2011-2015).
- Jun.29.2007: Tony Blair: A true friend of Israel. It should not come as a surprise that Israeli government officials welcome Blair to his new job. Although he has long claimed to be interested in supporting justice for the Palestinians, Blair has an unremitting record of bias towards Israel. After George W. Bush, Blair is probably the most disliked and distrusted individual, among Palestinians as well as in the Arab world in general. This stems not only from his role in the Iraq war, but because he has swallowed the neoconservative agenda whole, becoming one of the leading proponents of a “clash of civilizations” between a supposedly enlightened West and a backward Islamic world. Blair’s anti-Palestinian bias began early in his political career. During his time as prime minister, Blair regularly consulted a pro-Israel lobby group, Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). He has been close to this group ever since he became a member of parliament fourteen years ago. In his speech to the LFI Annual Reception in September 2006, Blair said: “I have never actually found it hard to be friend of Israel, I am proud to be a friend of Israel.” more Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic Intifada.
- Jun.13.2007: Blair: Blame me for BAE. Mark Oliver, Matthew Tempest, The Guardian.
- Dec.01.2005: PM Backs All-Party 08 Group. Prime Minister Tony Blair has led the main political leaders in backing the launch of a special Capital of Culture All-Party Parliamentary Group. The Liverpool Culture Company, responsible for the city's European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008, has invited MPs and Lords to champion Liverpool's cause. Liverpool Culture Blog, Ian Jackson
- Nov.12.2000: Blair "ignored Dome warnings". Prime Minister Tony Blair is reported to have pressed ahead with building the Millennium Dome - despite the misgivings of cabinet ministers. Leaked documents show that a number of senior ministers, including the Chancellor Gordon Brown had advised against it. But Mr Blair is said to have told them the scheme had to go ahead, and none of the ministers wanted to defy him. The report comes just days after the publication of a damning report by the National Audit Office into the running of the Greenwich attraction. David Blunkett said he was "deeply against" it. Chief Whip Ann Taylor suggested the money for the project could be spent on schools and hospitals instead, and the International Development secretary Clare Short warned of a "political disaster". Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is quoted as saying "If Tony has made a decision, we'll all have to support it". Shadow culture secretary Peter Ainsworth said the leaked documents exposed "the dishonesty at the heart of this govt on this issue". BBC News.