Comment at end
1st July, 2010
LIBERTY MEDAL FOR THE REAL PROTECTOR OF REAL LIBERTIES
Blair: “It is an honor to receive the Liberty Medal. I am deeply indebted to the National Constitution Center for adding my name to such a distinguished list of recipients. Freedom, liberty and justice are the values by which this medal is struck.”
Reported here at Tony Blair Office website, and a few other places, many of which (going by their cynical coverage of this news and of their record) clearly do not understand liberty.
They don’t deserve a mention. So I won’t.
‘The National Constitution Center announced today that Tony Blair will receive the 2010 Liberty Medal in recognition of his steadfast commitment to conflict resolution. President Bill Clinton, Chair of the National Constitution Center, will award the prestigious medal to former Prime Minister Blair at a public ceremony on Monday, September 13, 2010 at the National Constitution Center (NCC) on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia.
The 2010 Liberty Medal ceremony will kick off a week of events leading up to Constitution Day on Friday 17th September. Tony Blair will be donating the $100,000 prize money that comes with the medal to two of his charities – the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative.
The NCC have decided to award Tony Blair for achievements during and since his time as British Prime Minister. The Center believes that throughout the gruelling negotiation process that preceded the historic Good Friday Accord, he displayed unwavering determination to settle the generations-long conflict. Since leaving government, Tony Blair has continued to facilitate productive dialogue between diverse groups, as Quartet Representative to the Middle East and through the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
Resopnding [sic] to the news that he would be presenting the award to Tony Blair, President Bill Clinton said:
“It was a privilege to work with my friend Tony Blair to help end 30 years of sectarian violence and broker a lasting peace in Northern Ireland, to stop the killing in and mass exodus from Kosovo, and to develop policies that would improve living conditions for people in both our countries.
“Now, as a private citizen, Tony continues to demonstrate the same leadership, dedication and creativity in promoting economic opportunity in the Middle East and the resolution of conflicts rooted in religion around the world, and is building the capacity of developing nations to govern honestly and effectively. I’m pleased the Constitution Center is awarding him the Liberty Medal in recognition of his work to promote the actions necessary to make peace, reconciliation, and prosperity possible.”
Announcing plans for the presentation of the 2010 Liberty Medal, David Eisner, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, said:
“Tony Blair has significantly furthered the expansion of freedom, self-governance, equality and peaceful coexistence. This award recognizes both his dedication to and his success in building understanding among nations and creating lasting solutions in areas of conflict.”
Commenting on the news, Tony Blair said:
“It is an honor to receive the Liberty Medal. I am deeply indebted to the National Constitution Center for adding my name to such a distinguished list of recipients. Freedom, liberty and justice are the values by which this medal is struck. Freedom, liberty and justice are the values which I try to apply to my work on governance in Africa and on preparing the Palestinians for statehood. They are the values which drive the work of my faith foundation as we try to show that people of different faiths can live together constructively, in peace and harmony.”
“It is a particular pleasure to receive this award from my great friend and ally President Clinton,” added Mr Blair.
“Bill Clinton’s friendship, counsel and support were so very vital as we worked towards peace in Northern Ireland. I was proud to stand with President Clinton as we fought to end the genocide in Kosovo. And I am just as proud to receive this award from him. I accept it, not as recognition of what has already been achieved, but as a sign that we share an ambition and determination to achieve so much more in the future.”
Governor Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania added:
“Tony Blair, both in his time as British Prime Minister and in the work he has done since leaving office, has been one of the world’s most important catalysts for reaching the goals of peace, freedom, and liberty. He is a worthy recipient of the Liberty Medal”.’
The Liberty Medal is awarded annually by the National Constitution Center to men and women of courage and conviction who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people the world over. The Liberty Medal was established by We the People 2000 celebration of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution to heighten recognition of the principles that founded this nation and to serve as a lasting legacy to the Constitution.
A global initiative of the Constitution Center, the Liberty Medal reflects the values of the U.S. Constitution — a belief in justice, fairness, self-governance, and a balance between individual rights and communal responsibility; in the power of people to effectuate change; and in resolving issues through deliberation, compromise, and respect for diverse viewpoints.
Past Liberty Medal winners include Mikhail Gorbachev, Bono & DATA, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Shimon Peres, Kofi Annan, and Sandra Day O’Connor. The Medal has also been awarded to organizations, including Doctors Without Borders and CNN International. Six former recipients of the Medal have subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Constitution Center: http://www.constitutioncenter.org
See here for recipient lists and short spiel on each winner, or click individually below:
- 2009 – Steven Spielberg
- 2008 – Mikhail Gorbachev
- 2007 – Bono & DATA
- 2006 – George H.W. Bush & William J. Clinton
- 2005 – Viktor Yushchenko
- 2004 – Hamid Karzai
- 2003 – Sandra Day O’Connor
- 2002 – Colin Powell
- 2001 – Kofi Annan
- 2000 – James Watson & Francis Crick
- 1999 – Kim Dae-jung
- 1998 – George Mitchell
- 1997 – CNN International
- 1996 – King Hussein & Shimon Peres
- 1995 – Sadako Ogata
- 1994- Vaclav Havel
- 1993 – Nelson Mandela & F.W. de Klerk
- 1992 – Thurgood Marshall
- 1991 – Médecins Sans Frontières & Oscar Arias
- 1990 – Jimmy Carter
- 1989 – Lech Walesa
If you’re trying to work out what my mention of ‘Shame of Chakrabarti’ is about, it’s to do with this organisation – ‘Liberty’. An organisation which purports to be LIBERTY personified.
Liberty is DOING, Ms Chakrabarti, not talking down one’s own country and countrymen.
I wonder whether Tony Blair or Shami Chakrabarti would be more likely to be able to help in the release of this decorated former soldier, imprisoned since 2008 in an Afghan prison alongside Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners? No doubt Chakrabarti would say that Blair ‘s actions for liberty in Afghanistan put him there in the first place.