Tony Blair to donate all proceeds from memoirs to Royal British Legion

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    16th August 2010

    UPDATE: on R4’s PM John Rentoul and John Kampfner debate the merits and demerits of Blair’s huge donation. Rentoul, echoing my own thoughts as in the comment reply below also expressed his unhappiness at the BBC using the Stop The War coalition member as if he were mainstream. They are NOT. They are  a Trotskyite organisation. The Independent, although Rentoul’s paper, was the leading anti-war paper. It too falls back on the usual suspects to put thir case.   Rentoul said this should not be an occasion for rehearsing the antis’ case but we should all welcome the largest single donation to the British Royal Legion in its 89 years existence.  Mr Blair himself has made no comment on his donation today. The best policy, imho. Let the haters stew in their own irritation. It suits them.

    UPDATE 2: Oliver Kamm reminded me of this on Brierley in his tweet.

    ROYAL BRITISH LEGION – BLAIR DONATING OVER £4.6M

    Reported at Tony Blair Office, and also at the Royal British Legion website, Mr Blair will donate all the proceeds of his book, including the £4.6M advance to the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Challenge Centre.

    You can pre-order (at reduced price) Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’ here. Due for release on 2nd September, 201o.

    Click picture to order

    From Tony Blair Office:

    The Royal British Legion is pleased to announce Tony Blair will be donating all of the proceeds from his forthcoming memoirs, A Journey, to the Battle Back Challenge Centre, a Legion funded project that will provide state-of-the-art rehabilitation services for seriously injured Service personnel.

    The Legion has now committed £25m over 10 years to support the MoD’s Personnel Recovery Centre (PRC) programme which was announced earlier this year.  The charity’s funding support covers the running of the 4 PRCs and all the capital and civilian running costs of the Battle Back Challenge Centre – a major part of the programme which aims to help seriously injured personnel using sport and outdoor activities to help physical rehabilitation and confidence building. The innovative project will help injured service personnel fulfil their potential and get back to active duty or civilian life.

    Blair's book proceeds expected to go to Battle Back Challenge Centre, British Legion.

    The Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Challenge Centre is due to open in summer 2012. The Legion expects that most injured personnel who are able to return to active duty will go through the Battle Back Centre as part of their recovery. The Centre, which will be open to personnel across the Armed Forces, will provide accommodation and a state-of-the-art gym and training facility.

    Chris Simpkins, Director General of the Royal British Legion, said:

    “The Legion is delighted to accept this very generous donation which gives an excellent start to our fundraising target of £12m for the Battle Back Challenge Centre and a total of £25m as our contribution to the provision of the world class service for injured personnel for the next 10 years. The culture of the Centre will very much be about what users of the service can do rather than what they can’t but some of the servicemen and women are likely to need the Legion’s support for the rest of their lives. Mr. Blair’s generosity is much appreciated and will help us to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of hundreds of injured personnel.”

    A spokesman for Tony Blair said:

    “Tony Blair decided on leaving office that he would donate the proceeds of his memoirs to a charity for the Armed Forces as a way of marking the enormous sacrifice they make for the security of our people and the world. The Royal British Legion is just such a cause.

    “In making this decision, Tony Blair recognises the courage and sacrifice the armed forces demonstrate day in, day out. As Prime Minister he witnessed that for himself in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and Kosovo. This is his way of honouring their courage and sacrifice.

    “We have been consulting with a number of people and organisations to decide the best support he can give. There is one project consistently highlighted: The Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Challenge Centre.

    “As Tony Blair said to the House of Commons on his last day in office:

    “‘I believe that they [the Armed Forces] are fighting for the security of this country and the wider world against people who would destroy our way of life. But whatever view people take of my decisions, I think that there is only one view to take of them: they are the bravest and the best.’”

    Support the British Legion. Click to order

    [Pic: Mr Blair recording the audio book version of his memoirs.]

    Also reported at The Guardian, by Matthew Taylor

    Excerpts:

    Tony Blair, who led the UK into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is to donate the proceeds from his forthcoming memoir to the Royal British Legion.

    The book is expected to generate huge interest when it goes on sale on 1 September. Translation rights have been sold in 14 territories.

    It is understood that negotiations about the donation have been going on for several months.

    Chris Simpkins, the charity’s director general, said he was delighted to accept “this very generous” offer, which he said would help the organisation to hit its £12m fundraising target.

    “The culture of the centre will very much be about what users of the service can do rather than what they can’t, but some of the servicemen and women are likely to need the Legion’s support for the rest of their lives. Mr Blair’s generosity is much appreciated and will help us to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of hundreds of injured personnel.”

    Blair’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 prompted huge anti-war protests and led to splits within the Labour party amid claims the war was illegal.

    Today his spokesman said the former prime minister had always been committed to recognising the role played by the UK’s armed forces.”

    Tony Blair meets British troops at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in 2006, when Blair was prime minister. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

    RELATED

    Bloomberg: Tony Blair to donate proceeds of memoirs to UM Military Veterans’ Charity

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    A recent comment from an Albanian, Mr Leonard Dedej from Tirana – “It takes big leaders to make the hardest turns in peoples life…mr Blair is a big leader and a great man for millions of people in Balkans!!!for stopping a savage war!about Iraq I believe that the press wherever it is has not the right to judge on this issue because it simply is to small to judge!!history will judge mr Blair!as long as it is an ongoing war no one can blame mr Blair,after all he started something for a big reason..the press its often wrong because it fights for audience!!!”



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    13 Responses to “Tony Blair to donate all proceeds from memoirs to Royal British Legion”

    1. Peter Reynolds Says:

      I do have to take my hat off and bow to touch my toes in recognition of this very generous donation.

      There may be truth in the suggestion that he’s made so much from his ex-PM activities that he can afford this but to focus on that would be curmudgeonly in the extreme.

      Well done Tone. A bold, brave, generous and very clever move.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Yes, he didn’t HAVE to do it. But I am relieved he has. Another stone removed from the antis’ armoury. Of course, having said that, the BBC Radio 4 report at 3:00pm HAD to have the counter-balancing comment from a bereaved parent – “blood money”.

        FGS. I really AM losing patience with these people. PC or not, I think they need to grow up and grow the backbone that their children had when they signed up for the army in the first place. A rose garden was never promised.

        Should have added that we have long been supporters of the British Legion, and often attend their November Commemoration Events in various parts of the country, some of which doing a little more than just being there. This donation, which it seems is the largest in the Legion’s history, will go down extremely well and will be put to good use.

        So yes, well done Tony.

    2. Tony Blair On Course « Peter Reynolds Says:

      […] my friend blairsupporter (rumoured to be a nom de plume of Lord “Big Mac” Prezza).   See here for the definitive posting about this remarkable news. The Royal British […]

    3. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Good God! Love, peace and generosity all round! My cup overfloweth.

      http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/tony-blair-on-course/

    4. Tony Blair’s act of charity and the shameful whining of the haters « Says:

      […] blog Tony Blair to donate all proceeds from memoirs to Royal British Legion1. David Kelly believed there were WMD in Iraq. 2. ChildsplayBush and Blair to open new Ground Zero […]

    5. little ole American Says:

      Hoorah! Tony Blair, we thank you!
      All of the whiners (and the “clever moves” types) should take a hint from PM Blair. Why don’t they put their money where their mouths are, get together, and try to match the donation? How can one look at the picture of the soldier in the therapeutic pool and not want to open their wallets and shut their mouths? There is honor and then….there is honor.

      • Troy Says:

        If taking a hint from Blair includes sending troops to a baseless war where thousands of them will be killed or maimed, I would guess that they would just as soon forsake my donation in order to skip the first part.

        • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

          Thousands of them? Our troops? A few hundred killed and perhaps, true, hundreds more maimed. That is the nature of warfare. Millions died in earlier wars.

          Sorry if you fail to understand that soldiers fight wars, and sometimes die. You understand little, clearly. Our great soldiers do understand and do not cry for their comfy duvets and mothers while fighting for people’s liberty.

    6. Rob Says:

      I don’t like Blair, and the RBL in general is far from my favourite charity. However, praise where it’s due and all that: I would have been (OK, was) near the head of the queue to criticise TB for adding to the personal wealth amassed on the back of his appalling incumbency, so let me cross over to the other line and barge apologetically (sorry, don’t normally comment here, persona non wossname) into the queue to praise his giving the proceeds to charity. And, while it may surprise you, I mean no irony when I say that his choice of charity seems particularly apt. I may not be able to raise a cheer for Blair, but I’ll raise a glass just this once.

    7. HPThieves Says:

      Some of Blair’s corrupt proceeds should be given to David Kelly’s widow

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Which “corrupt” proceeds? And WHY to Kelly’s widow? And how do you know Mr Blair hasn’t already “helped” Mrs Kelly?

        Three questions to help you focus your mind on your own ignorance. Hope that helps. I’m sure you’re grateful.

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