Independent on Sky’s story on FCO call to Blair to call Gaddafi. Exciting, isn’t it?

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    Or –

    27th February 2011

    UPDATE HERE

    Yes, I know I said there would be a post on the Mandela/Gaddafi link. But some posts take longer to put together than others, some are more urgent than others, and today I’ve been doing human things. Catching up still.

    So, I’ll be having a comparatively early night tonight, ready for another busy day with more real humans tomorrow. Bet you’re pleased to know I know any.

    Still, I couldn’t let this one slip by me, unremarked.

    Earlier today I caught an excited Sky journalist, name of David Owen – no not that equally excited political Owen. The journalist Owen was saying he had spoken to Gaddafi’s son (Saif?) and that he had told him, in great excitement, that his Dad (M Gaddafi) had been speaking to Tony Blair by telephone on Friday.

    According to Saif Mr Blair had told Gaddafi Senior that this was his last chance for a peaceful solution.

    The really exciting bit was that if Gaddafi did not stop killing his own people, “NATO might intervene.” (Perhaps it was “may”. I’m sure it wasn’t “will”.)

    Right now this is referenced only briefly here at Sky (end of page)

    Sky sources are reporting that former prime minister Tony Blair has told Col Gaddafi: “This is the last chance for a peaceful resolution.”

    So on the Sky News slot on Saturday, looking at Sunday’s papers, the female journalist, Benedicte(?), if I recall correctly, who works for a French publication, expanded a little on this.

    She said that tomorrow’s Independent reports that the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office), William Hague’s department, had ASKED Mr Blair to contact Mr Gaddafi.

    And so he obliged. It seems there were two telephone conversations between Mr Blair and Gaddafi.

    Whatever the former PM said, especially with regard to NATO, (“might” or “may”) was under the direction of the FCO.  Mr Blair would NOT say anything which would be misinterpreted as just his opinion. This is not a man who has difficulty stringing a few words or a concept together.

    Not that these two journalists thought that worth mentioning. Instead, between them the Sky broadcaster, Gillian (sorry, I can’t recall her surname either) and the lady from La France(?) somehow gravitated the viewers’ mind’s eye to the pictures of Blair & Gaddafi.

    And Benedicte concluded that perhaps Mr Blair was trying to make up for errors he made in befriending Gaddafi.

    In other words by sleight of hand and journalistic licence the pair of them, high on brainwashed bias, managed to turn the story from “Hague asks Blair to help stop Gaddafi” into “Blair tries to make up for his past bad friendship”.

    That’s our press for you.

    It’ll all be in the Independent On Sunday soon enough – pretty pictures and all, I’m sure.

    G’night all.

    __________

    ADDENDUM: Haven’t hit the sack yet. Just noticed the Independent now has its report online here. No mention of the NATO business. Probably, as I suggested at my Tweet earlier, an invention of Saif’s.

    Still, the Indy is clearly delighted that Mr Blair failed to stop Gaddafi killing his own people. It’s a sad old world, isn’t it?

    Quite what this parting paragraph has to do with stopping Gaddafi’s murderous rampage is anyone’s guess. Or is it? The Independent, like much of our press is after Blair’s blood.  It has been since 2003 at least. And if they can’t leech him dry over Iraq, then his money, friends, business interests will have to suffice.

    Quote, Indy:

    “Mr Blair has always said he never had any commercial relationship with anyone in the Gaddafi family or the Libyan government, but since leaving office he is understood to have travelled to Tripoli on business for the US bank JP Morgan Chase. He also met Gaddafi in Tripoli as recently as last summer.”

    So even if Gaddafi had thrown up his hands in surrender after the phone calls, the press would give Blair a one-handed round of applause and still remind us all that Mr Blair has business interests in and/or related to Libya.

    Sorry to sort of repeat myself, but it’s a sad old press for you.

    __________

    UPDATE

    MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

    William Hague has been on the Andrew Marr show this morning. He seemed to suggest that Mr Blair made the frst phone call to Gaddafi at his own volition, but the subsequent call was with British government input. That input being that Gaddafi sould stop killing his own people and step down. Exactly the same thing that EVERYONE is saying.

    Are we to take from that that Mr Blair did NOT ask him to stop killing his own people? Or/and are we to take from that that Mr Blair did not tell Gaddafi he’d have to go?

    Are we also to take from that that the British government had no knowledge, by way of say Hillary Clinton, that Mr Blair had been asked to try to influence Gaddafi?

    WE ALL KNOW, as they say, that truth is the first casualty etc, but this is becoming self-serving claptrap from the present British government and others. It’s almost as though Mr Blair is seen as already damaged goods so he can be used to try and subsequently to fail anyway, since he’s already been sacrificed to the greater cause of press and public opinion.

    Take a look at this from The Independent:

    ‘According to Whitehall sources, Mr Blair made an initial call to the Libyan President, who has ordered helicopter gunships to fire on protesters he described as “rats” and “cockroaches”. The Middle East envoy urged him to cease the attacks. The sources suggested that, after consultations with the British Foreign Office, Mr Blair was told that the UK Government would prefer the Libyan President to step down, and so he agreed to phone him again and transmit that message. There was no comment from Mr Blair’s office yesterday. Government sources could not say last night whether ministers knew in advance about the initial phone call.

    The first oblique hint that Mr Blair might be in active contact with the Libyan regime came in a routine briefing on Friday in which US State Department spokesman P J Crowley said the former PM was among the international figures that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken to during the day. Asked why Mrs Clinton called Mr Blair and if it was because of “his dealings with Gaddafi over the Lockerbie bomber”, the spokesman said of Mr Blair: “He has very important and valuable contacts inside of Libya.”

    The NATO ‘threat’ or not has been lost in the sands of political manouvering and press confusion. It was ever thus.

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