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26th September 2011
Before dissecting Mr Oborne – sorry – Mr Oborne’s dissection of Mr Blair, I have a few questions for the makers of the Dispatches programme, to be broadcast tonight on – wait for it – drumroll for objective, non-biased broadcasting – The Great, The Above Reproach, The Tenacious, Trooffinders United aka – Channel (you got it)… 4.
(applause, applause — ‘no, please don’t… don’t. No… Don’t. Stop’)
- Q1 Did you refer to Mr Blair or his Office for comment on the charges you make against him, before broadcasting?
- Q2 Did he provide you with any information to confirm or disprove your accusations?
- Q3 Does Channel 4, as a politically fairly left-wing outlet find it natural to accept the words and ‘proof’ of such an organ of the right as Peter Oborne – Mail and Telegraph writer?
- Q4 Has C4 got it in for Tony Blair personally as much as politically? For instance would they ever consider broadcasting a bit of far-fetched fiction/faction about a former PM called, say, Tony Blair who is supposedly on the run from the Police for murder?
- Q5 Are the answers to any of the above “NO”? Come on, C4. You can tell me. I won’t tell anyone. Honest. Have I ever lied to you? Fingers crossed and hope to work for C4 one day. When I’m troof-full enough.
This is the same Peter Oborne, who in February 2007 insisted on knowing something that the Police had said was not to be broadcast publicly – Almighty Row at PM’s press call It’s fairly lengthy, so to save you the bother here is a brief synopsis – jump here, then jump back, if you’re not too jumpy by then.
You back already?
Gimme strength. Where was I? Oh yes …
Firstly, let’s be clear what this programme is: it is just a re-hash of old Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday cuttings presented by Peter Oborne – someone who is an obsessive and dedicated Blair opponent. It is not remotely a piece of objective journalism. It is a propaganda exercise. Each of the claims of so-called conflicts of interest was debunked when first made.
The two examples the press have picked up on from the programme, both previously published in the Mail on Sunday and later rubbished – show Peter Oborne’s conspiracy theories gone mad.
WATINAYA & GAZA GAS FIELD
He argues that Tony Blair’s support for the Palestinian mobile company Wataniya and for a gas field development off Gaza was somehow to do with his role with JP Morgan.
This is simply not true. The facts are Tony Blair has advocated for the both the Wataniya project and the Gaza gas development at the direct request of the Palestinians.
It is his responsibility as Quartet Representative to work to build the Palestinian economy and the Wataniya project represented the single largest foreign direct investment there has been into the Palestinian Authority.
That is good news for the Palestinians. The fact that Mr Blair has been doing so is hardly a revelation: it is listed on his website. Both were long-standing demands of the international community.
In neither case was Mr Blair even aware JP Morgan had a connection with the company.
He never discussed it with them. They never raised it with him. A fact the company also told the programme. But given the fact, as I understand it, that the trailer for the programme was running before Channel 4 had even had replies to their questions, perhaps we know what to expect tonight from
Troofhunters Unlimited – Truth Unrecognised.
No doubt there will be various figures thrown around tonight about how much money Tony Blair has made from various projects. Given the presenter’s known bias, and the fact that his source material is the Daily Mail, it will come as no surprise to anyone that every figure the programme put to Mr Blair’s office in advance was wrong, as I understand it. In one case WRONG by a factor of more than ten!
Of course the Dispatches programme will add to their programme tonight, one can be sure (!) all the information as to his achievements as Quartet Representative. I should imagine that if there was any communication between them – (surely even C4 would afford the accused this courtesy) – such a list is likely to have been sent to the programme-makers.
It’s been said a thousand times before – OK, I exaggerate several hundred times – the decision to release Megrahi was taken by the SNP-led Scottish Executive, two years after Tony Blair stood down as Prime Minister, and on compassionate grounds on an illness that hadn’t even been diagnosed while Mr Blair was still in office. Tony Blair played no role in the decisions whatsoever. The idea that he could have phoned up Alex Salmond and have intervened in some way is clearly absurd, especially since they are not quite “best pals” for one reason or another.
As regards visiting Libya, it is true that Mr Blair has visited Libya since leaving office. It was a good thing to persuade Gaddafi to give up his chemical and nuclear weapons programme, and to stop sponsoring terrorism. That was a change in Gaddafi’s external policy that was in Britain’s national interest. Sadly, that external change was not matched by internal change, which is why it was right for the international community to act in the way it did when Gaddafi turned his guns on his own people earlier this year.
As has been made clear before thousands – oh all right – hundreds of times – Tony Blair has never done any business for or with Libya. He has never had any commercial, advisory or business relationship with any Libyan company or entity. Despite what Saif Gaddafi may have said, Tony Blair has never had any role, either formal or informal, paid or unpaid, with the Libyan Investment Authority or the Government of Libya.
Got it? Good.
As for the Sunday Telegraph story trying to link Tony Blair to some Russian aluminium deal, neither Mr Blair nor any of his staff raised any issue to do with a Russian aluminium company, as JP Morgan’s own quotes also show.
My dear friend Julie also wrote on Peter Oborne’s Web of Lies and late on Monday added to her blog with this on Tony Blair’s Achievements as Middle East Peace Envoy
You might also wish to visit the website of the Quartet Representative Well, why not. No-one else does.
These etceteras listed all got their information, presumably, from the worthy Dispatches programme-makers. Well, share and share alike the spoils of war against Blair, as it were. All below except the last one telling us that Hillary Clinton ASKED Mr Cameron to ASK Mr Blair how to deal with foreign affairs, especially Libya. Can’t imagine WHY she thought David Cameron could do with Mr Blair’s advice. Can you?
You can read it all here, if you can be bothered – Almighty Row at PM’s press call If not, to save you time, here is a brief synopsis:
Oborne, as self-appointed Blair-hunter-in-chief, was annoyed with the PM’s Press Officer over the Police oversight to tell him and cited in his argument’s support that it was not made public knowledge that Tony Blair had had an earlier (recurring) heart condition. With sleight of hand and questionable moral rectitude, this supposed failure to inform him and the rest of us about Mr Blair’s private health matters Oborne melded it all into the likelihood that Mr Blair was also covering up his questioning by the Police ( in the waste of money & resources failed Honours Police investigation.) Oborne seemed to feel that even IF the Police had instructed secrecy on a recent questioning of the PM, that wasn’t good enough! We the people had to know. And the ‘fact’ that we did not know before 2004 that Blair may had a heart condition was proof if proof were ever needed by Oborne that Tony Blair was a liar. Point proven. Oborne suggested. Except it wasn’t. From that day on, and probably from years earlier Oborne has been on a quest to return to giving Mr Blair a re-recurring heart condition, with love, of course. Jump back to start of section
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)