Archive for the ‘Blair in Fiction’ Category

Happy Birthday Tony Blair. Unhappy Political Art Appreciation to Others

May 6, 2014

6th May 2014

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Happy Birthday, Mr Blair

Tony Blair Portrait ny Alastair Adams

Tony Blair Portrait by Alastair Adams

POLITICS IS MORE OF AN ART THAN A SCIENCE

Alastair Adams Portrait

Opining, also known as writing for the press, is neither. It is seldom disinterested reportage.

But it really takes the biscuit paint palette when a so-called art critic allows his opinion on a politician’s politics to define the smudged edges of his critique. Into that category falls this, by Martin Newman of the Daily Mirror.

It is weirdly headlined “…but does it show the real him?”  Oh for God’s sake – NO! It shows the woman who makes your latte at Espresso Opinions R US, Mr Newman!

This critic also has odd ideas about family pictures on a desk – “Tellingly the photographs on his desk face away. He is a family man, but they are just part of his priorities.” Martin Newman suggests that the family photographs (Are they? How does he know?) facing away from Mr Blair (who is standing in front of his desk) means his family are not of major importance to him.

I ask in all seriousness – where do they find these art critics? In the same recycling bin as they find political critics?

MISFIRING?

Misfiring on several cylinders, Mr Newman gives us the benefits of his own thoughts on Blair’s political attributes with, “Technically the painting is very good, harmonious and balanced, with the viewers eye drawn immediately to the misfiring Middle East peace envoy’s face.”

Before we get to the finale of the critique – the halo / messianic jibes – a  requirement of ANY Blair criticism worth its stinging salt – we get this gem:

“Adams, the President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, first painted Blair in 2011.  His previous effort [EFFORT!?] had the sitter staring intensely at the viewer, his mouth in an almost rictus sneer and teeth set as though ready to jump out of the canvas and bite you.”

Alastair Adams Portrait of Tony Blair

Alastair Adams Portrait of Tony Blair; “rictus sneer” according to Art Critic Martin Newman

This Adams portrait, on the left, is evidently the sneerey bitey one.

Like the new painting it is an excellent piece of portraiture, Mr Adams (website here)

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Tony Blair sketch by Jonathan Yeo, during 2001 election campaign

Tony Blair, 2001, by Jonathan Yeo

While googling about I came across this much earlier portrait of the former PM (right).

Painted by Jonathan Yeo, it was completed during the general election of 2001 and shows a younger, but for that period an unusually serious Blair. I rather like it. It’s certain he would never have expected at that time how many in the press, and thus some in the chatterati, literati and twitterati would grow to despise him.

Speaking of critics & well-wishers, Mr Blair, I’m sure Dan Hodges really wishes you well on your birthday, even if you do look better in jeans than he probably does. Dan & I chat now and then on twitter.

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February 2264. Tony Blair opened his eyes

February 2, 2014

2nd February 2014

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DIED. NATURALLY

Odd feeling. Out-of-body. Where am I… where’s Cherie… the children?

He felt as though he were floating above the bed

He felt as though he were floating above the bed

He was lying on some sort of airbed, or seeming to float above it, surrounded by people he assumed were doctors. A lot of people. Must have had an accident. Well, at least I’m still here, he thought.

After a few moments concentrated silence the medical people started to speak. A clipped sort of English, like texting language.

“You OK?”

“Yes, I’m fine”. He thought he’d spoken quietly but he heard his voice echoing. So did the watchers. They all covered their ears as though deafened. Messages were seldom passed in that primitive way.

He didn’t expect the next clipped words: “Mr Blair you bn brought back from dead. Procedure only recent perfected. Cannot yet be sure ift works proply. You second speriment. First failed. Be keeping you under obs for sm time bfore able to return to, erm… family.”

“What? Must have been a serious accident”, he suggested.

“No accident. Died… natural.”

“I died?” he gasped, incredulous. “Thank you. Thank you for… thank you so much. Can I ring my wife?”

An unedifying silence. Exchanging quick glances, they all turned and scuttled off in unison. All except one who pointed a microporation gun at his arm as she passed her hand across his face.

Weakening, he felt his eyes close. “I’ll find my mobile later and ring Ch…”

_____

DR JEKYLL-HYDE CONSIDERS

Dr Jekyll-Hyde was in deep mind-to-mind conversation with a colleague.

“Deal was that when he wakes up we let him see all he did in first life, so that he cringes. That’s what my Great7 Grandmother Hyde insisted. Crowd-funding was easy. Called HydeGallowayMonbiotPile. Big pile. If we don’t see deal through must put body back to sleep for 250 more years. That’s deal.”

“Hmm. Until he cringes? Hardly.”

“You have to remember there was a meme. He was seen as ‘war criminal’. I know. You smile. Early internet days. All believed anything bad against authority figures.”

“What if he doesn’t cringe?”

“GrandmaHyde7 will turn in her grave.”

“Ahh, GH7? Wasn’t she cryogenically cryonically frozen too?”

“Hmm”, whispered Dr Jekyll Hyde, “‘the Judgement of History’? Time to wake up the corporeal form, Grandma.”

______

CRYOGENICS CRYONICS (Correct word here, Ms Hyde, not here)

Marina Hyde

Marina Hyde?

GH7 awoke more slowly than did the former Prime Minister. Well, such was her habitual way.

Unlike Mr Blair’s her body had not been stolen by the WeAllKnowers after death. She had insisted it be deposited in the same hideaway as his. She didn’t trust him if he were beyond her all-encompassing reach.

In his medically induced sleep the 5 times prime minister had been informed via hypnopedia of his present condition, and that the year was well over 200 years later than he thought. He awoke with a start and a sinking stomach.

Laugh or cry? He was gripped with more dread and horror than Ed Balls & Gordon Brown had ever inflicted upon him in his Downing Street den. The medic at his side got a painful earful:

“Is this a joke? I don’t want this. I never asked for it. I just want to die like everyone else. For good. To be like my family. To be with them. And God.”

Only for a moment did he wonder why he had no memory of God or heaven. He must have seen him, been there. Relieved he had no memory of meeting the Devil either.

“All in good time, Sir. All in good time”, clipped the voice.

_____

THE JUDGEMENT OF HISTORY

Hmm...

Marina Hyde, aka GH7.

The newly revitalised “corporeals” of both GH7 & TB1 were fitted with head-encompassing equipment. Hardly New Age, thought GH7. We journos had things like this in the old days. It’s how we got our stories.

The machines purred gently into action. They were set to alternate snippets from each life. Both rewarmed former corpses were programmed to watch all reruns. In 2264 balance is considered of value.

Technician 1: “Robocrap will uncover all.”

Technician 2: “Result?”

Tech 1: “GH7’s life is still struggling to process. Glitches. Everywhere. The former prime minister’s is all in there. It says…

Tony Blair in Armagh, Northern Ireland,1998.

Tony Blair in Armagh, Northern Ireland, 1998.

… Youngest UK PM in 185 years/3 times (record-breaking) election winner/New Labour/”Education x3″/NHS strengthened/Third Way/Minimum wage/Sure Start/Mixed economy/Extended parental rights/2 million lifted out of poverty/Freedom for Bank of England/London became world’s financial centre/Blairism/Blair Mark 2 aka David Cameron, Nick Clegg & Francois Hollande/Human Rights Act/Reliable ally of USA/Democracy/Equal Rights & opportunity/Social Justice/Civil Partnerships/Community Cohesion/Freedom of Information/Devolution to Scotland & Wales/Northern Ireland peace/Stopped bloodshed in Sierra Leone/Ended ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Kosovo/Interventionism/Iraq/Afghanistan/Religion empathy/world leader/decisions/love/hate/charities/business enterprises/agenda/Europe/Middle East/USA ally/Envoy for Israel’s & Palestinians’ Quartet/Multi Faiths Foundation/Africa/Governance/Sports Foundation/Climate issues…

… there’s more. List very long. Perhaps Robocrap cross-referencing. Surely this can’t be life of just one man?”

Tech 2: “What does it show for GH7?”

Tech 1: “Only The Sun/Piers Morgan/the sack/The Guardian/Lost/Celebrity/Elton John/libel/raspberry/Leveson oh and press robocrap. Then it repeats itself. No comparison to TB1. Balance necessary for fairness. Looks like RIRO. We can go no further.”

Tech 2: “Hmm. RIRO it is. Rubbish in – rubbish out.”

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Marina Hyde (Wikipedia)

Tony Blair (Wikipedia)

Tony Blair in Sweden: “My staff always wanted me to be more like Hugh Grant”

March 27, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original posts list: from 2006 to 2012

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Tony Blair meets Romanian Prime Minister Ungureanu, 26th March 2012

Tony Blair meets Romanian Prime Minister Ungureanu, 26th March 2012

27th March 2012

I mentioned the other day that Tony Blair gets around.

Yesterday it was Romania. Today, Sweden.

In a speech on leadership in Gothenburg today he said this. (My thanks to tweep –  Mariah ben Salem@Mariahbensalem)

Tony Blair: “My staff always wanted me to be more like Hugh Grant, but I didn’t quite make it.”

Some might suggest that Mr Grant, or rather the script, didn’t quite make it.

EASY APPLAUSE

In ‘Love Actually’, the 2003 film where the PM was played by Hugh Grant there is this facile section. (One knows it was facile when cinema audiences applaud such populist press-inspired anti-American tripe as ‘USA are bullies‘)

Press Conference Reporter: Mr. President, has it been a good visit?
The President: Very satisfactory indeed. We got what we came for, and our special relationship is still very special.
Press Conference Reporter: Prime Minister?
Prime Minister: I love that word “relationship.” Covers all manner of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship; a relationship based on the President taking exactly what he wants and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to, erm… Britain. We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that. And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.
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On that “relationship” jibe – so beloved by the brainwashing literati at The Guardian and Independent –  Yes, it is special.  Ask Dave & Obama (about the “bromance”).  Always was special. Always will be special.
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REAL LIFE
In response,  at the Labour Party conference of 2005, a few months after winning a third record-breaking general election for Labour, the REAL Prime Minister said this:

“I know there’s a bit of us that would like me to do a Hugh Grant in Love Actually and tell America where to get off. But the difference between a good film and real life is that in real life there’s the next day, the next year, the next lifetime to contemplate the ruinous consequences of easy applause.

I never doubted after September 11th that our place was alongside America and I don’t doubt it now.

And for a very simple reason. Terrorism struck most dramatically in New York but it was aimed then, and is aimed now, at us all, at our way of life.

This is a global struggle.”

It certainly is a global struggle as far as depicting Tony Blair in fiction is concerned. Way to go.
Here is the full text and video of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s keynote speech to the Labour Party’s 2005 conference in Brighton.

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Paxman in Wonderland

March 10, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original posts list: from 2006 to 2012

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10th March 2012

(Updated 13th March: John Rentoul on BBC’s Paxman &  “over-compression”!)

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

“Curiouser and curiouser!”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2)

Jeremy’s Adventures in Wonderland

Once upon a time there was a big, bad TV presenter who went by the name of Jeremy Paxman. He worked for a nationwide broadcasting channel, the BBC, which prided itself on being righteously impartial in a wicked media world of self-serving partiality.

[“Now, I give you fair warning,” shouted the Queen, stamping on the ground as she spoke; “either you or your head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!”  (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9) ]

"Oops! I didn't really mean it", said Queen P from behind her mask. "Now put it back on."

However, Jeremy was a very opinionated sort of person who found it difficult to abide by the detailed impartiality rules that had been drawn up for the BBC. One day he could hold back no longer and tore into an unfortunate politician, Douglas Alexander (as mentioned here by John Rentoul, when it occurred ONE year ago) who had the temerity to defend a former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for whom Jeremy had much disdain, likening him to a “millionaire Messiah”.  The interview concerned Blair’s relationship with a nasty Arab leader, Colonel Gaddafi, who had been persuaded by the former Prime Minister to give up his extremely nasty weapons and join the fight against an even nastier common enemy.

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)

The Queen of Hearts rules over Wonderland and is a tyrant - violent, authoritative and dominant. She likes to play croquet with live flamingoes and hedgehogs as mallets and balls (but only when she wins, and by her own rules) and constantly orders the beheading of people when something isn't to her liking (although these orders apparently never are actually carried out). She also has her own ideas about how trials should be conducted, and is feared by all other Wonderland inhabitants because of her lack of patience and explosive character.

Jeremy conducted the interview in such an obviously biased way that a member of the public was prompted to complain to the BBC.

'That's what you call a History of England, that is. Now, take a good look at me! I'm one that has spoken to a King, I am: mayhap you'll never see such another: and, to show you I'm not proud, you may shake hands with me!'

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)

The complaint centred on a passage in the interview which the complaining person reported as follows:

“His lips curling with contempt, Paxman asked Alexander whether he was proud of the pictures of Blair embracing Gaddafi, emphasising the words “proud” and “embracing”. He then went on to refer to “the killing being done by someone who our former PM had clasped to his bosom and whose son had referred to him as a close personal friend (with the words “bosom”, “close”, “personal”, “friend” being almost spat out. This was followed by – “So we have got a despot still in power, having been clasped to his bosom by our former PM (notice the repetition of the bosom clasping reference) and you still show no sign of apologising for this? (with a note of incredulity in his voice). Then in response to an answer from Alexander he almost screams at him “Stop passing the buck to the international community!”

After the complaint had been duly rejected by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (otherwise known as the BBC Protection Society) it was taken to the BBC’s eminent watchdog, the Great and the Good of the BBC Trust, which had the task of ensuring that the BBC complied with its impartiality rules.

Such a clear case of bias presented the Great and the Good with a problem. To uphold the complaint might result in the BBC upsetting and possibly losing one of its star performers: to reject the complaint would make a mockery of its sacred impartiality rules.

SCURRYING DOWN THE SHRINKING RABBIT HOLE

Alice falls down the rabbit hole. When she turns the corner the Rabbit is gone and Alice finds herself in a long, low hall, with doors all round it. She tries them, but they are all locked.

So there was only one answer, to go down the rabbit hole and have the matter dealt with by the Wonderland branch of the BBC Trust where the accepted rules of logic and adjudication, such as addressing the precise terms of a complaint on the basis of the arguments and evidence provided, do not apply. Moreover the Wonderland branch of the Trust could be relied on to convey their findings in such a long-winded, gobbledygook kind of way that no one would bother to read them, let alone make the effort to understand them.

“I quite agree with you,” said the Duchess; “and the moral of that is–‘Be what you would seem to be’–or if you’d like it put more simply–‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'”
“I think I should understand that better,” Alice said very politely, “`if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.”
“That’s nothing to what I could say if I chose,” the Duchess replied, in a pleased tone.
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9)

The Duchess is very ugly and mistreats her baby. She is also fond of finding morals in things. She tries to be in everyone's good books (especially the Queen's) by acting very complimentary.

MADNESS IS AS MADNESS SAYS IT IS 

Many months later, Jeremy’s case found its way to the Wonderland adjudicating committee (things move very slowly in such cases). His defence, formulated by the Editorial Complaints Unit (the BBC Protection Society) rested on the usual proposition that any views or attitudes that Jeremy had shown in the interview were not his own and that the public did not consider them to be his own anyway. The opposing case was based on there being no evidence for the proposition and clear evidence that the reverse was true.

"We're all mad here" (The Cheshire Cat)

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

The Committee eventually delivered their inevitable verdict, finding against the complaint and deploying all the absurdities of Wonderland to justify their decision.

“Oh”, said Alice the Complainant, “substance and bias and phrasing and manner. Whatever can it all mean?”

The substance of Jeremy’s questioning, it concluded, did not show any bias, even though the complaint was not about the substance of the questioning but about the phrasing and manner of the questioning. Just because an interviewer may hold certain views, it went on, does not mean the interview was conducted in a partial manner, despite the complaint being about Jeremy revealing his bias by the manner of his questioning.

Finally, in a dazzling display of Wonderland logic the Committee, ruled that the evidence supporting the case against Jeremy was irrelevant, even though on a very similar case previously put to the Committee they had concluded that the views and attitudes conveyed by Jeremy were not his own (and no one thought they were) because no evidence had been presented to the contrary.

The brothers Tweedledee & Tweedledum (aka BBC & BBC Trust) are rather affectionate with each other, but don't hesitate to fight over insignificant matters. They are also cowardly.

Everyone, bar the complainant, was happy. Jeremy was happy because there would be no verdict against him at a time when he was strutting his Empire stuff. The BBC was happy since they had avoided an embarrassing punch-up with one of their most valuable assets which could not be allowed to fail. And the BBC’s poodle (sorry, watchdog), the BBC Trust, happily wagged its tail having once again done its master’s bidding.

The only slight doubt was about whether someone in an influential position might notice that the verdict came from the Wonderland branch of the Trust. But on past form they knew they had little to worry about since those who reported these things tended to turn a blind eye to Wonderland verdicts which concerned the former Prime Minister.

“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9)

__________

In case some might dismiss the above as a fairy tale, it should be noted that the recent BBC Trust decision on which the story was based is even more replete with Wonderland absurdities, as can be seen from this link to the actual findings

(scroll down to page 31) and from this extract from the full response of the complainant to the findings.

__________

(Thanks to this site for most of the pictures, quotes & interpretations of Alice’s adventures.)

(‘Jeremy in Wonderland’  –  continued here)

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“I don’t say this lightly” – I’ve cracked it on Twitter. First a death threat & now a “genuine” belief

October 15, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

16th October 2011

DEATH THREAT LATER

GENUINE [DEATH] BELIEF FIRST

Confession time.  I’m not always the most numbingly flattering of people. I have a sometime impolitic tendency to say what I think.  On the other hand I DO give praise – high praise – where I believe it is deserved. Thus, dear reader, this blog. A blog in support of someone else, not espousing my own great qualities of omniscience.

Generally I don’t call people, even bankers, MPs  & the press rude names [correction – some of the press]. Either as individuals or as a group I do not wish them dead, out of some simplistic, puerile view that I KNOW that I am right and they are wrong, evil etc.

[I do confess to having recently upset someone I probably shouldn’t have over something he said I probably misinterpreted. If he hadn’t blocked me for being unrepentant at the time, I’d tell him I’ve seen the error of my ways.]

However, I wouldn’t dream of wishing death on anyone. Even those few I take an immediate dislike to. After all we’re all human. More or less.

Twitter is a funny old place though.

Maggie and Tony share a post-coital cigarette in The Hunt for Tony Blair (Picture: Channel 4/PA)

On Friday night following the latest offering from The Comic Strip – yes that’s its name – ‘The Hunt For Tony Blair’ – on Channel 4, I responded to a Twitter tweet. This chap, tweeting Stephen Mangan, the show’s Tony Blair character, copied to that other comedian Armando Iannucci, had said –

“well played sir, you’re Tony Blair is almost as good as Armando’s puppet! He really is a smiling buffoon”

I had the audacity to respond to him with this –

“He really isn’t… this is a self-serving characterisation of a world statesman.THE world statesman.”

I then received this personal response, Mangan & Iannucci not copied in  –
“I don’t say this lightly but … I genuinely believe the world would be a better place if you were no longer in it!”

Click on the picture below to see it larger –

I gently asked this individual –
‘Perhaps you can explain WHY you say this. Intrigued. “I genuinely believe the world would be a better place if you … etc” ‘
His response –
“simple really, you’re cleary[sic] a bit of an idiot and a loudmouth idiot to boot, thus you are essentially a negative influence”

ALL LOUDMOUTH IDIOTS MUST DIE

So there we have it truth-hunters.  If this guy considers you “a loudmouth idiot” – thus “essentially a negative influence” – you, hopefully(!) won’t be long for this world.

The mind boggles as to how empty the world would be if we ALL thought like this.

I only write about this to let people know that there are people out there who wish an early death for those with whom they disagree.

We should know these people exist. They are a real problem. Frequently of the peace ‘n’ love anti-war sort  – [I know, I know – priceless isn’t it?] – they often exude hatred from every pore when someone disagrees with them, even when supplied with indisputable facts.  My observation that Tony Blair is “THE world statesman”, something inarguable to all but the most prejudiced, cuts no ice with His Omniscience.

We saw this blind bias on full display on The Hunt For Tony Blair. Not content that the Blair character is (in their well-rehearsed gotcha vision) shot “up the a*se” by the Gordon Brown character, we then see a kind of immediate re-incarnation of the reviled self-believing spirit turning over in the water into which he plunged, planning how to con his way past Saint Peter.

And just in case the hopeful assume he’s really dead “The Hunt” ends with “Tony Blair is still at large”.

You couldn’t make it up. Except that these people have and are applauded for it by the hate-filled ignorant. I am not taking this silly “Hunt” programme too seriously, believe me. It is part of the constant vitriol which over time seeps into the subconscious of the gullible.

For proof of that read this comment, also on Friday night –

You got that, didn’t you?  –

“Just watched a documentary about tony blair and how he killed people”.

A “DOCUMENTARY”?  This was 10:10pm Friday night just as ‘The Hunt for Tony Blair’ ended on Channel 4. It was no documentary. Yet this individual thought it was! To him it was about how Tony Blair “killed people”.

Chat down the pub tonight?

  • Intellectual 1 – “Did you see what that bastard Blair did?”
  • Intellectual 2 – “Yeah. First he killed John Smith the great leader of the Labour party, then he pinched his job and killed Robin Cook and all those people in Iraq.”
  • Intellectual 1 – “And then the *ucker bumped off anyone else who got in his wicked way to Bush’s backside.”
  • Intellectual 2 – “I reckon it’s his turn. You up for it?”

Almost forgot – the death threat

That was made a month or so ago on Twitter by someone who said this –

“If I was to ever see you, Bush or Blair I’d kill you without hesitation”

But no worries. Both Twitter and the Police told me so.  Free speech an’ all that.

Sleep well.  Live long.

__________

RELATED

1. Notts Politics – Hunting Down Tony Blair

Excerpt: “The New Labour government is the most dramatised in history and Tony Blair the most dramatised Prime Minister  … But there also lazy reasons, including pandering to easy stereotypes and popular prejudices. Many members of the public, certainly those on the left, somehow ‘know’ that Blair was obsessed by spin, was in love with the powerful and lied to us about Iraq. But how do we acquire such ‘knowledge’? “

2. THIS – is a Review? The Hunt for Tony Blair – Counterfire

Excerpt: “This is a former British Prime Minister, being portrayed as a nihilistic, self-interested mass-killer on mainstream television. Tony Blair: the man who got away with murder. And everybody knows it.”

Everybody knows YOU know nothing, Mr Hold Your Fire.

3. Note the most highly recommended comment at this Telegraph review –

“Worst of all it’s a true story, he’s got away with millions, and the innocent are left with the cosequences[sic]. “

4. And take a look at this for what the “Hunt” actors really think about Tony Blair and the Iraq war. Then tell me it’s just a satire.

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Recent comments:

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)

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The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
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Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Telegraph should shut up about Tony Blair, says admirer Ahmed M Kamara

October 10, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

10th October 2011

I saw this the other day and felt refreshed. Cleansed even.  And by a journalist. A real, live journalist – without the ugly look-at-clever-me appendage most of the British variety drag around on their shoulder hanging putridly off the cynicism chip.

The article is by Ahmed M Kamura at Newstime Africa.  It refers to this at The Telegraph by Richard Eden.  Apart from the main thrust of the article – praising the work of “this wonderful statesman” it also takes on our disgraceful, self-debased media, including broadcasting media as exemplified by Peter Oborne’s [possibly libellous] junk on Channel 4 Dispatches recently.

Our printed press, mainly The Telegraph on this occasion (but there are many others, as we all know) takes most of the criticism. Well deserved, imho.

Mr Kamura’s article is cross-posted below, with my sincere thanks to him.

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Britain’s Telegraph newspaper should shut up – Tony Blair is doing a fantastic job in Africa!

Tony Blair receives Golden Jubilee Award from Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma

Not a week passes by that the British press doesn’t take a jab at the former Prime Minister Tony Blair. For one reason or another, the continuous hounding has become  a standard that the press here believes will guarantee them sales. The relentless attacks have become like a cult thing where it has to be done come what may. There’s never a talk about the amazing contribution that this hardworking former Prime Minister has made to Britain and the world in general. The Iraq war has become synonymous of a man whose achievements should be the envy of most current world leaders. But sadly, the British press that is supposed to elevate his profile in the media, are the ones who are taking turns in trashing the reputation of this fine international public servant. So what – he took British forces to war in Iraq on what the media here says was based on flawed intelligence – is that reason enough to continue to bash his image in the media? British newspapers need to move on. Blair’s era as PM has ended. Apparently, it seems they wish he was still Prime Minister as his presence at Number 10 helped them sell tons of papers – reflecting how popular Blair was to the British people.

The British media is notorious for hyping unnecessary issues – and as the recent phone hacking scandal has revealed – they would go through extra-ordinary means to secure damaging material on anyone they deem could make good gossip, and then embark on destroying their reputation – with no remorse. It is indeed disgraceful that respectable journalists would engage in such rancor – when they should instigate debate on how to help make the British society better for all. But i guess that doesn’t sell newspapers – not a viable commercial effort – as morals are thrown out of the window in place of dishing garbage to sometimes unsuspecting readers.

The British press is passionate about anything Blair. Recently, a TV documentary by a former broadsheet journalist actually went out of its way to investigate the business dealings of Tony Blair – just to find any flaws in the way he manages his charity and other work – when in fact no one has complained!!  No one is talking about the impact Blair’s work is having in places like Liberia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone – where remarkable success is being made in how the people are governed. This sadly, would never make it to the front pages of British newspapers. The obsession to trash Blair’s reputation is second only to the scandal that has engulfed the corrupt British press establishment itself. I believe that the fascination with Blair stems from the fact that most in the media were hoping to see his demise after he left office – and the remarkable success he has made both with his charity and his work as Quartet Envoy has left some in shock – as most were looking forward to Blair’s downfall and use every opportunity to write vile things about this wonderful statesman – but now they have to contend with the outstanding success of a man who continues to use his world-class leadership stature in the international arena.

I have lived in Britain long enough to know how some in the press operate. Being a Journalist myself – i have seen how some credible newspapers have fallen far short of their moral obligations. I have also seen how the tenets of the profession is totally disregarded by tabloid newspaper and their journalists –  just to ensure a controversial headline. On May 13th 2007 when Tony Blair was leaving office, the reputable New York Times reported “ there is no denying the political brilliance that won Blair rare longevity as prime minister. He refashioned the Labour Party after years in the political wilderness, molding a British version of Bill Clinton’s third way – a cleverly packaged balancing of Margaret Thatcher’s free-market policies with a willingness to spend revenues from a booming economy on hospitals, schools and public safety. Blair deserves the praise he has received for achieving peace in Northern Ireland, for the creation of separate legislatures in Scotland and Wales, and for overcoming his Tory predecessors’ knee-jerk hostility to the European Union. Blair sagely dispensed with British insularity when he backed the EU expansion that brought in Central European countries of the vanished Soviet bloc. And he rightly preached a policy of building a strong Europe that would not weaken the trans-Atlantic alliance”.  This is indeed an excellent assessment of some of Blair’s achievements – the type that will never make it to the OP/ED’s of British newspapers!!

On the 9th October edition of the British Telegraph, it is reported: “Tony Blair’s charity set up to alleviate poverty in Africa spends more than £1.6 million on its staff” – I don’t personally see anything wrong with this. If Blair was paying his staff peanuts or below the British minimum wage. I wonder what the headlines would be! These nasty behavior from newspapers that are supposed to be respectable, exposes a daft agenda that comes into play when there is insufficient material to make it to the next edition. The deliberate cocked-up attempt to create a story out of nothing relevant could easily be identified in the flow of the story itself. The report went on:  “It paid its 22 employees, seven secondees and sub-contractors a total of more than £1.6 million. This translates as more than £57,000 a year for each of Blair’s staff. The charity works in some of the world’s poorest countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda. The organisation, which is one of three charities the former prime minister set up since leaving office, enjoyed an income of £3.2 million in 2010, an increase of £1.25 million since 2009. Its expenditure was almost £3 million”. The article is clearly meant to cause damage to Blair’s credibility. There must be better things to write about – especially considering the current phone hacking scandal that has engulfed the British media.

Tony Blair should be left alone to help  African governments deliver good governance to their people. The continued harassment Blair has endured in the hands of the press in Britain has now become tasteless in the minds of newspaper readers who have become accustomed to see a story or two about him on the front or inner pages of newspapers nearly every week. The Telegraph’s latest attempt to smear him has only ended up chipping into the credibility of this media house I once had respect and admiration for. No matter what is written, Tony Blair has left a legacy, one that would be impossible to dismantle – no matter how mighty the pen is!!

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I commented at Mr Kamara’s article here and tweeted on it here –

blairsupporterBlair Supporter
Ahmed M Kamara, I salute you, Sir. We need your sort of honest journalism here in UK. newstimeafrica.com/archives/22802  – Tony Blair “wonderful statesman”

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MORE EXAMPLES OF THE TELEGRAPH’S CAMPAIGN OF ENVIOUS VITRIOL TOWARDS TONY BLAIR

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Also see – Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative – AGI

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Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

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)

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The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

BREAKING: Ban ki-moon, H Clinton, Ashton & Lavrov forced to stand down (Quartet)

October 3, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

3rd October 2011

[*See note at end]

In a move that has shocked the international community all four representatives of the international Quartet working for peace between Israel and the Palestinians agreed unanimously to stand down from their decision-making positions as regards the Middle East’s most intractable problem.  It is believed to be connected with reported opinion of some on the Palestinian side that they consider Tony Blair to be “biased” against the Palestinians.

The UN’s Ban Ki-moon, US Sec of State Hilary Clinton, the EU’s Baroness Ashton and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained their reasons in a joint statement:

“In the light of reported Palestinian and press outrage over Tony Blair’s so-called failure to transform Palestine into Norway over the last four-year period, despite its never having been Norway for at least the last 60, we thought it more principled on this occasion NOT to shoot the messenger. We realise we four will be missed by the international community, but we decided it was for the best.  Mr Blair, it should be noted, has made more inroads into his job description than any of us have with ours. Apart from that the rest of us have elections to win and Mr Blair doesn’t. So he can take the flak.”

NOT SHOOTING THE MESSENGER

In response to this the Quartet’s representative Tony Blair said, “It is a relief they have decided NOT to shoot the messenger. I have enough trouble back home at Labour Party conferences where they have a noose with my name on it.  And that’s only because some Conservatives seem to quite like me.”

Just a few reasons Tony Blair survives, while others don’t or perhaps shouldn’t –

RELATED

Quartet on the Middle East (Wikipedia)

The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia. The group was established in Madrid in 2002, recalling Madrid Conference of 1991, as a result of the escalating conflict in the Middle East. Tony Blair is the Quartet’s current Special Envoy.

Ban Ki-moon (Wikipedia)

*NOTE:

This report is entirely fictional, just in case you wondered!

NOT RELATED TO ANYTHING SENSIBLE –

Debunking Peter Oborne, C4 and the rest of the Tony Blair debunkers

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Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

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)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Debunking Peter Oborne, C4 Dispatches & rest of the Tony Blair Debunkers

September 26, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

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 broadcastingThe 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.

PETER OBORNE & CHANNEL 4’s DISPATCHES – NO MORE THAN A PROPAGANDA EXERCISE

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 …

FACTS

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.

LIBYA

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.

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RELATED

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.

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ETCETERA

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?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8784596/On-the-desert-trail-of-Tony-Blairs-millions.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8787053/Tony-Blairs-Byzantine-world-of-advisers-and-lucrative-deals.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8787049/Tony-Blair-linked-to-Libyan-deal-with-Russian-oligarch.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2041832/Tony-Blair-pushed-deals-worth-billions-investment-bank-JP-Morgan.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2039412/Camerons-secret-meetings-Tony-Blair-advice-foreign-affairs.html

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OBORNE- ROW AT No 10, Feb 2007

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

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

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)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.