The Blairs’ former new age guru and shower sharer has won damages from the Mail.*
She kept repeating on the telly a moment ago that she was “nearly fifty”….
She could have fooled Guido…
*She never sued over her topless photos in The Sun.
The press smell money-grubbing by Blair in Kazakhstan, Tony Blair Associates is opening up shop in the capital city Astana. Cherie has been “meeting Kazakh women” on a couple of visits the latest of which, hosted by an investment bank, was “to talk about women and economic development and their role in business”. Charitable humanitarian that she is…
Lakshmi Mittal the billionaire Tony crony who, after Prime Minister Blair lobbied on his behalf with the Romanian government, gave the Labour Party £4 million, has extensive interests in the region. Mittal employs 100,000 Kazakhs in local mines where an average of 30 miners a year die working for him. The Mail reports that a whole gang of Tony’s cronies are circling around the resource rich state; Mandelson’s friend Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch, London-based Israeli Alexander Mashkevich an associate of Lord Levy, Lord Renwick of investment bankers JP Morgan – £2 million-a-year paymasters to Blair – coincidentally all attended an investors meeting addressed by Blair. Even Alastair Campbell is proffering advice on spin to the Kazakhs.
Blair says he isn’t making any moolah from the Kazakhs, yet he is opening an office. Presumably the £2 million a year from JP Morgan is for Blair to open high level doors to opportunities. So Blair is technically not lying, just being disingenuous…
Technical problem means you can see it here.
Intriguingly the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds is running this:
“Diplomatic sources revealed today that the Quartet Committee intends to appoint a new peace envoy in the Middle East after receiving a Palestinian request to change the current envoy Tony Blair; the Palestinian request threatened that the Palestinian side will not accept any sponsorship by the Quartet Committee in the negotiations with Israel in case Blair remains in his position because of his ‘clear bias towards the Israeli side at the expense of the Palestinians’…”
Anyone seen Gordon recently?
If you were wondering why Tony Blair was so quiet during the phone-hacking crisis, no look further than the Vogue interview with Murdoch’s wife, and chief bodyguard, Wendi Deng. It’s not online yet, but The Telegraph reports that it claims Blair is the godfather to one of the Murdoch’s children:
“The journalist who conducted the interview for Vogue is said to move in the same circles as the Murdochs in New York. While Mrs Murdoch does not comment on Mr Blair directly, the article states that Miss Kidman, Mr Jackman and Mr Blair are godparents. It claims that Mr Blair attended the Jordanian ceremony “garbed in white” and describes him as one of Mrs Murdoch’s “closest friends”.They have a mutual friend in Queen Rania of Jordan, who hosted the baptism.”
He’ll be creeping up to the Gaddafi family next…
Guido’s critique of Miliband’s handling of the first days of the Libyan uprising upset some of his apologists, who dispute the fact that the Labour Party are losing an ally today. In order to put this to rest once and for all, Guido thought he would take a last look at Gaddafi, his family and the key players in the last government.
In September 2009 Gordon Brown told the Andrew Marr Show “there was no deal” to have the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi released early on compassionate grounds. Two years later the convicted terrorist was seen cheering on Gaddafi from the comfort of sunny Tripoli. “So if you’re suggesting there was any deal, there was no deal. There was no conspiracy, there was no attempt to make anything conditional on anything else” Brown promised. The line was pushed the next day by Ed Balls, when he told the Today program“none of us wanted to see the release of al-Megrahi.” However we know now that this is just not true…
Far from it in fact. A Cabinet Office report in July 2010 revealed that the Labour government did “all they could” to get Megrahi released. And it wasn’t just the Cabinet Office blowing Gordon’s line out of the water. Guido brought you leaked emails from former Blair adviser John McTernan that explicitly mentioned a deal. Jack Straw let slip that British trade had been a major factor in the release. As Guido reported back in February, the Scottish nationalists tried to line their pockets too.
“Scot’s justice was bought and the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s price was £100 million. The Labour government in Westminster brought forward legislation to get the SNP government in Scotland off the Somerville judgement hook in June 2009, two months later Megrahi was released.”
Far from Gordon’s line that the decision was made in Scotland and that he couldn’t of possibly have had anything to do with it, a dirty deal was concocted at the heart of the British government. It involved Downing Street, the British intelligence services and BP. In September 2009 Guido brought you the players:
“Nick Butler is the Economic Adviser brought into Downing Street when Gordon became Prime Minister. Prior to that he was a senior strategist for BP. He joined the firm in 1977 and helped to develop close links between BP and New Labour in the 1990s.
Incidentally Butler is a mate of Peter Mandelson who has also been treasurer of the Fabian Society for more than 25 years. He helped to bring close to half-a-million into Brown’s coffers from his city chums.
“Sir Mark Allen is a Special Adviser to BP. Before that he was the senior MI6 officer who negotiated with Saif Gaddafi to end Libya’s international isolation in 2003-04…”
It was these two men, one ex-BP then at the heart of government, the other ex-MI6 and then at the heart of BP, who conspired to give Gaddafi what he wanted for access to Libya’s oil. Less than twenty-four hours after Guido revealed the cast more details began trickling out. Allen had called Jack Straw twice in November 2007 to put pressure on him for a deal. Despite initial denials, BP also coughed that they had lobbied the government over the slow progress of the deal, highlighting that there would be “negative consequences for UK commercial interests”. And what was Peter Mandelson’s disingenuous take on these allegations? “It’s not only completely wrong to make such a suggestion it’s also quite offensive…”
No doubt Mandy had plenty of time to make up his mind as to what is offensive whilst he spent a shooting weekend with Gadaffi’s son and Nat Rothschild. A tight and close gruesome threesome. There is no denying the closeness of the upper echelons of the last government to the murderers currently being hounded out of Tripoli. Just last year Gaddafi was asking the Libyan people to “pray for Gordon Brown”, but it’s the hand of Gaddafi’s “good friend” Tony Blair which is never far away. The deal was concocted on Tony’s watch and he even approved the training of Gaddafi’s special forces by the SAS. So close were they that it was Blair that Gaddafi phoned to seek advice on how to deal with the uprisings. Mandelson was keen to help out too – speaking of Saif Gadaffi’s chilling threats to slaughter the rebels, Mandy thinks he could have spun it better:
‘I’d rather have had a couple of minutes with him beforehand to say that you know this sort of performance in a very clumsy and ham-fisted way is not going to get you anywhere.’
Even Douglas Alexander, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary who was so keen to talk down the threat of No-Fly Zone, took to the airwaves to claim Blair was right to make friends with Gadaffi, even after he had begun slaughtering his own people. With such a shameful past you would think the “next generation” of the Labour Party might have been more careful to keep their distance from the Mad Dog of the desert. But no…
As the crisis kicked off in February Guido brought you the Miliband family’s own connections to Saif Gaddafi. LSE Professor David Held, who is seemingly in charge of desecrating Ralph Miliband’s memory, welcomed Saif to LSE as a “representative of the Miliband program” - a series of lectures in memory the Labour leader’s father. Held failed to mention the £300,000 he had taken off Gaddafi in his sycophantic introduction. Showing his trademark judgement, it turns out Ed is a very big fan of Professor Held.
Yesterday Guido highlighted the involvement of former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald and the former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in the phone-hacking scandal. It obviously hit a sore spot with the latter. Goldsmith’s spokesman emailed Guido:
“Lord Goldsmith looks forward to responding to the letter Mr Vaz is apparently sending, but wishes to make it perfectly clear now that there is no truth at all in the suggestion that he authorised or instructed police to narrow their investigations in relation to phone hacking.”
That’s all well and good, but it does not answer the charge that Guido laid yesterday. Goldsmith is attempting to shift the blame down the line to Macdonald for the decision to limit the investigation. However what Guido wants to know is whether Goldsmith subsequently raised in Cabinet that the police had told him in May 2006 that “a vast number of unique voicemail numbers belonging to high-profile individuals (politicians, celebrities) have been identified as being accessed without authority…”
He told Newsnight last night “As background in the briefing that I had about those cases (Mulcaire and Goodman), I was told that the police believed there were other cases as well.” Did he raise this in Cabinet? If not, then why not? If however he did, then why was no action taken by the Labour government?
UPDATE: Lord Goldsmith and his spokesman are keen readers and tell Guido it would it would have been “entirely inappropriate for the Attorney General to share this or any such memorandum with any Cabinet Ministers” arguing that
“the DPP acts independently of government and that the Attorney General, when fulfilling his role of superintendence, does so also.
This memorandum was to keep the Attorney General, as a law officer, updated on the progress in this investigation. It was not for sharing with other Ministers, none of whom should ever be, or perceived to be, in a position to influence prosecution decisions.
I trust the above answers the question you raised. It still leaves Lord MacDonald with some tricky questions to respond to which I see Mark Reckless is pursuing.”
Which is a lawyerly way of saying it wasn’t down to me, it was down to him…
One snippet of yesterday’s phone-hacking debate in Parliament struck Guido as slightly odd. QC, and West Devon MP, Geoffrey Cox revealed some damning loose ends about Blair’s Attorney General and Lord Macdonald, the then Director of Public Prosecutions, that the Home Affairs Select Committee report did not clear up. In May 2006 both Goldsmith and Macdonald were given a briefing from the police that stated:
“a vast number of unique voicemail numbers belonging to high-profile individuals (politicians, celebrities) have been identified as being accessed without authority. These may be the subject of wider investigation.”
Cox went on to point out that the CPS decided to instead focus their investigation on Goodman and Mulcaire, and the hacking of two officials at the palace. Despite this, Goldsmith knew about the extent of the phone-hacking, yet seemingly did nothing. Cox was pushing Labour to reveal whether Goldsmith raised the issue at Cabinet, as he had a duty to do with matters of public interest. As he repeatedly hammered home – why was nothing done?
Another Tory MP Mark Reckless, who is on the Home Affairs Select Committee, is going after Lord Macdonald, who is now at Matrix Chambers with Blair’s wife. Reckless has written to Macdonald demanding to know why nothing was done. Reckless also wants to know how much Macdonald has had in writing fees since he stood down at the CPS from, you guessed it, News International. Another layer emerges…
Yesterday’s broadcast of the Politics Show had Blair on, and someone who would have been familiar to him, his former speech writer. Though perhaps not familiar to the Beeboid staffer who compiles the credits. Apparently they tried to get the Education Secretary on the show too late, everyone knows You Can’t Hurry Gove. That’s Just the Way It Is…
UPDATE: In the comments Bill Quango MP, one of the blog’s favourite co-conspirators, points out the Beeboid got YAB’s MBE wrong, she sent it back over some imperialist outrage or another.
Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette
Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:
“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.
Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).
Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.
I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”