Tuesday, January 13, 2009

+++ Bush Awards Blair Medal of Freedom +++

Pays tribute to Blair’s friendship, “the might and moral authority of Great Britain”, Blair’s belief in freedom, “his service to peace to peace and democracy in the Middle East”.

Bush citation:

The first day I met Tony Blair, almost exactly eight years ago, he was in his second term as Prime Minister and I was just starting out. After our first meeting, a reporter asked if we’d found anything in common, and I jokingly replied that we both used Colgate toothpaste. (Laughter.)

The truth is I did feel a close connection to Tony Blair. As I said after the first meeting, I knew that “when either of us gets in a bind, there will be a friend on the other end of the phone.” My friend was there, indeed, after America was attacked on September the 11th, 2001. And it just wasn’t on the phone line. When I stood in the House Chamber to ask the civilized world to rally to freedom’s cause, there in the gallery was the staunch friend, Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He was there in a moment of trial to affirm the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. And he was there to show America, and all nations, that he understood the stakes in the war on terror. As he said, “just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in hate, so we have to unify it around an idea. And that idea is liberty.” Under Tony Blair’s leadership, the might and the moral authority of Great Britain have been applied to the war on terror from the first day. Our nations have worked proudly together to destroy terrorist havens, liberate millions, and help rising democracies to serve the aspirations of their people.

Tony Blair’s entire career is defined by his devotion to democratic values and human dignity. At his very center, this man believes in freedom — freedom from oppression, freedom from hunger, freedom from disease, and freedom from fear and despair. In the House of Commons, as the longest-serving Labour Prime Minister in history, he fought to lift up his nation’s communities and better the lives of all its people. He helped turn generations of violence in Northern Ireland into years of peace. He drew the attention and conscience of the world to the suffering in Africa, and he continues to serve the cause of peace and democracy as the Quartet Envoy to the Middle East.

Out of office but still in public life, Tony Blair remains on the world stage as a man of high intelligence and insight — and above all, as a man of faith and idealism and integrity. The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will stand tall in history. And today the United States of America proudly honors its gallant friend, Tony Blair.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blair Just Hangs Around in a Tracksuit All Day

According to Ruth Turner, Blair’s former director of government relations and now charity foundation aide, quoted in the New York Magazine, whenever she sees Blair “He wears a track suit all day.”

You know how it is; one minute you are working hard, suited and booted, next thing you are made redundant. It happens to so many middle aged men who thought they were at the prime of their careers. You end up irritating the wife mooching around in a tracksuit, flicking through the teletext pages all day, shouting at the telly. Bit sad really…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blair Bodyguard Fired Gun in Israeli Airport

Haaretz reports that

Tony Blair’s body guard caused a fright on Tuesday when he accidentally fired his handgun at Ben-Gurion International Airport. No one was injured in the incident, which occurred outside the terminal building at around 3:00 P.M. Blair, a former British prime minister, was preparing leave Israel at the time.

Israel Airport Authority security guards and police rushed to the scene after the shot. An initial probe revealed that the incident was due to an error by the bodyguard, a foreign national.

In May, Israeli fighter jets scrambled to intercept an unidentified aircraft suspected to be hostile, only to find out that it carried none other than Blair, a top military official said.

Some might say he always brings trouble to the Middle East…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mandy Got Blair to Call Rothschild

Mandelson’s ability to get Nathan Rothschild, a Tory donor, to counter-attack Osborne over the “pouring poison” line is widely seen as a tribute to his powers of persuasion.

In reality Rothschild, who has long been enamoured with and in thrall to Tony Blair, acted after Mandelson got Blair to call Rothschild to encourage him to embarrass Osborne. M’learned friends are now being consulted as claim and counter-claim are spun. Isn’t it great to have all the fun of the circus with Mandelson back…

UPDATE : Tories say it was some time after the meeting that Rothschild called them to offer a donation on behalf of Deripaska. A Guido source laughed at the idea that Osborne and Feldman would personally solicit £50,000 – “that would get you to sit at the top table at a dinner maybe”.

CCHQ are calling Rothschild a liar:

The allegations made in Mr Rothschild’s letter are completely untrue.

Both Andrew Feldman and George Osborne deny absolutely that they attempted to solicit a donation from Oleg Deripaska. Nor did they suggest a method by which he could conceal a donation via a British company.

They spent a short period of time on Mr Deripaska’s boat at the invitation of Mr Rothschild. Donations to the Conservative party were not discussed with Mr Deripaska.

In a conversation on September 18, Mr Rothschild suggested to Andrew Feldman that Mr Deripaska wanted to make a donation to the party through one of his British companies. The offer was not taken up.

For clarity: the Conservative party has neither sought nor received any donations from Mr Deripaska nor any of his companies.

Looks like the lawyers will definitely be called in…

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Blair Knew About Abu Ghraib Torture

The torture of Iraqi detainees tshocked even supporters of the liberation of Iraq. Along with Guantanamo they did much to undermine the perceived moral legitimacy of the United States’ post 9/11 response. The photos were truly shocking.

Peter Oborne this morning reveals that despite protestations to the contrary, Blair had received reports of human rights violations seven weeks before the infamous photos became public.

Yet when the news of the atrocities came to light in the Press, Tony Blair played dumb and merely expressed surprise. He told MPs that neither he nor any member of his government had known about the barbaric scenes. ‘It is not correct that ministers or I were aware of those allegations in respect of American troops,’ the prime minister told the then Tory leader Michael Howard.

It now appears that in fact a shocked Bill Rammell, then a junior Foreign Office minister, had been briefed during a meeting in Geneva by the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This meeting took place seven weeks before the atrocities became public knowledge and Abu Ghraib became a byword for American brutality. To his credit, Rammell says he was so shocked by the revelations that he immediately convened an emergency meeting of Foreign Office officials. In his statement, he said: ‘I was assured that defence ministers were already aware of the allegations and that actions were being taken by the Ministry of Defence to deal with the allegations, which was the case.’

So his claim that ministers were not aware is untrue according to the testimony of a minister who did know. The inference is that Blair must have known as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

This picture was taken at St. Paul’s just before lunch today after the service to commemorate the efforts of British armed forces who served in Northern Ireland, remembering those who gave their lives.

Be careful what you wish for…

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Who Leaked Blair’s Memo?

So Blair’s private memo on his thoughts on Brown’s strategy and tactics has entered the public domain. Cui bono?

Miliband is the clear beneficiary. Who was on the distribution list? Bets are that Miliband, Blair’s anointed one, was on the list so a “friend” of his could have passed it to the Mail. Mandelson might likely be another member of the “A Team” that would have seen it, so to would Ben Wegg Prosser, who if memory serves Guido correctly, managed previously to get the “leave the stage with them wanting more” memo to Blair onto the front page of the Mail.

The tone of Blair’s memo is brutally frank, he prefaces it by saying a toned down more gentle version will be sent to Brown – clearly he knows Gordon can’t handle the truth…

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Want To Ask Tony A Question? Become His Friend?

Thanks to Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace you can have Tea with Tony on Monday. Go on, you know you want to…


UPDATE : The more eagle-eyed have noticed that Wendi Deng is Tony’s MySpace friend as well as Rupert’s wife and recipient of email from Gordon. Mark Pack over on LibDemVoice reckons Murdoch’s Sun bashes Facebook and boosts his rival MySpace. No news however as to bear activity in the forests…

Monday, May 19, 2008

Is Tony Playing a Joke on Gordon?

Having been trying to figure out why on earth Labour would think to use the clunking fist imagery for their Crewe campaign. A co-conspirator has come up with the answer:
“Look, Gordon. You know I’m a regular sort of guy. You know how much I want you to succeed. Why don’t you try…” [He presses the mute button because Cherie is giggling too loudly]).

Tony made him do it. The “clunking fist” was his image idea after all….

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Zimbabwe and Britain : Parallels (I)

A co-conspirator draws an interesting parallel.

From The History of Zimbabwe based on Nyerere’s recollections:

During tension between the two political leaders Julius Nyerere summoned Nkomo then Mugabe to talks to try and reconcile them. When Mugabe went in and was offered a seat, Mugabe refused and went up to Nyerere’s face and told him “If you think I’m going to sit right where that fat bastard just sat, you’ll have to think again”. As a result of this strained relationship with the two, fighting between ZANLA and ZIPRA soldiers only increased and widened the gap between the two men.

From The Mail On Sunday based on Prescott’s memoirs:

Mr Prescott, who will stand down as an MP at the next election, also tells of more comical encounters, including the time the then Chancellor insisted on having a larger chair at a peace-making dinner. Mr Blair reportedly said: “I’m used to Gordon looking down on me.”


Seen Elsewhere

Even Ed’s Friends Call Him ‘Bad Luck Magnet’ | Mail
BBC: It Was Guido Wot Won It | MediaGuido
Nick Robinson’s Britain First Selfie | Metro
Dyson: Leave German Dominated EU, Join EFTA |
How UKIP Won Rochester | Seb Payne
Labour’s Islington Problem | Harry Phibbs
Ed Lost More Than a By-Election | Labour Uncut
Labour the Biggest Losers in Rochester | Speccie
Thornberry a Gift to Farage | Nick Wood
Is Left Finally Turning Against EU? | Dan Hannan
Labour Votes Going Green | Guardian


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Ralph Miliband on the English…

“The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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