Chilcot and The Blair Rich Project

Blair Inc paperback

Blair Inc: paperback version. Pic Credit: John Blake Books

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

On Wednesday the  report into the Iraq War  will finally be published and Tony Blair’s role will be finally dissected by a top former civil servant, Sir John Chilcot.

Tonight (Monday)  at 8.0pm  I will be appearing in a Channel 5 documentary called The Blair Rich Project which will look at how  Tony and Cherie Blair have amassed so much wealth since he left office in 2007. You can link to it and view the episode here

The programme includes a number of stories which are covered in our book Blair Inc. The book came out  in paperback last week  and is co-authored by me,Francis Beckett and Nick Kochan.

The programme looks at the Blairs’ property empire, his deals abroad and both he and Cherie’s fascination with amassing wealth.

The book to remind you covers Blair’s former role as Middle East envoy, his failed bid to become European Union president, the Blair Faith Foundation, his deals with other  countries where he has been an apologist for dictators  and also includes a chapter on his close ally and friend Peter Mandelson, his lobbying empire and his relationship with Russian oligarchs. There is an attempt to prise open his far from transparent companies where he amasses his wealth.

As Blair faces questioning over his role in Iraq it is worth reminding people how far the Blairs have come since he left office nine years ago.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Chilcot and The Blair Rich Project

  1. On the Andrew Marr programme this morning Len McCluskey alleged that Blair was orchestrator of the attempted coup to force Jeremy Corbyn to resign using the International Public relations firm Portland to brief selected news media people. While the excuse given for the coup is his alleged poor performance in relation to the Referendum and potential electoral failure in a General Election the time of just before Chilcott can be considered a factor. Another issue is the decision of the Government not to out a candidate in Batley and Spen constituency after the death of the Member of Parliament Jo Cox, This paves the way for the constituency to invite some with similar international interests and role. I have been advised that David Miliband returned to the UK quietly recently although that may have been to attend the private Funeral.

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    • Yes this is interesting.I did check this out to see if there was any link to Chiklcot that prompted the revolt and was told that it was not the reason – it was fear that they could lose their seats.

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      • I watched the Channel 5 programme this evening. What struck me at the end was that the two views presented were not in conflict but described the person Tony Blair had been and then become. It is a familiar story for those who experiences social mobility, although in Tony’s case he started at a higher level ,was ruthless in seizing opportunity and rose to a position of national and international powe. In part it is because his ambitious rival Gordon Brown seized control of domestic policy through the Treasury although in turn the Treasury was only carrying through the approach of Thatcher which placed financial control at the centre of controlling local government ands which was taken up by Labour Council Leaders because it enabled them to have some control over their colleagues and the sevices they provided.
        This democratically meant that the party and those associated took decisions about priorities away from the individual committees and their senior officers. As one Cabinet member once said to me at the time the problem with Thatcher is that she is not one of us, similarly in an authority where 1000 men worked in shift 20 miles under the North Sea politicians went on the picket line to show solidarity with their community but dreaded the prospect of a Scargill victory

        I suspect history will show there was no direct link between Blair’s rise power and his popularity fall because of the Iraq war . The fuss has been from 200 soldier deaths compared to 20000 on the first day of the Somme. There is lip service to the death of the ten of thousands of civilians just as the was recent publicity that the allies had taken out a large convoy of Isis vehicles many of who were driven by expendable slaves of that regime but was more to do with the machinations

        I suspect that Chilcot will criticise aspects of the decision taking but conclude there is no evidence he deliberately misled people because of a deal with the USA President.

        He was badly advised. However whatever Chilcot concludes and the whatever the outsome this is part one. Part two is his role in Northern Ireland and the decision to use the Royal Prerogative to achieve peace on the mainland and relative peace in fourth part of th, British state Blair becoming super rich is interesting but irrevelant in terms of Britain its future in terms of politics and economic prosperity given out position as a top wealthy country

        David Miliband the former MP for South Shileds and Foreign Secretary appears to be following a similar pathway establishing himself internationally and with strong following in the UN. In fact the tragic death of Jo Cox and he decision of the the Tory party not put up a candidate provides the opportunity for David Miliband to be become the MP for Batley and Spen if the constituency Labour party agrees that he shares the same values and approach of Jo Cox it is unlikely that they will want to put a local candidate unless that individual has the kind of genuine charisma of Jo. I though this was a great idea if the plot against Jeremy Corbyn succeeded and Boris Johnson became leader. Given that the two are so opposite, Boris the loveable man of the people with no personal principles, policies or ideology and Jeremy with principles, integrity a vision with the changes in political process required prepared to tell the truth and be honest when questioned and challenged.. something hated by the political and media establishment with both previously ruling parties. One has only to see the price paid by the Liberal Demcrats for daring to moderate the right of the Tory Party as they would attempted with the right of Labour had Brown not been so arrogant and defensive about his personal position.

        Future historians may uncover the truth of what has gone on since Jeremy’s amazing election by the people past and opresent. I met people who had been campaigning for fifty years at the Jo Cox Rally in Trafalgar Square and someone also who had been a member if Labour Party like me fifty years ago and we we have been international socialists, antu racists and weapons of mass civilian exterminations throughout but accept the manipulation of democracy by vested interest as well as genuinely held different views on how the world should be if it is to survive and avoid self destruction

        First I am concerned about the involvement of the CIA, the Security services and those who will profit from the replacement of Trident and the retention of nuclear weaponary which is not the view of leading military and geo political experts who would like to the money spent on developing are other more realistic defence capacities

        in 1960 as a member of the Committee 100 I warned Bertrand Russell about the behaviour of his assistant Ralph Scheonman who I thought was CIA posing as left wing and disregarding rhe basics of Satytagraha. Bertrand Russell responded negatively to what I said and it was several years later that he realised he had been taken in ( see the memorandum at the end of his official biograophy , Incidentally Scheonnman reappeared in Egypt at the time of so called Arab Spring although no one appeared to make the connection.

        Secondly the extent to which we can ever have separate econinic cintrol is debatable wirthout acceptance of international capitalism. In 1984 my local authority sent me to what is now the Henly Business school on a residential international course for those thinking about or seeking to become Chief Exceutives/Chairmen in business wih a few ofus in government as by then the Civils ervice had its own staff college. The main message of the leaders of international firms and finace houses was that you moved your HQ to stable political countries which offered the best low taxation and you moved your production to the most stable countries with low or little trade unionism and an acceptance of low wages. You formed alliances . wirth competitors to control and develop markets and you moved out of a business altogether onced the market had been exploited to its potential profit. The contempt of policians was universal in part because the ability to corrupt but mist hated were those of principle and belief

        .At one point a Foreign office specialist came and went through every African and Middle East state looking at stabilityand the other issues mentioned. I spent six months afterwards preparing briefing papers for local politicians and colleagues and then prepared a more general paper on the implications for local government. This paper was sent to Michael Heseltine and although he was in the process of resigning as Defence Secretary he wrote to say he was arranging for the paper to be circulated widely throughout Whitehall and I also received a letter from his Permanent Secretary which I treasure given my own background and the myths about why I took action to oppose weapons of mass destruction.

        I did not vote Jeremey Corbyn, as I advised his team, because I feared what would happen and I hoped that the next election would be fought between Theresa May and Yvette Cooper with Angela Eagle the deputy leader and if Jeremy goes this may well be one outcome of the present political turmoil. both were instrumental insetting up the child sex abuse inquiry which may well have a great an impact as the Referendum vote in bringing about fundamental political and social changes. I also thought that Michael Gove was genuine in putting forward a Corbyn type approach for the right but the venom of the Boris camp is such that I fear his candiditare is doomed,

        Finally I agree that many of those who voted in the secret no confidence ballot were genuine in their concern for he future of the Labour Party as much as their position i na general election but I echo the views of Len McClusky that they have been “seduced” into taking the wrong path. One key if there to be compromise and not division is the postion of the GMB who want Trident replacement because of their membership involvement and the GMB (my union) funds a good chunk of MPs.

        By coincidence after attendinga Fellowship reunion at Ruskin College recnelty I have been working on a paper about rhe reality of political power in Brittain after listen to a presentation of engagement with Parliament and the process of influecing Givernmen which I plan to publish online because of its timelyness. Colin Smart

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  2. Setting aside Blair’s politics, there does seem to be something psychopathological about his enthusiasm for ethically questionable wealth-generating activities.

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