The newspapers today carry the unsurprising news that Blair’s business affairs are routed through a multiplicity of companies operating in tax havens. He is raking in over £5 million per year, aside from his official job of chief Zionist – sorry, I mean Middle East Peace Envoy.
But I was more struck by the information in Michael White’s Blair puff piece that, before his arrival in the Sedgefield constituency yesterday, six policemen blocked off the roads around the venue with trafic cones.
Why? I am not making a petty or petulant point, I mean it. Why? This was a Labour Party event, not a government event. Blair holds no executive office in this country. The election has not been called. Even if it had been, he is not a candidate. Why do the police cone off the roads for a Blair New Labour speech?
How much did the six policemen cost? And they were just the bottom of the pile, the road coning bobbies. Blair arrived in a huge entourage of cars, at least some of which were taxpayer provided. There was a large police car and motorcycle escort. Not to mention the close protection officers. How much did all that cost?
Thatcher and Major move around with no blues and twos and a single close protection officer when required. The Duke of Edinburgh moves around privately with much less security than Blair. As a taxpayer I object fundamentally to footing the bill for protecting this war criminal. He should get a single close protection officer and fund anything else himself. He can certainly afford it.