An Apology 1876

I am so committed to getting my book finished I really don’t have time or energy to blog at the moment, and realise it has been very desultory the last few weeks. I am well and happy, it is just that writing a properly researched history is incredibly intensive. I realise there is much of great interest happening in the world, but I must sometimes cut myself off from it.

This is why I don’t ask for donations for the blog…

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1,876 thoughts on “An Apology

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  • Ba'al Zevul


    Tomorrow Mr Blair will be gesticulating and gurning at “a select group of college students” – who are presumably being punished for something – at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, in Addis Ababa, tomorrow. No doubt they will be eager to hear his views on Brexit and expressions of the popular will generally.

    Since the new president, Abiy Ahmed Ali, will be there too, the opportunity for the Great Man to meet Ethiopia’s leader is obvious. Abiy may care to bear in mind that Tony’s last visit to Ethiopia was marked by the ousting of the previous president, Hailemariam Desalegn, the day after Tony left. We are sure that a Memorandum of Understanding That Tony Gets His Feet Under The New Presidential Table will result from their meeting. Notwithstanding the ongoing conflict and human rights issues.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    While today, it’s Cote D’Ivoire, for a working visit. So the standard touching-bases exercise, without last November’s exciting mining angle. Worth noting, though, that there seems to be a general mood among African nations with (a) gold and (b) Tony suits, in favour of reviewing their mining concessions.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        The TBI Twitter feed then put up a picture of Tony holding President Bawumia’s hand. Details of their conversation not released, but ‘working with the government on their agenda to deliver ™ ‘ something or other not specified, as usual*, indicated.

        * Money, conceivably.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Fuller details on Tony’s working visit to Cote D’Ivoire here:

    ‘Creating work for young people’ is one of the objectives of the memorandum of understanding by which Tony embeds himself fiurther in the affairs of CdI. But Tony cannot believe he is young…can he?. Cashews and cotton seem to be central to this. Not mentioned in this report are two other interesting circumstances: Blair’s arrival at Abidjan was attended by the British Ambassador, and Blair also met the Minister of Mines and Industry.

    We apologise for reminding the reader that this, like the four previous six-monthly State visits by His Expremiership to West African gold-bearing countries, was facilitated by the apparently free use of an executive jet belonging to Naguib Sawiris, Egyptian oligarch with extensive involvement in gold-mining.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Sooo…on to Ethiopia, presumably.
    We are delighted to report that Andargachew Tsige (mentioned, passim) was pardoned by the new regime on the 19th, and is now a free man. Tony was requested by Tsige’s family in October 2016 to use the influence of the then AGI (embedded in the old regime) to release the human rights activist and opposition leader. We don’t know if he did, but we rather doubt it. Nothing had happened until October 2017. when Boris Johnson was wheeled into the affair. Still nothing happened until Dessalegn was forced out this February (the day after Tony had left Addis, following his regular manifestation there), having released political prisoners, as a last-ditch attempt to mute his critics.

    M-ASRI flies on…More as it happens…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Last week’s visit to Sierra Leone drew this excellent response from one of the unconverted:

    What is the point of holding Elections and having such eminent and capable Ministers appointed if we then have to rely on Tony Blair to ensure our prosperity. He has tried in the past to get the British Government to channel their actions through him and rightly failed. What is the point of maintaining a Diplomatic Corps if we are not going to work with those proper agencies?(…)How many of his (Blair’s) staff were embedded in Government and, indeed, who are they and who vetted and approved their appointment? It is bad enough having to control the various other NGOS without being ruled by one of them.

    Excellent questions. Along with ‘who’s paying?’ and “what does he actually do?” Unlikely to be answered by the Tony Blair Institute for Tony Blair, though.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    To the huge relief of the Remain camp, Tony is currently quiescent on the UK scene, contenting himself with being interviewed about his ‘war’ on Brexit by German outlets Zeit and Stern. The content of these pontifications is sufficiently well-worn as to require no further attention. See any Blair speech on the subject, and we hope our former (and, increasingly present) enemies don’t think they were paying for original material.

    More interesting is the persistent impression in some quarters that Tony’s extremely good mate, Paul Kagame – they tend to coincide a lot at the sort of global ™ fora and billionaire bashes to which Tony has always been attracted – that Paul may not after all be the saviour of Rwanda, and, whisper it if you are within earshot of his police, may be a genocidal dictator. Latest here:

    Q: Leaders like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have praised Paul Kagame for what he has achieved in Rwanda since taking over. Clinton, for example, has called him one of “the greatest leaders of our time.” What do you make of their effusive praise?

    Rever: I think history will judge both of those men harshly. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have been Kagame’s top kingmakers. They have both played key roles in constructing the myth of Kagame as a visionary leader who has resurrected Rwanda from the ashes. They have both enabled Kagame’s impunity by peddling this myth and and turning on the taps of global charity. Neither of them has been willing to address, in a substantive way, Kagame’s killings which they would have been aware of in Rwanda during and after the genocide and in the Congo. They seem to have geopolitical interests in protecting him.

    There’s been so much bloodshed and destabilization in the Great Lakes region. Frankly, its been a catastrophe. The West’s geopolitical interests are a big part of why Kagame has so much support. Part of it is economic and part of it is very much politically driven. The US and Britain want people they can do business and politics with. They want people who they agree with on certain things. Obviously part of the calculation here is the United States wanted regime change in the Congo. They wanted Mobutu Sese Seko out and Kagame was the man to do it.

    We are happy to agree.

    Paul Kagame (first ‘elected’ 2003: last year re-‘elected’ by just under 99%, seven-year terms) will be President at least until 2024, barring accidents or democratic elections.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    M-ASRI departed Luton on the 14th, and landed at Dalaman, Turkey, where it would still appear to be. Dalaman serves the section of the tourist coast which includes resorts such as Fethiye. Where the huge and ostentatious yacht ‘Lady Christine’ is currently berthed; it’s the only gin palace there. Certainly, the accommodation there is stratospherically above anything in Fethiye (which is nice but undistinguished), and would be attractive equally to Naguib Sawiris or Tony Blair. The ‘Lady Christine’ was bought last year by Saeed Bin Jabr al Suwaidi, a financial billionaire from Dubai, we believe, and renamed ‘Queen Mavia’. However, the ‘Queen Mavia’ is not berthed at Fethiye, but at Valetta, Malta. Curious. The two craft are identical, according to the photographs. We wonder which one is spoofing its ident.

    Clarification welcome.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Clarification much needed. The ‘Lady Christina‘ is a tourist boat based at Fethiye. It was assigned a new identity thanks to the yacht tracking site’s spellcheck being on the fritz, apparently, and assigning its location to ‘Lady Christine‘. ‘Queen Mavia’, formerly but no longer ‘Lady Christine‘, is indeed at Valetta.
      But with no record of the Sawiris clan’s having interests in S. Turkey, and with its protege Tony’s generally preferring more upmarket freebies, the presence of Blair Airways in the area remains unexplained for now.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The ever-acquisitive Cherie will be missusblairing in Liverpool on the 28th, at its 2018 Business Festival, as previously indicated. 0830-0945 as a panellist at ‘Shetrades Global ™ ‘ * and at 1200-1230, both at the Pullman Hotel, on the ‘Futures Stage’:

    This ‘in conversation’ between Jude Kelly and Cherie Blair, looks at what’s happening in 2018, asks if this is the year of equal rights and looks at how we can empower female entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies.

    Well, one way is to link up with a telecoms firm and sell the poor cows phones and banking facilities; weld them into the global financiers’ value-added debt-fuelled economy, and grab any consultancy fees and kickbacks from the globals you can get.

    Rather than, say, addressing the overpopulation problem or the regrettable tendency of any money generated in these economies to find its way either to the local armed militia or the President’s family (though these may in fact be identical).

    *Geddit? Ugh.

  • Ba'al Zevul


    High-ranking international figures from business, politics and civil society will meet on 22 June 2018 for the founding forum of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit.

    As Anders Fogh Rasmussen so cogently observed last year:
    “World democracy is under increasing pressure, freedom of expression and free trade are at risk.”
    “None of us should take liberty or democracy for granted, so I would like to bring together important and powerful voices for the defense of democracy to find solutions to common challenges and the defense of the democratic system that has freed us, made us more prosperous and prosperous over the last 70 years has made it safer to initiate. “

    Which may be why, (e.g.) Egypt’s el-Sisi, Rwanda’s Kagame, Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev, Azerbaijan’s Aliyev, any Gulf leaders and anyone from China don’t seem to be attending this networking event for B-list pols polishing their CV’s. All of the above have at some time employed Tony.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Confirming the suspicion that ‘democracy in danger’ is Tony’s current passkey to discussion of, say, ignoring the UK referendum on leaving Europe, we notice Yascha Mounk, head of the TBIfTB’s Renewing the Centre ™ squad, will be blairing/mounking at the Aspen Ideas Festival (21-30 Jun) on ‘Has Democracy Run Its Course?’, ‘Deep Dive: Trump, Brexit and a New World Order’ (.. Centre ™ = good while populism = bad) and ‘Is Democracy In Danger?’

      Tony isn’t listed at this year’s lip-service-to-troubling-issues selfcongratulothon. But his views will be heard.

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