An Apology 2256

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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2,256 thoughts on “An Apology

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  • Ba'al Zevul

    One of Blair’s companies has received less attention in attempted analyses of what it is he hopes to achieve with his expensive and apparently inefficient Windrush and Firerush parallel structures. Indeed I can find no mention of it in any internet account of Blair’s dealings. First a reminder: The Tony Blair Sports Foundation, whose office was initially registered at Blair’s then home in Trimdon was apparently liquidated, and then reincorporated under the same name but a different company number at a Newcastle address. The TBSF supports sporting activities in the Northeast and is a registered charity as well as being a company. It’s fine as far as I have any way of knowing. No problem. But what’s this? The Tony Blair Sports Foundation Trading Company. Different number – 07371443 – same Newcastle address. Not a charity. Dormant for three years until 2013, when it started trading.

    This is a beta link, so may disappear in time, but any company search should find it.

    And I’m sure there’s nothing to look at: move on…

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Oh, and the TBSFTC was incorporated in the UK at the same time as Windrush Ltd and Firerush Ltd were, in Gibraltar. September 2010.
      Synchronicity or what?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Ethiopia imagines the Dear Global Leader will put it right:

    AGI’s Country Head in Ethiopia, Sebastien Frendo noted that the initiative had already started working with Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), Ethiopia Industrial Parks Development Cooperation (EIPDC) and Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MOFEC) with a focus on building capacity of the management and Public Private Partnership/ PPP. State Minister Ambassador Taye said that AGI is in line with the Government’s priorities in its Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) which aimed at buttressing the manufacturing industry.

    We know all about public-private partnerships, aka privatisation by stealth, in the UK, but Tony being interested in manufacturing is news to us. More likely JPM’s clients are interested in low wage workforces.

    And I see Uhuru Kenyatta (also advised by Blair) is proposing to end participation in the International Criminal Court.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    And now, Peter Oborne weighs in:

    According to the publisher, Not the Chilcot Report is a “concise summary of what should be in the Chilcot Report”. The publisher added: “Peter Oborne shows how the British government colluded in deceiving the public, grossly exaggerating the threat from Saddam Hussein. The book will prove that Tony Blair repeatedly misled the British people in his determination to stand with America at all costs.”

    Out 19th.May

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Oh bugger. Try again.

      How Banks Can Take A Cut Of Every Single Transaction If We Get Rid Of Cash

      Pro-Women, Anti-Cash: How Cashless Economies Can Boost Women’s Empowerment

      It’s a plug for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, by one of its staff. Who is male, but accurately refelects Cherie’s current commercial interests: phones and money.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The Mail publishes some new insights into the price and extent of Blair’s involvement with Nursultan Nazarbayev:

    …In 2013, opposition figures in Kazakhstan warned that the civil rights situation had got worse since Mr Blair began advising the president.

    Seemingly undeterred, the former prime minister’s firm Tony Blair Associates set out its sales pitch to extend its contract, including a range of deals and fees which started at £116,200 a month, plus VAT – it later rose to £1.84million a year.

    The ‘Political Advice and Positioning Module’ – priced at £1.85million – guaranteed four visits from Mr Blair. It promised ‘unique insights and support via personal involvement of Tony Blair’.

    It added: ‘Tony Blair’s personal involvement enables assistance and offers discussions, leader to leader, in a way that no other consultancy can offer: leadership is a major part of getting things done.’

    In addition to his professional fees, TBA’s pitch stressed that Kazakhstan would also need to provide flights, catering and first-class accommodation for Mr Blair and his entourage.

    However the regime in Astana would not be expected to pay for his protection team of officers from the Metropolitan Police Service.

    This,and much else, including the alleged support of then-Ambassador Michael Roberts (does Craig ever take a look down here? If so, comments earnestly invited) originates, according to the Mail with a whistleblower who has handed over the relevant documents.

    According to the Spokesperson of Tony Blair ™, “mrblairhasmadenopersonalprofitfromthisarrangementanddeniesthatiteverhappenedanyway,” as usual.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Clarification: Michael Roberts was working for Blair at the time, not the FCO. He had previously been Ambassador to Slovakia, but resigned in 2011 to join the well paid ranks of international consultants. So it goes.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It’s worth exploring this a little further, as it is possible to discern what the invariable denials from TBA, when a Blair deal starts looking dodgy, actually mean. First, from the response to the Mail article above:

      (Friday, Apr 22, 2016 in Office of Tony Blair)

      ‘We had no project with the Kazakhstan government prior to 2011’.

      This means exactly what it says. TBA went in in 2011. It doesn’t mention Blair’s close personal acquaintance with Nazarbayev, datable to 2006, and even to 2001.

      He (as PM of our fine country) invited Nazarbayev to London for a three day visit in 2006. In the same year he added his endorsement to a wholly uncritical propaganda account of Nazarbayev’s rule, published in 2006. Unfortunately, like everything else Blair, to see it will cost you, but it can safely be assumed to be complimentary:

      The cordial relationship continued into 2008 – after TBA’s foundation – and beyond (a period of some distinctly sleazy commercial activities on behalf of Nazarbayev’s government, and involving British legal fiems representing his opponents):

      There’s an even more intriguing connection here:,107969154-BE1

      ”Fees do not go to Mr Blair personally but primarily funds the team on the ground to live and work in the country, as well as support staff and the hiring of other consultants as necessary. Mr Blair has taken no personal fee from the project.’

      Indeed. Fees go to Windrush Ventures No.3 LP and disappear without trace. The current team on the ground is believed to be two non-Kazakhs and a local. The fees could be funding paraplegic unicorns in Alaska for all anyone can determine anything different, such is the opacity of the Blair empire. And Blair, let’s face it, has been known on occasion to very slightly bend the actualite. Note also that Tony Blair Associates comprises four of his companies, including the parallel Firerush Ventures No.3 LP, believed to handle his investment banking facilities. What is paid to one can be invisibly transferred to the other.

      The TBA response continues with an extended apologia for TBA’s activities in the country, including such impossible dreams as the reform of the civil service. Since the contract in question closed, there is little evidence of any beneficial effect. Tony, in the words of an opposition critic, ‘knows how business is done in Kazakhstan’.

      It also points out that it is not the only advisory carriage in the Kazakh gravy train. It does not, however mention by name, Tony’s old chums Mandelson, Bell and Campbell, all of whom have been active in Astana.

      To conclude, there is also evidence that HMG is in cahoots with TBA, to the extent of smoothing its passage when requested. This has been noted in other areas of TBA activity:

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Addendum to the foregoing, confirming TBA’s negligible impact on Kazakh governance:

        Mr Blair has been faulted for the rewards he has reaped in some opaque places, including Kazakhstan (which ranks 133 out of 174 on Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index). Kazakhstan’s media put the contract at £8m the first year and £16m ($26m) in the year ending October 2013. A spokesperson says those figures “are wrong and Mr Blair personally takes no money” from the contract, using it instead to fund his charities. The Bloomberg report called Mr Blair’s gig in Kazakhstan his “most controversial, and potentially most lucrative”. His spokesperson indicates that he might take more contracts with Kazakhstan in future: “We’re talking about further work now”.

        The story seems to have changed somewhere along the line. Is it funding his (astronomically paid) representatives or his charities? Seems even he isn’t sure. It’s so hard to be certain, I suppose, when your limited partnerships don’t have to produce accounts….

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Continuing contacts between Tony Blair Associates and Kazakhstan (last month):
    (Paste this to the search bar and delete ‘s’ in ‘https’ before hitting search if you get problems with the link.)

    Note the management bollocks, faithfully translated from Russian, which is intended to justify TBA’s presence.

    There may be more on the hapless TBA partner Andreas Baumgartner, who is increasingly required to nod and smile his way through events of this kind on the Dear Leader’s behalf. While the Dear Leader trembles in the Bambibunker (in advance of Chilcot’s publication? Or having been informed of his premature demise by Daesh? It’s an unfriendly world, Tone.)

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Some time ago, we saw an obscure document on the web which recorded a transaction in securities between TBA and an American company. If nothing else it confirmed that the Firerush arm of TBA was, as reported, engaged in financial services. But we have now discovered another company owned (>75%)and controlled (indirectly) by Anthony Blair, via (directly) Firerush Ventures No.3 LP, and based in Kansas City. It is a brokerage, dealing in private placements and securities, and it’s calleed ABG LLC. Fuller details here:

    FV3 LP is stated to direct ABG LLC’s management and policies. There are other, unconnected brokerages with the initials ABG: this one’s CRD# is 167190.

    A gem.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It may be permissible to wonder if we have not discovered Mr. Blair offshore here. Confusingly, there are two Kansas Cities, one in the logical place, and the other in Missouri, bordering Kansas. However the Missouri one offers tax incentives of its own, and is therwise subject to Kansas, not Missouri, jurisdiction.

      The Panama Papers highlighted the hypothesis, possibly fact, that American tax-dodgers don’t use island paradise tax havens because they don’t need to. There is sufficient competition between the continental States to make this uneconomic: some are laxer and less transparent than others. And ABG LLC has the hallmarks of a shell. Its registered address is that of a business consultancy*, Zerger and Mauer. While one of its two listed personnel, Jay Gettenberg, is a registered broker, this is a function he performs for a number of other firms simultaneously. He’s maybe not actually selling securities: it looks as if he’s only there to make ABG a legal broker. Similarly, Esther Goodman seems to have other irons in the fire, but is a recognised compliance officer. Both are listed as co-owners with less than a 5% interest each.

      Given Blair’s Atlanticist tendencies and close connections with the Clintons, it is certainly not impossible that he might prefer Kansas City to Cayman. Though it is admittedly less likely that he would take Cherie there on their hols.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        *Or something. Its website is extremely vague as to what it does. Shades of Bircham, Dyson, Bell at the UK end.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Just one more thing. In 2012, at the time of Blair’s splendidly-paid mediation on behalf of Glencore – details here –

        Mr. A. Spokesman said this in response to a query about Blair’s Firerush Ventures structure:

        Firerush Ventures No.3 LP was granted FSA registration in 2010, according to the FSA register. It is not authorised to hold client money, although is able to arrange so-called “deals in investments” such as stocks, warrants and debentures. It does business under the name Tony Blair Associates.

        Tony Blair’s office told Bloomberg at the time of its FSA registration: “The idea that Tony Blair is starting a bank or finance house for the super-rich is fatuous… Tony Blair Associates provides strategic advice, on a commercial and pro-bono basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform. Tony Blair provides advice within his areas of expertise. TBA does not hold itself out as offering investment or financial advice.”

        All true, narrowly speaking, and as far as anyone is allowed to find out. But as TBA embraces FRV3 LP, and FRV3 LP owns a securities broker, also dealing in private placements, effectively offshore, it only demonstrates Blair’s unique capacity for evasiveness.
        ABG LLC doesn’t offer advice. It brokers securities under extremely opaque circumstances, and private placements are by invitation only.

        Also, and this needs to be rechecked, Blair has on at least one occasion stated that all his companies are registered in the UK.

        ABG LLC isn’t.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    This too is of interest:

    Seems the TBFF – US (a corporation) although at the time claiming an address in Connecticut (at least adjacent to Yale’s religious faculty and possibly in it) was in fact registered via a registration agency in….Arizona. However, that registration was revoked in 2012. Some very familiar names here.

    Arizona is the go-to destination for nonprofit corporations for the reasons outlined here:

    Arizona has adopted the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act, does not mandate audits for nonprofits, does not require nonprofits to register to solicit in the state, does not regulate commercial co-ventures, aligns tax filings with the federal requirements, and limits the attorney general’s authority to that conferred by statute. These combined factors make Arizona a highly favorable jurisdiction for nonprofits to operate in.

    That bit about commercial co-ventures looks interesting. Sorta like the Tony BlairSports Foundation Trading Company Ltd, above.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    And behind the scenes last August, as the FCO struggles to keep up with Blair’s incompetent organisation:

    25 August 2015 11:45
    To: [REDACTED]
    Cc: [REDACTED]
    This is becoming unreal. His new private Middle East initiative appears to be making his travel more manic than ever. Mr Blair has added nother stopover …before heading to Cairo a day later than announc d the end of last week…I appreciate the comments you have made
    on the demands these changes have also made on staff time at Posts.

    Pissup. Brewery. Looks as if even diplomats have their limits. The ‘General Fawzi’ Blair is trying to meet is presumably the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, Major General Khaled Fawzi, and this may have to do with contacts this year between his organisation and Hamas.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The dates loosely match my entry of 31st August – the delay on release may be intentional. It was a meet with Hamas, seems to have triggered some rushing around the ME before the initiative evaporated as usual.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    [mod: spam filter casualty]

    By way of light relief, here’s Cherie at the opening night of Doctor Faustus last night.

    Here she is, in black:

    Sorry, my mistake. Here she is, in black:

    “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships/And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?” Errrr…
    ‘Doctor Faustus’ is about a pact with the Devil…but Tony doesn’t seem to have been there.


  • Ba'al Zevul

    On the 26th and/or the 27th September, Cherie will be blairing at the Africa-America Institute’s 28th Annual Awards Dinner Gala, presumably at
    The Africa-America Institute
    420 Lexington Avenue / Suite 1706 / New York, NY 10170-000

    Boasting one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions with an increasingly attractive hub for foreign investment and growing middle class, the African continent today stands poised to compete in the global marketplace.

    Say no more. In fact ‘global marketplace’ would have conveyed the idea by itself.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Thanks to the team for including this in the index of arcane threads. Appreciated.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    As Mystic Ba’al , in conversation with The Other Side, hinted on April 17th, Mr. Blair will indeed be blairing jointly with his spouse at the Milken Institute’s annual slebfest at the Beverly Hills Hilton on May 4th. Michael Milken, co-founder of the Milken Institute, with his brother, Lowell, has extensive interests in Israel, and Blair’s extended visit to the Institute last year rapidly preceded Blair’s appointment to the similarly Israel-oriented ECTR: Blair having lost the Quartet gig, and being in need of a new link to his favourite ME country – with the possible exception of the UAE.
    Monday, May 2nd, invitation-only investor and CEO conference at the International Gallery, 0730-0900. Brings loadsamoney together to talk about making loadsamoney.
    Tuesday May 3rd, 1200 – 1315, International Ballroom (or maybe 2000hrs, conflicting info on site),with a supporting cast of hawks, on ISIS. Any knowledge he claims to have of this must be accepted, as he helped to create it.

    Cherie isn’t on till the 4th, at the International Terrace, on emerging markets, as previously detailed.

    Incidentally, I see that Michael Hintze, putative funder of Adam Werrity and several Tory MP’s campaigns is also to be present. He’s currently said to be funding Brexit as well.

    • Ba\'al Zevul

      Additionally, David Miliband and Niall Ferguson will be at the Junk Bond King’s minglethon from tomorrow. Otherwise, the speaker list consists of those CEOs of everything from private equity to banana smoothie stands who would be most replaceable, and save their companies most in salaries, if someone nuked LA tomorrow. Blairing isn’t what it was. And Paul Kagame isn’t there this year. The contract presumably only ran to one session with Blair’s white masters.

      In other news, Lauren Booth is in trouble with the Charities Commission, and even I can’t say I’m surprised She’s much nicer and less rapacious than her half-sister, but charges of naivete must be allowed. She could have been led astray in pursuit of an ideal, which is something it would be difficult to say about Cherie..

      Still awaiting a similarly searching enquiry into Tony Blair’s finances, though, with particular reference to his Kansas City branch and his formerly-Arizona-registered charity. Neither the Telegraph nor the Mail has answered my emails on this one, but I am certain there is a pot of sleaze at the end of this particular rainbow.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    It’s noteworthy that since the breaking of the synthetic furore over alleged – or more accurately, stridently and repetitively asserted – antisemitism among the Satanic hordes of Corbynite Labour, there has not yet been a single blairing on the topic. The TBFF, the TBSF, the AGI, Tony Blair Associates, the TBUTCAA (Tony Blair Uncle Tom Cobley And All) have remained unanimously silent, leaving the press release field to a minor update to the PetroSaudi saga, promulgated by the Mail et al. The reason for this unexpected silence is unclear, despite Tony’s chairmanship of the Zionist ‘European’ Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, and sundry past pronouncements on the evils of antisemitism. We infer that Tony’s participation in any UK political debate is now recognised to scupper the side he supports.

    Result, of sorts.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Tony does self-deprecation, gets his timing spectacularly wrong, if you think about it:

    SPOTTED IN L.A. at one of the Milken opening night dinners (this one at Fleur de Lys, an enormous Beverly Hills mansion modeled on Versailles): Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former California governor Gray Davis, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Steve Rattner, Jared Bernstein, Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and David Purdue (R-Ga.) … Blair in brief remarks at the dinner: “I’m British so I won’t comment on your current politics … which are strange.”

    The context, a bash hosted by the pro-Israeli Milken Foundation, makes it clear that being British (and fawning) is far from the only reason Tony was unwise to invite comment on the strangeness of UK politics right now. Source:

  • Ba'al Zevul

    While the real blog is having a bout of Israel, a blast from the past, and a reminder that Tony is today blairing yet again (amid noticeably less impressive company) at the Milken Foundation’s annual schmooze in Hollywood:

    the California-based Milken Family Foundation donated $1 million to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in 2013. The Milken Family Foundation’s director is Michael Milken and its president is his younger brother Lowell, who is also president of another family foundation, the Lowell Milken Family Foundation, registered at the same address.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I’m enjoying the Milken Global Maximising Profits and Minimising Wages Conference already. Here’s the Global Leader with Sarina Russo:

    La Russo runs a jobs agency, sorta privatised JSA. Methodology – the government pays you a lot of money to do what it used to do better, for less. In addition you get getout clauses and the full support of the Department for Sodomising Scroungers. Entirely irrelevantly to this photo, it employed young Euan Blair back in 2012, on the basis of his passion for and understanding of unemployable people.

    Mrs Russo chirrups:

    Tony Blair leads global conversation on his extraordinary background of politics; wisdom and educational knowledge of global issues: so great to meet Tony Blair again at the Milken Institute – congratulations Tony Blair : your a world leader to be admired and respected – let’s go leaders and make a daily difference in the most disruptive business/political era of my lifetime!

    but would probably demand better English skills from any prole allowed into her nice agency, even if she is, and she is, Australian. Still, biting sense of humour, there.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Addendum: Euan Blair is as far as I can work out, now, and still, chief executive of Sarina Russo UK. Nought to country CEO in four years! Next stop, JP Morgan?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Popcorn time. The Spokesman of Tony Blair has now denied plans to hijack Clinton’s plane and force him at gunpoint to read a prepared message to the British people, warning them against leaving Europe:

    Will he? Won’t he? Place bets now.

    From the distant safety of a CNBC interview in California*, Blair has broken his silence on the recent vicious and unjustified attacks on the non-Blairite wing of Labour. Led by several of his best and richest friends. CNBC headlines him as saying there is No place for ‘prejudice and poison’ in Britain. No, he’s not talking about John Mann, Alan Sugar, Michael Levy, Michael Foster, etc, etc., obviously. But with any luck his sententitious pronouncement (on antisemitism, yes) should lead to a revival of the Blackshirts. Only joking. Is that still allowed?

    *I suppose I’d better link it for the record:

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Interpretative note: It was the Times which broke the Clinton-to-join-Tony story. Murdoch is reputedly euro-sceptic, and his papers, if that is not too flattering a description, seem lately to have been behind Brexit. Could the old crocodile have sussed that Tony’s influence on British voters is of the negative variety and launched this one for fun? Nothing would surprise me less.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I do hope nothing untoward happens as a result of N88AA and G-CEYL getting their transponders mixed up. Since it is most unlikely that Tony booked his black Bombardier to make a dramatic entrance at LA, after all. For old times sake?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Lacking much else today from the Global Oracle, here’s a roundup of what the Milken conference discussed:

    What it says on the link.
    The parked BD7000 was minus wings, incidentally, and white.

    Conflicting accounts exist of the video shot at LA airport on the 3rd and showing one Blair, three Met police, two FBI, what might have been the head honcho of the airport and a somewhat lost looking woman, doing the flat-palms silly walk from the LAN entrance (he didn’t come from Peru, relax) to an escalator somewhere in Arrivals. MSN insists he was arriving. Getty thinks he was departing, which is more likely from the date. Tony grins idiotically as soon as he sees the press, and switches it off when they’re mostly out of the way. Educational, that.

    If Cherie had anything earthshaking to say at Milken, its content has not been released. By that time, Tony had departed, if the Getty version is correct.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Monday, 27th June, 1900 hrs, Kaufman Concert Hall, Lexington Ave at 92nd Street, NYC

    Which, entertainingly, links the event with le Carre’s ‘Absolute Friends’. The Kaufman Concert Hall is part of the 92nd Street Y. ‘Y’ is usually understood as the American for ‘YMCA’. But, as Wikipedia puts it:

    92nd Street Y (92Y) is a multifaceted cultural institution and community center located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, USA, at the corner of East 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Its full name is 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YM-YWHA). It is not part of the YMCA.

    Well, we have yet to see a Muslim gathering, other than an Arab government to whom we sell arms, being blaired. However, there is more of interest in the $100 ticket starting price – way below the usual level for a blairing – and the slowly-mounting evidence for the notion that Blair’s beginning to flog his speechifying racket to death. Note also that a similar conversation, between Henry Kissinger and the same Rabbi Rubenstein, in 2014, was free. Which is what is meant by pro bono, Tony.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    After what we hope was a reflective weekend pondering the arrival of his 64th birthday (our spokesman wishes you a happy no comment, Tony!), the approach of the Grim Reaper, the trail of destruction he has wrought on the British body politic and the Iraqi people, and the hubris which leads him to Believe that as an obvious useful idiot for Israel, he has anything whatever to contribute to the stability of the Middle East, the Global Oracle has fetched up yet again in Egypt for, er, ‘regional talks’.

    Ah, Egypt:
    They know how to deal with a hostile Press, don’t they? And…

    We look forward to the next blairing on the subject of terrorism including this theory. God knows, they’ve included all the others.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        (3 May, 2016)

        Cairo marks World Press Freedom Day with raid on journalists’ syndicate

        CAIRO — On May 1, just two days before World Press Freedom day, Egyptian police raided the Press Syndicate in Cairo and randomly detained a number of journalists as they were working. This measure against media workers represents a dangerous escalation in the security services’ campaign targeting journalists in a country that the Committee to Protect Journalists describes as “among the world’s worst jailers of journalists.” (continues)

    • Ba'al Zevul

      At the same gathering both Fatah’s Abbas and Kibya’s Sarraj were able to consult with the Arab League, the latter to request an end to the arms embargo, and the former possibly to discuss a recent French initiative to Solve Palestine. Unfortunately the French idea has already been turned down flat by both Israel and Hamas….and Sisi’s safe enough backing it because it will never happen. Blair’s connection with this, if any, remains elusive.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      At the same gathering both Fatah’s Abbas and Libya’s Sarraj were able to consult with the Arab League, the latter to request an end to the arms embargo, and the former possibly to discuss a recent French initiative to Solve Palestine. Unfortunately the French idea has already been turned down flat by both Israel and Hamas….and Sisi’s safe enough backing it because it will never happen. Blair’s connection with this, if any, remains elusive.

  • Ba'al Zevul


    FoI request for details of cost to us of keeping Tony safe during his wholly unofficial excursions:
    -Confidently expect all sorts of reasons why this must not be published by the 18th May.

    Peter Oborne’s new book – Not the Chilcot Report
    -May 19th.

    Galloway’s directorial debut: The Killing$ of Tony Blair
    -Sometime. Galloway remains coy about this, but with his showing in the mayoral election, he surely needs something to cheer him up..

    Tony Blair’s next appearance before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee (see correspondence here, also evidence submitted by others that Blair’s the man who knows):
    -Probably never, unless force is used.

    And the Chilcot Report

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Turns out that was slightly premature – by about an hour. Under ‘Chilcot Report’, delete ‘-Never. Insert ‘July 6th.’
      What you may be hearing across the manicured acres of South Pavilion, meanwhile, are the strains of a worried man singing a worried song.

      Others are wondering if Tony’s soul can be saved. One such, with an altogether different take from what the UK was encouraged to believe at the time, on Tony’s European war, ponders the question and finds an answer. The course of action he proposes is unlikely to be followed, but he’s trying, anyway.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    And the Global Oracle has been seen -and heard – in Ethiopia today.

    Revisiting his highly questionable activities in South Sudan – ensuring USAID reached its leaders, with predictable results – there is more than a hint that he’s up to the same mischief in Ethiopia, or that he is being very, very naif:

    Human rights campaigners criticised Mr Blair for taking a role with Ethiopia. Leslie Lefkow, of Human Rights Watch, said: “Blair and AGI’s activities in Ethiopia are opaque. How is he supporting governance in an authoritarian state that suppresses all independent criticism, where the police and security forces enjoy total impunity, and the ruling party won 99.6 per cent of the seats in the last election?”

    There’s a certain sameness about the regimes Blair favours with his wisdom. ‘Strong government’ – one of his favourite memes – just about covers it.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      They don’t get too many bizjets at Addis, but the scheduled flights from Cairo usually involve a stopover in Khartoum (second prize – two stopovers in Khartoum), and a Global Express is far quicker. Believed to be M-ASRI again, landed around 1830 UTC on the 8th. Just a few hours in Cairo, then..

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Confirmed – M-ASRI. Yesterday finds a Global Express leaving Addis in a southerly direction around 1450 UTC. Unfortunately coverage isn’t good. Kenya? He’s overdue a visit to Mozambique, too.

          • deepgreenpuddock

            Your descriptions of Blair’s doings is making me quite tired, just reading about it. I have to ask the question, which is quite genuinely intended, How can Blair feel at all ‘normal’ when all he seems to do is sit on a plane, arrive to insincere but well disguised greetings form some airport foncionnaire+ one or two government stooges and then whisked to a meeting. Then back to plane.
            This is a brutal way of life for someone. Does he never just sit on his sofa and watch some shit on the TV and have nibbles and a glass of something with family? Even something as simple as food-no doubt he gets the ‘best’ but the essential element of food and eating is the conviviality and personal involvement with close family members and not the exotic nature or expense of it.
            His pursuit of fees and rewards, long after he has a need for it,
            His opportunities for the kind of intimacy within a close personal relationship that humanise us all, seem very limited.
            My point is that such privilege and status is a sword with two edges-while he wields this power and influence, does the other side of the blade not slice ever deeply into his connections to his species. He seems less and less human, and I wonder if he has less and less access to the things that give most of us satisfaction.
            The problem of course is that his influence persists despite his more and more apparent departure from what we all recognise as a human dimension.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Hypothesis A: He’s insane.
            Hypothesis B: He’s keeping as far as possible from Cherie.
            The two may be mutually exclusive IMO.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Perhaps that deserves a more serious reply, DGP. Sorry. At risk of straying beyond my self-imposed brief, which is simply to record, while being unrestrainedly unpleasant – keeps it off the real blog, anyway – I can empathise with Blair as with very few people: principally because neither of us has an empathetic bone in our body. He can’t form those warm human relationships. The superficial charm is as near as he gets. He’s a conman, which means simply that he firmly believes whatever he is telling us, whether or not it is true. And he believes that he has an important mission to mankind which conveniently allows him to become rich. Rather than regard the ultimate pointlessness of his or anyone else’s existence, aggravated by the absence of certain human capabilities which may for all we know make it bearable, he focusses on the work he has set himself – as work. He doesn’t explore the consequences or philosophy of what he is doing, flawed as both are. He is pretty well immune to any criticism: flat denial of this is habitual. He lives in a private bubble. He’d be very sad if he didn’t do so much damage.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The Global Oracle’s flying visit to Ethiopia yesterday focussed on the development of industrial parks in order to attract foreign investment in manufacturing. There can be no argument with the proposition that Ethiopia needs all the investment it can get…but this?

    The subtext is that it will attract manufacturing investment simply and solely because labour costs will be lower than they are in India and China. The race to the bottom continues.

    • deepgreenpuddock

      You just gave an almost perfect description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is about the conclusion i came to when i listened to him address the assembled Labour supporting liberal intelligentsia of Aberdeen about 1997 (just prior to his ascent to PM-it may have been an election address. I fell out with my wife over it because she thought he was wonderful but i think that was mainly a mark of the distress caused by the tories over the previous 18years and before people had realised what ‘New Labour’ meant. I think most people would have voted for Noddy if he had turned up in his red car and just smiled.

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