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's Recycled Sock

    As predicted, Mr. Tony has left the country.

    This has to be Blair’s final desperate attempt to Solve The Middle East. The last one foundered when Netanyahu didn’t do quite what Blair wanted him to, like the one before and the one before that. Now he’s there with Shoukri to try and stitch up the Palestinians in such a way that the ongoing French/international initiative – which involves actual mild pressure on Israel – will run out of steam and the ethnic cleansing can continue unhindered. Note also that Netanyahu’s been touring Africa seeking support against Palestinian recognition by the UN. Several of Blair’s buddies have been approached, including Kagame and Kenyatta.

    Not sure who’ll actually be paying for this one, apart from Gaza, in blood, but it’s probably a Sunni Gulf state. Can’t see the invoice being paid by the Egyptian Parliament, at any rate (see above)

    • Ba'al's Sterilised Bargepole

      Rather fuller account of what’s going on here:

      It is possible that for both sides, the outreach is more about Israel-Egypt relations than the Palestinian cause.

      Israel is facing a restive European Union, which is backing a French initiative that seeks to outline a future peace deal by year’s end, which would probably include a call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the creation of the Palestinian state. There are also rumblings that the U.N. Security Council might again hear resolutions about the conflict.

      Netanyahu, leading one of the most right-wing governments in Israeli history, said that he opposes the French gambit and other international efforts, such as parallel moves in the United Nations. The prime minister said only “direct bilateral talks without preconditions” can produce a lasting peace.

      The Palestinians are suspicious. They point to Netanyahu’s famous pledge, on the eve of his historic election to a fourth term as prime minister, that there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch.

      So Tony, whose passionate appeals to the British public to remain in the EU probably put a significant number of voters right off doing any such thing, is helping his chums Sisi and Netanyahu to bypass a European initiative. One which, unlike the Egyptian stitchup, is clearly conscious that Netanyahu has no intention of there being a two-state solution. Underlying this piece of mendacity there is, of course, the issue of offshore gas fields, and we cannot exclude the possibility that British Gas (and JP Morgan, still employing Blair) come into it somewhere.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    [mods: spam filter collateral damage]

    The Mail reminds us that Tony Blair is not the only Friend Of Blair to benefit from Tony Blair’s charity. There’s Jonathan Powell, Tim Allen and Alastair Campbell, of course. And some of his old spads are doing very nicely in education and healthcare – see Sally, ‘baroness’ (unvetted) Morgan, for instance. In 2002, there were quite a lot of them, and spot-the-rich-ex-spad could rival Pokemon Go* as a craze if imaginatively marketed.

    Here’s John McTernan collaborating with Blair (and Campbell, and Mandelson, and Adonis) in Kazakhstan:

    Like Wikipedia, I can find very little on McTernan’s career between leaving Edinburgh with an English degree and advising Blair in 2005, after which he went on to perform as Australian PM Julia Gillard’s director of communications – badly. Then, of course, he returned to spin the Scottish Project Fear case – mendaciously. As ‘John was a UK Labour Party adviser on health, welfare, regeneration, defence and then became Tony Blair’s Director of Political Operations, i.e., part of Tony’s innermost political advisers’ circle.’, you might imagine that he was something more than a journalist who had fallen on his feet/the gravy train. But there is little evidence of this.

    * topical, eh? 2002 spads here:

  • Ba'al's Bargepole

    Mods – there’s one in the spam filter for you…

    [mods: retrieved. Whenever this happens please post a test or two as The Dragon so we can discipline Akismet. This mod will definitely check again within the hour]

  • Ba'al's Bargepole

    We are sorry to announce that you can’t have 60 minutes with Cherie Blair tonight at the China Exchange…it’s sold out.

    The Prudential series is the brainchild of ‘Sir’ David Tang, founder of The China Exchange, social scrambler and Tory donor, who has been photographed with the Blairs at expensive soirees . (Also with many, many other slebs and wannabees…he, or his money, has a lot of friends.)

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Unfortunately, our initial information was wrong: Blair, Bush and Clinton will be assembled in Little Rock, AR today, not tomorrow. Arkansas is six hours behind UTC, so there is still time to get to the secret location* and join the fans behind the police cordon.

    * If you’re not too far away. Possibly the Central High School, but not guaranteed.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    He’s deaf to any murmurings of conscience. So that may be why he will be polluting the Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala, to be held in St.Paul, Minnesota on Sunday. Otherwise, we cannot think of a logical connection. But he will be ‘honoured for his philanthropic achievements in advancing Africa’s future’ aka promoting mining, war criminals and governology.

    The Starkey gig gives us the opportunity to celebrate the amazing things being done to make this world a better place.. Don’t mention the (Iraq) war, then.

    Shades of the Save The Children debacle, a trustee of which extremely well-heeled nonprofit will also be given an award.

    Alice Cooper will also be there: his contribution to teenage hearing loss notwithstanding. Surreal.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Very incidentally, it’s of possible interest that Bush agreed to be on the same platform as Clinton at an Arkansas event. Earlier in the week, Clinton had held a fundraising soiree – for his wife’s attempt at the Presidency – at Daphne, AR. This was part of an ongoing drive to recruit support for the Dems in strongly Republican parts of the state. So Bush doing anything other than throwing punches at Bill on a public stage is odd, in US electoral terms. Can it be that Bush is sufficiently afraid of a Trump presidency that a little sly endorsement of Hillary, through Bill, can’t do any harm? It might explain why Blair was invited to a highschool graduation in a state which most Brits would have trouble finding on a map. He’s the man who got the UK onside for both Bill’s and George’s wars.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Another nice little earner in the offing for the Faith Foundation:

    As the TBFF’s function is, according to its website, educational, and specifically in the field of opposing religious extremism, it is hard to see its relevance to mediating a conflict which is entirely political. And it’s strongly suggested that the Mozambique government has been more the sinner than sinned against in the ongoing conflict:

    The peace deal held until 2013, when skirmishes began once again in the country’s central regions. Renamo remains hugely popular there thanks to a perception — grounded in reality — that Mozambique’s economic development has benefited political elites rather than the common citizen. In stark contrast to the earlier civil war, the victims of violence over the last three years — which has included the looting and burning of towns and villages, rape, and murder — attribute it exclusively to government forces….

    …The government denies being behind the attacks on Dhlakama — or even that there’s a civil war going on at all — describing the outbreaks of violence as localized disturbances which are dealt with by police, rather than the military.

    In the meantime, Mozambique’s president, Filipe Nyusi, continues to deny knowledge of the wider campaign of terror his troops are waging against suspected Renamo supporters. In the face of testimony from people on the ground, his protestations ring hollow. And while the leader of the opposition suffers real threats to his life, so do his repeated calls for peace.

    So, a familiar scene for Tony. Brutal and corrupt government seeks to preserve gravy train. Pontificator Maximus called in to bring peace to country which government does not even admit to be at war…how? Never mind. The important thing is to massage the image of the government abroad, and encourage those dollars, euros and renminbi to continue flowing into the pockets of the elite. And that’s what the TBFF does. Pro bono.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    OK, back on track. Little Rock’s second opportunity to gasp in awe at the Pontificator’s wisdom. (Yesterday: ‘we must co-operate*’, and ‘those who shout the loudest aren’t the ones you wanna listen to, guyz’ – TBFF, AGI, etc please copy) Today at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center (left, past the partially-draped bust of Monica Lewinsky, and try not to step in the email leak). Revelations regarding the toilet habits of bears and the religion of the Pope are expected. Chilcot didn’t get a mention at all yesterday, but that may have been out of respect for Dubya. If it comes up today, look out for the aide with the tissues, and the onion. Be there or be somewhere entertaining.

    *not with Corbyn, obviously

    • Ba'al Zevul

      ‘Humbling’s’ changed its meaning recently. Supported by Bill Clinton, again, in today’s Little Rock blairing, Blair claimed that that was what he had found the Brexit vote. Back in defecating bear country, he repeated the well-worn line that he had questioned his understanding of politics as a result (deprecating smirk). There was no mention of Chilcot. So much for that. The same tropes will presumably be wheeled out again on Sunday at St. Paul. Expect Bill there too, bathed in the glow from Tony’s award for exploiting Africa (see above). And then what? Twilight years in the Bill and Hllary Clinton Home for Discredited Global Politicians? Or back to Blighty once Labour has been disembowelled by his protege(e)s, claiming he had nothing to do with it? Watch this space.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The Starkey Hearing Foundation may not be as instantly recognisable as an internationally-renowned bringer of hope to the world’s neediest people, as, say Tony Blair. Like Blair, Inc, however, it’s a registered charity inextricably entwined with a hardnosed commercial company, Starkey Hearing Technologies. Like Blair, Inc, its activities occasionally give rise to concern. Unlike Blair, Inc, the FBI’s been involved:

    Its gala night in St Paul, Minnesota, last night, raised an estimated zillion dollars, which will be devoted to screening and fitting po’ people with hearing aids. Assuming that these are Starkey aids – it’s the largest US manufacturer of these – that’s a win-win for Starkey, Why lower the price so that everyone can afford your product, when people, falling over themselves to be seen doing good, will maximise your sales and subsidise the bottom line? OK, the poor benefit, and that’s good. But it does go to show how useful a charitable foundation can be to a savvy businessman.

    As threatened, Tony was there, amid a glittering host of slebs, but Clinton wasn’t. The outlets actually printing reports on this – at least one of which appears to think Tone is still PM – haven’t mentioned his previously-promised award for doing stuff in Africa, which may be because he was slipped it surreptitiously by a junior executive in the toilet during the coke break. He was snapped on the red carpet with a local journalist. He made some ‘inspiring’ remarks. (Invoice: To I dozen assorted inspiring remarks, $x0000, ffs not in sterling, thank you for your custom) The general impression is that of the spectre at the feast. Jay Leno and Johnny Depp, even that little guy from ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’ easily outshone Blair. He’s definitely sliding downmarket.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Why Clinton wasn’t there, and what sort of money an attendee can expect to be donated to his charitable foundation…

        The politicians — or rather their charities– have been well paid for [attending past galas]. The Starkey Foundation’s tax filings show that over the last four years they’ve given $2.2 million to the Clinton Foundation, $1.5 million to the George W Bush Library, and close to $700,000 to Global Health Corps, a $5 million foundation run by Bush’s daughter Barbara.

        But politicians are staying away this year as Starkey sorts out being part of an ongoing federal investigation led by dogged US Attorney Andrew Luger. There are also whispers of a sitting grand jury.

        Not all politicians, though. Money talks to Tony. Personally.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Time Out review of The Killing$ Of Tony Blair:

    The chapter dedicated to Blair’s international dealings since leaving office in 2007 is beyond distressing: if you need a nauseating reminder of why so many Brits feel alienated from the political centre, here it is.

    And you’ll find eighteen months’ worth of additional emetica in this thread – judging by the production reports most of it will have been too late for inclusion in the film. Please leave the bathroom as you would wish to find it.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Iraq families – crowdfunding to date: £71, 937

    Another line of attack might be to re-examine the oil motive, buried by Chilcot. I wasn’t aware of this before, incidentally.

    …two documents relate especially to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was Tony Blair’s envoy to Iraq from September 2003 to June 2004. On leaving the post, he became Special Advisor to BP. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments instructed Greenstock not to do business in Iraq for six months. Just three months later, he and his new BP boss, John Browne, jointly met Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi (DOCUMENT 10). By meeting in London rather than Iraq, Greenstock complied with the letter of the Committee’s restriction. But for someone who three months earlier represented an occupying power, this was an inappropriate use of his former position.

    Greenstock had earlier been UK Ambassador to the United Nations, where he made the case for the Iraq war in 2002. He has appeared twice before the Chilcot Inquiry, which did not quiz him about his BP role.

    I do remember the mealy-mouthed neocon punting the war to the UN. And then being made Special Envoy to Iraq. But I didn’t know he’d joined BP. A career trajectory which can only be due to the random operation of oure chance, obviously. Simultaneously with BP, he was Director of the Ditchley Foundation, which provided three of the five Chilcot panellists, and is well-provided with Blair associates. He is currently an advisor to the International Rescue Committee (prop, D. Milband) Also coincidental. Documents relating to BP’s interest in Iraq here:

    Mr. Blair is currently employed by a consortium of oil interests including BP and the Azerbaijan government…

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Iraq families: £113,375 pledged so far. £36,625 to go – and the initial study”s covered

      CAVEAT. Due to the former PM’s privileged position – unreciprocated by any sense of decency or responsibility on his part – win or lose, the taxpayer will be picking up his costs in any action. This may not amount to too much compared with the massive security cover already provided to protect Blair from the logical consequences of his own actions for the last nine unelected years of his existence.

      Teflon Tony, indeed. But turn the heat up high enough and even Teflon decomposes into its poisonous components.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    We really thought Cherie would be travelling incognito to Miami for the convention, seeing as she’s such a great pal of Shrillary’s. But no. She’s been to South Africa to empower some wimmin. These will form the ‘missing middle’ of the SA economy, taking a cut off the cheap labour force’s production under the pretence of managing it before the real money trickles up to the criminals and oligarchs.

    We hesitate to point this out yet again, but there does seem to be a connection between Cherie’s philanthropy/ hard work for mobile network operators and slight failures of democratic government:

    Though to be far it just squeaks in ahead of Russia and Yemen.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Another trick missed by Chilcot:

    A week later, there was a top secret meeting in 10 Downing St chaired by Mr Blair and attended by Geoff Hoon, Defence Secretary, Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, and Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, Chief of Defence Staff.

    The Chilcot Report notes briefly that “Mr Blair had a meeting on Iraq with Mr Straw, Mr Hoon and Adm. Boyce on 2 May but there is no record of the discussion.”

    Three days later, Donald Rumsfeld, US Defence Secretary, flew to London for talks with Mr Hoon, following which British officials announced changes to the rules of engagement in the No-Fly Zones, making it easier for allied aircraft to attack Iraqi military positions.

    Fits the pattern.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Iraq families crowdfund : pledges stand at £123, 950.

    Failing any recent public appearances by Mr. Tony, still receiving counselling for the trauma inflicted by Chilcot, we hope, some more history. This indicates very clearly that Tony was/is being paid to lobby the UK government on behalf of a foreign one (Mubadala is Abu Dhabi’s state investment fund), and we cannot imagine that he was unrewarded for his belatedly, and partially-disclosed intervention. On the other hand, the UK government is still handing Blair undisclosed amounts of money in pension and security costs, apparently without time limit.

    Tony Blair has been receiving the extraordinary non-contributory pension*, equivalent to half his salary as premier, since the day he stepped down nearly a decade ago, aged just 53.

    Despite making a fortune outside parliament since 2007, the Cabinet Office has confirmed to MailOnline that Mr Blair has continued to claim the income of around £80,000 a year.

    However, this is not the whole story:

    The public duty cost allowance is awarded to cover the costs of the recipient’s public duties. It would be too much to hope that the nature of these duties became public as all of Blair’s visible activities are closely connected with his own, branded, business ‘n’ charidee conglomerate. Short of turning up at the odd funeral, it’s hard to see where the money would have gone. But light breaks on the conundrum when we consider Tony’s assiduous promotion of BP from Azerbaijan to Libya, and the quantities of black stuff under the Emirates’ sands.

    So let’s get this straight. Blair is employed by Mubadala to lobby HMG. And (we strongly suspect) he’s paid by HMG to lobby the sheikhdoms. Pennies from heaven!

    *an arrangement scrapped, to his credit, by Cameron, who won’t get this. But Clegg, apparently, will. Go figure.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Wanna job?

    AGI is seeking an individual to advise the Rwanda Development Board on their exports startegy. Rwanda’s five-year national development plan, EDPRS2, states that the fundamental challenge facing the economy is to transition from public to private investment as the engine for growth. Rwanda intends to reduce its dependency on the agriculture sector and transform to a service-based economy. To achieve its plans Rwanda is targeting FDI growth of 28% and growth in local investment of 33% year on year.

    Translation – the locals work in call centres and sell each other phones, while foreign investors get a free run at the mining rights.

    See also:

    [Blair and Clinton’s closeness with Kagame]…” is a closeness with what I call the most important war criminal in office today.”

  • Ba'al Zevul

    No doubt he’s been avoiding the paparazzi since leaving the US, but Blair’s popped up, as usual at this time of year, to enjoy a sunsoaked holiday on someone else’s property. Apparently he hit Santorini yesterday and is moving on to Io. This will be a joint holiday with George Papandreou:

    Who must have abandoned his suspicions of Blair as EU President:

    According to Wikipedia, Io is uninhabited. It could be that Papandreou is planning to maroon Blair and his entourage there, in which case the thanks of a grateful planet will need to be recorded. On the other hand, this might just have something to do with Naguib Sawiris (a Friend of Blair, as often noted above) who recently announced his intention to buy a Greek island and rebrand it as a haven for migrants. Not only is Greek property currently a buyer’s market, but Sawiris is extremely wealthy. His private jet landed in Athens earlier today. Io is about as handy for Libya as it gets. Will being diffidently and self-deprecatingly associated with a spectacular humanitarian gesture rehabilitate Tony in the eyes of his unjust detractors? Watch this space.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      From second link, above:

      My question described Blair’s actions in Iraq as criminal, and that PASOK will be the only governing party in the EU not to have any de facto commitment or need to support Blair…

      What’s changed, George?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Δείξε μου τον φίλο σου να σου πω ποιος είσαι!

        “Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are”. Neither Papandreu nor Blair can draw much comfort from that, of course. And it continues, after rehashing the Ios holiday report above, and in Google translation:

        The funny thing is the office of Mr. Papandreou said in a statement “confessed” his meeting with Blair, but made no reference to holidays. “During the meeting, which was scheduled after a telephone conversation had exchanged views on developments in Europe, the situation that has developed after the referendum that led to Brexit, developments in the Middle East, in Turkey after the failed coup and the continued terrorist attacks in Europe and in other parts of the world. It also discussed the developments in the economy in Europe and Greece, “the statement said. Recall that the former British prime minister accused at home of war crimes and after the revelations about how implicated his country in the war against Iraq.

        Curiouser and curiouser.

    • Alcyone: The Trial$ of Tony Blair

      And you have your own little island here Baal!

      Btw have you ever been to Lizard Island in the Gt Barrier Reef? Amazing!!!

      Keep it up! And I wouldn’t hesitate to duplicate your comments into the current thread, as appropriate.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        …a sunsoaked holiday on someone else’s property….ok.

        The sun rarely shines here, on the dark side of the blair.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Some careless confusion above, I think.The island is Ios, not Io. Ios, in the Cyclades, is a complete tourist trap, albeit a beautiful one. The Blair/s will not need to rough it, and it is possible to leave. Unlike Santorini, it does not appear to have a Daily Mail photographer on permanent standby, either. Not to be confused with the the island of Oi, a favourite destination for drunken Essex persons, or Hoy, in the Orkneys.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Nothing says “I am a complete fruitcake” better than…

    Alphege Bell, a lawyer for the defence, said Mire suffered from a number of unfounded beliefs, including that the former prime minister “Tony Blair was his guardian angel”.

    It’s worrying to think that other Blairites, like, say, Angela Eagle, might attack random commuters with a knife, though…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    While we wait for Blair and his SO1 heavies to be snapped by a Mail cameraman on the trendy party island of Ios – if indeed that’s where he is – some background on emerging developments in the matter of Palestine would be helpful in the light of what Mystic Ba’al says will be a major upheaval in the ‘peace’ process, coming quite soon. The interest is in the reprinted article rather than the story itself.

    What Mystic Ba’al reports is a future rapprochement between Dahlan and Hamas as a means of removing Abbas and Fatah. Dahlan is anybody’s whore (including Sawiris’, intriguingly) and this will have the backing of the UAE, Qatar and Egypt as well as Israel and the US. Hamas is ready to become respectable, much as the IRA did, and extend its limited influence in the West Bank. Under Dahlan, it will be Israel’s bitch. Consequently, the two-state solution, already a fantasy, will be buried for ever. It is uncertain whether Gaza will foster a new generation of even-more violent jihadists when it perceives that nothing is going to change when the Hamas boys start wearing suits: if it does it may be detached and annexed to the equally turbulent East Sinai region under nominal Egyptian rule. Where it will continue to be shelled and bombed. If it plays nice, it may eventually be accepted as a member of the scattered bantustans to which the Palestinian presence in Israel has been progressively reduced.

    Which may help to answer today’s question, which is why Hamas, but not Qatar, is asserting that Blair had a hand in Qatar’s promise of $30M to pay the back wages of Hamas staff in Gaza.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      PS….the back wages of Hamas staff in Gaza. The money is to be transferred via a “European agent”, according to Middle East Eye. Wonder who that might be.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Premiering last weekend, to total indifference from the UK media, was a US version of The Killing$, about the similar activities of Tony’s friend, mentor and commercial inspiration, Bill Clinton, his family and his foundation. Haven’t watched it all yet, but here it is for free:

    Takes a few minutes to get past the library clips to the story, but then begins to outline the scam. Blair operates identically, sometimes in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation, so this could be quite educational.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Restless as someone whose conscience is bothering him – though this is certainly not the reason – Tony has just been reported on Ciovo Island,Croatia. The Brown Beach House Hotel charges £465/person/night for its Executive Suite, but we imagine Tony will spurn such an obviously tourist class doss in favour of the Presidential Suite, whose price is discreetly unadvertised. It’s only 4-star, too. Probably does coach parties.

    The usual elevation of local security to panic stations can be expected. This is provided free of charge except to UK taxpayers and those of the country concerned. Interestingly, the hotel appears to have been built with Israeli capital, and Tony didn’t sign the guest book:

    Blair’s relations with Croatia have always been cordial. When in office, he enabled its EU candidate status, We are unsure whether Tony Blair Associates is currently engaged to advise someone important on something, but we’re always on the lookout….

    • Ba'al Zevul

      We are informed that the Presidential Apartment at the Brown Beach House Hotel costs 700 Euros, at the current rate, £588, pppd*. The Mail’s Sidebar of Shame hasn’t caught him yet. Thanks to 24Saat for the news.

      *More money -or clandestine influence – than sense, evidently. The Royal Suite at the Grand Hyatt, Dubai, would only have hit him for ~450 USD.

  • Ba'al Zevul Resurgent

    Blair is currently reported to be on the island of Ciovo, Croatia, at the four-star Brown Beach House Hotel. Earlier post apparently lost: full details discernible with difficulty here:

    or more clearly, to speakers of Croatian, here:

    • Ba'al Zevul

      But there’s a twist. Who else is in the vicinity?

      The Chinese connection?
      SPLIT. The magical coasts of Croatia have a new admirer. It is the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who arrived the day before yesterday on the island of Bua (Ciovo in Croatian), in the town of Trogir, in Dalmatia. And if Blair chose Trogir and the nearby Bua, the Chinese billionaire Sam Li, building contractor, has also decided to rest this year in Hvar town. Not a few wealthy people who like to spend their holidays in the Adriatic on board their boats, but the 43-year old Li has done more: it arrived in the Dalmatian island capital with four megayachts. Are Sea Force One, the Infinity Shade, the Kogo (the only one that is not owned by him) and the flagship of the fleet, the Pelorus, well 96 meters long and up to some time ago belonging to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich , owner of the Chelsea soccer aficionado and other Croatian waters of the Adriatic. The Pelorus is moored not far from the banks, while the other three have dropped anchor in the harbor.

      Who Sam Li? He’s Samuel Tak Li, currently worth $2.9Bn , which he has made from buying and selling property, including 16 acres of London’s West End. He shares with Blair a relaxed attitude to the truth:

      Thay’re made for each other. And Tony’s addicted to other peoples’ luxury yachts, so when Tony vanishes from Ciovo, the open sea, not too near a migration route, is a good place to look for him.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        However, this may not be the whole story. According to Wikipedia, and contrary to the above report, ‘Pelorus’ is owned by Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Which is more within Tony’s orbit. Al-Nahyan was implicated, in Peter Schweitzer’s ‘Clinton Cash’, in a half-million dollar payment to Bill for delivering a speech (written by the UAE royal family). So he’s not above bunging backhanders at influential politicians, and Blair, however demonstrable his mendaciousness, opportunism and political ignorance, retains influence in all sorts of profitable quarters. We’ll see who pipes Blair aboard….

        • Ba'al Zevul

          In fact, none of the yachts mentioned in the article are Li’s. There is no megayacht called ‘Infinity Shades’: there is an ‘Infinity’ and there is an ‘Infinite Shade’. The article is either criminally inaccurate or Google screwed the translation. The most likely Blair host, though, remains al-Nahyan.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            In the interests of complete accuracy, the motor yacht ‘Infinite Shades’, which is owned by a charter company, was last reported at anchor off the Dalmatian coast at approximately the right location. Ten hours ago, she was moving slowly SE, but this may have been to another anchorage. No more yottie stuff until a definite fix is obtained on Blair.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            All the above yachts have left Ciovo (or Hvar) now. They are all at Oliba as far as can be ascertained. They do appear to be cruising as a flotilla. Very odd. And likely irrelevant. But Blair’s intense desire for privacy except when telling Insert Dictator Here,. Obama. the EU, the UK or the Labour Party how to run their business, means that all clues must be considered.

  • Ba'al Zevul Resurgent

    In which we learn that recent claims that Blair has been mediating between Israel, Qatar and Hamas are basically a load of old toss.

    The spokesman accused the Israeli occupation of initiating “false and poisonous information” in order to “check the pulse of the resistance.” He stressed that Hamas is “vigilant” and would not “offer any free scraps of information in this regard.”

    Regarding his movement’s refusal to give Blair another opportunity, the Hamas official explained that the movement had closed Blair’s file after his failure to achieve any progress. “He was clearly taking the side of the Israeli occupation at the expense of the Palestinian resistance and its conditions.”

    Furthermore, the spokesman denied media claims that Blair had anything to do with the payment by Qatar of salaries for Palestinian Authority employees hired by Hamas in Gaza. “This payment came without any external mediation,” he insisted. “It was a present from the Qatari Emir.”

    Which is entirely credible. Qatar has stepped in with assistance for Hamas before. As far as can be ascertained, unprompted by anyone outside the conflict. And, asked whether Blair or Hamas is the more believable, I have to say, history suggests the latter.

    On that basis, the question here is answered:

    We hope all possible resistance will be given to Dahlan’s resurrection as a Palestinian player, no matter how this is attempted.

    But slipping Dahlan into the Palestinian cause somewhere may still form part of the Israeli game plan.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The hell with it. Blair’s on holiday. Let’s lighten up. The story so far: A couple of days ago a flotilla of four superyachts sailed from Hvar, on the Dalmatian coast, very close to where Tony spent an expensive hotel night or so on Ciovo island. We have no firm evidence that Tony is aboard any of them. What else might bring them together?
    They are:
    1. Pelorus. Previously owned by David Geffen, with whom Blair has cruised before, but now owned by the UAE’s Foreign Minister, obscenely rich Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Blair is employed by the UAE’s Mubadala national investment fund.

    2. Sea Force One. Recently advertised for sale (£18.5 M), and also available for charter (£211K per week), this may still belong to the decidedly weird Raffaele Costa, obscenely rich ex- Goldman Sachs vampire squid, now head of marketing for the GLG Group, which does hedge funds. GLG is part of the MAN group, another subsidiary of which, ED&F Man, has Jack Straw under contract as an advisor
    Signor Costa may be found on this page, posing in a mask and cloak, and waving a samurai sword inexpertly on the deck of his faux-military gin palace. Captain Magic, he likes to be called. Ahaaaaar:

    3. Infinite Shades. Formerly ‘Imagine’, and Cayman-registered, no firm details on her ownership were found. She is available for sale or charter, however. The internal decor is that of a Midwestern hotel.

    4. Kogo. Owned by Mansour Ojjeh, according to most. Ojjeh is obscenely rich, Syrian*/Saudi Arabian, owns and is CEO of TAG (of Tag Heuer) and 25% of McLaren, among other things The TAG group until recently held the European franchise for Bombardier (Tony’s preferred brand) jets in Europe. Yours on charter for just north of £355K/week.

    For the record.

    *His father was an arms dealer, selling to Saudi.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Now joined at Olipa by another fantasy toy, ‘Galeocerdo’. 60Kts claimed, 50 gallons to the nautical mile. Appropriately built by Wally, for the presumably Arab, presumably obscenely rich Kondakji family. Their significance is hard to discover. Design akin to grey 10-size Weetabix packet.

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