An Apology 2139

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…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2,139 thoughts on “An Apology

1 45 46 47 48 49 55
  • Ba'al Zevul

    Gambia is trying to withdraw two concession blocks from African Petroleum, which disputes the legality of doing so. Tullow Oil is reportedly trying to obtain at least one of the blocks.

    Africa Intelligence (pay-per-article) has an intriguing hint as to who will be representing Gambia – it’s Omnia Strategy (prop. Cherie Blair),108294999-art

    Flashback to last November:

    Obviously no hint of a connection.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The full text of the African Intelligence piece:

      The Gambian State has picked out a team of expert lawyers to fight back against the junior, which is unwilling to accept the withdrawal of its two offshore blocks.
      To counter an ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) offensive by British junior African Petroleum, which feels that its Gambian blocks A1 and A4, which have caught the interest of Woodside and Tullow Oil, were unjustifiably removed in 2017 (AEI 807), Banjul has enlisted the services of Omnia Strategy.

      This London-based law firm is headed by barrister Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, who now is very active lobbyist in Africa. Sofia Blount, grand-daughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington and married to singer James Blunt is a director of Omnia. The firm has worked on numerous assignments on the continent, including for the Gabonese government, but also on investments in Libya (MC 1203). Nigerian cement magnate, Aliko Dangote, who regularly tops Forbes’ list of the richest Africans, is a member of their advisory council.

      Omnia will work on this case alongside lawyer Lucas Bastin from the Essex Court Chambers. Bastin, a oil and mining arbitration expert, previously represented Sudanese state-run firm Sudapetagainst the South Sudanese government before the ICSID.

      Omnia and Bastin will work with US-based Gambian lawyer Edi M.O. Faal, who advises companies active in Africa and who also defended high profile names following the murder of American rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996.

      Banjul’s representatives now need to name an arbitrator. African Petroleum’s defence counsel, British international disputes specialist Maurice Kenton from Clyde & Co, has appointed Swiss lawyer Charles Poncet and Italian law professor Franco Ferrari as arbitrators for the ICSID case.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Astonishment that the Rev. Bair has not yet expressed his deep and (choke) heartfelt sadness at the passing of godbotherer-in-chief Billy Graham*. It would surely be worth a positive headline, so vital in dispelling the public perception of Blair as a greedy conscienceless neoliberal douche. And his famous Catholicism would be no bar to that –

    We have searched in vain for a relevant blairing, without success. Instead, he is today urging the adoption of opt-out organ donor legislation – if passed, we will be put on yet another list – all of us – and our components may then be recycled without our express consent. Another tiny erosion of individual autonomy, so right up Tony’s foetid alley. And who knows what benefits this will bring to the global transplant market? We sense an opportunity here.

    *We had the dubious pleasure of being part of a community heavily dominated by evangelicals who, after their mildly and acceptably debauched youth, had been ‘converted’ by the godly rabble-rouser. A natural affinity with Blair defined them: belief transcending rational argument or evidence, a complete absence of self-doubt and a tendency to moralise at those suspected of socialism.
    But to be fair, (they were Baptists) they loathed Catholics…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Tony Blair today continues to whine about Brexit, urges Labour to vote with Tory remainers in order to sustain his dream of global hegemony by hedge funds. Kick him out, Jeremy.

    (All editors, Yawn. Google it yourselves if you’re fussed; there’s nothing new there. Kate Hoey calls the Dear Leader out in the Express, however.)

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Lying liar lies again…
    Ah, well. Massaging the stats must just be habit now.

    Earlier this week a combined blairing in Brussels and ‘Today’ advanced the interesting view that the UK was the lubricant ( that’s what he said) in the Franco-German machine. As the two other countries spend their time clandestinely shafting each other’s economy, perhaps the analogy should be more explicitly sexual, though it’s crass enough as it stands.
    His powers are obviously failing, and it’s past time Blair rode out on the John Major he arrived on.

    In other news, in December the TBIfTB appointed one Francois Bouvard as a director. Former Director (Europe) of Public Sector at McKinsey, and very definitely French – though Harvard Business School had a predictable hand in his education – while in charge (2013-2017) of the campaign to get Francois Fillon elected French President* he was vice-chairman of Tony Blair Associates – Government Advisory (pillar?), also between 2013 and 2017. Continuity is thus assured.

    *Epic fail, we recall. Out in the first round, leaving the way clear for blairalike opponent Macron. How very strange.

  • Ba'al Zevul


    The Curse is developing a momentum (heh) of its own, as Matteo Renzi’s Blairist Democratic Party goes down the toilet in Italy’s election:

    The PD in its current incarnation is modelled on New Labour’s and Bill Clinton’s model, and Renzi has frequently been compared to Toni. Who has, we understand, liaised with Renzi as part of his efforts to overturn Brexit. But Italy’s gone populist, and given the pressure it is under from the EU, might not be a million miles from a Leave vote itself…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Chip off the old schlock….Euan is now launched on his public speaking career:

    How the puppy in charge of an outfit designed to cash in on government subsidies to employers of apprentices meshes with the rather mightier legal and commercial prominenti listed is a matter of speculatiom. It may have something to do with the fact that while he is the nominal (co-)founder of the White Hat private employment agency, Mummy, Mummy’s chums, and especially Global University Systems, (tick ‘global’ and ‘systems’ boxes, private-university conglomerate, prop. Russian-Israeli-Brit Aaron Etingen) ensure that social and financial embarrassment will never afflict young Euan. GUS’s Kisilevsky is even on the board.

    Affiliation, affiliation, affiliation, eh?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Three weeks ago (and see above), Tony Blair met Liberian president Manneh Weah in Senegal, and as usual offered the consultancy services of the TBIfTB. Alas, Weah is well-informed on the consultancy racket, and prefers local talent. Very local, in fact:

    We have not yet learned who will be advising Weah on governance issues, but get the impression Blair could add nothing to his impressive understanding of systematic corruption…

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Monaco’s very nice this time of year…Tony Blair’s just been there to promote tolerance and reconciliation (though not on the Brexit front, obvs.)

    By a strange coincidence the hereditary ruler of this microscopic country, whose residents are predominantly very rich, and Caucasian, got the prize. For his commitment to advancing a true account of the Holocaust as well as apologising for Monaco’s wartime intolerance, apparently.

    The blairing which followed was as usual platitudinous It’s:

    “essential we don’t sit back and let extremism and intolerance become an accepted part of our public discourse…Co-existence is a vital universal value in a world where people of different cultures and religions mix, both on and offline, more than ever before…freedom of speech must be protected. But people have a right to feel safe in their homes and communities,”

    Well, some people. Reminder – ECTR boss Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor…:

    … is President of the European J**ish Congress, President of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR)… President of the World H***caust Forum Foundation (WHF), Chairman of the European J**ish Fund (EJF), and Chairman of the World J**ish Congress (WJC) Policy Council.…and he’s the 34th richest individual in Russia. (Wikipedia)

    Some people, however, are a threat to globalism, and needn’t be tolerated at all.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      At this event, a view conflicting with Kantor’s and Blair’s was rather bravely advanced by Kjell Magne Bondevik – ex-premier of Norway. He stated what has been obvious to anyone outside the tribe since Isr***l built Dimona: “We have used wars and occupation of Muslim countries…Of course this does not excuse terrorism but we need to be more consistent. The same can be said about nuclear proliferation, but how to approach countries like Pakistan, India and Is***l? Is this a double standard? We have to question ourselves and we have to be aware that many in the Muslim world may use this as an excuse and talk of double standard in this regard.”

      Also, In a possible reference to Is***l, Bondevik also said that a main reason for “extremism is humiliation, and occupation can create the feeling of humiliation.”

      Kantor’s response defines his, his organisation’s and his organisation’s chairman’s (ie Blair’s) resistance to tolerance of inconvenient truths:
      Bondevik’s observation is part of “endless talk” on this subject, which he said does not help find practical solutions.
      “This attitude in which everything is seen as connected, if we continue we will never come to see the realization of our goal: Practical, on-the-ground recommendations for civil society,”

      That’s right. Nothing nasty’s connected with Is***l. Official.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    As Global University Systems ( prop. Aaron Etingen) continues no doubt to support Euan Blair’s aspiration to blether for money just like Dad (above), we were charmed to see that the University of Law (private, for-profit, owner Global University Systems, prop…you got it?) has just awarded Cherie its History Maker Award for her ‘incredible work’, on human rights issues, inter alia.

    One of her company’s former clients, as we have often reminded ourselves, being Maldives President Abdullah Yameen, whom Cherie represented in a failed attempt to get his predecessor, Mohammed Nasheed, kept in jail. Nasheed on Yameen:

    As you are aware, President Yameen has arrested his vice president, his defense minister, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and other judges. Yameen has actually overrun the state. He ordered the military to occupy the parliament and declared a state of emergency, which continues.

    What we are hearing now is that there are rifts within the military because Yameen has arrested a number of military officials as well.
    Malediven, Demonstranten der maledivischen Opposition rufen Parolen, die während eines Protestes die Freilassung politischer Gefangener fordern (picture-alliance/M.Sharuhaan)

    While this is happening in the Maldives, we also heard that a ship with the Maldives’ flag on it sold oil to North Korea ignoring the United Nations sanctions on the country. This ship was not only registered in the Maldives, but also funded by the Bank of Maldives. Japan’s foreign ministry also announced that a Maldives ship was transferring oil to the North Korean regime on high seas. This shows that President Yameen is steering the country to a very dangerous path.

    I am not surprised at this because Yameen did the same thing a few years ago with Myanmar, when the country was under international sanctions.

    Yameen’s human rights issues, perhaps.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Still popular on the Borscht Belt, hilarious not-quite-kosher-just-yet comedian Tony Blair wows them at yet another holocaustfest, this time outside the EU. Must be penance for being somewhere else on HMD.

    Surely he should go the whole hog, admit the Catholic thing was a mistake – he’d be able to divorce Cherie then – make aliyah and live where he is truly appreciated, with his remaining admirers.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The Dear Leader has been awarded the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation’s Lincoln Leadership Prize, for:

    great strength of character, individual conscience and unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy” in a lifetime of service in the spirit of the 16th president of the United States.

    We could hardly type that for spasmodic stomach evacuations, actually.

    You really wouldn’t believe Tony had resigned from Parliament and taken up an extremely lucrative private career two years before his term ended, maintained the waste of life in Iraq was justified, and unilaterally rewritten the Labour Party’s democratic constitution in order to invert its priorities, would you?

    To be awarded April 24, 2018, in Chicago – which is getting to be a regular destination.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Further to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation’s Lincoln Leadership Prize, awarded to that exemplar of probity, democracy etc, Tony Blair, last week…we see that this has had the ‘all-editors’ treatment, presumably by the TBIfTB’s Positive Spin Pillar, and is currently swamping Google results.

    Note to all editors: The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is a more-or-less anonymous outfit running what amounts to a local museum in Chicago. It doesn’t even rate with lifestyle magazine GQ (Philanthropist of the Year), far less with Save the Children (Global Legacy Award – for which StC subsequently apologised).

    We are surprised that no patriotic Americans have yet protested at the gratuitous association of Lincoln’s name with Blair’s. But with US gun laws being what they are, the possibility of the two sharing the same fate remains.

  • Ba'al Zevul


    The Indian Economic Times Women’s Forum will be enthralled by the presence of Cherie on March 16th. Invitation-only; half a billion women clamouring to be mentored at the same time would stretch the largest thinktank.

    The day-long, think-tank cum extravaganza…. which will be held on March 16, is an exclusive, by-invitation-only forum. The Economic Times has established the collaborative forum to create an urgent, sustainable and national culture of empowering India’s half a billion women.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Hashim Thaci, a name to conjure with, unless you live in Kosovo, where taking liberties with it might be regarded askance…

    “Thaçi is behaving like a caged animal,” said a senior representative in Priština for a major international organization. “Kosovo’s people would be happy to be rid of him, but they don’t know how to be rid of him. Thaçi controls the government and economic life. There is no chance for new, young leaders to emerge. There is no hope for new businesses to succeed.”

    Looks like a case for Grinman and Letterbox Girl. Support rotten leader by inserting governance suits, to conserve unicorns, license flying pigs, point vanity contracts at Tony’s employers, etc. And mentor wimmin entrepreneurs, of course. Cherie has just obliged by endorsing (with George Robertson, who makes a living from this sort of thing), a ‘biography’ of Thaci, apparently cobbled together by ‘Times journalists’:

    But beware, Thaci. Tony started ‘advising’ your hostile neighbour, Serbia, in 2015, and may still be doing so, despite the TBIfTB describing its government as ‘populist’ last December. ‘Populist’ being Tony’s ultimate expression of distaste, having conveniently forgotten his own rise to power on an essentially populist backlash.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Now starring in Dubai, today and tomorrow, with B-list comedians Sarkozy and Gore, Tony Blair dons his education tricorne hat for a Global ™ Education Forum run by his old chum Sonny Varkey’s Varkey Foundation. The foundation is principally funded by the Varkey Group Ltd, which provides private education, and the facilities required for this, including construction. One member of the group (alluded to before) is GEMS Education, worth around £4Bn, which does the management and operation side. Obviously there can be no advantage to this in boosting educational demand in less fortunate countries receiving aid budgets.

    We just know that the blairing will be a triumph of platitudinising admiration for a rapacious MidEastern player in the global ™ private education market: this is as usual, reciprocal:

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It’s a comedy duo! Osborne’s the straight man for Blair’s quickfire gags as the hilarious pair assault Brexit, the insufficiently-disastrous Blair education policy (“If I had my time again, I’d fuck it up completely” got the biggest laugh) and the inexplicable unpopularity of Blairism back in Blighty. Now touring the Middle East, Africa and the EU with a grin and a sneer for every occasion, the Tony and Gid will be this season’s sensation! Don’t miss them in the Standard, the Guardian and the BBC!

      Educational too.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    As dear Alastair reminisces about Tony’s wonderful rapport with Vladimir Putin (New European, Guardian, etc), a flashback to the heady days when the world was young and dirty weapons deployed in Salisbury just a McCarthyite fantasy –

    Not that this was a fleeting infatuation:…-and-considers-a-job-with-Ukraine.html

    Strangely, though, nothing from the guru himself on the Skripal case (or the Glushkov one). Unusually reticent of him.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Fresh from praising the UEA’s leadership model in Dubai on the 17th (see) with fellow neocon Tony, Nicolas Sarkozy finds himself in bother over the obvious esteem in which Gaddafi held him in 2007.

    Possibly not enough esteem, as Sarkozy, duly elected with Gaddafi’s aid – allegedly – went on to bomb the crap out of the mad Libyan in 2011…

    That’s two leaders finding themselves in hot water within a couple of days of sharing a platform with Blair, this year. Uncanny.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Don’t ask. The 2006 UK election was notable for the colossal amount of loans made to Labour’s campaign, and belatedly declared under pressure.

      Dear Mu’ammar

      I trust that you, and your family, are well.

      With regret, I should let you know that the British government has not been successful in its recent court case here involving deportation to Libya. I am very disappointed by the court’s decision. I have asked my lawyers and officials to examine whether the decision can be challenged. We will of course keep you fully informed, through Ambassador Abdulati Obidi. Nigel Sheinwald has already written to him providing further details of this development.

      I believe it is essential that this decision is not allowed to undermine the effective bilateral co-operation which has developed between the United Kingdom and Libya in recent years. We have made such progress. It is important, for the good of both our peoples, that we continue to do so, not least in the crucial area of counter-terrorism.

      Finally, I would like to add a personal word of thanks for your assistance in the matter of deportation. That support – and the excellent co-operation of your officials with their British colleagues – is a tribute to the strength of the bilateral relationship which has grown up between the United Kingdom and Libya. As you know, I am determined to see that partnership develop still further.

      Best wishes yours ever, Tony

      (Tony Blair’s 2007 letter to then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi)

      Don’t ask.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    As poor Corbyn finds himself yet again demonised by a tiny religious minority group for permitting criticism of a small Middle Eastern state within his party, it is undoubtedly just by happenstance that yet another ALL EDITORS circular hits the subs’ desk at (eg) The Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen, The Northwich Guardian and the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Guardian….and many, many more*. The strapline has been written for the recipients: ‘Blair Steps Up Call For Second Referendum.’ Shock, horror.

    We applaud the sacking of Owen Smith last week. But why on earth is Blair permitted to keep his Labour Party card?

    *Mostly Newsquest titles.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Unfortunately, we have only the predictably uninformative TBIfTB- crafted text to go on, but the flyer advertises a forthcoming (date unknown) blairing ‘in Westminster’. Which covers quite a large area. Where will this momentous event take place? Our money’s on the Red Lion, as Mr Blair couldn’t resign his constituency fast enough in 2007, and would be pushing his luck attempting to address the House, security being what it is. No doubt buses will be converging on the locale from Northwich, Dunfermline, Jersey (subs: can you actually get a bus from Jersey?) and everywhere else served by Newsquest. Time? Possibly today, but Blair Movements reports activity at Luton which may preclude this. A flight to congratulate his employer/advisee, Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi on being unanimously re-elected President of Egypt, (as he will be, having locked up the opposition ), may be in the offing.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        All becomes clear. The blairing was in a room off the Commons, and part of the Speaker’s Lecture* schedule, in which the Visionary and Prophet entertained parliamentary suckers who had nothing better to do than listen to variations on a threadbare theme. In which Blair (loyal Party member that he is) managed to add to the stab wounds in Corbyn’s back by alluding to antisem…you know…

        Ghostly applause could be heard from Moshe Kantor, Michael Levy and other present and former sponsors of the blethering clown.
        Further details are available to anyone who cares, online. Damned if we tell you where.

        *Instituted in 2014 by the unspeakable Bercow, in order to give lobbyists yet more access to Parliament.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    One of Tony’s employers not yet affected by the Curse (though given the vagaries of MENA politics, it’s not too much to hope for fear, is cuddly Abdel el-Sisi, just re-elected to the presidency of Egypt with an eyewatering 97% of the vote. It is still legal not to vote (just) in Egypt, and thanks to this failure of the system it had to be admitted that turnout was down to levels normally seen in a UK general election. Although, in the UK, overt bribery and coercion are frowned on still…

    The solid democratic principles enshrined in Sisi’s government were further enhanced by the recognition that the man in second place was in fact a supporter of Sisi’s, all other possible opposition having been locked away or disqualified.

    We always enjoy Tony’s thoughts on democracy, never more than when he is bitching about a second Brexit referendum. We assume that his alleged employer’s model is the one he wishes he could follow. It’s rumoured that Tony was hired to advise Sisi in 2014, which he denied at the time, but Arab sources have since tended to confirm. And Naguib Sawiris, a backer of Sisi’s original coup, remains very closely associated with Blair’s African meddling, while Tony’s business links with Abu Dhabi, another coup supporter, are intricate and continuing. From the memory hole:

    In which, incidentally, it was suggested that Tony had inserted himself in the disagreement between Egypt and Ethiopia over the building by the latter of a dam on the Nile, Egypt’s main water supply. If so, his mediation seems to have been as effective as it was in Israel/Palestine:

    However, Tony’s access to weapons of mass distraction should ensure his escape from any little local unpleasantness. And no doubt Naguib’s Global Express is well provided with bottled water.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Yesterday to meet the President of ‘Cyprus’ – i.e. south Cyprus – Nikos Anastadiadis. Usual guff. Ties with Cyprus – i.e. south Cyprus – lovely place, lovely people, sprog married to one, etc. Tony has never faced a bunch of hostile Greek Cyps outside a Limassol nightclub, obviously. THEY remember our ties, which historically consist of preventing EOKA from ethnically cleansing the island.

    Thus far we have no indication that Tony ventured across the Green Line to exchange platitudes with the Turks, but we hope the immense graffito, “Ne_mutlu_Türküm_diyene”, etched into the Beşparmak Hills across the valley and clearly visible from Nicosia, served as a reminder that it’s a good idea to consult both sides of an argument in which you propose to intervene. Y’know, like he didn’t in the case of Hamas…

    Rather odd that Blair Movements doesn’t have a record of M-ASRI coinciding with Blair here. Naguib Sawiris has an ongoing project at Aya Napa, which he visits frequently, but we guess he has things to do in the wake of the wholly expected election victory of Mr. Sisi.

  • Ba'al Zevul


    A breathless runner from Chatham House informs us that on 18 April 2018 – 9:00am to 10:00am – Adama Barrow, Gambia’s President, will be speaking at an Event : ‘Shaping The Gambia’s Future: How to Build a Path to Sustainable Progress’.

    It is rumoured that His Ubiquitousness, the former PM of the UK, Mr. AC Blair, will be chairing this meeting.They’ll have much to catch up with since their last encounter, in November, in Gambia. And refreshing to see Tony rolling up his sleeves and building a path, or is that yet another metaphor?

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the Mrs. was there as well….remember?

1 45 46 47 48 49 55