An Apology 2183

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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2,183 thoughts on “An Apology

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  • Komodo

    It’s not all Balkan intrigues though. Tony (and another politician who feels unhappy in a socialist party, Michael Gapes, LFOI) went to Mayfield School* on Friday to punt the TBIfTB’s new ‘Compass’ project, in which the words ’empowerment’, ‘mentor’ and…see any Blair press release for the rest. In its own words, it isn’t an attempt to indoctrinate children with a very specific worldview and set of globalist aspirations, oh no –

    The project supports young women in communities affected by extremism to broaden and realise their aspirations, whilst exploring issues of identity and belonging through group mentoring, interactive workshops, and international videoconferences.

    *There are several Mayfield Schools. This one’s in Dagenham, and Wikipedia informs us that according to the headmaster there’s no problem with crime and racism at the school, so it’s probably the ideal place to counter extremism.

    Singer Jessica Ellen Cornish, known as Jessie J, attended the school from 1999 until 2004. Comments she later made about gang-related gun and knife crime and racial attacks at the school were described by (headmaster) Rehling as “just wrong”; he said that he and other staff were unaware of any such incidents.

  • Komodo

    Cherie Blair will be receiving the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Premio StellaRe award in Turin on October 11th.
    It could be argued that the eponymous Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is clinically insane or pathologically gullible, being an obsessive collector of ‘art’ works manufactured specifically for clients such as her by the global Damien Hirst Tendency; one such piece consisting of 109 rocks trucked all the way from Turkey to Turin, coated in a variety of perishables, and allowed to decompose naturally. The award is for womens’ achievements, and in this case for setting up the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which has served Cherie so well as an international entry point for her less altruistic activities. It hardly figures alongside GQ’s recognition of Tony as Philanthropist of the Year, but it’s nice to see very rich people awarding each other prizes, isn’t it?

    (Contains much uncritical detail, but, happily, nothing about some of the dodgy bastards Cherie, QC has acted for)

  • Komodo

    Tony’s admiration of strong government (outside the UK) may be responsible for the admiration for and frequent appearances with Paul Kagame*, Rwanda’s President For As Near Life As Makes No Difference. Whose latest liberating policy is to criminalise political cartoons. Laughing at Kagame or his ministers can get you four years in chokey now.

    ”Any person who, verbally, by gestures or threats, in writings or cartoons, humiliates a member of parliament when exercising his/her mandate, a member of the Cabinet, security officers or any other person in charge of a public service in the performance or in connection with the performance of his/her duties, commits an offence.”

    According to Kagame’s new law, any cartoonist who targets public servants faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to US$1,145. But if the cartoonist targets a parliamentarian or a cabinet minister, the penalty doubles.

    Article 34 of the Rwandan constitution states, inter alia: “Freedom of the press and freedom of information are recognized and guaranteed by the State.

    Not any more.

    We might expect Rwandan prisons, like everything else in Rwanda…well, in the visible parts of Kigali anyway…to be shining examples of Rwanda’s emergence from corrupt African tribalism into a new free and democratic era. Nope.

    Tony is paid …by the UAE? China? Xrael? Rwnada’s international aid trove?…to polish Kagame’s image. But you can’t polish a turd.

    *See, repeatedly, above. Most recent: 8th Sept 2018.

  • Komodo

    Join with us as we rejoice at the tenth anniversary of the Cherie Blair Foundation For Wimminz’s, er, foundation. This is the organisation which brought you ‘to mentor’ as a verb. It combines the promotion of mobile phone networks and banks in developing countries with the creation of a market for these under the rubric of ’empowering women entrepreneurs’ by means of locally-sourced ‘mentors’ ( who ‘mentor’ the fledgling businesswimminz in completely unspecified ways) The Foundation pays its workers as little as possible, and attracted this rave review from a former worker, on Glassdoor:


    Great partners and good colleagues


    Toxic, disempowering work environment due to some senior management behavior. No accountability mechanisms or staff safeguarding policies in place. Lack of leadership and commitment to staff wellbeing.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff. Instill a culture that values the empowerment and wellbeing of your employees, especially your junior employees. Strengthen HR systems.

    No accountability mechanisms, eh? Well, it’s a Blair scheme, so no surprises there. Failure to empower the junior staff? Ah, but you see they’re not women in developing markets (sic – see CBFW publicity) and don’t need empowering…

  • Komodo

    DIARY: We assume Cherie will continue to represent Ivica Todoric in the High Court as he attempts to evade extradition to Croatia in connection with some vanishing money. The next, and hopefully final, hearing is set for October 15th. Todoric has some new ‘unbelievable…incredible evidence’ to present, apparently. Which might not be the best way to put it to the judge, Iv…

  • Komodo

    Today, of course, Tony will be at Faulkner U, Montgomery, AL. We imagine the flight of M-USIK from Paris to New York yesterday is unrelated to this but as usual rule nothing out.

  • Komodo

    How pleased we were to see the Sawiris clan’s Gulfstream M-USIK had landed at Montgomery at 1840 hrs UTC (1240 hrs local) in plenty of time to find Tony addressing his admiring hearers at the very Christian Faulkner University later in the afternoon. (Reception about now, dinner at 1900 local time) What a coincidence. What he was doing in Paris and NY en route remains unknown.

  • Komodo

    M-USIK returned today to New York, first landing briefly at Boston, perhaps to connect with a scheduled flight. Nassef Sawiris has a pied-a-terre in NY; Tony, as far as is known, doesn’t…yet.

  • Komodo

    It’s a simple formula, is Mr. Blair’s. If you’re speaking to a faith-based university, faith is wonderful and education is wonderful. Cue the desired wholly emotional response. According to the Alabama News Network Tony told the record crowd at Faulkner… ” faith is about service, compassion, and understanding something matters more than me.”

    Where do we start, Tony? Buggering off out of Parliament two years early as the financial crisis broke in order to support the Xraelis’ suppression of the Palestinians, disguised as an honest broker? Helping to start a succession of bloody wars across the Middle East without worrying too much about hundreds of thousands of casualties sacrificed on the altar of your Belief? Or your carbon footprint, which clearly indicates that despite many fine words (until the issue became unfashionable with your oil-enriched associates), you consider yourself more important than the planet?

    True, selling influence gained in Western democracies to a collection of thuggish non-Western dictators might qualify as service….

  • Komodo

    And so to the Palazzo Veccio, Firenze, to join a glittering throng – there is no other kind in Blair World – to celebrate the 65th birthday of Moshe Kantor. There is a small inaccuracy in this article.: the EJC does not “represent all the Jewish communities in Europe” and despite trying to look as much like an official EU organisation as possible, it isn’t.
    Florence, 7 October 2018 – After three days of celebration, tonight Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor will end his long Florentine birthday by extinguishing his 65 candles in the Teatro della Pergola. And he too, the Russian magnate president of the European Jewish Congress, the organ that represents all the Jewish communities of Europe, will have a happy birthday almost like John Kennedy with Marilyn Monroe. Directly from the United States on the stage of the Pergola comes for him nothing less than the pop star Katy Perry, for a small show, highly reserved for Moshe Kantor and for his two hundred and fifty guests, among whom was Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, some managers , Marco Carrai with a lady, for example, and Italian politicians…. (Google Translate, but the tongue in cheek is in the original)

    There is a small inaccuracy in this article.: the EJC does not “represent all the Jewish communities in Europe” and despite trying to look as much like an official EU organisation as possible, it isn’t.

    But Kantor’s longstanding connection with Tony isn’t in doubt, and Tony is still as far as we know the chairman of the ECTR, also founded by Kantor. Reminder:

    Like most of Blair’s initiatives, I doubt we will hear much about the ECTR or his work in it. There will be occasional press releases, ceremonies and perhaps some headline-catching grants. But long after Blair and other gadflies move on to some other cause, the need for reconciliation and tolerance will remain in Europe.

    Prescient. Very little indeed has been heard from this outfit since its foundation, and particularly little on reconciliation with non-Xewish interests.

    Laughably, at the same gathering, we discover Tony burnishing his Kosovar credentials, despite, or perhaps because of, controversy arising from his contract with Serbia’s Vucic and the suspicion that this involves lobbying for a contentious border rearrangement with Kosovo…

    Note the distinctly Russian flavour of the event. Fertiliser oligarch Kantor is still in Putin’s good books, and is on the US Treasury Department’s list of sanctionable actors close to the Russian leader. Surely this is Mandy territory, Tony?

  • Komodo

    We are ashamed to say that Craig spotted this one before we did:

    Mixed reviews for Tony. Who once again forgets that the tide of enthusiasm for Something Different which got him into Downing Street was archetypically populist, and uses his time to diss Ramaphosa’s opposition as…populist. His interest in Abiy may relate to success in implanting some suits in Ethiopia’s government, or to his continuing efforts to do so – the position is unclear. Abiy’s predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn was described by Tony as a model leader, but had to jump before he was pushed, the day after Tony had visited the country. We are reasonably certain nothing of importance was said.

  • Komodo

    We note, from this effusion, that Tony has a form of Tourette’s. Whatever the subject upon which he sets himself to lecture the world, he is compelled to shout ‘Populism!’ and ‘Brexit!’ at intervals, disrupting the flow of his radical take on technology (Technology is just great, we must all do technology and the gummint’s gotta do something about technology. Smart cars. Wooo!) and faintly embarrassing his hearers. Well, hugely embarrassing any of them who can use a spanner.

    Technology is the only way to defeat…’Populism!’.

    Note also the steady rise within the TBIfTB of Yascha Mounk, who has been doing a sub-Blair travelling harangue show for some time. Harvard; political science doctorate. Naturalised US citizen, emigre from Germany, of Polish Xewish parentage. This is relevant, because he claims he never had a sense of belonging, which might account for his support of globalisation. Unlike Blair, he has recently modified his hostility to nationalism and favours what he calls ‘inclusive nationalism’, if only to occupy the space claimed by ‘aggressive nationalism’. In the words of French Wikipedia: Il estime que les peuples et les nations devraient de nouveau avoir le sentiment de retrouver le contrôle de leur vie et de leur destin.. Sooner or later he will learn that this is not at all what Tony is about, and that this is a …’Populist!’….aspiration.

  • Komodo

    Included only for the emetic coinage ‘womenomics’ (though we have known for decades that women inhabit a different economic universe and do not deny its necessity) is Cherie’s forthcoming appearance at the Women In Leadership Economic Forum in Dubai, November 19th-20th. Run by wimmins’ ‘deal facilitator’ naseba (sic) which exists to be paid for middlewoman functions in high-value transactions, so home territory for Cherie. Who could perhaps do more for womens’ empowerment herself if she stepped outside the conference bubble and got a glimpse of how womens’ rights are progressing in Dubai itself. Very slowly, we understand.

  • Komodo

    Vital Voices and Bank of America 18th Global ™ Ambassadors Program in Dublin, 8th-12th October, starring Cherie* at an event designed to provide mentoring to women entrepreneurs able to pay the no doubt womenomically-tailored entrance fee. Too late to book, sorry.

    *Too late to hear her, too. Sorry. She’s just sat down. She was on today.

  • Komodo

    Secrecy still surrounds the location at which Blair will be interviewed on a Reuters Newsmaker feature on the 11th*, but we do know that Axel Threlfall will be putting the questions. Threlfall is heavily into technology as the solution for everything, anti-Brexit, and a business conference junkie. So the questions won’t be too challenging.

    * Our guess is NY.

  • Komodo

    In addition to enthralling the fundraising audience at Faulkner U, Montgomery, AL, last week, Tony dropped in on the local USAF base, Maxwell AFB.

    There, perhaps succumbing to too much hospitality – that Southern welcome can overwhelm the unwary – he proposed a very new idea of what we er gotta do, y’know. Since the turn of the century, we need to get into a different rhythm of thinking,” Blair said. “The rhythm of thinking is no longer how we can finish this quickly, but is akin to defeating the revolution of communism.” Ah. The rhythm method.Was this a coded reference to Papal doctrine, perhaps?

    Also kindly advising the airmen on the difference between strategy and tactics, subjects never covered in military education, and telling them what a terrible responsibility being a leader (like him) is, he answered an audience question.

    One audience member asked Blair what can military leaders do to advise political leaders better?
    “The most painful thing is to lose your people in battle,” Blair said.
    “That level of understanding of the military is really important,” Blair said. “You’re talking about people’s lives and our future security and we need the politicians to know how to make the right decision.”

    He’s wasted on the lecture circuit. He should be doing standup..

  • Komodo

    How do you respond to someone who has just paid you several million pounds (allegedly) murdering a journalist under diplomatic cover? Here’s how:

    … Blair said on Thursday that the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was extremely troubling and went against the spirit of the reforms advocated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    Glad you asked, Reuters.

  • Komodo

    As the (alleged) murder of Khashoggi in Turkey, (allegedly) by the Saudis, continues to attract the disapproval of the world’s press – though Turkey’s record in the matter of silencing journalists is perhaps not beyond reproach – we wonder if Tony was scheduled to attend the Riyadh Future Investment Conference later this month. He did go to last year’s, and in the meantime accepted a large wadge of cash from the Saudi coffers; precise purpose unknown, but one of the TBIfTB’s many activities consists in massaging the reputations of murderous autarchs. We do know that, unlike several of those invited, who have pulled out in protest, the US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, plans to be there. We offer 1/5 on ‘Troubled’ Tony’s being there too. Though this may not be made public…

    • Komodo

      Odds rising somewhat, as Jamie Dimon, CEO of one of Blair’s cash streams, JP Morgan, has reportedly pulled out too, and even Liam Fox has been making ambiguous noises. Nothing further from Tony, though.

  • Komodo

    Under the radar: all editors please don’t C&P: a damn good blairing addressed to an exclusive little soiree held in Sedgefield by its MP, Phil Collins, on Friday, and in aid of centrism:

    So fascinating was this for the Blairites of Northwest Durham’s constituency Labour Party that they missed a vital vote in order to be at Tony’s feet – ensuring NWD’s increased representation of the hated Corbynites.

    Last night Tony was wowing them at the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Appeal Dinner, along with Sajid Javid and other supporters of the industry. Tony referred to the ‘demons of antisemitism’, no doubt hoping that people would know which particular demons he has always in mind…Brexitibub and Corbynifer. It is debatable, surely, whether associating yourselves with Mr. Blair tends to make people more or less antisemitic. He didn’t do a hell of a lot for interfaith understanding as Quartet representative, after all.

    • Komodo

      Rather more detail on that HET bash:

      Note (1) the complete merger of Xewish identity and Xrael’s interests; criticism of either now being illegal. (2) the use of the occasion to pursue Blair’s personal and political vendetta against his own party (still, shamefully). (3) Holding Gay Pride days is the touchstone of a civilised country, outweighing the regular and intentional shooting of unarmed protesters by its army. (4) ” We”. Throughout.

      Once there was a gentile who came before Shammai, and said to him: “Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot. Shammai pushed him aside with the measuring stick he was holding. The same fellow came before Hillel, and Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it.” – Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a

      And let’s see how a Palestinian Pride Day might play in Jerusalem, eh?

  • Komodo

    Further notes from Sedgefield:

    “@sccachieve” refers to Sedgefield Community College. It may have been part of Blair’s Building Schools for the Future programme, but had long pre-existed that, and was eventually rebuilt in 2010, long after Blair had departed. Attaching himself to a success story is a well-worn Blair ploy, but in reality its excellent present performance is due to its head, David Davies, who turned it round when he joined in 2009. Previously,
    … it was viewed by the local authority as a “concern” and would most likely have been rated by Ofsted, according to the headteacher, as “inadequate”.

    “In many instances achievement was way below, behaviour was poor and attitude to education and other students was poor in the school,” he added. “I would be surprised if it wasn’t rated at the time as (what would now be rated by Ofsted as) inadequate.

    “Within six months we were upgraded as Good.”

    And it should be noted that Sedgefield’s more upbeat profile is considerably more attributable to Durham County Council’s planning and a Durham University initiative (acknowledged at the time by Blair) than to anything Thatcher’s deindustrialisation disciple, Blair did for it…

    The self-spinning continues.

  • Komodo

    Must have been a shade embarrassing for Tony at the Pink News Award ceremony yesterday.

    Blimp: You mean having to rub shoulders with a bunch of homosexualists?
    Ourselves: No, not at all. We mean having to occupy the same room as Jeremy Corbyn. (who also attended)

    Indeed, Tony has never distanced himself from the gay world, and, in reattaching himself to this good cause (while neglecting to mention the robust policies on homosexuality preferred by some of the African leaders paying the TBIfTB for governance advice) did not hesitate to identify himself with his hearers. That ‘we’ again:

    There are many new challenges, many things still to do, but tonight it’s worth celebrating where we were, where we are, and celebrating the contribution of those who made a difference.

    Here you go, possums…

    • Komodo


      “…robust policies on homosexuality preferred by … African leaders…” (above)

      And, of course, Saudi Arabia, which cures its gays by executing them. Need we mention that nine million, Tony?

  • Komodo

    We occasionally link from here to a thoroughly disreputable blog/forum (on which we also occasionally rant) whose members share our opinion of Blair, among other Things.. Reciprocity demands that we link back there for an assessment of the probity of Tessa Jowell, at whose memorial service Tony waxed lachrymose today. Cue Extreme Emotion. Cue catch in voice. Cue above all nil nisi bonum…usual schtick, really. The People’s Blair Babe. But… (caution, extremely bad language, and really not suited to a politically correct audience)…

    Curiously, we have heard nothing since Tony was ‘troubled’ by the still unconfirmed but reasonably definite and wholly barbaric murder of a journalist by the Saudis. But , following consultation with Trump and Pompeo, even Steven Mnuchin has now pulled out of the forthcoming Saudi investment conference. And Liam Fox too. Tony’s security often suppresses all knowledge of his future engagements, so we still have no idea whether he’s on the guest list for this year. And if he is, and the knowledge isn’t public, what an opportunity to squeeze a few more riyals out of the kingdom as a condition of his attendance. We’ll be keeping an eye on the desert, then.

  • Komodo

    An excursion to Dudley yesterday, with its MP, Iain Austin. Who is a Friend of Xrael, an Enemy of Corbyn, and has a good accountant (see also ‘home flipping’, ‘stamp duty’ and ‘stereo system on MP’s expenses’) Some discussion of wot you gotta do about policing (Blair visited a police station) and wot you gotta do about education (a technical college) appears to have been involved, but the primary purpose of Blair’s brief descent into the real world would seem to have been the recruitment of Austin as an ally in any forthcoming parliamentary votes on Brexit.

    But will that ally survive having been seen with Blair, come the next General Election?

  • Komodo

    We’ve been saying for some time that Rwanda is something of a Potemkin state, and we are pleased to find further confirmation:
    It’s getting near time for Tony to emulate the housefly once more, and buzz irritatingly round those African states which have subcontracted parts of their civil services to him. We hope he will continue to advise his extremely good friend and ‘mentee’ Paul Kagame on media massage issues, since these, rather than actual reforms or democratic elections, are undoubtedly crucial to Rwanda’s aspiration to appear to be Africa’s Singapore.
    Tony has meanwhile announced that he will not be attending the Saudi investment conference since he wasn’t going anyway and has ‘longstanding’ engagements elsewhere. Too much detail, Tony. Only one excuse was needed.

  • Komodo

    Just a little clue as to what the Saudis are getting in exchange for their bung to the Institute for Everything:

    Last year, the Independent’s Russian owner Evgeny Lebedev sold 30% of the (‘Independent’) news organisation to a largely unknown Saudi businessman named Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel.

    Shortly after this investment, two directors joined the Independent’s board. One of them is DJ Collins of PR firm Milltown Partners, a former New Labour aide who sits on the board of the Tony Blair Institute, which also received donations from SRMG….Milltown, … has previously been named as a potential representative of the Saudi state in the UK…

    DJ Collins is in fact a former spin doctor for the Education Department under Blair, so they go back a bit.

    • Komodo

      It’s the other addition to the Indescribable who is of perhaps more interest: Eric Leslie Lewis, a Washington attorney and member of Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss, an American boutique law firm specialising in global commercial litigation. Evidently the new al-Indy (not believed to be a supporter of Iran) is expecting something of a rocky ride, legally speaking.

  • Komodo


    Mr. Blair will be emoting on the theme “The leader and his responsibility to the common good”, though not, we feel, from any personal attachment to that responsibility, at the Hilton, Mexico City, on the 9th November at 1230 hrs. Or you may prefer lunch – not included on the Mex$10,000 entrance fee.

    Note to self; stern yet pleasingly self-deprecatory elder statesman face. Need some Hispanic gestures – watch old Castro footage for hints? Tragedy of leader such as self not being listened to when common good demands national identity and leader doesn’t. Closing aphorism in local language…how about ‘Hasta la vista, baby?’ – TB

  • Komodo

    Air Sawiris One – M-ASRI – is currently in New York (via Montreal and back to NY) following some apparent trouble with its ADS-B flight tracking transponder after the 18th. On Sunday, Tony is scheduled for Detroit. Coincidence?

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