Posts Tagged ‘Tony Blair’

Noted in Passing – 28th July 2013

July 28, 2013
two-kids-under-a-banana-leaf-in-the-rain-indonesia

Friends under a banana leaf: Photograph by Kendisan Seruyan (via twistedsifter)

I tend to take alarmist claims about the demise of species with a large grain of salt. As supported by this story about a species of North American bumblebee which virtually disappeared and which has now reappeared.

I don’t believe the scientists who say they know the secret of Usain Bolt and his speed.

Matt Ridley compares HS2 to Hadrian’s Wall.

For a “settled science”, there is a great deal which is still being found about how carbon dioxide affects plants. Wetland plants are found not only to absorb more carbon dioxide with high concentration of the gas but they also then emit less carbon dioxide.

John Hawks considers the Denisovans and the pre-Toba, post-Toba question.

Joschka Fischer who was German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005 considers Egypt after Morsi.

Global population of polar bears keeps increasing (about 5,000 since 2001) even though some vested interests keep adjusting the numbers to try and show that there has been no significant change. They seem however to have abandoned efforts to show numbers declining.

That science is self-correcting may be true in the long term (more than a few decades) but it is largely a myth within the lifetime of scientists.

In the New Yorker, Atul Gawande considers the contrasting speeds at which anesthesia and the use of antiseptics spread and generally how ideas disseminate in the practice of medicine.

His involvement with Muammar Gaddafi is no great surprise but I suspect that we have not yet heard the full history of Tony Blair’s venality.

Any even natural number greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two prime numbers. Plus Maths on the Goldbach Conjecture.

 

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Walking Eagles and carbon taxes

June 6, 2013

This is a couple of years old though I only just came across it.

Seems very apt – not only for carbon taxes but also for Tony Blair.

Tony 'Walking Eagle' Blair

Tony ‘Walking Eagle’ Blair

Osho News:

On a recent trip to the United States, Tony Blair, Ex. Prime Minister of the UK, addressed a major gathering of Native American Indians.

He spoke for almost an hour on his plans for a Carbon Trading Tax for the UK and Europe

At the conclusion of his speech, the crowd presented him with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name – Walking Eagle.

A very proud Tony then departed in his motorcade, waving to the crowds.

A news reporter later asked one of the Indians how they came to select the new name given to Tony Blair.

They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of sh1t that it can no longer fly.

Tony Blair has income of £12 million, spends £8 million on administration but pays only £300,000 tax

January 8, 2012

I am not Tony Blair’s greatest fan and don’t have very high expectations of him. Nevertheless, the manner in which he cashes in on his former position is breathtaking! Personal ethics are clearly unknown to him.

Paying 2.5% of his income as tax is a pretty impressive case of tax avoidance (which is probably perfectly legal and not tax evasion). But it makes him a parasite. Some parasites are useful but he is not one of them.

The Telegraph:

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair channelled millions of pounds through a complicated web of companies and paid just a fraction in tax

Official accounts show a company set up by Mr Blair to manage his business affairs paid just £315,000 in tax last year on an income of more than £12 million. In that time, he employed 26 staff and paid them total wages of almost £2.3 million. ….

(more…)

Was Tony Blair just doing Murdoch’s bidding on Iraq?

September 5, 2011

Even the distance of history may never reveal all the real reasons for the Iraq War.  That Rupert Murdoch through his media outlets was one of the most strident advocates of the Iraq war because of their (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction was always clear. But quite how close he was to Tony Blair is becoming apparent only now.

The latest revelations – let-slip by Wendi Deng Murdoch in an interview with Vogue – show that Tony Blair was very close indeed to Rupert Murdoch. The claim of Tony Blair being in Murdoch’s pocket is no longer so far-fetched. His just following Murdoch’s orders regarding the Iraq war would also explain Blair’s obduracy in “sexing-up” the Iraq dossier with a bunch of lies and half-truths.

BBC News

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s young children, it has emerged. Mr Blair was present last March when Mr Murdoch’s two daughters by his third wife, Wendi Deng, were baptised. The revelation comes in an interview with Ms Deng in a forthcoming issue of fashion magazine Vogue. Tony Blair’s office declined to comment on the report, which sheds new light on Mr Blair’s ties with the media mogul. Mr Blair, who is said to have been “robed in white” during the ceremony, is the godfather to Grace, the second youngest of Mr Murdoch’s six children.

As The Guardian puts it 

So much falls into place with the revelation that Tony Blair became godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s two young daughters and attended their baptism on the banks of the river Jordan last year. …. Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi Deng, who let slip the information in an interview with Vogue, described Blair as one of Rupert’s closest friends. Blair’s account of the relationship in his memoirs is somewhat different, portraying Murdoch as the big bad beast, who won his grudging respect. That is clearly disingenuous. As other memoirs and diaries from the Blair period are published, we see how close Murdoch was to the prime minister and the centre of power when really important decisions, such as the Iraq invasion, were being made.

image : guardian.co.uk

But bringing this back to what is known about Rupert Murdoch’s views and what was thought to be his staunch support of the neo-conservative cause suggests that Murdoch may have been a leader rather than just a supporter. And in that scenario Murdoch led Tony Blair by the nose into the quagmire of Iraq.

Before the Iraq war Murdoch declared that the war would ensure oil at $20 per barrel which would be the equivalent of a tax cut. The three members of the Coalition of the willing were Australia, the US and the UK — all countries where Murdoch is the most powerful media player. Spain was the tentative fourth member of the Coalition and when Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar was defeated in 2004, Rupert showed his loyalty to those who backed the Iraq invasion by promptly installing him on the News Corp board.

After running the unsuccessful Tory campaign in 2004, former federal Liberal Party director Clinton Crosby publicly stated that News International backed one last term for Blair because of his support for the Iraq invasion. John Howard received similar treatment. Some Murdoch papers may have endorsed Kevin Rudd at the 2007 federal poll, but Howard was strongly supported by the Murdoch press in 1998, 2001 and 2004. Besides, News Corp’s Harper Collins book division ended up paying John Howard the biggest six-figure cheque of his career for his memoirs after leaving office.

Rupert Murdoch Profile

Considered a close ally of neoconservative activists, Murdoch has helped bankroll neoconservatism’s more important media outlets, including the William Kristol-edited Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and Fox News. A sign of Murdoch’s commitment to this rightwing faction’s causes was his willingness to support the Standard in spite of yearly losses in the millions. The magazine is widely credited as a pivotal force in building support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. According to a report by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, “With a circulation of about 65,000 and annual losses estimated from $1 million … to $5 million … the Standard represented only a tiny fraction of Murdoch’s vast media empire.”

Murdoch is frequently criticized for using his media empire to advance his political agenda. During the lead up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, for example, the editors of Murdoch’s media holdings vociferously supported President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s pro-war campaign. One British newspaper opined: “You have got to admit that Rupert Murdoch is one canny press tycoon because he has an unerring ability to choose editors across the world who think just like him. How else can we explain the extraordinary unity of thought in his newspaper empire about the need to make war on Iraq? After an exhaustive survey of the highest-selling and most influential papers across the world owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation, it is clear that all are singing from the same hymn sheet. Some are bellicose baritone soloists who relish the fight. Some prefer a less strident, if more subtle, role in the chorus. But none, whether fortissimo or pianissimo, has dared to croon the antiwar tune. Their master’s voice has never been questioned.”

It does begin to seem very plausible – and not just some conspiracy theory – that Rupert Murdoch – and not Bush or Cheney or Blair – was the “deep” force behind the entire Iraq adventure and all the hundreds of thousands killed there. And the price of oil at $80 – 100 in these days is a long way from $20.

The message of the shoes is clear

February 2, 2011

The mood of the demonstrators in Cairo is captured by the waving shoes in Tahrir Square as Mubarak announces he will not stand again — far too little, much too late.

The political message of shoe throwing or waving is quite unambiguous.

The shoes are out in Tahrir Square: image i.huffpost.com

In the meantime the duplicitous and corrupt Tony Blair praises Mubarak and reveals his view of democracy – “Democracy is Ok provided I like the result” !!!!!

“Blair said that meant there should not be a rush to elections in Egypt.”

It is incomprehensible for me that a corrupt and intellectually bankrupt lightweight such as Tony Blair with all his demonstrated failings could be “rewarded” by being made an envoy to the Middle East.

 

Surprise! Lockerbie bomber release orchestrated by Tony Blair’s gov’t in exchange for trade deals

February 1, 2011
Tony Blair

Tony Blair: Image via Wikipedia

Apparently Tony Blair and his government were more than mere US poodles. That Blair was an accomplished liar regarding his “sexed up” Iraq dossiers has become apparent. But that he had (has) little sense of ethics and could treat with the Devil for the sake of trade deals has always been suspected but is coming out clearly now.

British ministers secretly advised Libya on securing the successful early release of the Lockerbie bomber and demonstrate that Tony Blair’s Government was “playing false” over the issue.

If corruption is taken to be “having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money” it is not difficult to attach a label to Tony Blair and his government.

The Telegraph:

A Foreign Office minister sent Libyan officials detailed legal advice on how to use Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s cancer diagnosis to ensure he was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds, documents obtained by the Daily Telegraph show.

The Duke of York is also said to have played a behind-the-scenes role in encouraging the terrorist’s release.

The Scottish First Minister said the revelations confirm that while his administration acted according to its public pronouncements on the affair, Tony Blair’s Government was behaving duplicitously.

“The cables … show that the former UK Government were playing false on the issue, with a different public position from their private one,” said a statement released by Mr Salmond’s office.

Downing Street maintained at the time that is was not complicit in the release of al-Megrahi, and that the decision to free the convicted terrorist was taken by the Scottish Executive alone.

The Libyans closely followed the advice which led to the controversial release of Megrahi – who was convicted of the murder of 270 passengers on Pan Am Flight 103 – within months of the Foreign Office’s secret intervention.

According to American officials, Mr Blair was suspected of securing trade deals after agreeing to include Megrahi in the agreement.

After Megrahi was released in August 2009, another American document records Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s comments – which suggest that Prince Andrew, the UK’s trade envoy, may have played a role. The document records: “He [Gaddafi] went on to thank his ‘friend Brown’, the British Prime Minister, his government, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Andrew, who ‘against all odds encouraged this brave decision’. [Gaddafi] noted that the UK efforts would positively affect ‘exchange’ between the two countries.

Read more.



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