Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tony Bliar: War Profiteer

Why did Tony Blair back the Iraq war? Various theories have been put forward. He did so out of a sense of personal conviction. He did so because he saw it as his Christian duty to rid the world of an evil dictator and spread democracy and human rights. He did so because he genuinely believed Iraq possessed WMD.

There's only one thing wrong with those theories.

They're complete claptrap.

Back in April, I wrote in The Spectator:

Blair’s apologists would like us to believe that their man acted out of conviction, but the truth may be rather more prosaic. The going rates for retired politicians on the American lecture circuit are impressive: Bill Clinton gets $250,000 a time, and Blair, as Washington’s most loyal lapdog, will certainly be at the top of the scale. In addition, there are those lucrative book contracts. As Wheatcroft concludes, vast numbers of lives may have been cruelly sacrificed by the Iraq enterprise, but Anthony Charles Linton Blair will surely be a richer man as a result.

Now, six months after leaving Downing Street, The Daily Express's Patrick O'Flynn reveals what our Tone, the 'conviction' politician has been up to.

His cack-handedness in the property market used to be a national joke but within six months of leaving Downing Street,Tony Blair is already a millionaire sev­eral times over. He is estimated to be earning up to £1million every month, mainly through lucrative after-dinner speeches in North America. He has also secured a £5million deal for his memoirs.

While Mr Blair has done very well out of his relationship with America, the awkward fact is that there are many who have not.

The botched invasion of Iraq has been the biggest foreign policy disaster for decades. Its impact has made the world a more dangerous place. It has so far cost the lives of 174 British service personnel. Thousands more have been injured.

The compensation they have received has been scant. Life­time awards for those maimed in battle range from just £1,000 to a maximum of £285,000 for those with permanent and multiple debilitating injuries – that’s a couple of nights’ work for Mr Blair these days.

As Britain prepares for its final, inglorious withdrawal from southern Iraq in circumstances that fall far short of victory or vindi­cation, the sight of Mr Blair hitting the jackpot must leave a sour taste for thousands of forces’ families.

I'm sure "the sight of Mr Blair hitting the jackpot" must indeed leave a sour taste for thousands of forces' families. And let's hope it makes those naive idiots who thought the British Prime Minister was a "conviction" politician who sincerely meant well, realise how they were duped.

The simple truth is that Bliar did it for the money.

Like the rest of them.


Anonymous said...

You misspelt Tony Blair's name in your title by the way.

Anonymous said...

Why do people who think it is clever to misspell Blair's name (are you REALLY a journalist!?) always sound so ENVIOUS! From your great moral heights you judge every motive taken by a politician strictly by your own low standards, I assume. Therefore you MISjudge in my opinion. Do you really think Tony Blair didn't CARE if people died in Iraq? Of course he did. He worried constantly about it. And do you really think he took the country to war FOR THE MONEY!!!?

That is an incredibly insulting accusation to make. Blair is universally known not to care about money.

As for foreign policy he does not walk by on the other side as so many of our great liberal non-interventionists such as yourself, perhaps, would evidently do. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

He went to war because he saw, before 9/11 possibly, but certainly it focused his thinking, that the world is facing a threat we have never had to deal with before. At SOME time we will have to deal seriously with it, if we don't keep it down now.

Most, like yourself, choose to disbelieve this or just ignore it. He didn't, even if it meant losing his reputation and job, which in the end it did, more or less.

As for the money he now (potentially) earns - good luck to him. As PM he got paid relative peanuts for the pleasure of being insulted by self-centred fools for years. Fools who ignited and fueled a press campaign against his character, in an unforgivable way, imho.

I predict that a million a month - which is the going price for quality - it's a LIMITED market, y'know - will be just the start for this man.

And I'm not even a Labour voter.

Anonymous said...

Well done Luke for spotting the mistake.
Now be a good chap and go back to watching Teletubbies.

Ken said...


"Luke" is one of Gimlet's sock puppets. The creature has been around my place and now it is commenting at yours.

I wonder if it is Gimlet himself? The reason that I ask is that Gimlet was cunt enough not to realise that Sonic's "better in the original German" comment was a quote. Now Luke is doing the same thing with your "Bliar" headline.

Coincidence? That would mean that two identical spastics exist on the earth...

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. Firstly, I don't think the Exile knows what 'sock puppet' means. 'sock puppet' would mean that I WAS in fact Kamm. First he states I'm a sock puppet then he wonders if I am Kamm. Hmmmm.

Also, I was commenting on Clark's articles long before I was commenting at the Exile. So another factual mistake by Mr Bell there.

Also, I don't think you have to be a genius to appreciate that I was being sarcastic in my reply. Of course I knew that 'Bliar' was deliberate. Don't be ridiculous. I just don't think it's particularly big or clever.

And you don't actually have to be Kamm himself to be offended by some of the things you say about him, Exile. 'spastic', 'little fucker'? At least Neil Clark makes factual accusations against the man. You rarely rise above ad hominem abuse.

Anonymous said...

This ought to be more widely publicised.
I'd been thinking that Blair may have reckoned that invading Iraq might have given access to cheap oil, so as to avoid further fuel protests (the average Brit now being a moronic motorist whose only interest is in the assumed right to drive as fast as they like and to ignore traffic regulations with impunity fro prosecution). Unfortunately, it looks as if the invasion has actually made oil more expensive. D'oh!

Ken said...

For the record I used to argue Gimlet's points. I stopped when the short-arsed little fucker got so far above himself as to insult me. Sorry, when middle class shit forget their place then the gloves come off. Anyway, click this link and read it all.

Funny, but the only time that creatures like you emerge is when I discuss the short-arsed little fucker. "Scott," "Luke" or just Anonymous. You emerge like sewer rats.

The line is always the same. Under whatever name you post, you seem to think that I will be offended by your idiotic comments about my work as a copy writer. Consider this from anonymous and this from Luke. You see? (Also for the record, bastard work is bastard work. Pay me and then go and fuck yourself. That's as far as my interest extends.)

Nick said...

Yeah, OK Neil, but then again I'm earning UP TO a million a year (not quite up to, I admit) and you don't yet feel the need to have a go at me, do you? You really mustn't believe everything you read in the newspapers, you know (or at least you should know; you write for them). And even if you do believe what you read, why should it be a cause for envy, which is partly at least how your rant reads?

Neil Clark said...

anonymous and nick:

i can assure you that I'm not the slightest bit envious of Tony Bliar. I think he's to be pitied.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, Exile, dialogue with Kamm (or indeed anyone) would be more succesful if your discourse didn't include such gems as these: (on Kamm's wife) "So who is the slag? It shat out bastards between its thighs did it?". (on Kamm's mother) "Fucking ugly creature. If it had the last cunt on earth I think I would prefer a wank." Delightful. Are you proud to associate yourself with this man, Neil?

Neil Clark said...

Kamm propagandised for a blatantly illegal war of aggression which has killed over 1m people and continues to propagandise for the neocon war agenda. He also set out, with incredible vindictiveness, to try to destroy the career of a journalist who critically reviewed a book he had written. But he does not use swear words.

The Exile opposes illegal wars of aggression which kill lots of people, but he does use swear words.

Your sense of moral outrage towards the latter, but not the former, is rather peculiar methinks.

Nick said...

Actually, Neil, it's quite hard to pity anyone earning that kind of money. (It's not easy to like them either.)

Andy said...

Why is Exile such an angry potty mouthed man? He seems to drop C-bombs all over the shop. Take a chill pill dad.

Neil Clark said...

Nick: it's not hard to pity someone who earned his money in such a rotten way. He's got his financial rewards by following a neocon war policy which has left the world a much more dangeorus place than when he found it.

Anonymous said...

I see evil neocon Kamm's been up to his mischief again (unless he got MI5 to do it). He's put a photograph of a grinning chimpanzee next to every single one of Neil Clark's comments on this thread.

John Gray said...


You are bang out of order about this post - and I think you know it. So why do it?

Neil Clark said...

John: Are you saying we should be sticking with the official line that Tony sincerely did it out of lvoe for the Iraqi people? I'm sorry, but it won't wash.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying we should be sticking with the official line that Tony sincerely did it out of lvoe for the Iraqi people?

You're using exactly the same logic put forward by religious fundamentalists in the States - "there are too many gaps in the fossil record for evolution to be believable, therefore the only logical alternative is that everything was created by a magical sky-fairy!"

The charge that Blair started the war in Iraq entirely for personal enrichment is such a serious one that it needs evidence well beyond anything you've come up with thus far to make it stick.

Roland Hulme said...

Neil - that's all utter bollocks.

Tony Blair is about as 'in it for the money' as any other politician. That's what they do. You can't vilify him for something that every other politician (and I mean EVERY other politician) would do.

What did you expect Blair to do? retire from being prime minister, move to a small two-bed terrace in Brighton and knit socks?

I think the most ridiculous thing about this article is just how absurd the comparison is...

Look at so-called 'anti war' politicians? Money grabbing scum like George Galloway. Compared to him, Tony Blair is a saint.

Most 'anti-war' politicians had graft going on as much as any 'pro-war' ones. Look at Jacques Chirac. He hid behind the mask of 'peace' until it was discovered that the REAL reason for his anti-war rhetoric was because he was up to his armpits in Iraq's sticky business.

He was just protecting his own.

No, sadly the 'pro-war' types in Britain generally stack up well against the 'anti-war' types.

Blair vs. Galloway?

Galloway isn't fit to lick his boots, the disgusting traitorous little worm.

Neil Clark said...

"Tony Blair is about as 'in it for the money' as any other politician. That's what they do."

I quite agree: the vast majority of politicians are in it for themselves. And sadly that incldes many who purport to be on the left, as well as those who are on the right, or 'centre'.Of course there are exceptions, like George Lansbury, who I wrote about recently, and of course Tony Benn- who voluntarily gave up a title!
If you put the name 'george galloway' into this blog's search engine you will see that I've criticised him.
The fact that most politicians represent only their own interests- and not the interests of those who elect them is a major argument for us to move towards a more direct form of democracy, with greater use of referenda. That's something I've long believed. Judging by the anti-politician nature of your comments, it's something I suspect you might agree with.

One thing I don't agree with you on: when it comes to Iraq, George Galloway is certainly no traitor. Opposing the war on Iraq was not only a moral thing to do, it was also a patriotic one. Iraq posed no threat to Britain.

Anonymous said...

1. However wise or unwise it was, the war was not blatantly ilegal. It was debatably illegal. I don't know how familiar you are with Security Council jurisprudence, but issues of international law are rarely, if ever, as cut and dried and you would like them to be.

2. If Kamm is so very, very wrong about the Iraq War, why not attack him for those reasons? If his reasons for supporting the war are so manifestly absurd, they should be ripe for parody. It should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

3. The estimate of over 1 million deaths is suspect at best. But really, once one is talking about death in that number, it becomes almost academic. There can be no doubt that many tens of thousands have, tragically, died.

4. I am once again mystified by the label of 'propoganda' being attached to Kamm's writing. Why is his opinion 'propoganda' and yours not? Are all opinions which happen to agree with govt policy 'propoganda'? Do you really not believe that Kamm believes what he says?

5. You misrepresent me. I am not exhibiting 'moral outrage' at the fact that the Exile swears. I swear myself, fluently and often. I just think it a rather grubby tactic to insult a man's mother and children simply because you disagree with their political views. Do you not agree?

6. I am nothing, nothing at all to do with Kamm. I live in Scotland and have never communicated with the man, even through e-mail. I know no-one who knows Kamm, and I have a number of disagreements with a lot of what Kamm has to say. I'm simply interested in honest political discourse. If all the Exile can think of to say in response to me is that I must be Kamm and that I'm a cunt, well so be it. I consider that a victory, because he obviously has neither the nous or the capacity to challenge the substance of the issues.

Comment edited by moderator.

Neil Clark said...

andrew k: my sides are splitting. you provide proof that reports of Oscar Wilde's death in Paris in 1900 were false: he's alive and well and now operating under the nom de plume of 'andrew k'.

slapheads: the fact remains that if had Blair opposed the Iraq war he would be much worse off financially than he is today. You are being incredibly naive if you don't think financial considerations did not come into it. Of course only Blair himself knows the real reason he committed our country to war, but in my opinion, financial reasons were
paramount. Call me cynical if you wish, but that's what I honestly think.
It's called greed, dear boy, and it's what motivates the vast majority of politicians. And it's financial concerns which explain why so many journalists went along with the WMD claptrap and the non-existent Kosovan genocide- many children's private school fees were paid because journos got it wrong. 'Not understanding', I'm afraid pays more than understanding.

Anonymous said...

slapheads: the fact remains that if had Blair opposed the Iraq war he would be much worse off financially than he is today. You are being incredibly naive if you don't think financial considerations did not come into it.

I'm not being naive at all - merely extremely sceptical of your reasoning, since, like my hypothetical creationist, you haven't actually provided any supporting evidence other than wishful thinking.

Do you seriously think that in the eighteen months since the worst terrorist attack on US soil, Tony Blair actually said to himself "Well, I don't really care about all that, but if I start a war in connection with Middle Eastern terrorism I'll be able to sell my memoirs for a shedload more cash, so I'm backing Dubya to the hilt!"?

And you have the front to call Kamm a propagandist?

Roland Hulme said...

Slapheads anonymous - you're absolutely right.

Neil Clarke is a highly erudite chap, but when you're as far on the political spectrum as he is, the truth sometimes has to massaged to fit the dogma.

He's utterly wrong - Blair would have enjoyed a splendid 'talk' career whether he invaded Iraq or not. Argueably, he would have had more success standing up to Bush and saying now, thereby winning him the respect of much of the British public and 49.9% of the US population (they don't all vote Republican, chaps.)

In the end, he did what he thought was right.

Anonymous said...

To support your argument, John Major didn't start any wars (Gulf War I was a going concern before he took office), and yet he seems to be doing very nicely out of speaking engagements, especially in the US - reportedly to the tune of £1 million a year.

And William Hague obviously hasn't started any wars, yet he rakes in a fortune from speaking engagements, books, etc., to the point where he's the richest sitting MP in terms of earned income.

The fact is that Blair would have done well financially post-office regardless of Iraq - in fact, in the current climate, he might conceivably have done better, since a refusal to go to war in Iraq following his staunch support of the US post-9/11 is much more in tune with current Stateside opinion.

And your original anonymous commenter makes an excellent point about what a huge gamble Iraq was for Blair. If all he cared about was post-retirement income, why on earth didn't he play safe, refuse to back Bush and just wait for the cash to roll in, as essentially happened with his two immediate predecessors?

The more I think about it, Neil's argument makes less and less sense.

Neil Clark said...

slapheads: with respect, youre arguing against yourself. John Major backed the US in the first Gulf war and although there were differences re Bosnia, I don't think you could say he took a line in opposition to the US while he was PM. Hague, as Tory leader took a very pro-US line, and was a strong supporter of the Iraq war. It's not just about starting wars- it's about policy orientation.
Let's put it this way: I don't think a British PM who said that he was going to radically alter British foreign policy to be much more critical of US policies would earn as much on the very lucrative US lecture circuit as one who followed a more slavish pro-Washington line.