The painting is a charcoal work measuring 4.5 meters by 1.5 meters by Michael Sandle.
From British daily The Independent:
Blair steps up fight to be crowned first ‘President of EU‘
Brown gives grudging blessing to his old rival’s return to new job at centre of the global stage
By Jane Merrick, Political Editor
Sunday, 5 April 2009
Tony Blair has emerged as the leading candidate to become the first permanent president of the European Union after Gordon Brown gave his grudging blessing to the plan. The former prime minister has stepped up his campaign for the job, which he wants to use to build a bridge between Europe and the new Obama administration.
But The Independent on Sunday has learnt that Mr Brown has accepted that his old rival should be in pole position for the appointment, on the basis that Britain needs to have a key figure in the architecture of the “new world order”.
A senior British official said: “He [Brown] will have to swallow hard to sit down in meetings once again with Blair. But he accepts that there needs to be someone from the UK in the new global architecture. There is no opposition to the plan. Things have moved on, people have moved on.” …
After initially trying to block Mr Blair as a possible candidate last year, the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has thrown his weight behind the former prime minister.
The presidency job is dependant on Ireland voting “yes” to the Lisbon Treaty, which creates the position. The Irish referendum will take place in the autumn.
But Mr Blair‘s plans could still be scuppered if Angela Merkel loses the German general election in September. She is thought to have a strong desire for the job in the event of defeat. …
But critics will say Mr Blair has failed to make any significant breakthrough. There is also little chance of progress towards the two-state solution under the new hardline Israeli government led by Binyamin Netanyahu.
In a sign that Mr Blair‘s mind is on an exit from the Middle East, he said in Brussels: “I think the next six months will be completely critical in determining whether this process will move forward or whether it will slip back. I do believe that if there is not significant progress in the year 2009, the peace process will be in very great jeopardy, because there are decisions that have to be taken.”
Blair ‘unfit’ to be EU president: here.
SCOTLAND Yard said on Sunday that it was investigating a report alleging that MI5 and MI6 intelligence agents were complicit in the torture of British suspects both before and after September 11 2001: here.
By John Pilger: THESE are extraordinary times. With the United States and Britain on the verge of bankruptcy and committing to an endless colonial war, pressure is building for their crimes to be prosecuted at a tribunal similar to that which tried the nazis at Nuremberg: here.
David Kelly Was Writing an Explosive Book at the Time of His ‘Suicide’. By Susie Madrak Tuesday Jul 07, 2009: here.