This video from Britain says about itself:
15 January 2015
Reaction to Tony Blair‘s comments on Radio 4 this week and the news that the Iraq War inquiry may not be published before the next election.
By Andrew Murray in Britain:
Poodle of dictators and the super-rich
Monday 4th May 2015
Blair Inc: The Man Behind the Mask
(John Blake, £20)
IF YOU have launched an illegal and catastrophic war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and helped destroy a whole region, and hitched the whole economy to an unsustainable model of deregulated neoliberal finance which then crashes and burns in a slump of a kind not seen since the 1930s when in office, it is difficult to make your reputation still worse by what you do upon leaving it.
But this is a challenge that Tony Blair has risen to magnificently. Not content to be reviled worldwide as a warmonger and, domestically, as a poodle of the City and the super-rich, his post-prime ministerial career has seen him fawning on dictators, canoodling with the Murdochs and preaching and posturing while filling his pockets with loot from some of the most disreputable corners of the world.
As a result — and notwithstanding an enviable record of electoral success — Blair has become the most despised politician of my lifetime. Thatcher may have, quite rightly, been the target of more visceral class hatred but she was without doubt a woman of her convictions and still a heroine to many.
Blair has almost no public defenders today. This excellent book takes us through the whole sordid story of Blair’s activities since he left office in 2007, the consequence of a Labour rebellion over his uncritical support for Israel’s attack on Lebanon the previous year.
It exposes the emptiness of his performance as Middle East peace envoy, a satirically inappropriate job in which he has achieved exactly nothing, except perhaps extending his range of business contacts as he acts as Israel’s apologist.
Then there are his money-spinning activities, all wrapped in a cloak of Companies House secrecy which the authors do their level best to unpick. The research in this book is first class and it needs to be because Blair goes to great pains to conceal all details of his business dealings from public view.
One thing, however, is abundantly clear. He has made himself very rich indeed. As the authors, all journalists, relate: “The Blairs now own a staggering 36 properties — including two blocks of flats — worth tens of millions of pounds.” The money for this property empire has come from advising regimes like that in Kazakhstan, which disobligingly shot dead at least 15 striking oil workers just a few weeks after Blair signed on to help out.
It would be nice to relate that killing trade unionists represented a red line which this former Labour premier could not cross, but guess what? It is worth recalling that no previous ex-prime minister has behaved quite like this. A few discreet directorships, some profitable investments, yes, but pimping for dictatorships in retirement is breaking new ground.
Blair’s indefatigable advocacy for the Egyptian military dictatorship since the 2013 coup suggests he hopes for a new profitable client in that line of work.
Lesser lights — Geoff Hoon, Alan Milburn, Patricia Hewitt, John Hutton and, most recently, Jack Straw — have all been renting themselves out to industry, often the same industries they were supposed to regulate when they sat around the cabinet table.
Blair’s additional personal contribution has been to try to sanctify this squalor. Blair Inc examines in detail the work of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, designed to promote inter-religious dialogue and debate.
The real faith in question, however, seems to be a belief in the messianic mission of Blair himself, a man who seems to exhibit a threatening incapacity for self-doubt.
To no-one’s surprise, the only religious extremism he ever addresses is Islamic.
The authors reveal, interestingly, that the Catholic church has grown disenchanted with the unilateral preaching of its high-profile convert. Just last month — too recent to be reflected in this book — Blair gave an extended interview to Newsweek magazine in which he proclaimed that “democracy isn’t working.”
His ideal is enlightened governance by the sort of Davos Man of whom he is surely, as a walking nexus of money and politics, the greatest living example, no matter what voters may think.
Francis Beckett, David Hencke and Nick Kochan have done a service with this exposé of Blair “after the fall.”
My only quibble would be with the cliched sub-title The Man Behind the Mask. There is in fact, little mask to get behind. What we see is what we get — the living embodiment of almost every 21st-century calamity and of the greedy, self-satisfied elite which has presided over it all. That Blair should have been a product of the British labour movement is a matter of lasting shame.