Sunday, 23 April 2017

French Presidential Election: First Round

It appears, from the exit polls at least, as if Emmanuel Macron has won the first round of the French Presidential Election. This will be hailed by the European political elite as a victory for "moderate" politics, because his main rival is the "Rightist" (with a decidedly left wing economic policy) Marine Le Pen. Before anyone goes dancing in the streets to celebrate a victory for moderate commonsense politics, it is necessary to point out that Mr Macron is sufficiently anglophobic to win a presidential election in Argentina, never mind France. If Mr Macron is a moderate, then North Korea is a cradle of democracy.

Supreme Irony: Tony Blair and the Blank Cheque

This is a link to an article informing a very weary British public that Mr Tony Blair sees it as his opportunity aka "duty" to return to frontline politics in order to deny Theresa May a "blank cheque" in the Brexit negotiations. This from a man who, ever since he left public office, has been consistently behaving as if he had a blank cheque as far as public money and the trappings of power are concerned.

The Parliamentary Petition to deny Mr Blair all access to public funds, created by Steve Goodwin, has had its deadline brought forward, from the 28th of August to the 3rd of May. Any UK readers who feel they've had as much of Mr Blair as they can reasonably be expected to take, should sign the petition as soon as possible. If enough publicity for the petition can be generated, the threshold of one hundred thousand signatures can still be achieved despite the unfairly narrowed deadline.

PS: If anyone wonders why Medawar is concerned to prevent Tony Blair regaining, and immediately abusing, power, then they should read the second article ever published on this blog, and especially what it says about pathological liars.

Update: 25/4/2017  This is a link to a Daily Telegraph article suggesting that the "Open Britain" campaign is really all about getting Blairites back into Parliament.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Pressing Need to Deny Tony Blair Access to Public Funds

This is a link to Steve Goodwin's petition to deny Tony Blair access to public funds. In the next few days, the petition will pass the ten thousand signature threshold, which warrants a formal response from government, and that is an achievement. However, many more signatures are required, before the 28th of August 2017, to reach the one hundred thousand signature threshold needed to trigger a debate in Parliament. We need to reach this second, more difficult, target, because the initial, reflex government response is quite likely to be dismissive and unsatisfactory. In order to do so, it is necessary to offer a wider justification for denying Mr Blair access to public money than was possible for Mr Goodwin to expound within the format limits of the UK Government and Parliament website. Mr Goodwin chose to concentrate on two main issues: Mr Blair's "blurring of the line" (in fact, a gaping chasm) between the public interest and his own personal business interests, and Mr Blair's recent attempts to divide the nation and sow the seeds of lasting enmity over Brexit. These are valid and pressing reasons, of course, but they are not the only ones. Here are some of the others:

False legitimacy: like every other conman, Tony Blair cultivates every scrap of apparent legitimacy and prestige he can scrape up. He makes money from foreign leaders and businessmen, especially the unsavoury ones, by convincing them that he still has authority and power in the United Kingdom and can influence opinion, policy and even legislation in their favour. Every pound he is paid from the public purse seems to yield ten pounds for him in terms of his ability to get money from Central Asian dictators. This in turn fuels his ambitions to make a comeback as a "world leader" by fulfilling some kind of supranational role invented especially for him. Tony Blair is not a benefit claimant, dependent on the state for his daily bread. In Central Asia, people only get money from the state if they are in the dictator's circle of friends, so everything Blair is given makes it look, to his clients, as if he is still on the inside as far as UK policy making is concerned. The simple solution is to give him nothing.

Trappings of Power: See above. Also, Tony Blair has recently specifically demanded that he be granted certain status symbols by the UK Government, which would make it look as if he were still in power in the UK. Especially his demand that not only should the car he uses whilst abroad have UK diplomatic number plates, so should all the cars in his entourage. This would enable him and his "Homies" to roar through foreign capitals in convoy, bearing plates that would indicate to any reasonable citizen of that country that he was acting with the full authority of Her Majesty's Government. Assuming that at the same time he would likely be on his way to meet the leaders of a discredited regime, ruling by force and terror, then the sight of Blair playing "world leader" would raise up many new enemies of Britain. The Prime Minister, Mrs May, has refused this particular demand, but Blair is likely to keep on repeating the demand until he gets his way.  It is not in the national interest to let Mr Blair bestride the world as a PR man turned Emperor.

Police Protection: Tony Blair's arrogance and his addiction to armed protection appears to corrupt the officers assigned to his detail. Neighbours of the Blairs in Connaught Square angrily reported being denied access to their own homes by gun-toting police when the Blairs moved into their home there (one of seven that they now own), which seems to have been chosen specifically for its resemblance to 10 Downing Street. Although the precise number of officers assigned to protect the Blairs and their extensive property assets is an official secret, it is clear from what's in the public domain that there are several times as many officers looking after Blair as are needed to look after another former Prime Minister, Sir John Major. Medawar has relatives living near John Major's house and nobody around there has been bullied or offended by his very discreet protection detail. Nobody has yet complained about hordes of gun toting police around David Cameron, either. Yet again, the armed police protection is used by Blair to impress foreign leaders with his supposed ongoing political relevance. It helps him to convince the gullible that he is still "speaking for Britain." Blair's protection should be reduced to the levels which suffice for others who have served in the same office, and greater discipline should be imposed on those who protect Blair, to remind them that their primary duty remains to protect the public. If the Blairs want to own a property empire as a speculative investment, they should pay for private security firms to guard the investment properties. Publicly-funded policemen should not do the job!

Fairness: Other former ministers are not granted public money and the labour of senior civil servants to help and advise them with pet personal projects, however "worthy" they purport to be: why should Blair be granted special privileges?

Update: 13/4/2017: The petition has now passed the ten thousand vote threshold. Will post link to the government response when it's published.

Update 23/4/2017: The petition has now been waiting for an official government response for 11 days. Even allowing for the Easter holiday, this is a bit too long. The deadline for the petition to reach 100,000 votes has also been moved, from the 28th of August, to the 3rd of May. It seems that someone in Downing Street, probably the unelected Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, is using the announcement of an early General Election to protect Mr Blair from any awkwardness. Precisely the sort of abuse of power that Mr Blair practiced for so long whilst in office.