Week 8 – Villain: Tony Blair

by George_East on February 23, 2014

villain_icon_v2This Week’s Villain of the Week is former Prime Minister Tony Blair who revealed once again his craven relationship with the rich and powerful with his offer to assist Rebekah Brooks and the Murdochs over phone hacking

Every time you think you’ve got the measure of Tony Blair, he does something to lower even further your impression of him.    Not content with giving PR advice to dictatorships or taking vast amounts of money from investment banks or supporting the military coup leaders in Egypt, this week we discovered that he had been giving advice and secret offers of help to Rebekah Brooks at the height of the phone hacking scandal.  Indeed he was doing so within a couple of days of The Guardian revealing that  the News of The World had been hacking the phones of the family of Milly Dowler.

This story emerged from an email sent by Rebekah Brooks to her boss James Murdoch and so it is said must be treated with caution.   But even on the most generous reading of it Tony Blair was providing ‘informal’ advice to Brooks and suggesting that she ‘tough it out’ in the very week  that Ed Miliband had called for her to resign.  Blair’s office have confirmed that the call took place.

And that is on the most generous reading.  If the email accurately reflects the conversation between Brooks and Blair, then it appears that Blair was advising that an enquiry be set up which would ‘clear you’  (ie Brooks).   The reference to a ‘Hutton-like’ enquiry has raised suspicions that the reference is being made to that earlier enquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly which was widely viewed as a white wash.

Tony Blair has been by a distance the worst ex-Prime Minister in recent history.  The impression given by him is a man whose greed, vanity and desire to hob nob with billionaires knows no bounds.    He is at one and the same time a disgrace and an embarrassment.    I stood with the cheering crowds on the South Bank in the early hours of 2 May 1997, on the occasion of his landslide victory.  It is hard to remember how much hope we instilled in him back then and much that hope has been shattered into tiny pieces by the Iraq war and pretty much everything he has done ever since.

A villain indeed.

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