Daily Archives: September 2, 2010

Jim Pickard

Some sceptics have often asked why Tony Blair was happy to help rid the world of some dictators and not others. The example most often cited is that of Robert Mugabe, who could have been deposed with even less effort than Saddam Hussein.

Blair tries to justify the contradiction in his book, far from convincingly. Read more

Jim Pickard

It is, of course, entirely co-incidental that Gordon Brown has announced his plans for the future today: just hours after Tony Blair, the yin to his yang, published his autobiography. (Which is apparently flying off the shelves).

Brown will be doing lots of charity stuff – for free – including education work for Africa. The rather sober note struck by Mr Brown is surely not a deliberate attempt to remind the public that he, unlike some, is not a jet-setting millionaire?

He says he will be doing public speaking in the USA, but this will be to fund his charitable work. He has set up something called the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown to pay for staffing costs.

(Incidentally, we asked Ed Balls if his old mentor could come back to the shadow cabinet doing international development; not in a million years was the gist of his response.)

Here is the Press Association:

Gordon Brown announced his plans for the coming months today, including working to increase global access to education and boosting internet use in Africa. The former prime minister will join the Global Campaign for Education’s High Level Panel on Education for All and will work to secure economic justice in  Read more

Jim Pickard

Here are just a few omissions from A Journey which spring to mind.

1] Cliff Richard

No mention of how the pop singer lent the Blair family his £3m Barbados villa three years in a row. Is this because the former PM wants to downplay his rich friends?(There is a passage in the book where he insists that most of his pals are regular guys rather than super-rich.)

2] Kuwaiti government

There is plenty at the end of the book about Mr Blair’s work in the fields of charity, climate change, faith and the Middle East peace process.

There is zilch about Tony Blair Associates and its paid work advising companies and governments. The index does not list the Kuwaiti government, for which TBA works, nor another client; Mubadala, a company owned by oil-rich Abu Dhabi. Read more