A British-American bluestocking living in the UK writes about politics, pop culture, and emerging new paradigms as they unfold on both sides of the Atlantic. (New content.)

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Why Are We Still Talking about Tony Blair?

I'm baaaaaaaack! Did you miss me?
He is back. Yet again. He's come back for the Second Act. But the audience is gone, Mr Blair. The custodian has gone home.

 Tony Blair is the guest that won't leave the cocktail party when the host and hostess are yawning. Tony Blair should have just disappeared into the sunset with the wad of money that he made with shrewd investments while he was busy watching Rome burn. ( Oh, wait, that was _Nero_.He became a Catholic. I am guessing he did this to have his sins absolved. I pity the poor souls who had to wait in line outside that confessional. I hope they brought their sleeping bags. 

The rumours were flying a few months ago that Blair was being groomed to become the President of the European Union. That did not materialize. He went under the radar for awhile, only to re-emerge like a phoenix out of the ashes  in the last week to flog his autobiography.  The book which had an advance of  £4.6 million is already sparking controversy. Why? In a gesture that is "too little too late" the former Prime Minister has said that he is going to donate all his advance and royalties to the Royal British Legion. This is a grand gesture. Or is it just a way to assuage his guilty conscience for leading the country into a war that was waged on trumped up and false information? 

Both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to hundreds of pointless deaths of soldiers from the United States and the United Kingdom as well as other countries that are allies. I live near the area where the soldiers are brought home and the wonderful people of Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire have started a ritual where they close the shops in town and stand outside to pay homage to each fallen soldier. The soldiers are driven through their High Street which is in route to Lyneham Army Base nearby. This started a few years ago with just a few people and now, hundreds line the route whenever a soldier dies. The British are not one for a lot of fuss about anything. But they had seen how American soldiers are honored when they come home and a few took it upon themselves to do the same. It is very moving to watch.

Just as all of us here were still attempting to digest this information regarding Blair's contribution and how "generous" he was being, we find out that he is setting up a sort of " bank " in Mayfair (the equivalent of Park Avenue/Fifth Avenue in New York) so that he can move into making deals and investments with the super-rich. His company's name is "Firerush" and no doubt this new development will allow him to further his financial wealth which stands at the moment at £20 million. Some of his aides have registered with the FSA (Financial Services Authority) which would allow TBA (Tony Blair Associates) to do business deals and investments. Firerush had been registered with the FSA in January and it was thought that it was simply to manage Mr Blair's private portfolio. But now, it will be able to wheel and deal and manage investments and offer various and sundry financial services to its clients.  Now that we have this tidy bit of information, exactly _how_ generous is that book gesture? Can it make up for the wrenching loss of lives? Can it ever bring some mother or father's child home again?

The book is touted as being one big valentine to George Bush and he will again reiterate his belief that he made the right decision. The Brits are still seething over his decision.

So, Tony is now moving from politics into finance. Is there nothing that Tony cannot do? Where did all this man's money come from? Does anyone really know?  GW's wealth came from oil, so as he went off on his horse and didn't look back, we didn't have to wonder about that. It was mostly dad's and granddad's.  Who is financing Tony Blair's Great Adventures?

His book title? Tony Blair: A Journey. Why couldn't it have been: Tony Blair: A Journey into the Sunset Forever? Like Bela Lugosi, he keeps coming back.  It is unfortunate that the young men and women who fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan do not have the same powers of resurrection as you do, Mr. Blair.  Think of that as you smile all the way to the bank.