‘Sorry, not sorry’—Tony Blair launches preemptive PR war
The publicity shy war criminal Tony Blair has opened a public relations offensive before the publication of the Chilcot report.
Spin remains central to his attempts to limit his responsibility for “mistakes” over the Iraq war.
Blair repeated a partial apology for failures in intelligence and post-conflict preparations in the run-up to the invasion in 2003.
“I can say that I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong because, even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the programme in the form that we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought,” he said.
He added that he was sorry “for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime”.
However, in a preview of his expected defence when the official inquiry report is published—which is expected to happen within decades—Blair said that he could not apologise for removing Saddam Hussein.
He was also careful to set limits about how far the invasion caused the rise of Isis.
“Of course, you can’t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015. But it’s important also to realise, one, that the Arab Spring which began in 2011 would also have had its impact on Iraq today, and two, Isis actually came to prominence from a base in Syria and not in Iraq.”
Unlike us non-warmongers, Blair has already been shown draft copies of the Chilcot inquiry’s findings.
And it isn’t the hand written personalised apology that Blair should be forced to write to every surviving relative of the million dead from his wars.
The recent visit by Chinese president Xi proved useful for the queen. Xi and others in the delegation stayed at Buckingham Palace—so the queen grabbed yet more of our cash.
“The ever-shrewd monarch managed to get a few extra repairs and refurbishments done—items the Treasury had been refusing to fund in this age of austerity,” said a Daily Mail “source”.
Tory minister Sajid Javid was named Britain’s most influential Asian person at an awards do last week.
But non-racist guest speaker Michael Gove didn’t seem quite able to tell Asian politicans present apart. Gove paid tribute to “my brilliant Cabinet colleague Sadiq Khan”.
Short of a story? Just make one up!
Just when you thought the made up Corbyn madness couldn’t get any worse, enter the Daily Express.
It ran a story last week that began, “Labour aides were last night forced to deny claims that Jeremy Corbyn gossiped with David Cameron about a mystery public figure being married to a former prostitute.”
The paper claimed, “lip reading experts” had deciphered the conversation.
Labour said, “No such conversation took place.”
Ukip is strapped for cash after going all out at the election. The party still owes Facebook £80,000 for advertising.
It is worried the financial book-keeping is in such a mess Ukip will not be able to file proper final accounts to the Electoral Commission, as required by law, by the end of this month.
That would be a shame.
Wonga minister updates loan links
A Tory minister has deleted evidence of his links to Wonga from his website after it was revealed he leaked a committee report on payday lenders to the company.
Justin Tomlinson, a member of the Public Accounts Committee in 2013, claimed his “judgment had been clouded” when he passed on the report to the lenders.
However in 2011 he brokered a £30,000 deal for Wonga to sponsor his local football team in Swindon.
And since last year the club’s chairman has donated £30,218 to him and the local Tory Party.
MP Tomlinson, now disabilities minister, had boasted of the Wonga deal on his site. But since news of the leaked dossier emerged, he has deleted references to the lender.
Osborne is looking after his own
George Osborne's tax cuts for the rich may have made his dad £50,000 better off.
The boss of wallpaper and fabric firm Osborne and Little—founder and controlling shareholder Sir Peter Osborne—trousered nearly £1.2 million in the past two years.
The Tory chancellor's 5 percent cut in the top tax rate to 45 percent in 2013 would have saved him £48,000 over two years. Sir Peter also earned £115,000 in dividends last year, on which he will pay £6,000 less tax.
The chancellor is also likely to benefit from the tax cut for those earning £150,000 and more a year.
His salary is £135,000 but he gets money in trust payments and in rent.
Quitting to spend time with clients
Troublemaker had forgotten about Lord Warner. He was a junior health minister under Tony Blair and was always calling for greater NHS privatisation.
He now runs a lobbying company—advising private firms vying for healthcare contracts.
Now he’s resigned the Labour Party Whip—though not the peerage it gave him—he can go and spend more time with his clients. Good riddance.