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Tony Blair

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Blair doing his infamous Tony Blair grin.
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God Save the King?
Almost directly across from me was Blair, looking smaller than life. According to the press his handlers had ordered him to ration his tic-like smile. So, solemnly, tight-lipped, he stared, one by one, at the TV cameras all around the room. Yet when a mildly sharp question was asked, the ghost of the rictus smile, like a negative undergoing slow exposure, would appear and Blair would say, gently, 'Trust me!' That was that.
Gore Vidal[1]

Sir Anthony Charles Lynton "Teflon Tony" "Bliar"[2] Blair, a.k.a. "Cheshire Cat" and "The Smiler" (1953–), was Leader of the Labour Party from 1994-2007 and Prime Minister of Britain from 1997-2007. At the time, he was the youngest Premier since Spencer Perceval (1812), and the first Labour Leader since Jim Callaghan (1979) to get elected. He was very popular before 2003, his legislative achievements ranging from a national minimum wage to a right for gay couples to seek a civil partnership. On the other hand, Blair does like a bit of war profiteering, human misery and hanging out (no pun intended) with dictators, which is ironic given what happened to Saddam Hussein after the illegal Iraq War. In contrast, Margaret Thatcher and John Major, his two immediate predecessors, were involved in only one war each. To be fair though, he went into Afghanistan with Parliament's overwhelming support.[3]

Towards the end of Blair's term, he became fixated on setting up a surveillance society, or whatever.[4] Over a decade later, all the good stuff is forgotten, but nobody will ever forget the sleaze, the scandals, the Iraq War... and that spot on Bush's lap that he got to sit on for his compliance.

Fun fact, "Tony Blair, PM" is an anagram of "I'm Tory Plan B." This reflects the fact that he is a "Red Tory" by ideology, even though he was not in the Tory (Conservative) Party.

New Labour[edit]

We forced our opponents to change.
—Margaret Thatcher in 2002[5]
New Democrat meets New Labour, 1999.

Britain had been under Tory rule for 18 years ('79-97). In that time, democratic socialism was dismantled and sold off to private enterprise, and the groundwork was laid for the Great Recession. (The current crisis is as much to do with Thatcher as it is to do with Blair and Brown.) From that narrow perspective, New Labour's unambitious manifesto was necessary to win Middle England.

But the Tories dropped the ball. There had been Black Wednesday in '92, which showed their economic model was flawed, and a series of scandals and infighting made Major look "weak." Labour, who had been in the wilderness for nearly two decades, came out of nowhere with the right policies, tone, and leader.

Labour was the party of the hard-left, but the Blairites and Brownites purged them, and so Labour started looking like the Slim-Fast Tory Party. Labour's manifesto had promised to re-nationalise the railways and reform the voting system, among other things. Those did not materialise, and hyper-bureaucratic liberalism ruled out a return to Marxism.[6] There was no functioning leftist party, and Conservatives didn't even play the token gesture of being in opposition; they also failed to find a leader who wasn't either a placeholder (William Hague, Ian Duncan-Smith) or Michael Howard (That's Lord Howard to you, peasant!). As you can imagine, the left was not exactly thrilled about that.[7] Most remember Clinton and Blair at twin podiums talking about the "Third Way"[8]—though it wasn't so different from your Keatings, Schröders or Jospins who came into power at around that time. They all talked the same. Instead of improving the conditions for the working class, they pulled people out of the working class into the middle one. There is a good movie called The Special Relationship which explores some of this.

All in all, the first two terms were about curtailing the excesses of Thatcher. The third term was the most desperate, as the boom years ended and scandals began to pile up.[9][10][11] Iraq was to Blair what the Falklands was to Thatcher[12]—the difference being that the Falklands ended better for Britain.

In 2007, Blair mercifully stepped down, and Gordon Brown took over as shepherd of New Labour. Nobody liked his face and he just happened to come to power as the recession hit.

Reasons to love him[edit]

  • Independence for the Bank of England: The Tories' constant fiddling with the interest rates had been a political tool and a failure. Allowing a body of experts to set the interest rate was an important move that in no way, shape or form contributed to a housing bubble.
  • The Good Friday Agreement: Ignoring Gerry Adams, John Hume and David Trimble. And John Major who really got the ball rolling. And Mo Mowlam who led the negotiations. And all the actual Irish people involved, and pretending that British involvement in Ireland was somehow legitimate or needed. But Blair played a small part in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, so that's like, at least one checkbox. (He was even polite enough to wait until leaving office before announcing he was a Catholic.) Successive British governments played a huge role in actually causing and worsening the conflict.
  • LGBT rights: Blair's government lowered the age of consent for homosexual sex in line with heterosexual sex and repealed Section 28. They removed all bans on gay people serving openly in the military. Gays were given the right to a civil partnership, protection from hate crimes, protection from discrimination in the workplace and the right to adopt. Meanwhile, transgender people were given the right to legally change their gender. However, see "transphobia" under "reasons to hate him".
  • Schools & hospital building programmes - From 1997, spending on rebuilding schools and hospitals increased enormously, and a decade-long rebuilding programme was begun.
  • Minimum Wage Act: Despite massive opposition, he stood for and forced through his plans of a national minimum wage, now £6.50/hour ($10.24, August 2015).
  • Education, education, education: His most important legacy. Large increases in education spending has improved exams results at 14, 16 & 18, and has significantly increased literacy and numeracy levels. Britain has achieved the stunning position of 20th in the OECD rankings of educational systems.
  • Third World debt write-offs: The British Government under Blair, wrote off a whole load of debts from really poor nations.
  • Climate change policy: Could've done better, but set Britain on the way to achieving its Kyoto targets.
  • Devolution: Blair gave power to Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland to make some (or all) of their own laws. The populations wanted this, and it was (and still is) very successful.
  • Gift Aid: Allowed higher-rate taxpayers to donate to charity, and get the tax added back to their donation. Worth nearly £1bn to UK charities.
  • Winter fuel payments: Giving fuel payments to pensioners saved lives and made people a lot more comfortable.
  • Animal testing: Banned testing of cosmetic products on animals, while resisting calls for controls on medical testing on animals.
  • Constitutional Reform Act 2005: Established the British Supreme Court and largely moved responsibility for appointing judges for the highest court in the land out of the hands of the Lord Chancellor, preventing biased political appointments.
  • Double jeopardy: Blair's Ministry of Justice changed the rules surrounding double jeopardy so that murderers, rapists and robbers specifically can be prosecuted again if they get off and are then proven to be guilty. This resulted in several criminals who would have gotten away with it otherwise going to prison, including in high-profile cases like the murder of Stephen LawrenceWikipedia.
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003: Among other things, established the UK's current sex offenders register, expanded the definition of rape to include oral sex, legalized group homosexual sex and outlawed sex tourism.
  • Fighting homelessness: The New Labour government prioritized tackling rough sleeping from the very beginning and by 2010 the combined efforts of Blair and Brown had brought U.K. homelessness to a record low.[13] Meanwhile the amount of social housing being built per year rose by around 2,220 under New Labour after having been massively slashed under the preceding Tory governments.[14]
  • Free entry to national museums and galleries: Well, that was nice of him.

Good intentions, but not entirely successful[edit]

  • Human Rights Act 1998: A step in the right direction, but the Human Rights Act's application has, in many quarters, seemed bloated and stupid. "Criminals' rights" are criticised greatly.
  • House of Lords Act 1999: Removing many hereditary peers in favour of appointed members of the House of Lords was a fantastic step, but the House of Lords reform has packed the Upper House with Labour Peers. Political appointment of the upper house has led to multiple accusations of "Cash for Honours" and "Loans for Honours", with Blair actually being criminally investigated at one point for awarding honours in return for sizable donations. However good it is to decrease hereditary peers, if you replace them with people who gave you money for the favour, you (kind of) lose all credit.
  • London Assembly: since the UK was already one of the most overcentralised states in Europe, giving London more power and money seems a mixed blessing. On the other hand, London had had no city-wide governance since the Greater London Council was abolished in 1986.
  • English regional devolution: Attempts to provide devolution in Northern England failed. This was arguably worthy, but also equated Scotland and Wales with English regions while splitting England, a nation, into various separate regions. Cornwall, which actually has some demand for an assembly, was ignored.
  • Fox-hunting ban: Even bringing up fox-hunting in the house of Commons is a giant waste of time and money.[15] It's something which 90% of people are against, and only 1% of the population can participate in. Ironically, that's why the ban was put through in the first place: to appease the Labour backbenchers (who didn't appreciate Blair's drift to the centre) by 'sticking it to the toffs'.
  • Northern Irish devolution: While devolution worked out pretty well in Scotland and Wales, the unique political situation in Northern Ireland means that the Republican and Unionist sides have to share power constantly. This naturally means that the Northern Irish Parliament is incredibly dysfunctional and regularly suffers government shutdowns.[16]
  • UK-US extradition treaty: Has helped to prosecute dozens of international criminals, including terrorists. In typical Blair fashion, though, the treaty has been criticized as one-sided, allowing American prosecutors to demand a suspect's extradition without demonstrating that the suspect has a case to answer.[17]
  • Kosovo: Blair was one of the leaders of NATO intervention in the Yugoslav Wars, which unlike the later interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan was largely successful in preventing the annexation of Kosovo by the Milosevic regime, to the point that you got people in Kosovo naming their children "Tonibler" after him. However, the intervention was not without criticism, as NATO precision bombing reportedly led to a number of civilian casualties.[18]
  • Sierra Leone: Similar to Kosovo, Britain's intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War was highly successful in both its initial aim of evacuating foreign citizens from the region and in its later objective of defeating the RUF, bringing the war to an end and establishing an international tribunal to prosecute RUF war crimes.[19] However, there were several controversies surrounding the intervention, including allegations of financing a regime change in the country in 1998[20] and support for freelance soldiers implicated in war crimes.[21]

Reasons to dislike him[edit]

  • The spin and sleaze of New Labour: He made much of the "Tory sleaze" surrounding the Major government, but Labour's image has taken a bit of a hit now that new information has come out about how Blair ran his cabinet, his ties to The Sun, etc. Meanwhile, John Major has been reassessed in a more positive light.
In a break from conventional campaigning, his team focused on soundbites. The logic went that the average voter isn't gullible, but they are time-poor. They're not going to have time to read through your manifesto or watch a long interview with one of your MPs. What you need is for a common soundbite or phrase to be repeated often enough that it permeates the news they half-watch in the morning before they go to work, it gets into the newspaper articles they skim on the train, and it's there on the news when they get home. So you get, for example, "Education, Education, Education." That was repeated ad nauseum and it worked. Even though the pledge amounted to not that much cash for universities, it still sounded good.[22] An unfortunate side-effect of this is that people still don't know what he actually believes in, such as the God thing, which he suppressed for electoral gain.[23]
News Corp more or less ordered Blair to jump into war with Iraq. Everyone in the ministry was connected one way or another to Murdoch, just to make sure that it's an incestuous party up in there.[24][25]
  • Pulling a Clinton: Blair did it to show he was serious—started out by cutting single-parent benefits or something like that.[26] He knows the Tory psyche has a deep need for karma. Can't do something nice without shedding some blood elsewhere.
  • Immigration: People blame him for the immigration issue as he didn't have a transition period like other EU leaders, and left a pretty wide gate open for non-EU members, too. It was brought up at the time, but Blair's government predicted migration would be in the tens of thousands. Instead up to 500k a year came, and only about half ever went home. Around 3 million net over the following 12 years. [27]
  • Presidentialism: His premiership was defined by a centralisation of power within the executive.
The cabinet office, which by his time was essentially an extension of the Prime Minister's office, was strengthened. Unelected favourites, like Blair's chief of staff Jonathan Powell and his director of communications Alastair Campbell, were given power to sit in on cabinet meetings and boss them around.[28][29] The number of special advisers increased, particularly within the Prime Minister's office, and they were given greater powers. These were implemented to increase the oversight that the Prime Minister had over the rest of Parliament.[30] It was reflected in Blair's personal style: Instead of holding cabinet meetings in which different MPs could debate and question, Blair dealt with individual MPs one-on-one, in what become known as "sofa cabinet".
He wanted to take the country to war without a vote in Parliament, and though this was his prerogative as Prime Minister acting on behalf of the Head of State,[31] this is another reason why people disliked Blair: all the decisions fell directly on his shoulders.

"Criticism, ambivalence, hindsight, regret, an indulgent appreciation for human imperfection – these were characteristics by which Britons defined themselves. It was why many see efficiency as akin to authoritarianism. Certainty was for extremists; doubt was democracy. A leader who merely listened, then made his own decisions – that was an American president." — Alex Perry[32]

  • Private Finance Initiatives: Actually cooked up by the Conservatives but implemented by Labour. PFIs allow private companies, building firms, etc. to invest in public infrastructure and then lease them back over a long period of time. This means that future taxpayers have to pay the debt, which is not recorded by the Treasury due to it not technically being public money.[33] Blair's bright idea was to raise funds for education, health and other services by bringing in Big Business, who proceeded to run things with a bad delivery but a decent profit. The Department of Education didn't trust the government in the Blair years; they were very much micromanaged. PFI is still sucking money out of the education budget, and academies turned out to be the thin end of the wedge as predicted.
  • Boasting and grandstanding: Recently after a succession of Electoral Defeats for Labour, Blair Has developed a bit of habit of boasting about how he won three elections and was the only labour leader to do so almost every interview. Whilst this is a great achievement he doesn't really propose a solution to help labour get out of this electoral hole they are stuck in other than going back to being Tory Lite.
  • Private views: While his LGBT rights record is good on the legislative front, his private views are allegedly more bigoted. According to trans activist Stephen WhittleWikipedia, Blair was opposed to same-sex marriage behind the scenes for religious reasons, hence his refusal to allow gay marriage outright rather than civil unions.[34] [35] [36]
  • Faith-school programmes: The coming out as a religious nutcase at the end was the icing on the cake.[37] In defiance of Labour's inclusive policies, Blair saw fit to publicly-fund faith schools and allow them greater autonomy from standard curriculum. Richard Dawkins fronted the opposition: he released Faith School Menace?, a documentary detailing the horrors against reason that manifested as a result.
  • Horizon scandal: Blair gave the go-ahead for the Post Office to install the Horizon IT system, a computer program which would go on to see hundreds of sub-postmasters wrongly convicted of theft, fraud and false accounting based on faulty accounting data. Government papers released in 2024 would reveal that Blair had been warned at the time that Horizon was potentially unreliable but signed off on the program anyway, albeit only after being wrongly advised that the system was proven to be "robust".[38]

Reasons to hate him[edit]

I will be with you, whatever.
—Tony Blair to George W. Bush in 2002 regarding their planned invasion of Iraq, [39]
Factional violence across Africa and the Middle East is due to a perversion of faith insisted Tony Blair, writing in yesterday's Observer, after he'd finished washing blood off his hands.
NewsThump (satirical)[40]
  • Erosion of civil liberties: Typical of Blair's later years. Nick Clegg, then Lib-Dem home affairs spokesman, commented:

"This provides a devastating insight into the real legacy of nine years of New Labour government - a frenzied approach to law-making, thousands of new offences, an illiberal belief in heavy-handed regulation, an obsession with controlling the minutiae of everyday life [...] The result? A country less free than before, and a marked erosion of the trust which should exist between the Government and the governed."[41]

His ministry criminalized more than 3,000 acts, "one for every day" New Labour had been in power.[42][41] Far from just an issue of pace, many of these laws seemed of highly dubious value at best; one notoriously blatant example being the direct criminalization of "causing a nuclear explosion,"[42][41] despite existing legislation already rendering such an act de facto criminal.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004, despite massive opposition in the House of Lords, allowed the Prime Minister to suspend any law (except the Human Rights Act) for 21 days.[43] The HoL managed to kill the 42-day detention policy,[44] but we still have 28-days detention without charge. So much for Habeas Corpus.
Blair passed legislation to begin an ID Card programme, which was massively against public opinion, and despite Tory warnings it would be cut as soon as they got into power.
Several of Blair's anti-extremism laws, the Terrorism Acts and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 in particular, have been greatly criticised for their implications with regards to free speech.
Blair's government was responsible for the Imprisonment for Public Protection program, which allows prisoners deemed to be a danger to the public but not eligible for a whole-life sentence to be locked up indefinitely. In theory meant to target violent and sexual offenders like the "black cab rapist" John WorboysWikipedia,[45] in practice the vague requirements for imposing an IPP and draconian requirements for release after being given one has resulted in thousands of minor offenders spending years in prison with no hope of release. Even after the system was ostensibly abolished under David Cameron, over 2000 prisoners continued serving IPPs due to a technicality.[46]
Proposals released in 2023 revealed that Blair considered pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights in 2003 so the government would be able to deport asylum seekers to countries where they would face persecution, years before Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak tried the same thing.[47]
  • Iraq:
Blair is a statesman's statesman: ex-barrister, at ease with the media, and wielding an impressive presentation of his case. Problem is, those talents were apparently on loan to the Bush Administation.[48]
The now-infamous "45 minutes" claim.[49] The "dossier" from MI6, which apparently needed 'sexing up'.[50] The fact that he (at best) swallowed the falsified evidence.[51] In 2009, he admitted he'd have invaded Iraq regardless of WMDs.[52]
Peace demonstrations and marches, petitions, letters, and every other mode of mass participation in democracy was mobilized. Those marches represented about 5-10 million people who did not want to be involved in Iraq without unilateral agreement from the UN, but the agreement never came. Blair shot back that it didn't matter how many people marched.[53] He also mentioned some crap about praying to God for answers.[54] It was something like 60 backbenchers who opposed the war,[55] along with the unanimous disapproval of the Lib Dems. Only 2 Conservatives voted against it, but they had an ideological reason to support that war, and not to mention there was something in it for them. Either way, it was a dramatic show of how parochial the government had gotten. At least 100,000 died as a result of his decision, which a UK barrister agrees amounts to war crimes.[56]
Iraq and Brexit are two symptoms of the same problem, which is disinformation. Iraq caused a sort of feedback loop, in which the refugee crisis caused by US/UK interference in the ME fueled British xenophobia, which was then projected onto the EU, even though the UK itself is at the source of the war in the ME. Still not getting it, Blair responds:

"So it is a bizarre reading of the cauldron that is the Middle East today, to claim that but for the removal of Saddam, we would not have a crisis." - Blair[57]

What's "bizarre" is that an ex-world leader thinks that invading another country, dismantling their national and local government, leaving a much-weaker police and military, and imposing a totally different form of politics doesn't leave it open to invasion and civil strife. How he's an envoy for peace in the Middle East we'll never know. Looks like he's doing a bang-up job, too He's out as of 2015.[58] The Palestinian Authority’s former chief negotiator Nabil Shaath said Blair “Achieved so very little because of his gross efforts to please the Israelis.”[59]
The Iraq Inquiry was not a real inquiry; it was set up with the help of many who were involved, and structured such that no one individual would be found culpable.[60] Both parties have much to fear from a conviction. (Cameron would be the next one to walk the plank.)[61][62] The excrement of New Labour is now trying to poison the well yet again, forcing through a leadership election to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from prosecuting Blair.[63] They're now banning people from voting for fear of having Corbyn as leader.[64] (It didn't work.) He'd never be successfully tried in court, though; everyone would be too charmed by him.[65]
  • Being Bush's poodle:[66] The UK was (and still is) the SS Great Britain, largest carrier in the US Navy. Captain Blair reported directly to Commodore Bush, who is about as popular in the UK as syphilis.[67] The general feeling was that Blair sold the country out, trashed their reputation, and made them as reviled as America.
  • Rubbing elbows with dictators: Recent documents found in Tripoli demonstrated that Blair advocated releasing Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi due to personal business interests in Libya.[68] He was flown twice to Tripoli on Gaddafi's private jets to negotiate with the then-dictator. He also sent British SAS troops to train Gaddafi's secret police[69], renditioned Libyan rebel Abdel Hakim Belhaj to the Gaddafi government[70], and helped Gaddafi's late son write his PhD thesis. Apart from Gaddafi, he gave damage control advice to the Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev after his police slaughtered 14 protestors in Zhanaozen[71], courted Syria's Bashar al-Assad[72] and was close to Vladimir Putin both in power and long after leaving office. [73] Even advising to forget Ukraine during the 2014 skirmish to fight "Radical Islam". [74] Only changing his mind after the 2022 Invasion and going on as if he had never supported Russia. [75]
  • Being a British chickenhawk: Blair pretty much convinced NATO to intervene in the Balkans. During his time in opposition, he criticised the Tories for isolationism and vowed that a Labour government would take on Milošević.
  • Transphobia: Ironically, given that his government enacted the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, Blair has become intensely anti-woke and a strong supporter of J.K. Rowling. He apparently believes, despite evidence to the contrary,[76] that Labour will never gain power as long as they criticise the J. K.[77][78]. This has bled into Keir Starmer's policy and influenced his purge of the left.[79]
  • Rendition program: Blair reportedly knew all about the CIA's extraordinary rendition program after 9/11 which saw terror suspects abducted, imprisoned without due process and subjected to "enhanced interrogation", even allowing British security forces to participate in the rendition of suspects.[80]

The golden parachute care package[edit]

He is the richest after-dinner speaker[81] ex-PM ever, and uses a series of opaque, secretive companies to funnel his many millions. Blair also has ties to a Korean Oil Company,[82] and accepted millions from a dubious Kazak autocrat.[83] But to draw these lines and see a conspiracy makes you the nut job.[84]

When he left office, he took the opportunity of buying a nice little house in the middle of the West End so far beyond his apparent means so as to raise questions. That is, until they were partly sorted by a generous down payment on his memoirs.[85] On the JP Morgan thing, apparently it was a mere bagatelle at $2M/year or so.[86] Not bad for a part time job. It also means that he can keep his VIP treatment and Diplomatic passport.[87] Never has so much effort been made by a PM to extend their pension.[88]

Comeback?[edit]

I actually find myself weirdly nostalgic for the authentic monsters of politics. Even the sly, hollow hustling of Tony Blair would be preferable to the callow bafflement of Nick Clegg, the unnaturally shiny forehead and beta-male posturing of David Cameron, and the... well, whatever Ed Miliband is.
—Warren Ellis, "The Death of Fun in Politics"[89]

His dreams of being Leader of Europe shattered,[90] Blair is threatening to start his own centre-left party, free from the chains of outdated union power.[91] Many Labour MPs would probably jump ship to him. It is ironic because he is the only big-name leader who could make a difference if he didn't have all the baggage. The only well-respected Remainer left is Ken Clarke, but he's a very old Tory who's not really in shape for this supposed counterrevolution.

Cherie Blair[edit]

Since he quit as a politician, he and his wife have "rediscovered" their religious faith. Except the Pope told him not to go to war, and he did anyways.[92] For a born-again Catholic, he's broken more than a few Commandments. Porking Mrs. Murdoch for one,[93] complicit in murder and torture for another.[80]

Tony's wife, Cherie, is also a fascinating human being. A prominent human rights lawyer, occasional property developer, and practicing Roman Catholic, she was known for her enthusiasm for eccentric new age practices.[94] When Robert Harris (a former Blairite who hob-nobbed with the family) wrote The Ghost, he made the fictional counterpart of Cherie Blair the sinister manipulator behind the scenes for a reason.

External links[edit]

  • The Blairs then (1994), and now (post-2014).

Videos[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation
  2. "Tony Blair? - Bliar? Britain's beleaguered prime minister. A moment of truth for Tony Blair."] 7 June 2003. The Economist.
  3. 09/14/2001 British House of Commons Special Session;C-SPANWikipedia
  4. Council plans to listen in on street life, The Telegraph again, May 4, 2005
  5. Jones, Owen, The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It (Penguin Books, 2015) ISBN: 978-0-141-97499-6. p. 51.
  6. Khan, Shebab, "Clause IV: What is it, and why is it so divisive?", Independent (Sunday 9 August 2015 17:32 BST). Scrapping Clause IV was the final nail in the coffin.
  7. Wheatcroft, Geoffrey, "Peter's friend", Guardian 4 February 2001.
  8. Transcript of Telcon with Labour Party Leader and Prime Minister-elect Tony Blair , Clinton Presidential Library (1 May 1997, 11:25 pm).
  9. "Mandelson made mistake says Blair", BBC (27 December 1998, 10:15 AM GMT).
  10. "How the Ecclestone affair unfolded", BBC (22 September 2000, 2:35 PM GMT).
  11. Cassidy, John, "The David Kelly Affair", New Yorker 8 December 2003.
  12. Andrew Marr on the Iraq decision, BBC News at Ten, BBC1, April 9, 2003]
  13. New Labour all but eliminated rough sleeping. How did it do it?, New Statesman
  14. Labour's social housing record, Full Fact
  15. Gammell, Caroline Gammel, "Tony Blair's 'regret' over fox hunting bill", Telegraph 1 September 2010, 10:00PM BST).
  16. Shawn Pogatchnik, DUP confirms it will shut down Northern Ireland Assembly DUP confirms it will shut down Northern Ireland Assembly. politico.eu, 13 May 2022.
  17. Extradition fight man attacks law. BBC News, 10 March 2006.
  18. See the Wikipedia article on Civilian casualties during Operation Allied Force.
  19. See the Wikipedia article on British military intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War.
  20. Andrew Buncombe, Paul Routledge, and Fran Abrams, "Inquiry finds Sandline did breach arms embargo", Independent 5.16.98.
  21. Abrams, Fran, "British officer advised gunship killers", Independent 9.6.00.
  22. Coughlan, Sean, "'Education, education, education'", BBC (updated 14 May 2007, 3:37 PM GMT).
  23. Bates, Stephen, "After 30 years as a closet Catholic, Blair finally puts faith before politics ", Guardian (21 June 2007, 8:02pm EDT). He was really keen to convert to Catholicism, a few minutes in the confession box and all his sins were forgiven.
  24. "Campbell diaries: Murdoch 'called Blair over Iraq'", BBC 16 June 2002.
  25. Taylor, Adam, "Tony Blair Is Godfather To Rupert Murdoch's Daughter", Business Insider (4 September 2011, 5:46 PM). cough Illuminati bloodlines cough
  26. "Blair faces Commons over child benefit", BBC (10 December 1997, 5:03pm GMT).
  27. Nicholas Watt and Patrick Wintour, "How Immigration Came to Haunt Labor: The Inside Story",Guardian (24 March 2015, 3:59 AM EDT).
  28. Wheatcroft, Geoffrey, "The Paradoxical Case of Tony Blair", Atlantic June 1996.
  29. "The advisers: Modernisation or politicisation?", BBC (12 January, 2000, 4:53 AM GMT).
  30. Timmins, Nicholas, "Role of Blair's special advisers attacked", FT (2 March 2005, 10:05 pm).
  31. Wright, Oliver, "Tony Blair kept Cabinet in the dark over Iraq 'deliberately' as ministers evaluated case for war in 2003", Independent (13 November 2013, 7:29 PM GMT).
  32. Perry, Alex, "Inside the Mind of Tony Blair", Newsweek (10 April 2015, 7:37 PM.)
  33. Even The Torygraph thinks this is a bad idea: "Private Finance Initiative: where did all go wrong?" The Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2011.
  34. We were told No 10 was not happy and certainly would not allow the creation of ‘same sex marriage’ by default. I remember saying as Blair left No 10 “so shall we run a sweepstake on how long before he converts to Roman Catholicism” - 5 months before it became a public conversion.
  35. 12/ in that it created a double standard in terms of rights. (The Equality Act is entirely separate from all this). Clearly Downing St (i.e. Blair who converted to Roman Catholicism on leaving office) opposed same sex marriage, & felt allowing trans couples to stay married ....
  36. 13/ would create a form of same sex marriage & contravened the religious sanctity of marriage. But many marriages are just civil - so WTF we felt. But we couldn't win that. As for the Equality Act, we were in a Brown Govt by then. Initial proposals didn't include trans folk ....
  37. Wynn-Jones, Jonathan, "Tony Blair believed God wanted him to go to war to fight evil, claims his mentor", Telegraph (9:00PM BST 23 May 2009).
  38. Tony Blair was warned Horizon IT system could be flawed, documents show, BBC News
  39. Annotated copy of the memo at The Washington Post
  40. Stanton, Gary. Religious extremism at root of wars, insists religious extremist at root of wars, NewsThump.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Blair's 'frenzied law making': a new offence for every day spent in office. 16 August 2006. The Independent. Accessed 1 November 2009.
  42. 42.0 42.1 Article on increased number of crimes under New Labour in the Daily Telegraph. January, 2010.
  43. Lord Hansard text for 5 July 2004.
  44. "Government abandons 42-day detention plan", Independent (13 October 2008 5:54 PM BST).
  45. What is an imprisonment for public protection sentence and why is it controversial?, The Daily Telegraph
  46. I’m one of thousands of prisoners with no release date in sight – this is how the IPP sentence ruined my life, The Independent
  47. Rwanda-style asylum plan was ‘nuclear option’ for Blair in 2003, records reveal, The Guardian]
  48. "Tony Blair will help US on Iraq, 2002 memo says", BBC 18 October 2015.
  49. Nigel Morris and Ben Russell,"Blair admits he did not know 45-minute claim referred to battlefield weapons", Independent (5 February 2004, 1:00AM GMT).
  50. Sengupta Kim, "Chilcot report: MI6 may have got crucial intelligence on Iraq WMDs from a Nicolas Cage film", Independent (7 July 2016, 8:25 AM BST).
  51. Andy McSmith and Charlie Cooper, "Chilcot report: Blair didn't tell truth about WMDs, the deal with Bush or the warnings of fallout – how Britain went to war in Iraq", Independent (6 July 2016, 10:11 AM BST).
  52. Riazat Butt and Richard Norton-Taylor, "Tony Blair admits: I would have invaded Iraq anyway", Guardian (Updated 11 December 2009, 7.06 PM EST).
  53. "Blair speech - key quotes", BBC (15 February, 2003, 12:38 GMT).
  54. "Blair will 'answer to God' over Iraq deaths", The Age via Agence France-Presse 3 May 2000.
  55. "MPs rebel over war vote", BBC (2 November 2001, 11:48 GMT ).
  56. "UK's top lawyer tries to block Iraq war case against Blair", Middle East Eye (17 April 2017, 4:32 OM UTC).
  57. Tracy McVeigh and Mark Townsend, "Tony Blair rejects 'bizarre' claims that invasion of Iraq caused the crisis", Guardian (Last modified on 7/14/16 at 9:22 am EDT).
  58. Fisk, Robert, "Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him", Independent 5.27.15. Blair didn't start the fire, It was always burning, Since the world's been turning. Blair didn't start the fire, No, Blair didn't light it, But Blair tried to fight it
  59. Watt, Nicholas, "Tony Blair appointed as head of European body fighting antisemitism", Guardian 6.3.15 at 8:59pm EDT.)
  60. Chris Ames and Jamie Doward, "Revealed: Chilcot inquiry was set up ‘to avoid blame’ ", Guardian (19 November 2016, 7:05pm EST).
  61. "Cameron backs Blair on Iraq war ", BBC (23 June 2006, 15:22 GMT).
  62. "MPs attack Cameron over Libya 'collapse'", BBC 14 September 2016.
  63. Stone, Jon, "Jeremy Corbyn 'still prepared to call for Tony Blair war crimes investigation'", Independent (23 May 2016, 7:49 AM BST).
  64. Bienkov, Adam, [http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2015/08/20/critical-blogger-banned-from-voting-in-labour-leadership-ele "Critical blogger banned from voting in Labour leadership election", Politics.co.uk (20 August 2015, 4:08 PM).
  65. Rowena Mason, Anushka Asthana and Heather Stewart, "Tony Blair: 'I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you can ever believe'", Guardian (6 July 2016, 9:55 AM EDT).
  66. [https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/07/how-tony-blair-sucked-george-w-bush-iraq-war/
  67. Sarkar, Simon, "British Public Weighs In on Blair and Bush", Gallup 8 June 2004.
  68. The Telegraph yet again.
  69. British special forces SAS trained troops from Libyan regime that supplied IRA
  70. Blair 'cannot recall' MI6 rendition of rebel Libyan to Gaddafi
  71. Tony Blair gives Kazakhstan’s autocratic president tips on how to defend a massacre
  72. Assad close to being knighted under Blair
  73. Blair defends 'reformer' Putin's visit to No 10
  74. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/04/23/tony-blair-ukraine-putin-_n_5196236.html]
  75. https://www.institute.global/insights/geopolitics-and-security/tony-blair-one-thing-clear-vladimir-putin-cannot-be-allowed-win
  76. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/sep/22/majority-of-uk-public-agree-with-liberal-views-on-race-and-sexual-identity-annual-poll
  77. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tony-blair-keir-starmer-is-a-work-in-progress-dk3hnpmv6
  78. https://www.newstatesman.com/labour-in-crisis/2021/05/tony-blair-without-total-change-labour-will-die
  79. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/keir-starmer-labour-piers-morgan-b1857735.html
  80. 80.0 80.1 Molloy, Antonia, "Tony Blair 'knew everything about CIA interrogation programme'", The Independent (Sunday 6 April 2014 13:55 BST).
  81. Clara Ferreira-Marques and Mohammed Abbas, "Dealmaking cameo may prove lucrative for fixer Blair", Reuters (11 September 2012, 9:19am BST).
  82. Solomon Hughs and David Leigh, "Tony Blair got cash for deal with South Korean oil firm", Guardian (F17 March 2010, 1:49 PM EDT).
  83. Jim Pickard and George Parker, "Tony Blair shuts down advisory firm that made him millions", FT20 September 2016.
  84. Ellison, Sarah, "The Which Blair Project", Vanity Fair (18 December 2014, 12:00 am).
  85. David Leigh and Ian Griffiths, "The Blair Rich Project", Guardian (Last modified on 7/13/16 at 9:44 pm EDT).
  86. Tony Helm and Bruno Watefeld, "Tony Blair to earn £2m as JP Morgan adviser", Telegraph (1/11/08 at 12:01AM GMT).
  87. Osborne, Peter, "It’s easy to see what the former PM gets out of his role as envoy, but harder to see what he gives back", Telegraph (9/16/15 at 8:05PM GMT). Nobody does irony like the British.
  88. Christopher Hope, Edward Malnick and Claire Newell, "Tony Blair is banned from staying at British embassies on commercial missions", Telegraph (2 January 2016, 11:28PM GMT). How will Murdoch's wife creep in?
  89. Ellis, "The Death of Fun in Politics", Vice (24 September 2012, 12:15am.)
  90. "EU treaty good for UK, says Blair", BBC (23 June 2007, 4:50 PM GMT).
  91. Smith, Reiss, "Will Tony Blair begin a new political party to rival Jeremy Corbyn's Labour?", Express (24 February 2017, updated 3:49 PM).
  92. Popham, Peter, "No ground given as Pope meets Blair", Independent (23 February 2003, 1:00am GMT).
  93. Seal, Mark, "Seduced and Abandoned: Read Wendi Deng Murdoch's Mash Letter Allegedly Not About Tony Blair", Vanity Fair. (19 February 2014, 12:00 am). The best thing Blair ever did.
  94. Ev'ryone Must Get Stones, Nick Cohen, The Guardian, 8 Dec 2002