Tony Blair hits peak hypocrisy as his latest dodgy dealings are exposed

Tony Blair in 2012

Tony Blair has come under fire over secretive dealings with a human rights abusing country. On 22 July, it was revealed [paywall] that the former prime minister made a £9m deal to advise the Saudi Arabian government through his institute.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, payments were made via a Guernsey registered firm which is a subsidiary of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group.

Blair has been criticised over the dealings, coming just days after he slammed the falling trust in establishment politicians worldwide.

Dealings in Saudi

The Tony Blair Institute For Global Change made an agreement earlier in the year to support the Saudi ‘modernisation’ programme. The “not for profit” arrangement is said to be centred around the planned Vision 2030 reforms in the country.

Although the funding is not mentioned on the institute’s website, there is an article praising the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The article claims that bin Salman showed a “level of conviction, clarity and coherence” in tackling Islamist extremism that the west should seek to “learn from”.

The former PM’s office said it was “under no duty to disclose donors or donations” and declined to give details on Blair’s discussions and meetings with Saudi royalty.

Saudi Regime

Blair’s choice of associates on the world stage has never been impeccable. But even by his standards, the Saudi regime comes with some baggage:

Read on...

Despite recent moves to make driving legal for women, Saudi Arabia remains one of the most dangerous countries for women in the world. Basic human rights across the population as a whole are suppressed brutally.

Outside the Kingdom, the Saudis are leading the coalition that is continuing to bomb Yemen.

Yemen remains one of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis zones. Agencies have estimated that at least 22 million people, three quarters of the nation’s population, are in desperate need of aid.

Trust in politicians

A spokesperson for the Tony Blair Institute said [paywall] that the former Labour leader did not privately profit from the deal. They claimed Blair would have supported the Saudi’s Vision 2030 project “irrespective of any donation”.

However, the secretive nature of the deal is unlikely to win Blair any plaudits. Just days ago on 19 July, the former prime minister slammed the narrative of “betrayal and grievance” towards politicians:

Social media users were quick to notice the hypocrisy of Blair’s words. Journalist Jamie Maxwell tweeted:

Others claimed this was a “death knell” for this type of politics:

As long as Blair tries to remain a part of the modern political discourse in this country, it’s important he’s held to account. Deals like this show the hypocrisy that lies behind his recent interventions.

If we’re to overcome the rise of far-right populism around the world, we need to move away from such political figures. His toxic legacy is one that no party should be clamouring to celebrate. Especially not one of the left.

Get Involved!

– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via Flickr/Chatham House

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed