Saturday 26 December 2009


It’s another one of these “I just don’t believe it” moments.

It has been revealed in the Daily Telegraph that it costs the taxpayer around £6 million a year to protect Tony Blair from the vast array of enemies he has managed to collect over the years. Since leaving Downing Street Blair has taken a number of posts, for which he has to travel abroad regularly. He also is involved in 'charity' (or profile-raising) work in Africa, and of course the hugely lucrative 'personal appearance' work which he undertakes regularly. He is said to have earned in the region of £18 million in the last 2 years from this work.

Each time he goes abroad Scotland Yard has to send an advance team to carry out risk assessment, and he has to be accompanied by teams of police officers for round the clock protection. Apparently there is a team of some 20 officers assigned to Blair at a cost of £115,000 a week. Additionally members of his family receive protection. (The current Prime Minister has only 10 protection officers.)

Most of the foreign travel is undertaken for personal commercial gain. Apparently, like the bottom rungs of royalty, he rents himself out to open things and say a few words. It seems that Scotland Yard is not allowed to advise Mr Blair on what he should and should not do on the basis of cost; they are obliged to suck it up and pay out regardless of the bill to the British taxpayer. The only criteria for advice on whether to travel or not must be security based.

Not unreasonably the Metropolitan Police Authority have issues with how much this drains their budgets, particularly as Blair is out there making a vast amount of money, all for himself. The feeling is that he should be making a contribution to his security costs. It is feared that, after he has given evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry next year, the costs will rise again. When people discover more about how this man sent people to their deaths with little protection on the basis that God had told Mr Bush that it was the right thing to do, the hatred for Blair which makes him such a target, may well increase.

My view is that, when the ex-Prime Minster travels for the UK, or when he is operating on state business within the UK, he should be afforded the standard protection at our expense. However, if he decides to feather his own nest by travelling all over the world, he should be paying for that protection at commercial rates and from commercial protection organisations. We are not here to subsidise his family business.

In these hard times for our broke country, wished upon us largely by the likes of Blair, we all have to learn to live with less. Why is it that the people at the top seem to avoid any of the pain? The bankers, the other great cause of our misery, have us over a barrel. Pay us obscenely, or we leave and you’ll be even more broke. What’s Blair’s bargaining chip?


  1. Why are we protecting him though? After all the man's universally loved I'm sure he told us he was. Can't imagine who'd be out to get him :-D

    £6 million is a drop in the ocean of course, but every little helps and I'm sure withdrawing his protection would focus the minds of other politicians who drop us into the types of mess Blair made for us.

  2. QM: I expect he did tell us that, but clearly, like most of the other things he said, it was a lie.

    £6m is a drop in the ocean of course so it is something that he can afford. I'm sure no opther "business" scheme gets that kind of subsidy from government.

    I'd say it is a legitmate business expense and thus tax deductable.

  3. I guess if you have gone around making as many enemies as Tony has, you will need protection. I am amazed he never thought of that when he was agreeing with George W Bush. Lets hope he is near the top of the list of Tory cuts when they get in.

  4. Well Munguin, as you say, he has made a lot of enemies, but then there are an awful lot of innocent people who are dead or maimed or who have lost thier livelihoods and their homes thanks to his insistence that Bush was right.

    Bush for heaven's sake....!!!!

    It's amazing what people like him will do to be allowed to sit at the top table and be photographed with the American president, no matter how wrong he is.... The impression that out of the billions of people in the world you are one of the few who matter, even if the truth is that you are only there because you have agreed to whatever nonsense suits the president, who genuinely is important.

    Brown is the same with Obama. It will be interesting to see what Cameron is like.

  5. What is Blaris barganing chip? Only he knows..I suppose it could be a bit like Prezza..IO have always wondered what he knew to survive the cabinet reshuffles..even after making hoimself an arse on more than one occasion!

    Conspiracy and lies at the heart of New Labour,w what a surprise! :)

  6. Dean:

    Prezza was there to keep "old" Labour on board, I think.

    He could make a speech at conference and win them round to all the rubbish that Blair had come up with.

    I don't think Blair has a bargaining chip. if the bankers/the banks go to Geneva we lose out on vast amounts of tax income. So we have to just put up with their ridiculous and odious sense of self worth and greed. We don't have to put up with Blair. He's of no use whatsoever.

    If he goes....he goes.... Bye