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Fluffer to autocrats

We always knew Tony Blair could exceed the limitations of being George W. Bush’s lapdog. Look at W now; spending his life making crappy paintings that wouldn’t pass muster at a garage sale, yet get fawning media puff pieces and exhibitions in museums. It’s pathetic.

But Tony Blair now…there’s a villain with ambition. He has set up a little business in which he sells off his reputation to dictators, tyrants, and genocidal monsters, doing his best to make them look good. He’s been busy giving Nursultan Nazarbayev advice on how to plaster over the murder of civilians.

Tony Blair gave Kazakhstan’s autocratic president advice on how to manage his image after the slaughter of unarmed civilians protesting against his regime.

In a letter to Nursultan Nazarbayev, obtained by The Telegraph, Mr Blair told the Kazakh president that the deaths of 14 protesters “tragic though they were, should not obscure the enormous progress” his country had made.

Mr Blair, who is paid millions of pounds a year to give advice to Mr Nazarbayev, goes on to suggest key passages to insert into a speech the president was giving at the University of Cambridge, to defend the action.

Millions of pounds? I guess that prices him right out of the range of the Ferguson police department.

Comments

  1. Marshall handheld Flax says

    “Fluffer” is an assistant that gets a male porn performer “ready” for action. Perhaps you mean “apologist for autocrats”?

  2. Gregory Greenwood says

    There was a time when I tried to give Blair the benefit of the doubt.

    I have grown up a lot since then. Bitter experience has taught me cynicism when it comes to the claims of politicians.

    So, we have a man directly responsible for helping to facilitate multiple illegal wars while in office (I leave it to the reader’s discretion whether or not to start absent mindedly leaving around terms like ‘war criminal’ here), who has been a consistent advocate for futher military force of questionable legality and of little to no realistic utility ever since – Libya is of course a beacon of peace, prosperity and democracy since the Western intervention there (which Blair heavily endorsed). Wait, that’s not right… – at a considerable cost in lives.

    And now he doesn’t even have the bad excuse that he is doing it all for ‘teh freeeeeedom’ and to protect children and cute puppies from the depradations of scary brown foreigners ‘bad guys’ (how charmingly Saturday morning cartoon-esque the rationalisations for the illegal use of force are); this time he has openly gone darkside and is acting as a spin doctor sanitising the murder of innocents for tyrants, and all in return for a fat paycheck. He is a soldier of fortune in all but name, only this mercenary uses pens and mircrophones to cover up and minimise atrocities rather than guns and grenades to commit them.

    And this is the same man who used to moralise from No. 10 about the ethical obligations that come with wielding power (odd that his moral imperative always gelled so neatly with the financial interests of several of Bush’s backers). This oh so wonderful moral compass of his (product of his now very public christianity, as he is all too eager to tell anyone who doesn’t get away fast enough) seems to be quite compatible with taking blood money from mass murderers, which should perhaps be no surprise since he still refuses to acknolwledge that the Iraq and Afghan campaigns, and indeed the whole misbegotten ‘war on terror’, has been a cataclysmic failure that has served only to radicalise a whole new generation of Middle Eastern and islamic youth with a new set of entirely legitimate greivances against the West, and all paid for with vast numbers of innocent lives.

    What amazes me is the way in which, despite his ever more obvious demonstrations of mercenary behaviour and a total lack of scruples about who he works for, not to mention ever more damning revelations about what he and Bush actually got up to in power, there are still segments of the UK population, and vast swathes of the US populous, who idolise the man and hold him up as some paragon of democratic ideals. It’s downright surreal.

  3. Maureen Brian says

    When Tony Blair comes back from Kazakhstan can we take away his passport too? Oh, wait I see that blonde, bouncing Boris has suggested reversing the presumption of innocence for people coming back from Iraq, Syria and such places. That would do.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Remember that Blair also fluffed W.J. Clinton too, as the latter enforced Dubya Daddy’s sanctions on Iraq that killed (by his own SecState’s admission) over half a million children, as well as that unnecessary war on Serbia, the Sudanese pharmaceutical factory attack, etc, etc.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    “Your Holiness, the Holy Mother Church has historically gained an unmatched world reputation in its role as patron of the fine arts. I propose you restore that lustre by adding to the Vatican’s magnificent collection – and, as it just so happens, I know of a rather under-appreciated painter in the American heartland, a plain-spoken chap developing a bit of a regional following…”

  6. johnwoodford says

    Millions of pounds? I guess that prices him right out of the range of the Ferguson police department.

    Maybe he’ll agree to pro-rate by the number of victims.

  7. robro says

    Millions of pounds? I guess that prices him right out of the range of the Ferguson police department.

    Perhaps Ferguson can get a Federal block grant to cover the cost.

  8. kevinalexander says

    Remember that he has converted to the church that has supported every non-communist dictatorship in the twentieth century and before and since.
    The number one priority of the church is the cultivation of human suffering. It’s only by knowing the suffering of Christ that you can be saved so it’s not really sadism, that warm feeling they get is god’s reward for delivering god’s precious gift.

  9. David Marjanović says

    “Your Holiness, the Holy Mother Church has historically gained an unmatched world reputation in its role as patron of the fine arts. I propose you restore that lustre by adding to the Vatican’s magnificent collection – and, as it just so happens, I know of a rather under-appreciated painter in the American heartland, a plain-spoken chap developing a bit of a regional following…”

    As pointed out above, b.liar did in fact convert to Catholicism right after leaving office.

    It’s only by knowing the suffering of Christ that you can be saved

    Nah, that’s not official doctrine. It’s Mother Teresa.

  10. marko says

    Blair did say of his decision to send British troops to Iraq that he would be judged by god. That always annoyed me, I would prefer your judgement to not be by a fictional character and safely after your death.

    Also, you should know from the movies that no matter how evil the Americans are, the real bad bastard is the English guy.

  11. Sunday Afternoon says

    @13: Blair is, I am sorry to report, Scottish. Though I forgive you for not realizing it from his accent.

  12. guthriestewart says

    Sunday Afternoon – whilst technically, in terms of being born in Scotland, Blair is Scottish, as far as I am aware he now lives in London and wouldn’t get a vote in the upcoming referendum. More importantly, he went to Fettes, an expensive private school which teaches to the English exam systems and educates the children of the scottish ruling class in order that they can take their place as rulers of the united kingdom, just as the posh accented person sends the poor off to die in some pointless battle. *
    So I think the joke is still applicable.

    *Although to give them their due, the ruling class 100 years ago did actually believe in the ideals, and quite a lot of family lines ended in 1914-18 because their only son was an army officer and was killed leading his men into battle. It got so bad that they ended up promoting non-posh people to officer because they’d run out of posh boys to send over the top, and oddly enough the plebeians proved to be perfectly good officers. Nowadays I doubt the ruling class would make such a sacrifice.

  13. Rich Woods says

    @David Marjanovic #12:

    As pointed out above, b.liar did in fact convert to Catholicism right after leaving office.

    I recall* his spokesperson refusing to confirm whether Blair’s first confession lasted just two weeks or a full three. Regardless, since then (although also arguably before) he’s taken to accumulating large stockpiles of stuff which will not make it easy for him to pass through the eye of a needle**.

    * Small amounts of artistic licence may have been taken with this comment. Small amounts, just small amounts.

    ** Assuming he actually believes any of that shit.

  14. says

    To be completely fair, GWBush’s painting aren’t bad. By no means are they museum quality nor do they deserve attention in the ‘art world’, but they have a naive quality of some minor interest (mostly due to the artist’s person history).
    At any rate, it keeps him out of trouble, so let us agree to encourage this destructive madman’s acts of creation- it beats his day job.

  15. Ichthyic says

    “fluffer to autocrats”

    that’s actually pretty good.

    kudos if that’s an original.

  16. Ichthyic says

    At any rate, it keeps him out of trouble

    too bad he didn’t try for a career as an artist before robbing the US blind and killing hundreds of thousands of people.

  17. Ichthyic says

    “Fluffer” is an assistant that gets a male porn performer “ready” for action. Perhaps you mean “apologist for autocrats”?

    nope. it works perfectly right as it is.

  18. says

    The man is awful. He is the nearest thing we ever had to an American style of politician, a control freak, a liar, and one of the architects of the biggest bust in history. His stupidity and that of Brown has just about crippled this country for the next 10 years.

  19. Ichthyic says

    Bush/Blair was just the more extreme version of Reagan/Thatcher

    I can’t WAIT to see what the next paired duo will do…

    hopefully I’ll be dead before that happens.

  20. chrislawson says

    SeanNelson@17:

    You really like GWB’s paintings? I understand that taste is a personal thing, but what I see when I google his artwork is a bunch of incompetent hack pieces. Not just not-to-my-taste but this-guy-doesn’t-know-even-primary-school-level-art-techniques. I don’t really mind that he paints them — as a hobby it’s infinitely preferable to quail hunting with Cheney or dictator-apologism from Blair — but PZ’s right that the fawning media appreciation and museum exhibitions are just insufferable.

  21. Sunday Afternoon says

    @guthriestewart (#15):

    Yes, the joke still works. The best example of this archetype for me is Charles Dance in Last Action Hero.

    Blair’s as Scottish as I am given that we were both born in Edinburgh. I am happy that people still recognise that I am from Scotland even though I’ve been in California for >10 years. The Cheshire Cat changed his accent to sound English a long time ago fooling not just marko above, but many others including me when I first heard him interviewed.

  22. freemage says

    anthrosciguy @22: I’m both glad that I’m not the only one to make that connection, and sad that you posted it first.

  23. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Apparently, Blair is unfamiliar with the classic quip about Mussolini and trains, eh?

  24. says

    chrislawson
    I’m not talking about personal taste. Having seen my share of student art (as a student, teacher,museum worker and working artist) I’d rate GWB’s technical ability as way above the average amateur (again, in my experience) . Also- I didn’t say that I liked them, only that he isn’t completely without talent, and hardly terrible.
    As far as the museums and galleries fawning over a low level talent because he/she is a known personality… welcome to the art world!