Sunday, 13 November 2011

Blair-faced Cheek

"Nobody who has wealth to distribute ever omits himself" - Trotsky

 Tony Blair's financial dealings since leaving office are already coming under increasing scrutiny, but surely his bid for a piece of the DfID's grants schemes to provide governance in rebuilding countries like Iraq & Afghanistan is a bit close to the bone?

Admittedly, his organisation currently only operates in Africa*, but it's a foot up to being considered for other bids as they arise.  Pointedly, the application was made by the 'Tony Blair Governance Initiative' and not the 'Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative' and therefore strikes me as a sly reverse manoeuvre that will engage him with the DfID whilst leaving him free to expand his operational base to become eligible for future bids in other countries.

Can you imagine a scenario where our smug ex-Premier is allowed to play a role in making sure that aid given to reconstruct the very countries he had a hand in destroying is applied fairly?  Did you know, for example, that over a third of the £45 mill in aid provided to Sierra Leone in 2009/10 was spent on 'governance'?

So, to align this story with a previous post (see "End the Greed" - "Looters in Suits"), it seems that money that previously disappeared in bribes to corrupt officials in war or poverty-stricken countries might now end up lining the pockets of those vested with the responsibility of ensuring that they are applied properly.

Add to the mix that the role also brings him closer to the companies bidding for the rebuilding contracts, and Our Tony's got it pretty well covered from all angles.

I don't imagine I'll be offered work by JP Morgan any time soon ….

Update Oct '14: £52K unexplained hole found in Faith Foundation's books. Nice governance. And we let Blair loose on millions?

* So far as I was aware at time of writing, in respect of governance interests only

1 comment:

  1. Some African countries are not safe for charitable organisations, so they deliver the aid to locak trucking companies to distribute. These trucking companies are often owned by the local war lords who take what they want and sell it. In such cases, almost nothing gets to the people who need it.