What is Tony Blair doing in the Middle East?

Within hours of stepping down as Prime Minister in 2007 and as part of his (failed) strategy to become President of the European Council, Tony Blair assumed an international statesman’s role in the Middle East as ‘Quartet Representative‘ on behalf of the United Nations, US, Russian Federation and European Union.

Setting aside the irony of Blair working for peace given his eagerness to send British troops into action throughout his premiership, his job working with the Palestinians as an envoy was to:

  • mobilise international assistance to the Palestinians, working closely with donors and existing coordination bodies
  • help to identify, and secure appropriate international support in addressing the institutional governance needs of the Palestinian state, focusing as a matter of urgency on the rule of law
  • develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development, including private sector partnerships, building on previously agreed frameworks, especially concerning access and movement
  • and liaise with other countries as appropriate in support of the agreed Quartet objectives

Given Tony Blair’s job description and given that the UK is a substantial donor of international aid to the Palestinian authority, it might be a surprise to learn that in those two and a half years as Quartet Representative, Blair has not held a single meeting with any of his former government colleagues working at the Department for International Development (DFID).  This is despite the department having seconded one of our civil servants, paid for by the British taxpayer, to Blair’s ‘Office of the Quartet Representative’ in Jerusalem.

So what is Blair actually doing in the Middle East?  The answer seems to be, not very much.  While Blair seems to be demonstrating masterful inaction when it comes to the Palestinians, he does however seem rather more active in matters of personal comfort.  It’s so nice to know that having torn apart the social fabric of this country and helped run up the largest debt we have seen since the second world war, we taxpayers are still picking up the tab to satisfy his planet sized ego while getting nothing of value in return.

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1 Response to “What is Tony Blair doing in the Middle East?”

  1. 1 Witteringsfrom Witney 12/01/2010 at 10:16 pm


    He is just doing what he has done all his life – feathering his own nest!

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