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A Week in Politics: How to get the Armageddon going

PADDY McGUFFIN despairs of Nato as its biennial back-slapping camp comes to a close in Newport

Well it’s been quite week hasn’t it?

The Nato bean feast in South Wales is winding up, the last of the champagne quaffed, oysters shucked and the assembled wasters poured into their private jets nursing taxpayer funded gout attacks.

And what exactly have they achieved? Apart from the square root of sweet FA. 

Oh, they agreed policies that will further destabilise the planet, greater expansion into eastern Europe and plans for a new rapid reaction force- because of course that’s always been Nato’s problem, a lack of knee-jerk response.

Britain and the US also harangued everyone else for not spending enough of their GDP on weapons of mass destruction.

How are we going to get the Armageddon going if you’re not tooled up? It’s just irresponsible — that means you Germany!

No doubt there was also much back slapping and self-congratulatory ego massaging of the type we’ve come to expect from these beezers. 

Cameron got to do his macho posturing bit, strutting round the place with Obama patronising the locals and talking up an aerial onslaught on Iraq and Syria.

The massed Nato (Need another territorial occupation) leaders spent a great deal of their time discussing the spread of the Islamic State extremist group and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, casting the blame everywhere but at their own doorstep.

Which is a bit like an arsonist setting fire to someone’s house and then blaming the fire brigade for not getting the inhabitants out before they burnt to death.

In short, it was just like old times except Tony Blair wasn’t there. 

No, he was in London receiving GQ magazine’s Philanthropist of the Year award.

Now the term philanthropy, much like those other terms democracy and justice is much abused these days.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines philanthropy thus: “The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes: he acquired a considerable fortune and was noted for his philanthropy.”

Now no-one could doubt that Blair has amassed a fortune, mainly from the myriad dictators and despots he “advises” on how to improve their image for which he receives millions of pounds a time.

Interestingly the one thing he doesn’t seem to do is tell them to stop murdering and torturing people — but then it always worked for him.

The accolade sparked disbelief and fury on social media — which is exactly what it was intended to do. This is a magazine that gave Boris Johnson the politician of the year gong on at least three occasions and even gave it to George Osborne once.

GQ is a shallow, tawdry, sexist rag run by smug fatuous gits who have made a lot of money from exploiting the gullibility of the male population — not a resource which is in any danger of being exhausted any time soon — so of course they were going to give it to Blair.

What was jaw-droppingly crass, however, was that he actually turned up to collect it.

Now, maybe this column is being pedantic but isn’t a central part of philanthropy supposed to be modesty and the shunning of the limelight? 

Turning up in a tuxedo and smirking for the cameras, it could be argued, is the exact polar opposite of what philanthropy is meant to be about.

But then this is Blair we’re talking about and he’d turn up to the opening of an envelope — as long as it was stuffed with cash and slipped into his inside pocket.

And let’s face it as Middle East peace envoy it’s not like he might have had anywhere more important to be this week is it?

And while we’re on the subject of questionably defined philanthropy who should raise his head above the parapet — literally — this week but bonehead prince Charlie.

The heir apparent sent a letter professing his “profound sympathy” and heartbreak over the persecution of Christians and other religious people in Iraq, it has emerged.

Charlie boy described his sadness at what he called the “unbearable and barbaric persecution” of certain religions in the war-torn country, in a letter published on the website of the Chaldean church.

The signed letter, accompanied by a donation to the charity Aid to the Church in Need, was apparently sent last month and addressed to Baghdad-based Archbishop Louis Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

A couple of points here if I may.  

First, if anyone knows about the persecution of Catholics it’s the English royal family.

Second, I don’t recall Charles being overly fussed when it was Britain and the US blowing the hell out of the Iraqi population in an act of unlawful aggression which has directly led to the influx of extremism and the “persecution” of “religious people.”

Two million people marched against the war and can proudly state that the illegal invasion was “not in their name.”

Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor, I would humbly suggest, can not. His mother is commander of the armed forces and the atrocity was very definitely done in their name-and with their blessing.


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