Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, is keeping busy these days. Just last year, in 2016, he created the Tony Blair Institute. He meant this institute to be a global force for good.
This group is attempting to tackle the effects of globalization. Specifically, they want globalization to help the many, instead of a few. On their website, they show an aerial photo of dwellings, with a long street going from top to bottom.
On the left side of the street, we can see a wealthy neighborhood. The houses are large, even by Americans standards. A quick view of the photo has clues that the photo was taken in some other country, however. We’ll get to why I think that in a moment. Some of the houses have swimming pools. It’s difficult to predict from the photo, but it looks as if each house is around 3,000 square feet. That’s very large!
The neighborhood is beautiful. It’s very green, thanks to an ample amount of healthy-looking trees which stand beside each house. The streets look very clean, and there are cars parking along the street. On another side of the main street, we see a very different picture.
Small houses, which actually look like huts, are scattered everywhere. These look like they are about 800 square feet each. They are all dirty and there are no roads in this neighborhood. This is because these people probably do not have a vehicle. What Tony Blair wants to focus on is the drastic difference between the rich and poor in this country.
Tony Blair’s institute will attempt to fight for economic fairness. The organization is new but there is plenty of research on their website detailing this. As 2017 comes to a close, they may put new materials on their website. They may also lay out their plan for 2018.
Tony Blair has always aimed to serve the people. While he was Prime Minister of the UK, he served his own people. Now, he aims to serve the greater number of people all over the world, with a focus on Africa. Before there was the Tony Blair Institute, there was the Tony Blair Associates, and other groups like it.
This group was formed many years ago, in 2008. The purpose of this group is for Tony Blair to provide pro bono advice. This advice would be tailored for governments, NGOs, and religious organizations. His first client was Kuwait and he has since worked with many individuals and organizations. Tony Blair Associates, however, has not been immune to controversy.
Tony Blair was at one point an envoy to the Middle East. However, he was also working in concert with his organization. This created, some protested, a conflict of interest situation. Protesters said that he should be going to the Middle East for one organization or the other, not both. Some said that Tony Blair was using his dual roles as a way to profit for himself.
Much of the criticism stems from 2014. Also, in 2014, Tony Blair advised the president of Egypt. He again went there in a dual role and received the same criticism as when he advised Kuwait. Tony Blair may have been criticized, but he has not stopped using his organizations in a way he sees fit. However, Tony Blair Associates has not seen as much controversy since that year. And there’s a reason for that.
Last year, in 2016 Tony Blair closed this particular organization, though he has others. Protesters said that he made millions of dollars while he should have been working on a truly pro bono basis, which was the original purpose of this organization.
Given the UK’s history of war, there are probably many more UK leaders who would fit the title of War Minister. Both world wars come to mind. After all, who could pass up leaders such as Neville Chamberlain? This doesn’t minimize Chamberlain’s great actions during his life. But Tony Blair served during a fairly tumultuous time for modern times. He served during the Iraqi War.
He actually played a key role in supporting it. Support came in the fashion of sending UK troops. The UK, outside of the US, sent some of the largest numbers of military personnel to Iraq during the Iraqi War.
Tony Blair led the UK for nearly 10 years. The Iraqi War began in 2003, which was about halfway through his rule. At the time, governments and citizens believed that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction”. People like Tony Blair and the US President George W. Bush believed that Iraq could use these weapons in a terrorist type way. But Saddam Hussein stated that he did not have any of these weapons.
One of the first steps was to send weapons inspectors. The inspectors visited many military sites around the country. They found nothing. Western governments thought that Iraq would simply hide or transfer the weapons before the inspectors arrived. All these years later, we now know that Iraq never had these weapons. But the Western government acted on intelligence they thought was more solid.
Tony Blair was recently in the news regarding this war. In 2016, a commission made their results known about the war. They said that Tony Blair’s use of force during that time was unwarranted. They said that Mr. Blair should not even have sent troops to Iraq. Given this, Mr. Blair will probably not face any jail time, even if the current belief is that the war was not justified.