Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blair and Levy

A good exposure of Britain's leader and his "Middle East Special Envoy" from TCS Daily, linked here, which opens as follows: michaellevy-peerage

"The £14 million in secret loans was known only to Mr. Blair, Lord Levy and Matt Carter, the general secretary of the Labour Party at the time" -- The Times, July 16 2006

Sometime before the end of the year, Tony Blair will become the first sitting British prime minister in history to be formally questioned by the police. The questions are part of an ongoing corruption investigation regarding the selling of honors - lordships and the like. As events are developing, there is even a possibility that he may be arrested.

The questions will involve his apparent involvement in funding the bankrupt Labour Party in "cash for peerages" as the corruption scandal has come to be known. Peerages (they are "life", not "hereditary", lordships) are gifts of the prime minister and are to be handed out sparingly, as honors for services to the country. Selling peerages or other honors is against the law.

Blair, whose government has passed more than 700 new laws - more than twice as many as his closest predecessor, many of them so hurriedly drafted they are unworkable - has also exceeded his predecessor by at least 100 the number of new life peers. In other words, he has stuffed the British second chamber with Labour sympathizers.

And here is the rub.

The Labour Party is, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt. Membership has dropped and donations have dried up. How to keep the Party funded and looking vigorous and successful?

Enter Michael Levy. Born in a rundown section of London to immigrant Jewish parents, Levy made his fortune managing rock stars, including Chris Rea. He quickly became Blair's close friend and regular tennis partner and was rapidly elevated to a peerage. He is now Lord Levy of Mill Hill, and he holds the position of Blair's Special Envoy to the Middle East. It wasn't long before he had become Labour's chief fundraiser and known in the tabloids as Lord Cashpoint.....

BUT what role has Lord Levy been playing in the present crisis, one wonders?


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