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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Blair’

Engineers come into their own with new £1m QEII Prize

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 18, 2013

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Only one member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Politburo is not an engineer or scientist. More than half American senators are lawyers. In Britain only one MP is a former research scientist. Soon China will be the world’s richest country and we wonder why. Perhaps this should be self-evident.

When the architectural writer Charles Jencks featured on Desert Island Discs last summer his first choice of music was a simple one: “Male architects are so vain,” he said. So that would be Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’, then? Indeed it was.

What would he have picked for engineers, one wonders?

For more than a century, engineers have always been the bridesmaids, never the bride, when it comes to making architects’ flights of fancy structurally sound. More than that, they have often provided the core aesthetic of the building, the iconic image by which it is seen and remembered.

An early example is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, by Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) – a supposedly temporary building (like our London Eye) which has become the defining image of a capital city. It was built for the 1889 Paris World Fair.  At first local people hated it, but it attracted millions of visitors. Four years earlier the engineer had designed the wrought-iron skeleton structure inside the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour.      Read the rest of this entry »

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Court finds Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

George W. Bush (R) and Tony Blair (AFP Photo / Jim Watson)

George W. Bush (R) and Tony Blair (AFP Photo / Jim Watson)

Those who lobbied to have George W. Bush and Tony Blair tried for their role in the Iraq War have finally got their wish. Though the verdict of the court carries no legal weight, its supporters believe its symbolic value is beyond doubt.

The court in Malaysia where the trial took place may not have the power to convict, but the verdict against the former British and American leaders was unanimous.

“War criminals have to be dealt with – convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice,” 
the statement from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation read.

The foundation was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, who was always a staunch opponent of the war against the regime of Saddam Hussain in 2003. He previously branded Blair and Bush “child-killers”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Inter-Faith Understanding Is More Important Than Ever in Leadership

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 14, 2012

By Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of Britain

The Alpha Leadership conference taking place today in London is a reminder that despite all the negative news about religion, a different face of faith is visible and real the world over. The Alpha course on leadership, which was begun under Nicky Gumbel of the Holy Trinity Church in London, has been taken by 18 million people world-wide and is all about spreading a gospel of compassion and service to others. A similar message is given out from the remarkable Rick Warren’s church in Southern California where his congregation now numbers in excess of 100,000 people and his global reach extends to every nation on earth.

But such work is not confined to the Christian religion. There are extraordinary Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist organisations that do great work and show selfless sacrifice in some of the poorest and most forgotten parts of the world. 40% of the healthcare in Africa is delivered by Faith groups, notably the Catholic Church.

When we began the Tony Blair Faith Foundation four years ago, there was a lot of scepticism as to whether there really was any interest in inter-faith understanding. Weren’t religion and religious people bound to be introspective and uninterested in the faith of others? Today we are active in 20 countries, thousands of people take part in our programmes and we have volunteers in over 140 nations. The truth is that the numbers of people who have Faith is growing, such growth is not at all limited to the developing world and it is simply impossible to comprehend politics in certain parts of the world – e.g. the Middle East – without comprehending the importance of Faith.

However, the exclusivist and sometimes hostile face of Faith cannot either be denied. There is a struggle in the world of Faith that reflects the broader struggle within society. This is a struggle between the open-minded and the closed-minded. I am a Christian and will remain so. This means that there are certain beliefs I hold dear. But I can, without reducing my Christian commitment, surely accept that someone else, brought up in a different tradition, holds a different set of beliefs, holds them as strongly as I hold mine, and I can respect that person and his/her right to believe as he/she does. In an era of globalisation, in which we are far more likely to share society together because society is becoming more diverse and the internet is creating a more global sense of community, the existence of such respect and mutual understanding becomes essential. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Favour of Philanthropy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 17, 2012

By Tony Blaire, former prime Minister of Britain

One of the most unanticipated lessons I learnt from my 10 years as British Prime Minister, was not about the power of government but its limitations. There are, of course, things that only government can do and reforms only government can enable. The profile of government, however, as the sole means of effecting change and therefore the vehicle into which all efforts for change should be put, is misleading and wrong.

When first elected you think: you have got the top job; you know what you want to do; you set it out campaigning for office; surely, once you have the top job, the decisions will be made, the action will follow. My first term was a learning experience in the difference between intention and delivery, between saying and doing. The perception may be the absolute power of the top person; the reality is one in which you are regularly blocked by politics, by bureaucracy, by the innate tendency to inertia of a system designed to manage the world not change it.

In my second term, I created systems to break the blockage: government working together with the private and philanthropic sectors to implement change. And in terms of reform the second five years were much more radical in many ways than the first.

Part of the difference lay in appreciating the extraordinary and dynamic role of the Philanthropic sector. Today’s 11th Global Philanthropy Forum registers an opportunity to see how far this sector has developed and how much more it could develop further. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gordon Brown To Release Book Of Predictions For 2025 In November

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

His critics might suggest that a lack of foresight characterised Gordon Brown’s time in front line politics, whether over the economic crash during his time as Chancellor or the status of his television mic while campaigning for reelection as Prime Minister.

His supporters might be a bit more generous however and say that the former leader’s forthcoming new book 2025: Shaping a New Future – a prediction of how the world will be in 2025 – could be the former Labour leader’s magnum opus, the tome we’ve all been waiting for from one of the towering political intellects of our time.

Due out in November, 2025: Shaping a New Future will be the eleventh book Brown has either edited or penned himself and his first since 2010’s Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation.

A spokesperson for Simon & Schuster told The Bookseller: “In [the book], Brown charts the massive technological, demographic social and political forces – including the explosive growth of a global middle class, reinventing our world.”

According to the Guardian, in it he will argue that by 2025: Read the rest of this entry »

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Britain Used A Fake Rock To Spy On Russians

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 19, 2012

A former UK government official has admitted Britain was behind a plot to spy on Russians with a device hidden in a fake rock, it emerged today.

Russia made the allegations in January 2006, but they were not publicly accepted by the UK before now.

Jonathan Powell, then prime minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff, told a BBC documentary: “The spy rock was embarrassing.

“They had us bang to rights. Clearly they had known about it for some time and had been saving it up for a political purpose.”

Six years ago, Russian state television broadcast a film claiming British agents had hidden a sophisticated transmitter inside a fake rock which was left on a Moscow street.

Embassy officials then allegedly downloaded classified data from the transmitter using palm-top computers.

The Russian security service, the FSB, linked the rock with claims that British security services were making covert payments to pro-democracy and human rights groups. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tony Blair Warns ‘Dangerous’ Islamists Are Taking Advantage Of Arab Spring

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 29, 2011

Western governments were wrong to prop up Middle Eastern dictatorships in the mistaken belief it would create stability, Tony Blair has said.

The former prime minister said that in the past the West was “too reluctant to push those dictatorships on a path to democracy” in a mistaken belief that its interests lay in stability rather than freedom for the peoples of the region.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme on Thursday, Blair said that while it was better to have democracies than dictatorships, it would have been preferable if the Arab Spring could have been averted in favour of a slower “evolutionary” move towards democracy.

“I think it’s better if we had been able to promote evolution of these countries so rather than revolution that will cause quite a lot of difficulties, not simply for us, but for people of these countries. Look at what has happened to Egypt’s growth rates and tourist industry,” he said.

Blair admitted he had to be a bit “self critical” and acknowledge that he should have “promoted more strongly a concept of evolutionary change” while in power.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Court finds Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 26, 2011

George W. Bush (R) and Tony Blair (AFP Photo / Jim Watson)

Those who lobbied to have George W. Bush and Tony Blair tried for their role in the Iraq War have finally got their wish. Though the verdict of the court carries no legal weight, its supporters believe its symbolic value is beyond doubt.

The court in Malaysia where the trial took place may not have the power to convict, but the verdict against the former British and American leaders was unanimous.

“War criminals have to be dealt with – convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice,” 
the statement from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation read.

The foundation was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, who was always a staunch opponent of the war against the regime of Saddam Hussain in 2003. He previously branded Blair and Bush “child-killers”.

The tribunal, which consisted of a former federal judge and several academics, paid particular attention to the failure of the Western military to find a single weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. WMDs were cited by the Western coalition as a major reason for their military intervention. It also declared the war to be in contravention of the will of the United Nations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gaddafi ‘Duped Blair Over Destruction Of Chemical Weapons’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 15, 2011

Stockpiles of chemical weapons have been discovered in Libya, David Cameron has said, suggesting Colonel Gaddafi lied to Western governments when he promised to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction.

Gaddafi’s pledge to surrender any chemical weapons in his possession was key to efforts in 2004 to normalise relations between Libya and the West.

Tony Blair played a key role in bringing Gaddafi in from the cold. But if the reports are true it suggests the-then prime minister was duped by the dictator.

Last night Cameron said Libya’s new government had discovered previously unknown stocks of weapons.

“Although Gaddafi agreed to declare and dismantle all his weapons of mass destruction, in the last few days, we have learned that the new Libyan authorities have found chemical weapons that were kept hidden from the world,” he said.

When Libya joined the chemical weapons convention in 2004 it had to declare all of its chemical weapons and agree to destroy them.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Tony Blair: Time to go?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 9, 2011

By Marwan Bishara

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Tony Blair has been a political salesman since he first made his debut at the British Labour Party conference. And he is good, no doubt about that.

Not only because he speaks coherently; he is Scottish after all. Nor is it because he’s often compared with George W Bush.

It’s because Tony could peddle ideas and sell economic and military agendas better than most.

The question is: Would you buy a used car from Tony?

The Palestinians and the Arabs in general have concluded enough is enough.

Nabil Sha’ath, the Palestinian Authority’s first ever foreign minister, told me last year: “Forget Tony Blair. I think Mr Blair is at the wrong time at the wrong place and he’s just making it easier for Mr Netanyahu to deceive us, really, in more ways than one.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Reflecting on 9/11, Britain’s Former Spy Chief Criticizes Iraq War and Proposes Talks with Al Qaeda

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 2, 2011

by 

“We are not women; we will keep fighting,” vowed Libya’s elusive despot Muammar Gaddafi in a message broadcast on Syrian TV on Sept. 1. A lecture delivered in London the same evening, for broadcast on Sept. 6 as part of the BBC’s 2011 Reith Lecture series Securing Freedom, illuminated the unintended kernel of truth to the Colonel’s bluster. As Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of Britain’s domestic spy service MI5, laid bare the scale of her opposition to the war in Iraq and her disdain for the term “war on terror” (the phrase “legitimizes terrorists as warriors,” she said), it was hard not to conclude that a lot of bloodshed could have been avoided if the men in charge had listened to her. A similar emotion was evoked by the first two lectures in the same series, which were given by Aung San Suu Kyi and set out the Nobel laureate’s reasons for meeting state violence with peaceful opposition.

You can see how Burma’s military rulers made the mistake of thinking they could silence the deceptively fragile and softly spoken Suu Kyi. It’s harder to imagine how anyone dared to defy Manningham-Buller. The Baroness (she was ennobled after her 2007 retirement from MI5) has the brisk air and stentorian tones of the sort of old-fashioned nanny to whom posh Brits traditionally entrusted their kids, knowing that the slightest sign of disobedience would be quelled by a cuff around the ear and bed without supper. Several members of the small invited audience who were brave—or foolhardy—enough to question Nanny’s views during the debate that followed her lecture earned cold looks and withering retorts. This apple evidently didn’t fall far from the tree: as TIME reported in 1962, Manningham-Buller’s father Reginald, a prominent Conservative politician, was widely known as “Sir Reginald Bullying-Manner.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tony Blair: UK Riots Not Symptom Of ‘Moral Decline’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 21, 2011


Combinatio­n of question of moral and democracy and its limitation­.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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David Cameron And Tony Blair Clash On The Causes Of Riots

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 21, 2011


Clash not necessary, unity necessary in this hour.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Blair To Be Criticised By Iraq War Inquiry

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 31, 2011


Tony Blair already faced inquiries, however; Bush never faced. What could be the reason?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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The Murdochs Head To Parliament As Scandal Shakes News Corp. Empire (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2011


Really this scandal is creating unexpected chaos.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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