Grosvenor Square is the home of Tony Blair Associates; a complex of organisations established by Tony Blair, which uses the political capital built up by Blair during his days as an international negotiator for the United States, to generate profit. Blair’s customer base includes the government of Kuwait; and oil rich Kazakhstan ruled by a corrupt populist schmoozing group of mafia salesmen, a vestigial grouping from the old communist days. Of the Kazakh arrangement, Ben Judah of the New York Times writes, “Tony Blair is the latter-day embodiment of pirate Britain’s Sir Walter Raleigh. The former prime minister now advises the Kazakh ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev on his image in the West. Mr. Blair is handsomely paid to tutor his patron on how to be evasive about the crackdowns and the mine shootings that are facts of life in Kazakhstan.”
Blair has been asked to advise on economic reform and ‘how to present a better face to the west’. Tony Blair, the political equivalent of a Mayfair casino card shark, has been keen to receive the business, with some commentators estimating he made £15 million from commercial activities in the two years since he stepped down from prime minister in 2007.
Blair has been said to have channelled the profits from his business, most of which relies on the international political capital and experience he built up acting as an advocate for the invasion of Iraq, not into funds for injured soldiers or for the families of bereaved Iraqis, but into real estate for his family. In effect he has profited financially from a decision to commit British soldiers ‘ lives and the lives of Iraqis to death. Britain, Britain’s army and Britain’s soldiers were duped for what turned out to be Blair’s personal gain. Who’s sitting pretty from this experience of war, with a smile on his face? Not the soldiers with no legs; or the children with no dad, or the British or Iraqi publics, but Blair, ensconced in his Mayfair headquarters in Mayfair, Cherie and their family.