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Sunday, 27 December 2009

Protecting Tony Blair - who should pay the £115,000 each week?

Tony Blair as the former Prime Minister receives police protection, as do senior members of the government and members of the Royal Family.

However, Tony Blair is no longer an MP and his protection is costing the taxpayer £115,000 per day, or £6million per year as uncovered by the Daily Telegraph.

There are also concerns that next year that may have to increase as Tony Blair will be giving evidence in the Iraq Inquiry in London.

The high costs are often put down to his frequent trips abroad as many will require a prior visit from his security advance team and according to the Daily Telegraph the total protection bill is three times higher than previous public estimates.

The cost of Tony Blair’s protection is met by Scotland Yard with a contribution from the Home Office. It was reported earlier this year that the police are seeking an increase in central Government funding for the protection costs.

It is also estimated that he has earnt nearly £18million since standing down as an MP and many of his trips and engagements are private and not as an envoy to Britain or similar earning him £100,000 per engagement.















Therefore the question must be asked, how much of the protection costs should be met by the taxpayer and how much by Tony Blair himself?

I believe that he should pay for the private engagements himself and the taxpayer should fund those where he is representing the UK, if on official business sanctioned by the government.

He is a top terrorist target because he took us into an illegal war in Iraq, a war that he believed we should have taken part in, whatever the reason, so therefore he must pay his share.

4 comments:

compton arthur said...

punctuation wrong third last line period after terrorist

Alec said...

>> I believe that he should pay for the private engagements himself and the taxpayer should fund those where he is representing the UK, if on official business sanctioned by the government.

There will be fine points which can be identified, but to issue a fiat for his paying for non-official protection strikes as calls for the likes of Frank Dobson to re-appraise their council house rents. Laws made due to individual cases are bad laws.

Why not insist that he pay for all non-official security, even when at home? Why not require Salman Rushdie, who chose his fate, to pay for backdated security?

Part of a functioning society is equal application of state rights and protection - not just for those we like.

>> He is a top terrorist target because he took us into an illegal war in Iraq,

No he's not, and no he didn't. The invasion of Iraq has exacerbated matters, but the terror threat predated it (predated even one of the greatest single mass-killings since the end of the Second World War). There is little distinction in the minds of those who'd assassinate him and those who kill "dancing slags" in London nightclubs.

As for the invasion, I believe it was neither illegal nor warrented. Yet, two years afterwards, he and Labour were re-elected to Government, so the people have arguably given their approval.

mhayworth said...

This statement is quite scary.

'Why not require Salman Rushdie, who chose his fate, to pay for backdated security? '

Chose his fate? The governments of past and present are responsible for creating a state where Salman Rushdie couldn't write a book without fearing for his life!

Alec said...

M, if I can call you that, I can assure you I don't believe that myself. It was intended to highlight how it could end if we were prepared to with-hold state protection from a former PM who has not been impeached or even defeated elecotrally, no less.

Just 'cos terrorists have a certain target doesn't mean their cause is worthy of accommodation, or that their intended victims need to justify themselves. It could simply be 'cos they're deranged terrorists, like.

I remember another aside from the recording which featured the attack on "dancing slags" in which the speakers were laughing at those who thought they were out to 'avenge' Iraq.

To argue that protection from potential assassination should be rationed for Blair 'cos of his political (mis)judgements is to suggest that political assassination should be considered, which ain't a good path to go down.

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