Why Is Tony Blair So Keen for the UK’s National Health Service to Sell Off Its Patients’ Health Data to Private Companies?

What is being proposed is obviously a terrible deal for NHS patients. But could the Tony Blair Institute’s biggest donor benefit handsomely?

Tony Blair may have left political office almost two decades ago, but he has most definitely not retired from political life. The British public are reminded of this fact every few months or so when the former British prime minister suddenly reappears on TV channels calling for some drastic new change in government policy, usually involving artificial intelligence or other forms of digital technology. As the FT reported last June, his TBI think tank has in effect become a global consultancy to the UK government.

In January 2021, Blair made one of the most Orwellian statements of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In the end,” Blair said in an interview with ITV News, “vaccination is going to be your route to liberty.” At one point he called unvaccinated people “idiots” and repeatedly urged the UK government to introduce vaccine passes. What he didn’t say was that his foundation, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, or TBI, had received millions of dollars in donations from pro-vaccine organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A year later, he joined forces with his erstwhile rival William Hague to call for the introduction of a digital identity system as part of a “fundamental reshaping of the state around technology” — which, as luck would have it, is exactly what the UK government is trying to do. Last week, the Hague-Blair double act was back in the news, this time calling for the UK’s struggling National Health Service (NHS) to sell off its patients’ health data,  “to fund cutting-edge treatments” and raise much-needed money for the health system.

From Sky News:

Writing in The Times newspaper, Sir Tony and Lord Hague hailed the beginning of “extraordinary age of gene therapies, new antibiotics and molecular factories”.

“Nothing will be more important to British jobs, living standards and security in the coming years than leading the world in science and innovation,” they wrote.

“We will have to keep moving quickly if we are to be one of the main homes of changes so dramatic that they will alter forever the way we live and restructure much of the global economy.”

They believe data from millions of NHS records could provide a key platform for AI to monitor patients via wearable technology and alert doctors of problems.

The report also proposes patients have access to a “personal health account” via the NHS app to book appointments and manage treatment.

This will create a laboratory of biodesign – a process to identify and find solutions to unmet healthcare needs – helping biotech companies scale up and creating strong international biosecurity.

“Biotech is promising a future of new cures and treatments for many diseases, more personalised and effective healthcare, and many new materials and transformed manufacturing processes,” Sir Tony and Lord Hague added.

A Bad Deal for Patients

What is being proposed may provide significant benefits to the UK’s burgeoning biotech sector but it is almost certainly a bad deal for NHS patients. Their most personal (and most precious) data is now being hawked by a couple of retired politicians in return for some vague promise of future economic development, which most of the patients will probably not benefit from. By that time, the NHS will probably be even more of a shadow of its former self, with even more of its vital functions harvested out to the private sector — something Blair himself has repeatedly called for in recent months.

Will patients be able to consent to their data being used in this way? Presumably not, since in that case most would presumably opt out. Blair and Hague insist that the patient data sold on to private companies will be anonymised and de-identified. However, as Electronic Frontier Foundation noted in a recent article, such a promise is almost impossible to guarantee:

In an attempt to justify this pervasive surveillance ecosystem, corporations often claim to de-identify our data. This supposedly removes all personal information (such as a person’s name) from the data point (such as the fact that an unnamed person bought a particular medicine at a particular time and place). Personal data can also be aggregated, whereby data about multiple people is combined with the intention of removing personal identifying information and thereby protecting user privacy.

Sometimes companies say our personal data is “anonymized,” implying a one-way ratchet where it can never be dis-aggregated and re-identified. But this is not possible—anonymous data rarely stays this way. As Professor Matt Blaze, an expert in the field of cryptography and data privacy, succinctly summarized: “something that seems anonymous, more often than not, is not anonymous, even if it’s designed with the best intentions.”   

“Best intentions” are presumably the last thing on the minds of either Blair or Hague. In the case of Blair, this is a man who in government helped to intensify the piecemeal privatisation of the NHS by opening the institution up to increasing commercialisation and saddling it with crippling debts through the Public Finance Initiative, as Bob Gill documented in an excellent 2022 article for Consortium News:

Private Finance Initiative schemes were used by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government to fund the building of new hospitals. The NHS was saddled with £11 billion of private debt which would cost £88 billion in public repayments.

Private Finance Initiatives destabilized hospital finances, creating a funding problem for which the solution was more contraction of bed capacity rubber stamped by the Clinical Commissioning Groups.

At the end of the loan repayments, ownership of the assets remained with the private investors. Just imagine buying a house with an extortionate mortgage and not owning the house when the mortgage was paid off. That’s the scam of Private Finance Initiatives.

A Curious Example

Bizarrely, in their report for TBI Blair and Hague even cite UK Biobank as a “strong precedent for giving controlled access to anonymised data to third parties.” Yet as The Guardian reported in November, UK Biobank actually shared some of its data with insurance companies without permission and despite making repeated public commitments not to do so.

When the project was announced, in 2002, Biobank promised that data would not be given to insurance companies after concerns were raised that it could be used in a discriminatory way, such as by the exclusion of people with a particular genetic makeup from insurance.

In an FAQ section on the Biobank website, participants were told: “Insurance companies will not be allowed access to any individual results nor will they be allowed access to anonymised data.” The statement remained online until February 2006, during which time the Biobank project was subject to public scrutiny and discussed in parliament.

The promise was also reiterated in several public statements by backers of Biobank, who said safeguards would be built in to ensure that “no insurance company or police force or employer will have access”.

This weekend, Biobank said the pledge – made repeatedly over four years – no longer applied. It said the commitment had been made before recruitment formally began in 2007 and that when Biobank volunteers enrolled they were given revised information.

A Potential Conflict of Interest?

Even if you believe that selling off patient data to fund NHS investments and future economic development is a worthwhile cause, allowing Britain’s biotechnology sector to thrive while also feeding back vital knowledge gleaned from the data back into the NHS, one thing is clear, notes Tom McTague for Unherd — Tony Blair is not a neutral, disinterested voice on this issue:

He is the owner and executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, whose principal donor is the world’s fourth-richest man, Larry Ellison. Now, Ellison is the owner of Oracle, the giant Silicon Valley firm which is trying to become the world’s most important online medical data company using its cloud technology.

When Blair says selling NHS data makes sense for Britain, he might be right, but the fact that his company receives hundreds of millions of pounds in donations from a tech plutocrat trying to build the Amazon of online medical records should at least be acknowledged. Then, we can judge the merits of his ideas for ourselves.

The Larry Ellison Foundation’s IRS return from 2022 showed that Oracle’s founder and chief technology officer donated $33.83 million to the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) in 2021 and plans to provide another $49.37 million in the near future. Ellison’s foundation also appears as a donor on the TBI’s most recent set of accounts filed [PDF] at Companies House. The ties between the two do not end there: TBI’s executive vice-president of Strategy and Partnerships, Awo Ablo, also happens to sit on Oracle’s board.

The Larry Ellison Foundation has also teamed up with TBI on a number of Africa-based initiatives, all relating to digital vaccine records and certification. From a November 2020 Oracle press release:

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) and Oracle have brought cloud technology to Africa to manage public health programs. Initially, GhanaRwanda, and Sierra Leone will use the new Oracle Health Management System to create electronic health records for their vaccination programs for yellow fever, HPV, polio, measles, and COVID-19, as soon as that vaccine is distributed to Africa. TBI and Oracle are in discussions with more than thirty other countries in AfricaAsiaEurope, and North America that are evaluating using the same cloud system to manage their COVID-19 vaccination programs.

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) and Oracle have brought cloud technology to Africa to manage public health programs. Initially, GhanaRwanda, and Sierra Leone will use the new Oracle Health Management System to create electronic health records for their vaccination programs for yellow fever, HPV, polio, measles, and COVID-19, as soon as that vaccine is distributed to Africa. TBI and Oracle are in discussions with more than thirty other countries in AfricaAsiaEurope, and North America that are evaluating using the same cloud system to manage their COVID-19 vaccination programs.

As The Register reports, Blair has known Ellison since his time in Downing Street, when “Oracle became a significant supplier of technology to the government”:

In fact, Oracle still runs more than half of the UK central government’s financial and planning software, including the Department for Work & Pensions, Ministry of Justice, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Cabinet Office, Home Office, HM Treasury, and Ministry of Defence.

The Home Office migrated to Oracle during Blair’s tenure as prime minister. In 2006, a damning NAO said the department’s inability to deliver its accounts on time were down to problem with the system. Once a fix was implemented, it led to an adjustment of the bank account and creditor balances by £67 million ($85 million), according to Parliamentary records.

Blair’s financial ties with Ellison clearly represents at least a potential conflict of interest and one that should be at least disclosed in any interview, article or report discussing Blair’s calls for NHS patient data to be sold to third party companies — which could, of course, include Oracle. Last year, Oracle bought the US electronic health records giant Cerner last year for $28 billion. The company’s ultimate goal is to build a united national health database amalgamating thousands of separate hospital databases.

And lest we forget, Tony Blair is no stranger to conflicts of interest. In September 2016, he closed down his consultancy firm, Tony Blair Associates, and two related companies, Windrush Ventures and Firerush Ventures, following repeated allegations of influence peddling and tax avoidance. Months later, an op-ed in Huffington Post described Blair as “the poster child for influence peddling by high profiled former Western politicians.” In 2014, the Australian Financial Review noted that his consulting work had “raised questions” about conflicts of interest “from the beginning”:

In 2008, Blair, in his role as a quartet diplomat, persuaded the Israeli government to allow a Qatari-owned mobile phone company, which was then called Wataniya Telecom, to operate in the West Bank. Wataniya’s parent company was a client of JPMorgan Chase, which employs Blair as an adviser.

Another deal he pushed in his quartet role involved the development of an oil field operated by British Gas, another JPMorgan client, off the coast of Gaza.

Blair would not comment specifically on his personal finances or on some details of his consulting relationships, but his staff was adamant the deals were diplomatic priorities and Blair had been unaware of the JPMorgan links.

He has contracts with dictators around the world, including $7 million per year to promote the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he receives $60,000 a month plus 2% of any deals from a Saudi oil company connected to the Saudi ruling family, he has a contract with the ruler of Kuwait with an estimated remuneration of $40 million, and he has used his two “charities” as a calling card to lay the foundation for his personal business activities while he was acting as a “selfless” official peace negotiator in the Middle East.

But while the healthcare data landscape in the US is heavily fragmented and siloed, the UK’s National Health Service boasts the largest repository of health data in the world. Oracle was among bidders for a five-year tender to manage the NHS’ federated data platform, which was ultimately won by the CIA-linked US spyware firm Palantir.As WIRED UK magazine reported in 2019, Amazon, Google and the rest of Silicon Valley all wanted to get their hands on the data trove. Unsurprisingly, patients were less keen on the idea:

Careful use of health data could save lives, cut costs of delivering health care and even become a nice little earner for the NHS – indeed, an EY analysis that’s frequently touted by the government suggests opening up the vaults could earn the underfunded public health organisation as much as £9.6 billion annually. But the tradeoffs could be our privacy, letting big tech further monetise medicine, and locking hospitals and clinics into expensive tech systems that will cost us more in the long run.

What has ensued since then is a string of scandals over NHS England’s management of patient data. In the summer of 2021, executives at NHS England came up with an ingenious plan to digitally scrape the general practice data of up to 55 million patients and share it with any private third parties willing to pay for it. NHS England allowed patients to opt out of the scheme; they just didn’t bother telling them about it until three weeks before the deadline, presumably because if they had, millions of patients would have opted out.

When the FT broke the story, a scandal erupted, especially when it was revealed that the government had already shared UK hospital data and medical records with over 40 pharmaceutical, consultancy and data companies worldwide, including McKinsey & Company, KPMG, Novavax, AstraZeneca, Experian and companies co-founded by the Sackler family. NHS England officials responded by shelving the scheme, saying they needed to focus on reaching out to patients and reassuring them their data is safe. That didn’t happen.

Instead, the Sunak government handed management of NHS patient data to Palantir, a company whose client list includes the US military, intelligence agencies and ICE, as well as the armed forces of the UK, Israel and other western countries, and whose co-founder and current chairman of the board, Peter Thiel, recently described the British public’s affection for the NHS as “Stockholm Syndrome.”

When the deal was announced in November last year, both the government and Palantir insisted that patient data was in safe hands and would not be sold to third parties. Yet within little more than two months, a former prime minister (Blair) and a former Conservative Party leader (Hague) are calling for exactly that.

 

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37 comments

  1. .Tom

    Yesterday in Links there was a great photo of a demonstration placard reading “With liberals like these who needs fascists?” I see now how that can make a fine rubric name here at NC.

    Reply
    1. JonnyJames

      Exaclty. When analyzing policy, both the so-called Labour Party and the so-called Conservative Party are firmly right-wing, authoritarian. In Newspeak terms, the “Labour” party is staunchly anti-labour and pro-oligarchy and pro-kleptocracy.

      There is no left or center. Same with the D and R parties in the US.. But we call that “meaningful choice” and “democracy”.

      Reply
  2. Petra

    In all fairness, what is overlooked are the potential benefits of precision health. So, integrating different medical information across a diverse population, there are validated methods to predict risk and onset of certain diseases and minimize side effects of medications, or tell whether a medication will work with this cancer and this patient. When data is transferred, it’s often in the form of aggregated statistics .

    Reply
    1. sleeplessintokyo

      Ah yes: “often”.”
      As for “overlooked” the article actually mentioned it multiple times.

      What is overlooked is just how easy re-identification of de-identified data has become.

      Reply
      1. Polar Socialist

        If we’re not talking about textual health records, but about time series of different measurements, they can be re-identified* only by people with more of the data in their possession if even a half decent anonymization has been performed.

        I work with people who use UK biobank data daily in their analyses, and frankly my doubts are much more about whether the current generation of researchers can do anything actually usable with the data.

        I mean real researchers, not the Big Pharma – for them it’s mostly about seeing if they can save some money by having a “virtual cohorts” to compare the medication effect against, and that won’t really benefit humanity.

        The current biomedical science is almost completely about regression analysis and machine learning with bigger and bigger datasets, yet the actual tangible benefits of that research still remain more elusive than anyone is willing to admit.

        All that said, I don’t approve personal data being sold – or released for free for that matter – without explicit consent of the data subject.

        * not even dependent on your definition of re-identification. In a lot of the literature on the issue identification equals “unique record”, even if no-one knows who’s record it is. The simplest k-anonymization already deals with that.

        Reply
        1. Revenant

          Medical data is a rather vague term. You will learn a lot about a person from their doctors’ notes on them but, unless those notes were taken as a case history in a teaching hospital, you won’t learn about medicine and it is vanishingly unlikely you will learn anything to advance medical knowledge – unless you were the physician taking the notes.

          Conversely, ask the computer to rummage through the collective basement of the NHS and it will find an awful lot of damaged and missing and mislabelled data and the occasional dead rat. The unstructured data from patient files won’t uncover new relationships that can lead to new treatments. These studies are retrospective, observational studies with poor quality data at best and at worst they are statistical fishing expeditions. We already have robust data to show that dealing with social determinants of ill health pays great dividends but sadly those are dividends to the afflicted rather than to private enterprise and so austerity continues….

          There are only rare islands of NHS practice where clinical care and academic rigour produce comprehensive patient datasets with secure baselines and clear enrolment criteria and enable the study of effects. Until the entire NHS is run as a continuous clinical study (and I can shoot bacon out of the sky), we won’t learn very much from pan-NHS data but we will have broken the doctor-patient bond with more intrusive data gathering and more breach of confidence.

          The most important data are the ones at the foot of the patient’s bed and instead we have imported US healthcare IT systems that get in the way of clinical staff acting on these data. In the paper age, inattentive nurses and doctors would “chart the patient to death”, never realising the bigger picture from the data. Having to enter it into the data maw is unlikely to help – the system will just assume these deaths are natural because that is the widespread trend! There is no meaningful feedback loop beyond patient and ward staff except in terms of the occasional malpractice claim (this is a genuine great problem with the NHS and potentially more tractable to IT – what if every patient had a named manager for their care, so the managers had a taste of front line responsibility rather than faceless bureaucratic privileges…?).

          More fundamentally, medicine is about treating the patient, not the disease, and about observation and practical care. Medicine is not industrial drug development. Randomised clinical trials are a tool for proving the effect of some but not all interventions. Hauling in NHS data like a trawler’s net will not improve patient care or the one-patient-at-a-time advance of clinical practice and at the same time it will not improve the NHS’s ability to trial drugs or devices.

          It is one big grift by Big Tech. It is crypto for gullible altruists (rather than effective altruists) who think it might heal the sick.

          That’s my view, as the son of a doctor (youngest consultant in the NHS in 1946, not yet 30) and a tech VC and biotech CEO. I have opted out of the NHS data sharing but for how much longer will it be permitted….

          Reply
  3. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Nick.

    From late November, I have become involved with the trade body representing foreign banks operating in the City, including their engagement with Labour. What you report is the tip of the iceberg.

    Labour’s leader and its Treasury team told us that “the City is a force for good” and “Labour has the City’s back” and “every day, every month and every year of a Labour government, it will maintain its credibility with the markets and enhance relations with investors”, but this does not include a rapprochement with the EU, which is what most City firms want. This includes a balanced budget, if not a budget surplus, and funding solely from tax.

    Labour would like the City to fund its programme,partner at all levels of government and second staff to all levels of government, including economic development, education and land use planning. It sees no role for unions and civil society. Labour’s definition of “an active state” is where the government “is stable and ensures all the levers pull in the same direction”.

    Labour is not interested in “opposition for opposition’s sake” and “has moved on from student t shirt politics”.

    Blair’s team, which has many young former civil servants, and Mandelson are working on Labour’s “bomb proof” manifesto. They have banksters from Barclays, HSBC, Citi, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan and staff from private equity on secondment.

    Later this month, we have a session with the Labour health and development leads, Wes Streeting and Lisa Nandy. Labour is keen to mobilise City investment and expertise to reform healthcare and overseas development.

    Streeting is a protege and more of Mandelson and has the Blair and Mandelson machine in his corner for the succession to Starmer, which many blairites hope will be sooner rather than later.

    One hopes the NC community based in the benighted kingdom are inspired by what I report.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Thatcher cited Tony Blair as her greatest accomplishment. Here in the US Nikki Haley has recently said that Thatcher was one of her inspirations. Haley also wants a digital ID for all internet users and when governor was big on public/private partnerships like the rest of our local business Republicans. When President Bill Clinton made a joke (funny because true) “we’re the Eisenhower Republicans” versus the Gingrich Reagan Republicans.

      Of course Blair is surely a lot smarter than Haley but character wise they all seem to be Thatcher’s children. The Gingrich Repubs wanted to drown government in the bathtub but the Thatcher uniparty pols see it as a giant cookie jar.

      Reply
      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, C.

        The Grantham grocer and her heirs sold the family silver, to quote Super Mac. With Brexitannia not making anything anyone wants, there’s only the state to loot, defraud etc.

        The Blairs live a few miles away, having tasted country living at nearby Chequers, and are buying more country retreats. They live in John Gielgud’s former home. Laurence Olivier lived nearby, too.

        Buckinghamshire is home to Pinewood. Elstree, Shepperton and Wembley studios are in neighbouring counties.

        The former estates of the Washington and Drayton, as in Magnolia, families are to the north of Buckinghamshire.

        Reply
    2. Hastalavictoria

      T-Shirt member sites have been following Starmer’s Labour’s trajectory very closely (personell etc.) for the last few years and predicting the outcome Not hard, if you look at who funded Starmer’s campaign and that of others.

      Many thanks though for the detail.

      Reply
    3. Roger Boyd

      Blair also employs the oh so woke unelected ex head of Finland (she got the job when a minor scandal took down the elected head) who got Finland into NATO in her short and party-heavy (of the dancing and drinking kind) rule. The Finns will rue the day that woman got her hands on the reins of power.

      Reply
      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Roger.

        When I heard of her hire, I thought London clubland would be happy.

        I was surprised by her hire as I thought the big money for selling out was easing, at least in Brexitannia. Have you seen how cheap David Lammy is? Bargain basement whore for Zionists.

        Reply
    4. CA

      Labour would like the City to fund its programme,partner at all levels of government and second staff to all levels of government, including economic development, education and land use planning. It sees no role for unions and civil society. Labour’s definition of “an active state” is where the government “is stable and ensures all the levers pull in the same direction”.

      [ What a revelatory and important comment. Thank you. ]

      Reply
    5. Nick Corbishley Post author

      Thanks, Colonel, for adding all this extra colour and detail. It is truly a bleak choice facing British voters at the next election.

      Reply
      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Nick.

        I need to write about the organisers of these meetings, the Labour in the City network, typical out of touch PMC. Blairite to the core.

        Reply
    6. Paul Art

      A small infodote -Lisa Nandy’s father is from Calcutta, India. He was considered a “colored communist” at one point early in his life (from Wikipedia). Lisa has said that he father considers her “Right Wing”. Had a laugh reading this.

      Reply
      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Paul.

        Plus she appeals to blue or bluekip Labour, which helped fend off Starmer’s desire to sack her last year.

        Her maternal grandfather was a Liberal MP.

        Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘When the deal was announced in November last year, both the government and Palantir insisted that patient data was in safe hands and would not be sold to third parties.’

    Don’t do it! Don’t believe them! A bit of history first. Back in the 80s here in Oz they tried to introduce the Australia Card which was nothing less than a national identity card. It fizzled out so right after they came up with a beefed up Tax File Number. It will be private and confidential they said. Only the Tax Office and Social Security will be able to use that number they said. Of course in a very short order of time every businessman and his dog was using that number and even video stores would demand that number as a proof of identity-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_file_number

    Reply
    1. Paul Art

      Very similar to the “Aadhar Card” in India. You need to provide copies of it to get internet service and phone service. Good luck if you are traveling in India and want a local phone connection. You cannot get an Aadhar card unless you live in India for a lengthy period of time which even with my annual travels there I could not meet. I have always had to use my Mom’s card but recently I discovered an “Aadhar Card Assistance” expert who for a fee managed to get me the card in about 5 days, ROTFL!

      Reply
    1. Sue inSoCal

      Z- Thanks for that! It is quite appropriate! I’ve been watching United Health ready to pounce in the NHS privatization debacle. What came to mind immediately was “We’re the richest country with no healthcare ready to tear down yours. Please to meetchoo, won’t you guess our name…”

      Reply
    2. anahuna

      Very pointed.

      Can’t say I agree with the final anti-mask sentiment, but they’re the wrong kind of masks anyway.

      Reply
  5. divadab

    “Why Is Tony Blair So Keen for the UK’s National Health Service to Sell Off Its Patients’ Health Data to Private Companies?”

    Because he’s corrupt money-grubbing self-dealing scum? And he still has a great deal of influence in the “Labour” Party of cowardly cipher Kier Starmer and his gang of newts?

    I lived in the UK in the seventies and I cannot believe what has become of the party of Tony Benn. Nor what has become of the Guardian – which now has MI6 agents ON STAFF and writing pro-war bumph. The rot is deep……

    Reply
    1. Paul Art

      All this is so dreadful to read, depressing and heart breaking. The Duopoly seems alive and working well in the UK also despite them having a Parlimentary system and multiple party representation. All this must warm the cockles of the Corporate Dem’s hearts like the Podesta brothers watching from across the pond. It is certainly hard not to sincerely hope to see the day when a true “Stalin” will arise from the ashes of the left to take these Corporate water carriers to the cleaners. All we have is a faux one in Trump.

      Reply
  6. JonnyJames

    Thank you for keeping the spotlight on that slimy Tony Blair:

    Conflicts of interest, insider knowledge, and abuse. After the NHS is fully privatized, there will be almost no difference between the US and UK, except for regional accents.

    If the “rule of law” were not a cruel joke, Tony Blair would be in HMP Belmarsh and Julian Assange would be free, publishing and reporting high crimes of state. Alas…

    Reply
    1. Sue inSoCal

      Thank you Nick (and Colonel Smithers).

      I recall the protest signs after 9/11: BLIAR. And of course we had our own wackos here with their “own reality” who got extremely wealthy. (That includes Al Gore, btw. Savior of climate. Eye roll.)

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/11/03/blood-and-gore-making-a-killing-on-anti-carbon-investment-hype/?sh=432d091032dc

      Yes, JonnyJames, we are getting there. It’s not just the NHS. The austerity in the UK has led to the same issues as its, uh, former colony. Won’t you guess our name…

      Reply
  7. Roger Boyd

    Blair was always bought and paid for by the rich, masquerading as a Labour leader. He did love those vacations with billionaires whilst being prime minister. Then afterwards the very profitable gig for the dictator of one of the “stans”. A classic case of the sociopathic social climber. Starmer will turn out just the same, after helping destroy the greatest hope for British workers in decades – Corbyn. Grifters will grift. From what I have read Ellison is also a horrible human being.

    Reply
    1. CA

      “Starmer will turn out just the same, after helping destroy the greatest hope for British workers in decades – Corbyn.”

      Important and distressing, but Tony Blair also aimed to ruin Jeremy Corbyn from the beginning of Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/2010/feb/24/revealed-deal-between-murdoch-blair

      February 24, 2010

      Revealed: the deal between Murdoch and Blair
      Lance Price’s new book gives an insight into the relationship between News International and New Labour
      By Andrew Sparrow – Guardian

      Reply
      1. CA

        https://www.theguardian.com/media/2003/feb/11/iraqandthemedia.news

        February 11, 2003

        Murdoch Backs ‘Courageous’ Blair Over Iraq
        By Julia Day – Guardian

        Rupert Murdoch has given his full backing to war, praising George Bush as acting “morally” and “correctly” and describing Tony Blair as “full of guts” for going out on a limb in his support for an attack on Iraq.

        The media tycoon, who has developed a close relationship with the prime minister, said he was full-square behind Mr Bush and Mr Blair, who are now facing critical opposition from Germany and France over war.

        Mr Murdoch described the prime minister’s stance as “extraordinarily courageous” but branded the Labour party as a hotbed of “knee-jerk anti-Americanism”…

        Reply
        1. Anonymous 2

          In the run up to Iraq, Murdoch was reportedly on the phone to Blair every day ‘holding Blair’s feet to the fire’.

          Just to make sure presumably.

          Reply
    2. Paul Art

      Corbyn does not have what Nader calls “Fire in the belly”. The man shows a complete lack of guile, cunning and a killer instinct a leader needs to surround, siege and kill the social wreckers in his own party.

      Reply

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