Randomness (r_ness) wrote,
Randomness
r_ness

Tony Blair's reputation in Britain is not what it is in America.

The current row over the Save the Children's US branch's award to Tony Blair is a reflection of the difference in reputation the former PM has in the US compared with that in his home country. In America, he's more or less thought of as a loyal friend who brought Britain in to help the United States topple Saddam Hussein, whereas in the UK he's thought of as America's bloody-handed lying stooge who got Britain into a war of America's choosing.

Both of those opinions can be right at the same time, of course.

From http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/save-the-children-staff-furious-over-legacy-award-for-blair-9883094.html:
Save the Children is facing a furious backlash from its own staff for presenting Tony Blair with a “global legacy award”, amid claims the “morally reprehensible” gesture has endangered the charity’s credibility because of continued controversy over the Iraq War.

A glittering ceremony in New York last week saw Mr Blair take the prize for his leadership on international development issues during his time as Prime Minister, but the award has been fiercely opposed by some of the charity’s staff.

Questions of impartiality have also been raised. The charity’s UK chief executive, Justin Forsyth, was a special adviser to Mr Blair for three years, while Jonathan Powell, Mr Blair’s former chief of staff, is currently on its UK board.

A letter signed by almost 200 staff members, which began circulating last weekend, demanded a review of the charity’s decision-making process and insisted on distancing themselves from the prize.

“We consider this award inappropriate and a betrayal to Save the Children’s founding principles and values. Management staff in the region were not consulted about the award and were caught by surprise with this decision,” it said.

Since bringing Britain into the US-led war in Iraq in 2003 despite fierce opposition in parliament and among the public, Mr Blair has been accused of war crimes by peace campaigners. He is expected to be strongly criticised in the report of the Government-appointed Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, which is due to be published next year.

...

A spokeswoman for Save the Children stressed that the award was the decision of the charity’s US arm. “Our staff have strong views on a whole range of issues and people and we respect that diversity of views,” she added.

...

An online petition calling for the charity to revoke the award had gathered more than 87,000 signatures. It said many saw Mr Blair “as the cause of the deaths of countless children”.
From http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/11254583/Save-the-Children-staff-furious-over-morally-reprehensible-award-for-Tony-Blair.html:
Mr Blair was given the award by the charity’s US branch in recognition of his “leadership on international development”, with particular reference to his work on debt relief and the Make Poverty History campaign at the G8 in 2005.
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