Thursday, January 10, 2019


Part Eleven | 2000-2002 

'TONY BLAIR has the worst record as a Parliamentarian of any Prime Minister since 1969 and treats the Commons as his "poodle" says a think tank.

A report published today by the Right-wing Centre for Policy Studies recommends sweeping changes to the workings of Westminster. It says the executive is too powerful at the expense of the Commons. MPs, especially select committees, should get new powers to scrutinise the Government's work.

Publication coincides with Mr Blair's struggle to reassert his authority after publicity blunders culminating in his mauling by the Women's Institute on Wednesday. The report's author, the Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, said: "Mr Blair pays little attention to the House of Commons, voting and speaking much less than any of his predecessors."

Mr Blair had the worst voting record of any prime minister since Harold Wilson.' 

Benedict Brogan Blair Treats Commons As Poodle; The Telegraph, 12.06.2000

'..As the plane started to land, Blair relaxed a little bit, leaned back in his chair. Someone had told me that he once had a fear of flying, and he confessed it was true: "I just made myself fly and fly and fly again until I got out of it." One of his aides, now listening, said, "Oh, you told us you used to have to drink a lot before getting on a plane." Blair pulled a face, "Hey, are you my press officer, or are you not?" More laughter. Blair looked in mock horror at my tape recorder: "Is that thing still running?"

I switched it off, and said, "OK, now you can tell me all your secrets."

"I don't know any secrets," he said....'

Anne Applebaum Tony Blair's Quiet, Normal Life; Slate, 17.04.2001 

'TONY BLAIR sounds charming, really charming - or so many people have found, including myself. He also sounds bogus, deeply bogus - or so many people have found, including myself. His style is unusually hard to fathom: at the same time honest and open, with an attractive laugh, yet ingratiating and secretive, with a marked unwillingness to give straight replies...'

Andrew Gimson The Public School Smarm Of Blair; The Spectator, 05.05.2001

'A TEENAGER has been booted out of Tony Blair's old school and three more suspended after a series of underage booze benders.

The 17-year-old boy was expelled after being caught drinking in Edinburgh's posh Fettes College for the fourth time.

The other teenage tipplers, aged between 17 and 18, were suspended after they were nabbed on a city centre pub crawl by teachers from the exclusive £15,000-a-year boarding school. One school insider last night claimed pupils as young as 13 down bottles of vodka and rum in the dorms while others escape for wild nights out...

The revelations come just six months after a 15-year-old boy was suspended for sending e-mail porn to classmates.

And last year a sixth-former was expelled for taking drugs.

The teenage school insider claimed some house masters "covered up" drinking to protect the image of their house.

He added: "Little action seems to be taken to stop people buying alcohol.

Younger boys of 13 and 14 get the older ones to buy them spirits. There is no search procedure.

The younger ones will drink a quarter bottle of spirits while the older ones have five or six pints.

They drink in dorms, studies, or the toilets."

But headmaster Michael Spens last night denied the claims boozing was rife...'  

Graham Tibbetts Booze Pupil Booted From Blair School; The Mirror, 28.05.2001

'The 2001 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 7 June 2001, four years after the previous election.. to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the governing Labour Party was re-elected to serve a second term in government with another landslide victory, returning 413 of the 418 seats won by the party in the previous general election...' (Wikipedia)

'The War in Afghanistan.. followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of October 7, 2001. The U.S. was supported initially by the United Kingdom and Canada, and later by a coalition of over 40 countries, including all NATO members. The war's public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. The War in Afghanistan is the second longest war in United States history...' (Wikipedia) 

'THE son of a Scots computer tycoon and two of his classmates have been expelled from Tony Blair's old school for taking drugs.

David Simpson Jnr., 18, was kicked out of Edinburgh's exclusive Fettes College along with QC's son Guy Thomas and Ruaridh Osborne.

Simpson's father, Dr David Simpson, was one of the founders of  Silicon Glen and was awarded the CBE for services to the electronics industry.

The sixth-years were ordered to leave the £11,000 a year private school following two separate incidents in the same week.

Thomas, 17, was expelled after failing a drugs test on Monday.

He only transferred to Fettes last year after leaving exclusive Millfield School in Somerset.

A friend said: "Guy was in in Belgium and teachers thought he may have been drinking alcohol. He was then asked to take a drugs test which he did but he failed that and was expelled." 

Simpson and Osborne, 17, were found with drugs at a school disco.

Their classmate said: "The other two were caught in toilets on Saturday night and were searched. A couple of teachers found a small bag of cannabis and some rolling papers on them."...'

James Moncur Tycoon Son Is Expelled Over Drugs; Daily Record, 06.02.2002

'A GIRL who blew the whistle on three pupils expelled from posh Fettes College for taking drugs was also thrown out yesterday.

The 17-year-old was hauled before senior teachers at Tony Blair's old school for breaching secrecy rules by talking to the press...

Yesterday, one of the boys kicked out for smoking cannabis demanded a second chance, citing the "Prince Harry defence".

Guy Thomas.. said his treatment was unfair because he did not smoke during term time...

Thomas has offered to pay for regular drugs tests for the rest of his time at Fettes.

And he claims "an awful lot of people" use cannabis at the school...'

Sally McLean Fettes Expels Girl Over Drugs Leak; Daily Record, 07.02.2002

'TEACHER Catherine Cecil's seemingly courageous fight against terminal cancer won her the respect of everyone at Edinburgh's exclusive Fettes College.

Her sparkling sense of humour earned her friends. She even posed for the private school's magazine, The Fettesian, gleefully holding a book titled Nude Party Games.

But, Cecil, 33, has now resigned in disgrace from prime Minister Tony Blair's old school after it was discovered she had been living a lie for four years.. and had faked having cancer.

The Irish-born physics teacher went to extraordinary lengths to keep up the bizarre pretence in front of teachers and pupils that she was dying from leukaemia.

She appeared to faint during classes and even shaved her head to simulate the side effects of harrowing chemo-therapy treatment.

Headmaster Michael Spens said he was "shocked" at her deceit...'

Brian Lironi Fettes Teacher Kicked Out For Faking Cancer; Sunday Mail, 17.02.2002 

'A TEENAGER shot a classmate after a playground feud at Tony Blair's old school, it was revealed last night.

The 17-year-old calmly pulled an airgun from his bag and blasted his rival in the chest in front of other pupils at exclusive Fettes College, Edinburgh.

But the school authorities failed to report the incident. Instead, headmaster Michael Spens merely suspended the guilty boy for two weeks. Insiders at the £11,000-a-year college told of the incident and said the victim was taken to the school's medical centre for emergency treatment, where staff initially feared he was seriously injured. But he was given the all-clear...

Michael Matheson, deputy justice spokesman for the SNP, said it was outrageous that such an incident.. wasn't reported to the police.

He said: "Questions must be asked if a pupil is allowed to pull an air pistol out at school and deliberately target a schoolmate. I am extremely surprised that staff at Fettes College chose not to call the police over this matter."...'

James Moncur Shooting At Blair's Public School; Daily Record, 01.05.2002 

'..Nobody, so far as I know, has suggested that Blair is like this because he went to a public school, Fettes College, on the outside of Edinburgh. He owes a vast amount to the place. His charm and his bogusness, his ability to put people at their ease, his exceptional.. appeal to Conservative voters, his sure touch with the Establishment, his scorn for established institutions, his pose as a man of the people, his love of play-acting, his ability to conceal his real thoughts: all these might still be found if the Prime Minister had never gone near Fettes, but all can plausibly be shown, in the form they take with him, to owe much to his time there...'

Andrew Gimson The Public School Smarm Of Blair; The Spectator, 05.05.2001   

Tuesday, January 08, 2019


Part Ten | 1992-1998

'..When Kinnock resigned after a fourth consecutive Conservative victory in the 1992 general election, Blair became Shadow Home Secretary under John Smith...

...John Smith died suddenly in 1994 of a heart attack, Blair defeated John Prescott and Margaret Beckett in the subsequent leadership election and became Leader of the Opposition...

...He inherited the labour leadership at a time when the party was ascendant over the Conservatives in the opinion polls.. Blair's election as leader saw labour support surge higher still...' (Wikipedia)

Ex-Pupil Sues Public School

FETTES College, the Edinburgh public school which educated the Labour leader, Tony Blair, confirmed yesterday that it has been sued for £20,000 by a pupil expelled for smoking marijuana. The school has until Friday to respond in the Court of Session.

James Delesclefs, now aged 18, from Edinburgh, is suing head teacher Malcolm Thyne, three housemasters and the school governors. He is believed to be complaining about the way he was treated by staff as they tried to get him to confess to smoking marijuana in 1992. Five other boys were also expelled.

The Guardian, October 9th 1995

...Ronald William Vernon Selby Wright, minister of the church: born Glasgow 12 June 1908; Minister of the Canongate, Edinburgh, and of Edinburgh Castle 1936-77 (Emeritus); Extra Chaplain to the Queen in Scotland 1961-63, 1978-95, Chaplain to the Queen 1963-78; CVO 1968; Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1972-73; Chaplain to the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland, Royal Company of Archers 1973-93; died Edinburgh 24 October 1995.

The Independent, October 24th 1995

Honest Insight Into The Public School System


THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT: The Biography of Anthony Chenevix-Trench

By Mark Peel...

..When I was head of English at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, I heard many stories about C-T brought back from rugby fixtures at Fettes.

Cupboards that had once contained classics primers now contained empty bottles. Playing host at a concert at Fettes, C-T had fallen asleep, his head resting on the shoulder of his guest, the headmistress of an Edinburgh girls' school.

There were stories of the wrong boys receiving corporal punishment from a man who didn't seem to know what day of the week it was.

The real power in a public school resides with the housemasters, and in 1978 two of them went to Fettes governors with the complaints of appalled parents about the ferocity of the beatings administered to their sons.   

The governors retained corporal punishment, with certain checks, but C-T was persuaded to announce his retirement, as from August 1979, as soon as possible. He died in June...

Tony Blair, who rebelled against aspects of life at Fettes is sending his son to a grant-maintained secondary school outwith local authority control, which suggests that Blair, if and when he becomes Prime Minister, may favour for a model a type of school that draws on the best values of the independent and state sectors. Maybe Anthony Chenevix-Trench has left a mark, other than weals on buttocks.

Lorn Macintyre; Scottish Herald, July 29th 1996 

'..Aided by the unpopularity of John Major's Conservative government.. "New Labour" won a landslide victory at the 1997 general election, ending eighteen years of Conservative Party rule, with the heaviest Conservative defeat since 1906...

Blair became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 2 May 1997, serving concurrently as First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Labour Party...' (Wikipedia)

On This Day : May 2 1997

'..This afternoon Mr Blair announced the leading members of his first cabinet.

Gordon Brown is chancellor of the exchequer, Robin Cook is foreign secretary and Jack Straw, home secretary.

John Prescott will head a "super-ministry", combining parts of the departments of environment and transport, and will also act as deputy prime minister..

Labour held an election party last night at the Royal Festival Hall.

Tony Blair managed to snatch a few hours sleep before emerging from his Islington home just before midday with his wife Cherie to be greeted by neighbours and well-wishers.

Crowds lined the route waving flags as he was driven to Buckingham Palace for an audience with the Queen...' (1997: Labour routs Tories in historic election)

Blair's School Mentor Was A Sex Abuser

by Marcello Mega

A SCOTTISH pastor who was described as the "spiritual mentor" to Tony Blair when he was at Fettes College has been revealed as a sexual abuser of boys. The Very Rev Ronald Selby Wright, a senior figure in the Church of Scotland, was a persistent paedophile.

The revelation has emerged from the private diaries of a deceased member of a prominent Scottish family who was able to observe Selby Wright's activities at the Edinburgh school and elsewhere. The diaries have been shown to The Sunday Times on condition of anonymity...

He was chaplain at Fettes College from 1957-60 and from 1979-83 and had a particularly close association with the school. He was later made an honorary Fettesian.

Blair, who attended Fettes from 1966-71, has not spoken about Selby Wright.. The Sunday Times's sources say, however, that, like generations of Fettesians, he would confide in the minister they all knew as "Uncle Ronnie" and often invited him for tea in his room.

Robert Philp, Blair's tutor and official historian of Fettes College, said at the time of Blair's leadership election: "When Blair was having trouble with the establishment, he would confide in Ronald. He was a sounding board. I think there were a lot of seeds for his religious faith sown there."

Selby Wright was also interviewed at the time of Blair's election as Labour leader. He remembered that the young Blair had been on at least one summer camp and had joined him as an assistant for an excursion after leaving Fettes.

"I liked him very much," said the minister. "He has strong principles. He came on camp with us. We had a couple of boats and a lot of walking and a lot of games, but very strict discipline. When he left Fettes I was extremely upset."

Behind the popular face, Selby Wright had a darker side. In the diaries, the author writes at one point: "Poor Ronnie, he's had more of his hot bath treatment. I do hope he's learnt his lesson this time" - a reference to the crude and painful methods once used to combat venereal disease.

"It would be better if he stuck to boys from his own background," continue the diaries. Young homosexuals from poor areas were considered fair game by the upper-middle classes because they were allegedly extremely promiscuous and likely to be lured by money or gifts...

...Although many Establishment figures close to him suspected he was homosexual, his liaisons with boys remained a closely guarded secret.

The Sunday Times, May 25th 1997 / spotlight on abuse

While I was researching an earlier book, I interviewed someone of seminal importance to the events that led to the exposure of Blunt as a Soviet agent, who also threw light on the perverse and shadowy world in which William McGrath operated, and important people cloaked his activities. I asked my source about the history of the McGrath-Cunningham-Blunt connection.

A. It is wrong to pinpoint Kincora. There were other homes in Northern Ireland from which rich people could pick up young boys and take them out. The person who knew most about the procedure was Sir Knox Cunningham...

Martin Dillon God And The Gun (1998)

Bombing of Iraq [Operation Desert Fox]

The December 1998 bombing of Iraq.. was a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from 16 December 1998, to 19 December 1998, by the United States and United Kingdom. The contemporaneous justification for the strikes was Iraq's failure to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions and its interference with United Nations Special Commission inspectors.

The operation was a major flare-up in the Iraq disarmament crisis. The stated goal of the cruise missile and bombing attacks was to strike military and security targets in Iraq that contributed to Iraq's ability to produce, store, maintain and deliver weapons of mass destruction. The bombing campaign had been anticipated since February 1998 and incurred wide-ranging criticism and support, at home and abroad... (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, January 01, 2019


Part Nine | 1980-1988

'In the early 1980s, he was involved in Labour politics in Hackney South and Shoreditch.. He put himself forward as a candidate for the Hackney council elections of 1982 in the Queensbridge ward, a safe Labour area, but was not selected.

In 1982, Blair was selected as the Labour Party candidate for the safe Conservative seat of Beaconsfield, where there was a forthcoming by-election. Although Blair lost the.. by-election and Labour's share of the vote fell by 10 percentage points, he acquired a profile within the party... the age of thirty, he was elected as MP for Sedgefield in 1983, despite the party's landslide defeat at the general election...' (Wikipedia)

Tony Blair's maiden speech in the House of Commons was on July 6th 1983.

Fettes Expels Five Over Drug Incidents

THE headmaster of one of Scotland's leading fee-paying schools refused to comment last night on the allegation that five pupils had been expelled for drug-taking.

However, a Lothian and Borders police spokesman said: "We are aware of this having been informed by the headmaster. However, there is no police involvement and the matter is being dealt with by the headmaster under the college's own disciplinary code."

Mr Cameron Cochrane, headmaster of the £4,000-a-year Fettes College in Edinburgh, said he had just returned from a weekend trip to England and was "sick" of press enquiries about the matter.

He said he would comment at the school in the morning.

The report alleges that five pupils - three boys and two girls - were expelled after they admitted smoking cannabis. The incidents are said to have taken place mainly in the school, with one reported incident outwith the college grounds.

It is claimed that both girls and two of the boys involved had one more year to complete at the school but the fifth was leaving at the end of term. The incidents are said to have been reported by staff members and senior pupils.

The 500 students at Fettes are mainly boarders. The school authorities are now said to be reviewing their health education practices.

Glasgow Herald, July 18th 1983

'..Once elected, Blair's political ascent was rapid. He received his first front-bench appointment in 1984 as assistant Treasury spokesman. In May 1985, he appeared on BBC's Question Time...

In 1987, he stood for election to the Shadow Cabinet, receiving 71 votes...' (Wikipedia)

Note: The first name of Sir Samuel Knox Cunningham in the piece that follows is wrong, seemingly due to a confusion with 'Robin Knox-Johnston'...........

AN IMPORTANT name needs to be added to those Illustrious Ones mentioned in the last Eye who clustered around Anthony Blunt and the gay honeypots of Belfast's streets and council homes.

The name is Sir Robin (sic) Knox Cunningham, an MP and private secretary to Harold Macmillan when the latter was Prime Minister. Sir Robin (sic) was an Orangeman of enormous wealth and fabulous connections who, although neither clever nor Left-wing enough to be part of Blunt's set at Cambridge, nevertheless kept cordial relations with him all his life (Knox Cunningham died in 1976). Blunt christened him "The Muscle Queen" for his prodigious boxing exploits at Cambridge.

Meanwhile, there are rumours in Dublin that a Sunday paper may name the top British civil servants whose names were drawn to the attention of the Terry Cover-Up, the so-called "inquiry" into Kincora which was conducted in secret and which established nothing. One of the civil servants is dead but the other (the one mentioned in the Eye last issue who was convicted of a gross indecency in a London railway station soon after his return from Northern Ireland) is alive and suing.

PS: The editor of Community Care has contacted the Eye to say that shortly after writing a recent article on Kincora all the papers, notes and quotes on his desk were mysteriously stolen. Nothing else was taken. He wonders whether any other journalists have had a similar experience.

Private Eye, February 5th 1988 / spotlight on abuse