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...'

bbc.co.uk (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)


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