Tony Blair may be an admirer of Ukrainian mills, but not on the basis of British ones he's visited

Strange, isn't it, how our former Prime Minister seems so loved everywhere he goes - but not in the country where he won three successive elections

Share
Related Topics

Tony Blair seems to be better loved almost anywhere in the world than he is in the UK. This month, he has been mobbed by an adoring crowd in Vietnam, and given the VIP treatment in Laos, Singapore and the Ukraine, while at home another name has been added to the long list of his detractors.

Tanya de Grunwald runs a website called Graduate Fog, which campaigns against unpaid internships. She has been contacted by an unnamed graduate who was offered a three month unpaid internship in Tony Blair’s office, only to be rejected because he/she could not afford to give up a part time job, whereas another candidate, presumably with very supportive parents, could do five days a week.

In Ukraine, Tony Blair visited a steel works in Dnipropetrovsk – which, as any Kremlinologist knows, was once the main power base of the communist supremo Leonid Brezhnev. A report put out by the Dnipropetrovsk conglomerate Interpipe quotes Blair saying that the Interpipe steel works is one of the most impressive he has ever seen, and “I have visited a huge number of Great Britain mills,” Really? When? There haven’t been “a great many GB mills” since Margaret Thatcher ravaged the steel industry, 30 years ago.

More hurly-Burley

The Tory MP Aidan Burley killed whatever chance he had of achieving ministerial office by being photographed at a Nazi-themed stag party in France, and then by tweeting a comment that trashed the opening ceremony of the Olympics. He has tried to redeem himself, however, by running a campaign to reform trade unions, and now he has won a position on the Works and Pensions Select Committee. The reaction from the PCS, the trade union representing staff in that government department, was less than fulsome. “The fact that this odious little man is still even in Parliament is bad enough, but he is quite obviously not fit to scrutinise the government’s brutal plans for our welfare state,” said a spokesman.

Go easy on Kawczynski...

These days, if an MP so much as breathes, someone is outraged. Far be it from me to defend the Tory, Daniel Kawczynski, who has some strange ideas about Middle East politics, but he is being castigated online because on all 72 train journeys he took between London and his Shrewsbury constituency in the year to April 2012, at taxpayers’ expense, he travelled first class, at an aggregate cost of £3,890. The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, whose North Shropshire constituency is nearby, claimed for 16 journeys, all second class. They cost of £1,384. Mr Kawczynski’s defence is that by booking early he gets a cheaper price. Do the maths and you find that his first class journeys cost £54 each, while Mr Paterson’s second class travel costs £86.50 a time. Mr Kawczynski is not answerable for the vagaries in the cost of rail travel.

... but maybe not on Gove

If anyone wants to get angry about an MP spending taxpayer’s money, a better target might be the £12,540 that, we learnt yesterday, the Education Secretary Michael Gove spent on legal fees in a failed attempt to overturn a decision by the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, who ruled that using private email accounts to discuss departmental business is not a valid way to get around the Freedom of Information Act.

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor’s Letter: The Sussex teenager killed fighting in Syria

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Actor Zac Efron  

Keep your shirt on Zac – we'd all be better for it

Howard Jacobson
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit