Anorak News | Cherie Picking

Cherie Picking

by | 17th, November 2005

‘TO some, the only train Tony Blair has managed to get to run on time is the one marked “Gravy”.

Do you know Summer Holiday? ‘You hum it, and I’ll go on one’

The Register of Members Interests, which lists MPs other interests and financial income outside parliament, shows that Tony’s freebie holiday to Barbados would have cost about £40,000.

Though we have yet to see Tony Blair and Sir Cliff Richard in the same place at the same time – creating no little suspicion that they are one and the same person – we do know that Tony and the Blairios stayed at Cliff’s Caribbean villa last August for 26 nights.

Tony has dutifully entered the holiday in the register. And noted that he made a donation to charity in respect of the cost of the accommodation.

We don’t know how much Tony donated, but we’re sure it was for the estimated £40,000.

And, as the Independent says, Tony has also declared some of his wife’s income. Tony registered royalties from Cherie Blair’s book The Goldfish Bowl: Married to the Prime Minister 1955-1997, and her fees for speaking engagements in Washington, Australia, New Zealand and Florida

We don’t get to learn how much she earned. Although, as the paper reminds us, it’s at least £10,000 – that’s what she reputedly earned for her Australian tour, which raised only £7,000 for charity.

But why has Tony done this? His wife is no elected official. Why does he think we need to know what she earned? Tony’s spokesman says it’s “to err on the side of caution”; and, as the Guardian notes, because the speeches included “some discussion of my wife’s life in 10 Downing Street’.

But Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker says this just proves that Cherie was making money on the back of her husband’s rank. “We now have it in black and white from the PM himself that his wife has been using Number 10 and her connections there to make private profit for herself,” says he.

“This is improper and demeaning for someone in her position. The profit she has made on the back of her connection with Number 10 should now be given to charity.”

Naturally the Telegraph agrees. “Cherie does cash in on No 10 role, admits Blair,” says the paper’s front-page headline.

It reminds us how Cherie earned £20,000-£30,000 for a lecture in Washington that coincided with her husband’s meeting with President Bush. The talk was billed as a “conversation with the wife of Tony Blair”.

In the interests of fairness, Cherie should be afforded the right to defend herself. But we’ve looked at the piggy bank, checked her rates, and decided that to solicit a response from her might bankrupt us…’

Posted: 17th, November 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink