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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 November 2011

Tony Blair advises Kazakhstan's dictatorial regime

Ken Douglas

Press reports in the past week have revealed a very close relationship between former Labour prime minister Tony Blair and Nursultan Nazarbayev, the dictatorial ruler of mineral-rich Kazakhstan.

Blair is reportedly earning $13 million a year for advising Nazarbayev who presides over a thoroughly corrupt regime. Nazarbayev rules through a family clique which owns most of the country's wealth. He runs a police state which harasses, imprisons and sometimes kills political activists, tortures prisoners and condemns the majority of its population to poverty (see reports on

The Sunday Telegraph reported on 30 October that Nazarbayev is hoping that Blair can help him win the Nobel Peace Prize!

Apparently Blair's friendship with Nazarbayev began when he allowed him to hold Blair's baby Leo on a state visit to the UK in 2001. He might do well to think of that moment when he considers the fate of the children of oilworkers in Western Kazakhstan during their ongoing strike to improve their horrendous working and living conditions.

Nazarbayev's state forces may have been behind not only the murder of one of the workers' leaders but also the rape and murder of a teenage daughter of another.

But for Blair life is cheap. When he was recalled to the Chilcot Inquiry into the invasion of Iraq, which caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Blair said that it had been worthwhile for the removal of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. What hypocrisy! It only took a few million pounds to buy his approval of a dictatorial regime in Kazakhstan.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Sir Richard Evans, an associate of Blair and the former head of BAE systems, is now chairman of Samruk, the Kazakh state company which owns most of the major companies in Kazakhstan and has about 50 billion in assets.

It comes as no surprise to further learn that the 'Prince of Darkness', Lord Mandelson, has been hired by the company to give speeches at two of its events, praising it for the role it played in rescuing the world economy.

The other two members of the triumvirate at the heart of Blair's 'inner cabinet', his former director of communications and author of the Iraq 'dodgy dossier', Alistair Campbell, and his ex-chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, have also made trips to Astana on behalf of big business.

According to the revelations in the Financial Times (22 October), with the revolutions under way in Tunisia and Egypt, Blair and Campbell advised Nazarbayev to go for an earlier than scheduled election.

He followed their advice and was re-elected with a Stalinist-like 95.55% of the vote. Not surprisingly international observers accused him of blatant rigging of the ballot.

Uncharacteristically silent when asked to comment on his involvement, Campbell is used to playing the poodle to dictatorial regimes, being a former lieutenant of crooked businessman and anti-union proprietor of the Daily Mirror, Robert Maxwell.

Blair and company run their operations, with up to 100 staff, under the name of Tony Blair Associates in a luxury office block in Mayfair. According to the Daily Mirror he is worth at least 15 million and his wealth is set to triple to 45 million next year.

Contrast these self-serving, unprincipled creatures to the 47 Liverpool Labour councillors who were expelled from the Labour Party by Kinnock for the crime of fighting to improve the conditions of ordinary working class people against the vicious neo-liberal policies of Margaret Thatcher.

Blair shared Kinnock's hatred of genuine socialists and is now caught giving advice to a dictator who tramples on all basic democratic rights and socialist opposition in Kazakhstan.

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In The Socialist 2 November 2011:

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Bradford joins the 'Occupy' movement

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No return to hire and fire - Tories consider abolishing more workers' rights

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International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: Elections mask the growing anger from below

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Tony Blair advises Kazakhstan's dictatorial regime

Socialist Party reviews

Battle for Bexley Square

The World's Biggest Bomb

1985 school strike exhibit shows how young people can organise to fight back


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