August 16, 2010

Only Tony Blair could attempt to raise such goodwill from the British population by ‘donating’ the profits from his forthcoming memoirs to a sports centre for injured soldiers. Is this an act of generosity, an attempt to salve his concience or simply a tax deductible donation.

It is impossible to have a view on the legality of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars but this is an insult to the intelligence of the population and the memory of those that have given their lives in two worthless wars. There is no reason why the beneficiaries of this donation shouldn’t receive it happily and benefit in the most appropriate ways but simply the fact that it is made with a fanfare of generosity is totally unnecessary.

Given the speculation about the Blair’s income and wealth, the donation of circa £5m to charity from the former Prime Minister is little more than a bit of tax relief. What is of greater concern is that so many politicians can raise money from their time in the employment of the tax payer and that the needs of injured soldiers has to be met so considerably from charitable donations.

As a nation we are surely going about our priorities the wrong way. Politicians should not be able to benefit personally from these memoirs. It is tax payers who vote for them to hold office and pay for them to represent the country. If they are to be entitled to write about their experiences then these profits should automatically be paid to a government fund for ‘good causes’ in much the same way as the lottery.

If Tony Blair hadn’t donated this money, you can assume that 40% of the income should automatically have gone back to the country in tax anyway.

The other key issue this raises is the reliance on charities and support organisations to raise funds to meet almost essential needs. The British Legion shouldn’t be reliant on anyone other than the government to fund centres for returning injured soldiers. It is the government who decide to send these men into battle and there should be a duty of care on their return that is equivalent to the commitment and bravery they offer to protect the countries interests.

Last updated: August 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm