Who is Blair accountable to now?

with 3 comments

The Fourth Estate appear to have been remarkably complacent about scrutinizing Tony Blair’s new post as Middle East special envoy for the ‘Quartet’.
Quartet ready to name Blair Middle East envoy‘. ‘Blair to become Middle East envoy‘. ‘Middle East Quartet discuss Blair as envoy‘.
What exactly is the ‘Middle East Quartet’? According to that source of all wisdom Wikipedia it was ‘established in 2002 as a result of the escalating situation in the Middle East’. Really? So to whom is the Quartet accountable, when does it meet, does it have a budget?
Here things get alot more fuzzy. Its statements appear to be issued by the US Department of State (Condoleeza Rice welcomed Blair’s appointment). Its members are, I think, the foreign ministers / representatives of the US, Russia, EU and UN (i.e. Rice, Sergei Lavrov, Javier Solana and Ban Ki-Moon), although when they speak to one another and how they reach agreement is entirely unclear.
The Guardian’s report suggested the appointment followed a Blair-Bush conversation and that Washington ‘mounted “an enormous push” to ensure Mr Blair got the post’. It came as a surprise, apparently, to the Foreign Office, and Gordon Brown ‘is said to be deeply unhappy with the appointment’ (James Blitz, FT).
And what about Blair’s role? Presumably he’s not doing this for free. What’s he getting paid? What’s his team getting paid? (does he have a team?) Who’s paying it? To whom is he accountable? Will he be reporting to Rice, Ban Ki- Moon, Lavrov, Solana, all four? The bland Quartet statement doesn’t answer these questions.
At first I thought I was just being dumb. Surely I’d missed something. The press must have reported on this.
But no, as far as I can tell (and please disabuse me of this if I’m wrong), we know very little about this de facto group of powers which has no specific remit, no governance structure, and no budget. We know even less about the details of Blair’s appointment.
Is there any chance that Tony Blair is taking his style of sofa government to the world stage?
Please could someone do a little digging?

Written by Martin Moore

June 29th, 2007 at 7:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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3 Responses to 'Who is Blair accountable to now?'

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  1. Martin–you are wrong. So wrong.

    Pete

    29 Jun 07 at 10:41 pm

  2. Pete – please tell me how. As I say in the blog, I’m looking for more information, so if you have some please do let me know

    Martin Moore

    30 Jun 07 at 12:14 pm

  3. No, Martin. You can come the innocent but we know you’re wrong. So wrong.

    Dave

    14 Jul 07 at 2:47 pm

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