The ghastly, creepy letters written to Gaddafi by both Blair and Prince Charles in June 2007 have been published in today’s Times. Unfortunately we can’t link to The Times these days, but if you are able to get a copy, it’s all there. Just make sure you are not far from a suitable bowl when you read it.
Of course Prince Charles doesn’t do such things off his own bat, and bearing in mind that Gaddafi’s coup on September 1st 1969 ousted the ruling Senoussi royal family, HRH can’t have expected the military dictator to have been too impressed by his rank. So Blair, whose own efforts are excruciating (“My wife Cherie was pleased to meet Dr Aisha”), put him up to it. But really. Not only did this flirtation with the master butcher of Libya, the man responsible for the most brutal act of terrorism on British soil, not only did it mean setting aside that monumental evil, alienating the friends and family of Yvonne Fletcher, and watching Blair embrace and fawn around this man in order to get onside, but Blair also dragged in the royal family.
In his letter to His Excellency (Gaddafi), Charles says “I was delighted to see that the work of the British Council, of which I am Vice Patron, is making such an important and positive contribution to teaching in Libya’s universities in partnership with your higher education authorities.”
The contract for the British Council was of course a stitch-up, and presumably too good, too sweet for any other institution but the British Council; the British Council which a few months before had used taxpayers’ money to pay the fees of these “higher education authorities” in their own school in Tripoli, and who almost certainly provided one-to-one instruction for Gaddafi’s daughter Hana also at our expense. Charles could do well to distance himself from this dreadful organisation, and give his support to genuine enterprise and to organisations, such as our universities, with real expertise.
What, for heaven’s sake, is there to recommend the British involvement in this sordid episode? We use public money to hold up a privileged institution so that it can win further contracts for itself while playing “spot the next dictator” and brown-nosing there with the support of the PM, the heir to the throne and all Establishment players. And all this at the expense of the taxpayer, at the expense of any pretence of meritocracy, and at the expense of the feelings of the many who suffered in Libya and worldwide at the hands of this man, and at the expense of the principles which we expect our leaders to represent. Yuck.