Wicked Witch slapped down

Thew Wicked Witch has been stopped from going on her junket to Malaysia and has been forced to give the dosh from a telly programme to "charidee". How will she pay for the London mansion, the two Bristol pads and Little Euan and his US alcohol intake?



Cherie gets £40,000 for documentary - but is giving it to charity
By Francis Elliott
26 June 2005

Cherie Blair is to be paid an estimated £40,000 to make a two-hour documentary about living inside Downing Street. The Channel 4 programme is based on her book, The Goldfish Bowl, about the history of No 10's spouses. But on this occasion the Prime Minister's wife will not be pocketing the cash - she has made it clear that the fee will go to charity.

Mrs Blair has also decided not to go ahead with a charity event that included opening a shopping mall in Malaysia. Downing Street confirmed last night that she was "no longer able to attend" a £2,500-a-head dinner at the Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur next month.

Reports of her attendance at the mall's opening beside the TV star David Hasselhoff and Shirley Bassey deepened unease about Mrs Blair's apparent willingness to trade on her husband's position.

The Prime Minister's wife was paid £90,000 for three talks in the US last October and £100,000 for a tour in Australia organised by a cancer charity.

She already faces an investigation from an official anti-sleaze watchdog that is preparing to overhaul the rules governing ministerial conduct to include spouses.

A source close to the Committee on Standards in Public Life was quoted in The Mail on Sunday as saying: "When parish councillors have to declare it if they receive so much as a free cabbage from a local resident we have a moral duty to act when the Prime Minister's wife is earning five-figure sums primarily by her association with No 10."

Her latest venture is unlikely to cause as much controversy, especially since she is donating her fee to charity. Provisionally entitled Married to the Prime Minister, it will show Mrs Blair interviewing her surviving predecessors: Clarissa Eden, Mary Wilson and Norma Major. She will also speak to former colleagues and friends of dead prime ministers and their spouses.

Great Ormond Street Hospital in London reportedly agreed to a request from Mrs Blair to take a documentary crew there as part of the programme, although the occasion was billed as a private visit.

Several staff at the hospital were reportedly unhappy. "We are not talking about Princess Diana here. This was for a commercial documentary which is going to make someone a lot of money," one staff member was quoted as saying.
Another little gem from the press:



Jun 26 2005

EXCLUSIVE: It falls in value by "100k a month

By Paul Gilfeather Political Editor

TONY and Cherie Blair's dream home has crashed in value by £700,000 in just seven months.

The couple paid £3.65million for the five-bedroomed Regency townhouse in West London in October.

But estate agents say it is now worth less than £3million - even though, nationally, house prices have risen by 10 per cent in the last year.

Not only is the house falling in value by £100,000 a month, it is also costing them £5,000 a month in repayments.

They have to find £13,000 a month for the mortgage. But for five months they couldn't find a tenant, and now they have, he's only paying £8,000.

The financial disaster is fuelling speculation Mr Blair will quit his £178,922-a-year post early for the multi-million-pound world which awaits former PMs.

The £3million loan the couple took out to buy the house in Connaught Square is 17 times Mr Blair's current salary. An estate agent said: "The Blairs bought at the worst possible moment. The £3.65million was a high price at the time but they were willing to pay it. Now other properties in the square are coming on the market for well under the £3million - and in many cases they are in much better order. It could be years before they claw the money back."

To add to their financial woes, the couple only managed to get a tenant after spending £20,000 overhauling the house. And they had to drop their £13,000-a-month rent to £8,000 before film director Michael Caton-Jones and his movie producer wife Laura Viederman moved in.

The Blairs were desperate to get back on the property ladder after selling their Islington house for £615,000 when they moved to No.10 in 1997...and seeing it rocket in value to £1.69million.

Cherie has also seen two flats in Bristol she controversially bought at a discount price of £260,000 each drop in value by at least £50,000.

The Blairs' financial woes follow a backlash over Cherie's earnings.

She was last month accused of using her position as the Prime Minister's wife to earn thousands of pounds through speaking engagements.

Her biographer Linda McDougall said: "Buying Connaught Square was a huge mistake and I can only think that, at the time they bought it last year, Tony Blair was expecting to leave office.

"Frankly, the Blairs have shown themselves to be financially naive, and it's hard to avoid thinking they are also guilty of greed.

"It would be hard for anyone to do worse with house-buying and investments than the Blairs have."
I wouldn't begrudge anyone some wealth, but doesn't Mr & Mrs Blairwitch and their moneymaking schemes go against everything Labour is against? I'm still lost at how this man who came to power in 97 with loads of good promises and we're still been bled dry with tax this that and the other. It just doesn't seem right that the Blair’s are becoming increasingly rich off the backs of his position as Prime Minister.
Why do we trust the economy with a bloke so patently thick when it comes to his personal finances? Knowing the area where he bought that drum quite well, I'll tell you now that any twenty-year-old twerp from the local Foxton's would be aware that buying that place was a bad idea in a falling market.

Doh! Couldn't have happened to a nicer couple, could it?

"The financial disaster is fuelling speculation Mr Blair will quit his £178,922-a-year post early for the multi-million-pound world which awaits former PMs."
"Frankly, the Blairs have shown themselves to be financially naive, and it's hard to avoid thinking they are also guilty of greed."

Well sum good may cum out of it all. Blur must never be allowed to profit from King George II pocket.
The Mirror is a socialist rag ? isn't it.

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