The Socialists Have Bought In

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
and his wife,

, have purchased a $6.4 million


Connaught Square
and plan on spending another
$900,000 fixing it up. The Blairs already own an

$800,000 six-bedroom home
in his

Sedgefield constituency
on which taxpayers have
spent $3.6 million to turn it into a terrorist-proof

According to the British press, a
down payment of $1.8 million would leave the Blairs with
a $324,000 annual mortgage payment on their Connaught
Square townhome. The mortgage payment would use up 100%
of Blair`s pre-tax income as prime minister, leaving the
couple to get by on Cherie`s income as a lawyer.

Blair is banking on his loyalty to
President Bush to produce the future income to pay off
his mortgage. The British press estimates that Blair,
having provided cover for Bush`s ill-fated invasion of
Iraq, can look forward to earning $3.6 million on the
American lecture circuit once he leaves office, along
with a $1.8 million book advance and lucrative
directorships, Halliburton, no doubt, included.

Many have been puzzled why Blair,
with Britain`s

sizable Muslim population
, threw in with the
American neoconservatives` agenda to attack weaponless,
secular Iraq. Modern Britain has as many Muslims as
Presbyterians, Methodists, and Jews combined. The
answer, it appears, is money. By hiring out Britain`s
army to the Republicans, Blair struck it rich.

According to news reports, one of
Connaught Square`s true blue residents expressed some

concern about the neighborhood
with a politician
moving in. But it is too late for that. A chief whip
already inhabits the posh residential area. Make that
chief whiplash. One of the Blairs` neighbors will be a
madam who specializes in sadism. According to press
reports, whippings are a specialty of her “torture

“More honest work,” quipped
one cynic.

The British Labour Party, having
spent the 20th century dispossessing the British
aristocracy of their estates with death duties and super
tax, has ensconced itself in the House of Lords with
life peerages. The upper house now contains 500
government-created life peers and only 92 hereditary

Life peers receive titles, but no
country estates. Labour ministers in the Lords are
setting about to remedy the situation. Two-thirds of
them are cashing in on a housing allowance to purchase
country homes.

According to the London Times,
the Cabinet Office concedes that the taxpayer-funded
allowance is large enough to support the mortgage on a
$1 million home. Lords ministers do not have to serve
constituencies outside London. But what is a Lord
without a country home?

Some of the proletariat`s
representatives feel that it is unseemly to purchase
million dollar country estates on the taxpayers. Labour
Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, whose
family is worth $2.7 billion, does not claim the

The question arose: Can a Labour
Party tolerate perks for Lords that are denied to
commoners? Tony Blair has cleared the way for a less
lucrative housing allowance for ministers in the House
of Commons. As Commons ministers are often elevated to
the Lords at the conclusion of their political careers,
they can make it up later.

In his great historical novel,

The Leopard,
Giuseppe di Lampedusa

that “things have to change so they can
remain the same.”

The aristocracy collected land
rents. The socialists collect taxes and hire out
Britain`s army.


Paul Craig Roberts is the author with Lawrence M.
Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice