Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

If I Was Blair I’d Cancel My Donation

with 31 comments

The Times, 21st August 2010

There are plenty of other organisations looking after our heroes and their families who would behave far, far better.  Tony Blair should cancel his donation and give it to a different charity.

Chris Simpkins, the Royal British Legion’s director-general is an ungrateful, ill-mannered oaf.  All he had to do was keep his mouth shut.  He has dishonoured the generous intent behind Blair’s donation and he should be ashamed of himself.  The Times also needs to have its motives examined for running this shabby, despicable story.

Our heroes do not give their lives so that fat cat, small-minded, cowardly administrators and journalists can get their names in the papers.  Shame on them!

I am no blind supporter of Tony Blair.  I said what I thought about the donation just five days ago.  I stand by that.

The Poppy Appeal has been my first choice charity throughout my life.   This appalling, graceless behaviour will make me re-think where my money will go this year.

31 Responses

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  1. What we need to remember is that Chris Simpkins is NOT everyone associated with the Royal British Legion. In a way he probably felt he had to distance the organisation. Personally I know many associated with the Legion who agree with Blair, more actually than I know who disagree. But that indicates nothing, except my personal experience.

    It wouldn’t matter if Blair put his money into another charity, Help for Heroes, say. There will always be some, even at the top of any forces’ charity who will criticise him and his motives. Plus ca change.


    August 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

  2. Yes but! I may be old-fashioned but I think manners, decorum and respect are important, particularly when our boys are dying and getting horribly injured. You can’t bring back the dead or re-grow an amputated limb so these things count.

    If Simpkins came to my door selling poppies now I’d bop him on the nose. He’s a punk.

    And my last thing about the Poppy Appeal. It’s true and it means a lot to me. I’m genuinely upset about this. I shan’t be buying this year. I’ll tell every collector why. I’ll give it to HfH.

    Peter Reynolds

    August 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    • I have a lot of sympathy with what you say here, P.

      But is this really such a big story? A big deal? Behind the Times paywall? Has the Beeb run with it? The Mail?


      August 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      • Exactly. I’m behind The Times paywall at my own expense now! I think they’re censoring my comments because I’ve protested at Tim Coghlan’s story. Either that or it takes over an hour for a comment to appear which makes the whole thing useless and pointless.

        Do they expect me to carry on paying?

        Peter Reynolds

        August 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      • I expect they have a policy of blackballing people who use their articles to spread to the non-paying world.

        You could write a whole article on this, if they continue to fail to publish your comments. Even when you are paying to read them.

        It’s probably written in their Rules and Regs.

        Having said that, like The Mail does, I think The Times used to take some time for comments to appear there. It may just be that.

        I only miss the Times because two of the few Blair supporters, Kamm and Aaronovitch, are behind there. Otherwise I can take it or leave it.


        August 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      • This what you get when you pay to get behind The Times paywall. Is this value for money?

        (My original post initiating the complaint isn’t included in the history – that’s clever too, eh?)

        Customer Services:
        [Private Message to PeterReynolds] Dear Mr Reynolds, Times Online allows only moderated comment on its articles and due to the big increase we have seen in reader comment, our moderators are unable, at the moment, to read all that is submitted to us. As such, not all comments appear online. We do appreciate how frustrating this can be for some of our readers – and to the site’s editors! – however, please be assured that Times Online is working hard to adjust its moderation to cope and to ensure that as much as possible of our readers’ comment appears online. Phil Customer Liaison (Reply Privately)
        Saturday August 21, 2010 13:12 Customer Services

        [Private Message to Customer Services] This is unacceptable. It makes the comments system useless and pointless. This is not what I’m paying for. A free WordPress blog handles just as many comments much more efficiently
        Saturday August 21, 2010 13:13 PeterReynolds

        Customer Services:
        [Private Message to PeterReynolds] Dear Mr Reynolds Again, again we do understand your frustration. This is a story that has obviously attracted a lot of interest, and many people have wanted to comment on it. Our Moderators are endevouring to encompass all the viewpoints expressed as best they can. Phil Cusotmer Liaison (Reply Privately)
        Saturday August 21, 2010 13:19 Customer Services

        [Private Message to Customer Services] Still! It’s not what I’m paying for. There are only 27 comments up there now at 1.20 pm, 13 hours after the story went live. It’s no excuse is it? This is becoming a story in itself and a better story that this outrageous Sun-style scandalmongering from what used to be a newspaper with some integrity
        Saturday August 21, 2010 13:22 PeterReynolds

        Customer Services:
        [Private Message to PeterReynolds] Again, Mr Reynolds, we understand your frustration. Our moderators undertake a complex role in order to allow as much feedback as possible, in line with our house rules. Although we cannot gaurantee to publish every comment received, I can assure you that we do not censor on grounds of the political opinions expressed. If, however, you would like to make a formal complaint, could you please send that as an e-mail to Phil Customer Liaison (Reply Privately)
        Saturday August 21, 2010 13:31 Customer Services

        [Private Message to Customer Services] So another half an hour later and only one new comment has been published on this story. Doesn’t quite tally with your story that “many people have wanted to comment” does it?
        Saturday August 21, 2010 13:55

        Peter Reynolds

        August 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm

  3. Peter,

    Well you certainly had a go at them. As you say they could have published your comment to add to the other 27 or so without overloading their system. The Mail takes several hundred at a time and they too check them.

    The Times would rather fob you off it seems.

    I DO wish these journos could spell though, don’t you?


    Must endeavour harder – Must endeavour harder x100


    August 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    • Or even “Cusotmer Liaison”.

      We mustn’t be too pernickety though John. Even you and I have been known to miss the odd typo (diffficolt as is it to beleive)

      Peter Reynolds

      August 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

      • Missed that one. More of a typo than ignorance, though. Like ‘Bliar’ was to the first keyboard that discovered it. GIVE THAT KEYBOARD A MEDAL!!!

        It’s the only medal ever likely to be associated with any of those who like to regurgitate it.


        August 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  4. Times’ response is complete bollocks. They post everything – unless apparently it’s embarrassing. As to the story, yes it does matter. It was on the front page and it’s as damaging to the Timnes as it is to the Legion (to which it is and should be deeply damaging). In the TimesK case they harried and harried to construct this story on the basis of pushing someone who should have known better until he said something idiotic. In any other porganisation Chris Simpkins would now be expected to resign. You simply don’t appear on the front of the Times slagging off a major donor. Presumably when the board met to discuss accepting the donation they also agreed a media strategy. In 99 organisations out of 100 that would say “we never discuss individual donations”. Then, and here’s the strategy, simple and effective, you say “thank you for calling” and PUT THE PHONE DOWN. If this wasn’t the strategy the entire board should resign. If it was then Simpkins has no ther course.


    August 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    • Thank you antigone. I’m glad you see the truth in this. I detect a professional in communications and/or charities?

      Peter Reynolds

      August 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    • Ref: “You simply don’t appear on the front of the Times slagging off a major donor.”

      I agree with these sentiments completely, antigone.

      Trouble is, and I’ve been Tony Blair watching for four years now, this is no everyday donor. This is THE LYING war criminal par excellence. The one who fooled us all and is nonetheless fated to escape the hangman’s noose (which is far too good for him anyway) despite all his murderous treacherous activities and being rich and loving America and big business and all that evil stuff and getting richer by the minute… et-bloody-cetera.

      The press, even The Times it seems, has bought into this tale on Blair. It’s the zeitgeist. And it’s almost impossible for anyone to treat him as if he is a normal human being, or can have any motives which are not ulterior.

      So amidst all the hand-wringing reluctance over his motives for donating in the first place, the Legion feels it HAS to mirror or at least echo the so-called concerns of the Haters on Blair. If it doesn’t it might not fill the Albert Hall on Remembrance Day this year or sell as many poppies.

      I heard a woman on ‘Any (more anti-Blair) Answers’ yesterday saying she wouldn’t be giving to the Legion this year BECAUSE they took Blair’s “blood money”. On the other hand Peter here says he won’t be buying a poppy because of Simpkins’ remarks.

      But I DO take your point on the lack of professionalism re the handling. A simple, “we do not discuss” would have put an end to further speculation. Then the TB hating woman AND Peter might have still worn a poppy with pride. As they should. IMHO.

      Tony Blair doesn’t OWN the Royal British Legion because of this donation. He hasn’t bought their silence/connivance.

      Perhaps that’s what Simpkins was trying to prove by speaking out so seemingly carelessly.


      August 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm

      • Gotcha! Gotcha! Gotcha!

        Got you going there! Now you feel it don’t ya?

        Peter Reynolds

        August 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      • Ref:

        “Gotcha! Gotcha! Gotcha!

        Got you going there! Now you feel it don’t ya?”

        Feel what? Not with you Peter.


        August 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      • Yes you do. I know you do. I’m enjoying sharing the anger with you.

        Peter Reynolds

        August 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      • Nice to be angry about the same thing, is it, P? Yes, I am angry, but, I’m afraid in the big picture this is just ONE of the things that make me angry about the poison heaped on Blair. All part of what I call his Political Assassination. (Am considering writing a book on this, if only I could get off this damn computer long enough.)

        And it’s all being done by pygmies. Even Gulliver on his travels couldn’t fight against their numbers.


        August 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      • Yes but John! John! Think now! You will have to stay on the computer to write the book, see boyo. It’s a tough, tough job. I do it every day and you just have to resist temptation and stay focused. I have three screens on my desk: email on the left, main activity in the centre and TV and torrents on the right. For at least “several” hours every day I turn off the two outside monitors and FOCUS! It’s tough but somebody’s got to do it.

        Of course, it’s not so easy if you’ve got one screen in the middle and a Big Mac either side because you can’t turn a Big Mac off, can you John? No, you can’t. They haven’t invented a way of doing that yet.

        So it’ll probably be much tougher for you than it is for me John but I know you’re up to it. You’re the man for the job.

        What’s it going to be called?

        “The Assassination Of Blair”

        “Day Of the Urban Fox”

        “Dallas In Sedgefield”

        “In The Line Of Spin”

        Just brainstorming you understand. Any ideas?

        Peter Reynolds

        August 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      • Ahh, you lift my spirits, Peter. You really do. Haven’t laughed so much since I noticed Blair’s got his own bank, as mentioned at foot of most recent post –

        The thing is – now this is personal, and not a proposition. But are you married? I am frequently threatened with death, or even divorce, whichever comes first, if I don’t unhitch myself from this pooter. It seems there’s not supposed to be three of us in this marriage. I don’t remember signing anything about that on the wedding day. Significant anniversary in a couple of days, btw. So if I have a quiet day, which I might, you’ll know why.

        And it’s not the big Macs that are the problem. It’s the sanity sticks.

        Good suggestions for the book, btw. “The POLITICAL Assassination of Tony Blair” is the working title. “Political” being strong enough, and essential, thank you!


        August 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

  5. My letter to the chairman of the Royal British Legion.

    Peter Reynolds

    August 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    • Great letter, P.

      Wonder if it will balance the hundreds, perhaps thousands from those who say they will never buy another poppy BECAUSE they accepted Blair’s donation?

      Perhaps you should get a campaign running to encourage similar letters to yours to be sent to the Legion.


      August 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm

  6. Dear Peter,

    I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. My name is Neil and I am Assistant Producer on BBC 1’s Sunday Morning Live. We are a new programme discussing and debating topical issues. We broadcast live every Sunday morning at 10 am. The reason that I am contacting you is because one of the discussions we are looking to set up for this Sunday is about whether Tony Blair was a force for good.

    I hope this is something which would potentially be of interest to you. It would be great if we could have a discussion about this, my email address is removed, or my mobile number is removed if you could contact me as soon as possible it would be much appreciated – We are looking for people to potentially contribute to the show via webcam from their own homes. If you could contact me as soon as possible that would be great.

    Kind Regards


    Neil Dimmock

    August 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

    • I’ve sent you an email Neil. Can’t you have me on instead of that spotty Douglas Murray this week?

      Overall, given that nobody’s perfect, I think Blair was/is a force for good. The only thing that really let him down was the sycophantic clinging to Bush’s coat tails.

      I think he did a lot to make our society more progressive but, as with all leaders, it’s much easier to talk about what he did wrong.

      Peter Reynolds

      August 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

      • PERSONAL

        P, should you leave Neil Dimmock’s mobile number and contact details on here? Up to you, of course.


        August 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    • What a gentleman you are!

      Peter Reynolds

      August 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      • Thank you, P. I often get people writing to me with their personal details in the comment. I usually edit them out, as they are for my eyes only.


        August 26, 2010 at 12:56 am

  7. There you go, Pete. Get your webcam out.

    You have my permission to use the below, which I have used as it appeared in The Australian. From behind The Times’ paywall, so they might be after our blood! Btw, did you get your comment published there, or any REAL satisfaction following your complaint to them?

    Btw, how do you KNOW Blair was a sycophantic coat-tails clinger? How do you know anything about what motivated him? Fly on every wall?

    Surely you’re not one of the “mad/deluded” that Aaronovitch refers to? It’s worrying indeed if even sharp people like you are taken in by the various agendas of our press and the so-called ‘intelligentsia’, also known as opinion-formers.


    August 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    • Yes, yes, yes! Trying to concentrate on the book at the moment. Only a few thousand words from the end. I’ll get to Tone this pm.

      Btw, how do you KNOW Blair was a sycophantic coat-tails clinger?

      C’mon now you’ve only got to look at the over-eager, over-excited toothy grin on his face!

      Mind you, I guess if I was the guest of Mr President at the White House or Camp David I’d be pretty excited too!

      Who knows, BBC this week, Washington next?

      Peter Reynolds

      August 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

  8. Which book? I’m sure you’ve told me before. Sorry if I’ve forgotten.

    His face and grin is his face and grin. As yours is yours and mine is mine. That’s silly talk, though I expect you’re quoting the haters aka face/personality/character readers.


    August 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

  9. […] new friend of KTBFPM, Peter Reynolds will be on your BBC1 screen on Sunday […]

  10. […] This was the question I was supposed to be answering.  The BBC had come to me as a result of this article.  I had, of course, considered my response and this is what I intended to […]

  11. Good discussion and comments

    Forces Charity

    December 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

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