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Monday, September 05, 2011

Blood is thicker than water

As a big fan of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather films I was bemused to wake up this morning to discover that Tony Blair is godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s young children. There is no connection between the two of course, but as a means of cementing a friendship, acting in this capacity for the baptism of somebody's children is quite effective.

The Telegraph says that the former prime minister was reportedly present in March 2010 when Murdoch’s two daughters by his third wife were baptised on the banks of the Jordan. They suggest that Mr. Blair's close ties to the Murdochs could explain his reluctance to condemn the News International phone hacking scandal:

When the baptism was splashed across the pages of Hello! magazine last year, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, her fellow Australian actor, were named as godparents to Grace, nine, and Chloe, eight.

No mention was made of Mr Blair’s role as a godfather to Grace and he did not appear in pictures of the ceremony, which took place at the spot where it is said that Jesus was baptised.

However, the facts emerged in an interview with Mrs Murdoch in the fashion magazine.

She made international headlines in July by jumping to the defence of her 80-year-old husband when he was attacked with a “foam pie” while giving evidence to a parliamentary committee on hacking.

Last night, Mr Blair’s spokesman refused to comment, but a News Corp source confirmed that Mr Blair was godfather to Grace, as was Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son.

Of course, there is no reason why Tony Blair should not have accepted this role. After all, at that time he was no longer in office nor even an MP. However, it does indicate the closeness of the Murdochs to the former British Prime Minister and how they have been able to access Government at the highest level across the globe for many years.
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