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Lord Browne, Tony Blair and Anji Hunter


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Lord Browne, the chief executive of BP was forced to resign last night over lying in court over a homosexual relationship. Tony Blair gave him a knighthood in 1996 and a peerage in 2001. Blair also gave him a great deal of help in an oil deal in Russia in 2003. It is not known how much Browne paid Blair for these services. However, he did give a very well paid job to Blair's former girlfriend, Anji Hunter, as director of communications at BP. Blair's relationship with Hunter dates back when she was only 15 when they both stayed overnight at a party. Hunter has done very well for a woman who went to Brighton Polytechnic.

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Lord Browne, the chief executive of BP was forced to resign last night over lying in court over a homosexual relationship. Tony Blair gave him a knighthood in 1996 and a peerage in 2001. Blair also gave him a great deal of help in an oil deal in Russia in 2003. It is not known how much Browne paid Blair for these services. However, he did give a very well paid job to Blair's former girlfriend, Anji Hunter, as director of communications at BP. Blair's relationship with Hunter dates back when she was only 15 when they both stayed overnight at a party. Hunter has done very well for a woman who went to Brighton Polytechnic.

Well, while I haven't delved deeply into this scuttlebutt about Browne, nor do I intend to, but I must say I'm appalled at the little I've read.

So... Mr Browne may face charges of perjury because he allegedly lied about how he met a former lover.

Big deal.

I know little about Browne, and I'm skeptical about corporate greenwash, but I suspect Browne may be about the best of the bunch when it comes to CEOs of leading energy company's. To be persecuted over one's sexuality in 2007 is disgusting, IMO. I thought our freedom and right to privacy in that most private part of our lives was one of the reasons "they" hate us. Must cross that off the list, as well.

I'm surprised by your last remark, John. It seems a rather snobbish comment, out of character for you.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Lord Browne, the chief executive of BP was forced to resign last night over lying in court over a homosexual relationship. Tony Blair gave him a knighthood in 1996 and a peerage in 2001. Blair also gave him a great deal of help in an oil deal in Russia in 2003. It is not known how much Browne paid Blair for these services. However, he did give a very well paid job to Blair's former girlfriend, Anji Hunter, as director of communications at BP. Blair's relationship with Hunter dates back when she was only 15 when they both stayed overnight at a party. Hunter has done very well for a woman who went to Brighton Polytechnic.

Well, while I haven't delved deeply into this scuttlebutt about Browne, nor do I intend to, but I must say I'm appalled at the little I've read.

So... Mr Browne may face charges of perjury because he allegedly lied about how he met a former lover.

Big deal.

I know little about Browne, and I'm skeptical about corporate greenwash, but I suspect Browne may be about the best of the bunch when it comes to CEOs of leading energy company's. To be persecuted over one's sexuality in 2007 is disgusting, IMO. I thought our freedom and right to privacy in that most private part of our lives was one of the reasons "they" hate us. Must cross that off the list, as well.

I'm surprised by your last remark, John. It seems a rather snobbish comment, out of character for you.

Although nepotistic lobbying and perjury are of the most unseemly acts, especially alleged homosexuality?

In today's day and age this is the stuff of tabloid sensationalism and probably creates more public awareness than either of the two allegations, simply because of the tabloid stigma.

Since Bill Clinton was caught having sex in the Oval Office and lied about it, sex and politics seems to have its own nominal category in the news, and I guess CEOs fall into this same category, although a CEO may need be held to the same standards as a Government executive. Obviously there is a different standard for people like Browne than the common man.

Willie Nelson was caught with marijuana in Louisiana last month. Louisiana is the toughest state in the US, especially for repeat offenders of Marijauna laws. Willie has had some history, actually admitting to have smoked marijuana in Jimmy Carter's White House (on the roof) once.

Louisiana once had the death penalty listed as a maximum offense for felony possession (intent to distribute, but this was many years ago). Last month they gave him a citation (like a traffic ticket), no bail, and let him go. As he walked out of court people were cheering him, shaking his hand and asking for autographs, he was treated like a hero. Regular people would be castigated. Different standards for celebrities and those highly visible. A double standard.

IMO, things aren't so different outside the US in other 'enlightened' countries. If I have my facts wrong or have this out of context here, please correct me.

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Well, while I haven't delved deeply into this scuttlebutt about Browne, nor do I intend to, but I must say I'm appalled at the little I've read.

So... Mr Browne may face charges of perjury because he allegedly lied about how he met a former lover.

Big deal.

The point is that Browne was being investigated for corruption. In the same way that his mate Tony Blair is. What they have got him on so far is that he lied in court. That might not be a big deal in Australia but in in the UK it is perjury and considered to be a serious crime.

I know little about Browne, and I'm skeptical about corporate greenwash, but I suspect Browne may be about the best of the bunch when it comes to CEOs of leading energy company's.

BP has a terrible reputation in the UK. The green lobby will not be sad to see him go.

I'm surprised by your last remark, John. It seems a rather snobbish comment, out of character for you.

The point that I am making is that the university someone goes to is very important to your employment prospects in the UK. You know that of course because I believe you are a graduate of Oxbridge. As was Lord Browne. Anji Hunter has indeed done well considering she went to Brighton Polytechnic. The point I am making is that the only reason she has had the jobs she has had is because of her relationship with Tony Blair.

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Well, while I haven't delved deeply into this scuttlebutt about Browne, nor do I intend to, but I must say I'm appalled at the little I've read.

So... Mr Browne may face charges of perjury because he allegedly lied about how he met a former lover.

Big deal.

The point is that Browne was being investigated for corruption. In the same way that his mate Tony Blair is. What they have got him on so far is that he lied in court. That might not be a big deal in Australia but in in the UK it is perjury and considered to be a serious crime.

I know little about Browne, and I'm skeptical about corporate greenwash, but I suspect Browne may be about the best of the bunch when it comes to CEOs of leading energy company's.

BP has a terrible reputation in the UK. The green lobby will not be sad to see him go.

I'm surprised by your last remark, John. It seems a rather snobbish comment, out of character for you.

The point that I am making is that the university someone goes to is very important to your employment prospects in the UK. You know that of course because I believe you are a graduate of Oxbridge. As was Lord Browne. Anji Hunter has indeed done well considering she went to Brighton Polytechnic. The point I am making is that the only reason she has had the jobs she has had is because of her relationship with Tony Blair.

Perhaps I shouldn't weigh into a topic without knowing more about it. After all, the private lives of CEOs and Prime Minister's is not my special area of interest.

However, forced to read a little more about this business because of my rash step, I have a few questions.

Are Browne and Blair 'mates' in any sense more than Putin and Browne are 'mates'? As CEO of Britain largest company, he'd naturally mingle with senior politicians, I would have thought.

Is there any evidence he obtained his peerage from Blair improperly?

Was Browne really being investigated for corruption?

The Daily Telegraph report - 'Lord Browne made atypical misjudgment' - suggests that he was caught out only because he tried to stop the publication of his disloyal ex-partners tawdry memoirs.

In the court documents he attempted to put a respectable slant on the relationship by claiming that they met by chance while jogging in Battersea Park. It was a lie. They met when he contacted him through an escort agency. Just as countless politicians have discovered, it was the attempted cover-up which was to prove fatal to their careers. Lord Browne repeated the lie to members of the BP board when he warned them that Mr Chevalier had sold his story of his four-year relationship to a Sunday newspaper.

So, this was his 'perjury' - and for this he will suffer a fate somewhat less severe than Oscar Wilde - but far, far worse than anything the pack-rape mass media is ever likely to suggest for liars such as Bush, Blair, Cheney, Olmert etc etc - men who lied to justify wars, men whose lies led to the death of many thousands of human beings and the destruction of whole countries.

Well, I don't condone "perjury" - and as you know John, Australian courts take a similar view of this offense to the British courts on which they are based.

I just think there's something very sad and rather sick about all this.

The Telegraph article says "Browne believed with a passion, and still does today, that he had a right to keep his private life just that. Private."

I agree with him.

He would doubtless have not felt any need to do this if it were not for cultural attitudes, still obviously prevalent in Britain (and elsewhere), that it is in some way big and shocking 'news' that a prominent individual is homosexual - something which merits front page coverage in tabloids that specialize in supplying controlled dollops of voyeurism to their dumbed-down readership. His decision was also complicated, it is reported, by his desire to keep his sexuality secret from his mother while she was alive.

If he misused his power in BP to arrange nepotistic deals, well, that's an issue - like it's an issue for Wolfowitz in the World Bank. I just happen to think that in both cases - but especially for Browne who has served this shareholder-owned corporation for nearly four decades - it is not a big deal. The BP Board, representing shareholders, might well feel that they got ample 'value' out of Browne's hard work and that if he squanders corporate small change on a pathetic friend... well, they can pocket the loss and still be well ahead.

Are environmentalists cross with Browne? I haven't looked into this. You may well be right. If I was working in Britain as an environmental activist. I'd probably keep the pressure up on my country's largest oil company. Why not? Just because Browne began to turn the vessel tround doesn't mean it's steaming in the right direction... not yet.

However, from the little I know about it, Browne seems to have been a more enlightened CEO than most during the last ten years. Ten years ago, greening the company required more courage than it might today. Browne helped create the bandwagon that others now sit on. For that, he deserves credit, IMO. Don't let's forget that during the same ten years, some of his counterparts were actively funding "think-tanks" to discredit the climate change hypothesis. That's real evil, in my books.

Is Browne an innocent? Undoubtedly not.

Has Britain moved on since it locked up Oscar Wilde in Reading Jail?

Apparently not.

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