blairThe Duke of York is not alone in his fondness for Kazakhstan, the country whose president's son-in-law bought his hideous house, Sunninghill, for £3 million above the asking price.


The gold-digger Tony Blair's globetrotting also took him to the door of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the long-time ruler of Kazakhstan, back in 2008.


At the time Blair, in a statement to the state-owned Kazakh TV, said: 'I am very glad to visit Astana [the capital] and Kazakhstan. Your capital is a very unique city. It demonstrates the power and development level of Kazakhstan.'


Sharing a fondness for Kazakhstan: Tony Blair, right, enjoyed his visit to the country in 2008 and Prince Andrew sold his house to the president's son-in-law


Blair was so taken by Astana — not a popular stop on most international travellers' itineraries — that he returned in January this year. No quotes this time about why he was there.


A mere ten days later, Jonathan Powell, who was Blair's chief of staff at Downing Street and now works for the former PM's investment advisory business Firerush Ventures No 3, was also in Astana.


Powell's visit last month was apparently to do with human rights. There is plenty for Powell, Blair and Prince Andrew to talk about on that subject in relation to the former Soviet state.


The U.S. State Department has made the following observations about Kazakhstan: 'Severe limits on ability to change their government; detainee and prisoner torture and other abuse; unhealthy prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; lack of an independent judiciary; restrictions on freedom of speech, pervasive corruption, especially in law enforcement and the judicial system; discrimination and violence against women; trafficking in persons.'


Nice place, nice government. So just why is Blair so keen to be associated with it?


Wonder what Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg's father, Nicholas, made of his son's childish boast at the weekend that he would like to 'wring the neck of bankers'.


Clegg senior is on the board of United Trust Bank, which specialises in financing property developers. Latest accounts show the nine directors in 2009 received total remuneration of £642,000 between them.


Clegg snr was also a director of Hill Samuel; co-chairman of Daiwa Europe Ltd; chairman of Daiwa Europe Bank plc; and served as a director of the International Primary Markets Association. He was also a senior adviser to the Bank of England on banking supervision.


With all those lucrative banking roles it's no wonder Clegg senior could afford to send Clegg junior to Westminster School — current fees £29,000 a year.


Jibe: 'The Prime Minister may act like he is born to rule, but the problem is he is not very good at it' said Ed Miliband


There is clearly no thaw in relations between David Miliband and his little brother Ed, who beat him for the leadership of the Labour Party. The brothers walked past each other in the Commons the other day without exchanging a single word, smile or handshake.


Lord Mandelson, one of the snootiest of Labour grandees, once accused David Cameron of 'looking down his rather toffee nose'.


It seems the class war attacks are now back under Ed Miliband after his jibe in the Commons last week: 'The Prime Minister may act like he is born to rule, but the problem is he is not very good at it.'


Miliband is playing the Eton card after Labour's private polling showed the attacks on Cameron's upbringing resonate with voters.


Such hypocrisy. Labour's new chief spin doctor, who backs the class war attacks, is married to a multi-millionaire heiress.


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