Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/555/6572
FORMER PRIME Minister Tony Blair has 'earned' £12 million since he left office eighteen months ago. That includes a £4.6 million advance on his, as yet unreleased, memoirs. Blair is now the world's highest-earning public speaker, raking in some £5.3 million for giving after-dinner speeches to businesses. Companies have been prepared to pay up to £150,000 for a 90-minute speech.
Naïve people may have treasured every word from Blair's lips when the febrile boom, based on debt and growing inequality, seemed to prosper on his watch. Now that boom has gone decisively bust, but it seems his marketability has not.
A private equity company, the Carlyle group, is keen to hire Blair. It handles investments for top politicians such as former Tory prime minister John Major and ex-president Bush, George W's father, who also used to speak publicly for them, for cash.
Blair's homes in Britain are still worth a fortune. Despite the collapse of the housing market, which threatens two million householders with negative equity, his two biggest properties - in Buckinghamshire and London - are still worth £8 million or so. No doubt Blair's speeches espouse the mantra: 'To him that hath, have some more!'
In The Socialist 5 November 2008:
Socialist Party campaigns
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party workplace news