News has reached my ear that our beloved former Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken on yet ANOTHER high profile job – this time working in an advisory capacity for France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault who’s company LVMH owns the Moet and Krug champagne labels, the Louis Vuitton luxury goods brand, as well as Christian Dior and Hennessy cognac. In an astonishing article, The Times reported in 2008 that Tony Blair has pocketed more than £12 million since leaving Downing Street a figure which will only increase given this latest addition to what is being widely dubbed as the “Blair Rich Project”. Much of Blair’s earnings remain secretive however what we do know is that he receives £84,000 of taxpayers’ money to run a private office and is entitled to an annual pension of £63,468, he has made £5 million in advance from his memoirs, a further £2 million from an advisory role at JPMorgan Chase, £500,000 from Zurich Financial Services and he has an ever increasing property portfolio!
So why does this matter you may ask? Should we really care what a former Prime Minister is earning? In theory no we shouldn’t but I believe that the recent realisation of the extent of the rot that has set in to British political, economic and social life can be traced back to the man that headed and dominated British government for 10 years and his mentality both in and out of office. Anthony “call me Tony” Blair’s loyalty was and clearly remains “with the highest bidder”. We should not be suprised at this given the fact that New Labour was only made electable once Blair had put Clause IV through the shredder and “prostituted” his party, and later his country, to the bankers and their excesses.
Even veteran Labour MP’s including Ken Purchase have had the common sense to concede that Blair’s fundamental legacy to the country can be summed up as “‘superficial and money-obsessed” glossed over by “cuddly speeches and heart warming smiles”. In this light it is increasingly a widely accepted view that while in office Blair frequently and flagrantly abused the powers of the Prime Minister to his or his party’s financial advantage and indeed there is some weight to this argument. There are countless examples that show clearly that Labour, particularly under Blair, lacked a moral compass and in many of these examples money was a driving force. Whether it was:
- Exempting personal donors to the Labour party from government legislation – eg F1 and the smoking ban
- Selling the honours of the land in return for donations to the Labour party – dubbed “cash for honors”
- Accepting luxury goods and hospitality for him and his family from wealthy international businessmen – businessmen who would later go on to employ him
- Presiding over an unprecidented taxing, borrowing and spending binge which has achieved paltry improvements to the public services and left the country in the worst position of almost any industrialised nation to face the global economic downturn
- Taking us to war on a lie – something which he has now all but admitted
- Making spin and sleaze an integral and invaluable part of the government machine
- Sending our troops in to two wars ill equipt and ill funded
- Allowing an unprecidented increase in immigration “swamping” communities and leading to a further erosion of British identity
- Fostering the breakdown of society, family and marriage through divisive legislation and the tax/welfare system
- Bringing parliament and politics in to total and utter disrepute by presiding over the worst scandal to grip the Commons in living memory in the form of parliamentary expenses
- Making dodgy deals to “hand over power” as if the office of Prime Minister was their “gift to give”…
Blair, Brown and Labour as a whole have sold the country down the river. I wonder how our Labour counterparts can justify the fact that while the rest of the country (and the world at large) was crashing economically, their former leader was, and still is, experiencing his own little “Blair boom”. I suppose the great irony of it all is that while the personal “Bank of Blair” gets richer with each day that passes, his and his party’s legacy at home is being exposed as more bankrupt than ever. If there is any justice left in Britain, Labour will be severely punished at the polls for their greed and deception and they will have to endure a long overdue return to the political wilderness.