Historically British Prime Ministers have not been know for being economically corrupt, indeed former Labour Prime Ministers Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and James Callaghan on leaving office lived comparatively modest life styles which would have been recognizable to most middle class English people of the day. If they had no private wealth of their own, Conservative PMs were usually looked after on leaving office by a number of rich businessmen donating a sum of money and setting up some sort of trust fund. Winston Churchill who enjoyed living high on the hog was the beneficiary of such charity on more than one occasion.
This all changed with Margaret Thatcher, who learnt early on in her Prime Ministership that it pays handsomely to become anointed the US President’s most favored foreigner. Once a British Prime Minister was comfortably perched in this position brown envelopes where for lesser mortals, for they could look forward to being looked after on leaving office by Corporate America, in much the same way as US Presidents have been since the beginning of the 20th Century if not before.
Thus on leaving office the retirement pension plan that has been available since the 1970s to all former British PMs was regarded by Thatcher and her successors in 10 Downing St as small change, and in return for acting whilst in office as the US Presidents gofer in Europe, on leaving office the British PM would be placed on to a US Conglomerates executive jet to tour the USA giving the CEO’s of multi national corporations the benefit of their wisdom. Although most CEOs of these multi national corporations have better things to do than spend their time listening to an ex-politico whose power is spent. So these speaking engagements are filled with junior executives sent along to pad the audience to help keep the speakers ego intact. However all concerned are only to well aware the real purpose of these ‘speaking engagements’ is to present the former servant of corporate America with a not inconsiderable supply of executive embossed envelopes stuffed to the gills with greenback bills.
Since he stepped down as Prime Minister and resigned from Parliament, Tony Blair like Margaret Thatcher and John Major before him, has spent his first year on leaving office touring the USA and other far flung countries turning the markers he accumulated whilst in office into hard currency.
Of course unlike a Mafia don Blair cannot simply send a couple of his henchmen down to Wall Street to collect a suitcase stuffed with dollar bills, there are niceties to be observed. First he signed a million dollar plus book contract with Random House, a subsidiary of the multi-national corporation Bertelsmann AG, the outcome of which will be a book that few people will actually read.
Next came an offer from a major US Corporation, best if it is a Bank as there is money to be laundered. In Blair’s case J.P. Morgan stepped into the breach and signed him up for a non existent job; It is entirely a coincidence that this bunch of financial sharks have recently signed a massive and very lucrative contract to run the Trade Bank of Iraq.
This ‘appointment’ was followed by what is called ‘the speaking tour’ which is a peach in itself. According to the Sunday Times Blair has just returned from a trip to North America from which he is likely to have made as much as £500,000 in the US and Canada for making three speeches in four days. One can get an idea of the standard of his scintillating oratory that we in the UK came to hate and despise from the following quote taken from a speech he made in Canada.
“Europe is not a question of Left or Right, but a question of the future or the past, of strength or weakness”
To conclude his first year in office Blair has signed yet another sweetheart contract with a multi national, having become an an expert on creating global warming when he polluted Iraq with weapons tipped uranium, the Zurich Insurance Companies have just made him their expert on Global warming. [I know you could not make this up]
Thus before his first year on leaving office is out, Blair will have received approximately £7 million pounds for doing nowt; and that is without the serialization rights to his memoirs, for it has become a post Thatcher tradition for the British newspaper industry to give former prime ministers a lucrative send off by publishing their appalling ghost written memoirs, despite there not being a single word in them that is not already in the public domain.