Monday, April 06, 2009

Tony Blair is world’s best paid speaker

Object lesson 1: it can pay very handsome dividends to be a criminal, even a war criminal.

Object lesson 2: being rich doesn't mean being clever and stupid rich people like to blow their money on listening to platitudes, as long as they're served with a nice meal.

Times

ToneTONY BLAIR has emerged as the world’s highest-paid public speaker, earning almost £400,000 for two half-hour speeches in his latest appearance on the international lecture circuit.

He received the fee during a 36-hour visit to the Philippines, where he lodged with the British ambassador.

Blair’s oratory - which cost more than £6,000 a minute - included such insights as “politics really matters, but a lot of what goes on is not great” and “religion [can be] a source of inspiration, or an excuse for evil”.

The former prime minister, who has earned more than £15m since leaving Downing Street almost two years ago, also observed: “Politicians are a very strange people” and “helping people is a noble profession - but not noble to pursue”. Some of the 2,000 tickets were priced at more than £350.

Manny Pangilinan, chairman of PLDT, a telecoms company that sponsored the speech at Ateneo de Manila University, told the local press that Blair was paid €200,000 (£182,000) for a talk entitled The Leader as Nation Builder in a Time of Globalisation.

A spokesman for Blair denied that he had requested or received payment in euros, a stronger currency than the pound. He would not clarify whether the payment was made in dollars or sterling.

Later that day Blair delivered a second lecture, The Leader as Principled Negotiator, for a similar fee at a luxury hotel.

Global crisis? What crisis, look at our prices!

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