Scottish Daily Mail
£9 MILLION FOR BEING A GLOBE-TROTTING BORE
PUBLIC speaking has earned Blair £9 million. He charges up to £200,000 per lecture through the Washington Speakers Bureau, of which President George W. Bush is also a client. Blair went on its list four months after ceasing to be prime minister, taking a $600,000 signing bonus.
He has also signed up with the All American Speakers Bureau, with a fee of $200,000 upwards — twice the rate of Donald Trump.
Yet, for a man once considered an orator, he has turned into a stiflingly boring speaker, frequently appearing to do little more than read out his host’s PR handout, but sometimes producing a breathtakingly banal observation of his own. ‘When things are in the balance, when you cannot be sure, when others are uncertain or hesitate, when the very point is that the outcome is in doubt — that is when a leader steps forward,’ was the pearl of wisdom he shared with a Beijing audience in 2008.
At a conference on Africa in 2013, he said there was ‘something wonderful, vibrant and exciting’ about the continent’s culture and traditions.
At a university in the Philippines, he declared that the main problems U.S. President Obama faces ‘are essentially global in nature’.
The huge sums he commands are something of a mystery given the content of his lectures. In a 2007 speech at a VIP banquet in the city of Dongguan in China, he declared for his $200,000 fee that: ‘The reason I am here is because I was told everything happening here was amazing. Dongguan’s future is immeasurable.’
Such twaddle infuriated Chinese newspapers, which said Blair’s empty remarks showed he was interested only in ‘digging for gold and “money-sucking” ’.
One commentator wrote: ‘Why pay such a high price to hear the same thing? Is it worth the money? Do these thoughts multiply in value because they come from the mouth of a retired prime minister?’