Scottish Daily Mail



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?’

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