Blair: “I would have given Cameron a run for his money”

John Rentoul

blair 11 300x199 Blair: I would have given Cameron a run for his moneyFair and balanced report from Stephanie Baker of Bloomberg on the state of Tony Blair’s post-prime-ministerial assemblage of good works and paid consultancy. Blair, who will be 60 in a month’s time, now employs 180 people, pays vast amounts of tax and generally adds to the sum of human progress.

Blair says he’s not exploiting his old connections for personal profit, adding that he met most of his clients after leaving office.

“Of course, I get to know them because I used to be British prime minister,” he says. “There’s a myth that just because you used to be British prime minister, people give you lots of money to play with. No, they don’t.”

He defends his consultancy in Kazakhstan: “I don’t dismiss the human rights stuff at all. These are points we make. There’s a whole new generation of administrators there who are reformers, and we’re working with them.”

Jonathan Powell, Blair’s former chief of staff, has also been in Kazakhstan, as Andy McSmith reports in The Independent today.

In his Bloomberg interview, Blair explains the way his companies and foundations are set up: “We wanted confidentiality. There’s a section of the media that will go after anyone connected with me, and I can’t operate like that.”

And he allows himself one reflection on British politics: “Frankly, if I’d had a fourth election, I would have given Cameron a run for his money. I’m not saying I would have won, but it would have been tighter than it was.”

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  • Pacificweather

    You are right John and it is a shame that the investigative commissions were not harder on him, at least in some token way, so that his character would have been vindicated. It probably goes back to the time when Margaret Thatcher was cleared of being an accessory to murder by a commission.

  • Pacificweather

    Once again you’ve hit the nail on the head. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men…

  • PurbeckPashmina

    While Britain has no written codified constitution ie One Document. we do have written materials and rely on precedent too. You imagine that MPs are stupid? I fear you must examine the mote in your eye, and whatever befuddles your brain before you judge.

  • Pacificweather

    Right again. His attack on Iran demonstrated that he had the superior military force in the region and, despite the Gulf War, still had massive air superiority.

  • Pacificweather

    Oops! A button too far John. Couldn’t you have photoshopped the picture to give him more gravitas before posting our hero’s picture.

  • PurbeckPashmina

    Very kind of you, but underestimating MPs is an obvious mistake. We elect a few dumbos, but mostly they reflect their constituents, except in terms of experience.

  • Pacificweather

    In this asumption you are incorrect. I do not imagine MPs are stupid. Constitutionalists often argue that the ease (a simple majority) by which long established documents and precedents can be changed by Parliament leaves Britain without an effective constitution but, as with many things, this is a matter of perspective. I tend to that view, but that is probably because I have lived under codified legal systems. I can see the benefits of not having the laws that form the constitution identified and the benefits of clearly identifying them and requiring a significant majority to change them. However, I agree that because neither you nor I could identify all the documents and precedents that might be considered constitutional there is no reason for undue concern. It is a very English way of going about things.

  • PurbeckPashmina

    Far better to bring it all together and put amendments in referendums.
    Sorry if I misconstrued your remark about 2/3 of parliament. Sounded like you said they were dim to me.

  • Russell Child

    “I don’t dismiss the human rights stuff at all.”

    He said dismissively.

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