Tony Blair’s estimated wealth is somewhere in the region of £45m. In order to help him put his head on the pillow, and confuse the taxman, he’s set up various foundations such as the Africa Government Initiative. He’s so keen to help Africa that he’s recruiting interns to run the operation:
“We are looking for outstanding individuals to undertake a 3 month internship to support our London team, which sets strategic direction for the projects overall, focuses on fundraising for the development and expansion of AGI, and provides logistical support to the teams. The ideal candidate would have excellent academic credentials with a proven administrative and numerical ability. Prior experience in an office environment will be an advantage.”
Sounds like an incredible opportunity, but what’s the catch?
“The internship is not paid, however you will be reimbursed for your lunch and travel expenses.”
The continuing mystery of his £8 million of “administrative expenses” obviously does not include intern pay. Guido isn’t too sure where this fits in on Tony’s “poverty-reduction agenda”…
The Blair Foundation is undeniably doing a lot of good work, however Blair’s mixing of private consultancy and publicly funded charity is bound to raise conflicts of interest questions. The Jimmy Carter Center doesn’t do for-profit work, Henry Kissinger Associates doesn’t do charity. Blair is trying to have it both ways.
JP Morgan has controversial investments in Africa, was fined $88 million by the US government for sanctions busting, including in war torn South Sudan and pays Tony £2 million-a-year for advice. When the same person and the same office facilities are running two very different operations in the same place it is bound to make people uneasy about cross subsidy and mingling of objectives. At the very least…
Blair tried to dismiss it on Marr this morning as “the usual stuff” coming from the Mail on Sunday. That isn’t really good enough and DfID needs to make sure there is transparency and clear separation of Blair’s interests before public money is handed over. If he doesn’t want to reveal his contracts he shouldn’t get taxpayer funding.
Technical problem means you can see it here.
Back in September Guido asked:
When was the last time you saw Tony Blair in the UK? Billionaire’s yachts in the Med, sure, US TV chat shows, sure. Six-figure speaking engagements in the Far East, of course. “Peacemaking” in the Middle East, allegedly. Is he seen in the UK? No, not much.
Guido’s theory is that he is keeping under the 90 day residency limit for non-residence for tax purposes. Didn’t Cherie mention that the kids all have Irish passports?
Well not much has changed, apart from his appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry when was the last time anyone saw Blair in London? Seems like a fair question today.
You know how it is; one minute you are working hard, suited and booted, next thing you are made redundant. It happens to so many middle aged men who thought they were at the prime of their careers. You end up irritating the wife mooching around in a tracksuit, flicking through the teletext pages all day, shouting at the telly. Bit sad really…