Tony Blair is a man with a mission. He mixes his Catholic faith with his faith in his own talents as a politician to spread his brand of governance to countries around the world. The man who ignored my advice and drove the UK economy into depression is now a guru for governments like the one in Brazil which has just agreed to pay a reported £4m for his advice on good governance.
When Blair entered Downing Street in 1997, I wrote to alert him to the fact that he had 10 years to prevent the next property boom/bust. He took no notice, and presided over the British government which helped to fuel the biggest peacetime bonanza for land speculators in the 20th century. The fall-out is with us today in an economy locked into a downward spiral.
But Blair has not learnt the lesson. Instead, he globe-trots to sell the services of something called Government Advisory Practice. A recent deal was with Colombia, where he provides a team of consultants instructing the South Americans on how to run their country. His latest contract is with Brazil, which he says is reaching maturity and in need of his expertise (Sunday Telegraph, November 18, 2012).
A spokesman for Blair is reported to explain that their fee was to help the state of São Paulo “develop its economy, modernise its public services and strengthen its position as the economic powerhouse of Latin America”. Blair, as Prime Minister, accomplished precisely the opposite for the UK – weakening its economic and political institutions and degrading the capacity of the nation to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
So how does he get away with flogging his “expertise” to gullible governments? It is testimony to the pathetic inadequacies of economics as a social science that Blair has managed to preserve a reputation for knowing what he’s talking about. The millions in Britain who have lost jobs or their homes in the depression are the price that needs to be added to the loot that Blair’s multi-million pound consultancy operation is picking up around the world.
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