Blair becomes world’s highest-paid public speaker

April 5th, 2009 - 12:38 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 5 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has emerged as the world’s highest-paid public speaker, earning almost 400,000 pounds for two half-hour speeches on the international lecture circuit since leaving the premiership two years ago.

He received the fee during a 36-hour visit to the Philippines, where he lodged with the British Ambassador, The Times reported.

The former prime minister, who has earned more than 15million pounds observed: “Politicians are a very strange people” and “helping people is a noble profession, but not noble to pursue”.

Manny Pangilinan, chairman of PLDT, a telecoms company that sponsored the speech at Ateneo de Manila University, told the local press that Blair was paid 182,000 pounds for a talk entitled “The Leader as Nation Builder in a Time of Globalisation”.

While many public speakers have had to cut their rates since the onset of the recession, Blair’s fees have remained buoyant.

Former US president Bill Clinton was regularly netting about 103,000 pounds per speech until he cut back on his public speaking earlier this year when his wife Hillary became the US Secretary of State.

His successor, George W Bush, is reported to have charged 150,000 dollars per speech since leaving the White House. However, it is thought unlikely that Bush will be able to command such rates for long.

Al Gore, the former US vice-president who has reinvented himself as a climate change campaigner, charges about 100,000 dollars for an hour-long speech.

Next month Blair is to address an audience of 2,000 at the Arlington theatre in Santa Barbara, California. (ANI)

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