Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair, is defying high unemployment by being offered yet another advisory role at a leading firm. It has been reported that, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the parent company to a catalogue of the world’s most prestigious luxury brand, is in the last stages of concluding an agreement to add the 56 year old to their roster of senior advisers.
Blair’s political legacy is stained with controversy. Even today, two and a half years after leaving Downing Street No.10, the war in Iraq is still a hot topic of debate in the House of Commons. Despite a bitter end to his career as PM, Blair’s resignation has been followed by a fairy tale of extraordinary job offers. Most noted is his short career in the educational sector, teaching globalisation and faith at Yale University earning him an impressive $250,000 per lecture. Along with writing memoirs, holding expensive speeches is a widely common occupation for ex-prime ministers and presidents.
But Tony Blair’s resume extends further than lecturing university students and top executives. An advisory role at JP Morgan exploit Blair’s bank of experience in leadership, taxation, finance and legislation, rewarding £2.5 million in financial compensation. Contrary to leaders in numerous countries around the world who simultaneously enjoy dual careers as politicians and millionaire business men, UK prime ministers serve the public and are prohibited from having other occupations, which could possibly conflict with their interest for what’s best for the country.
At present the annual salary for the prime minister is just under £200,000 which is rather disproportionate to the mental weight and emotional stress of holding such a powerful post. Consequently, Tony Blair is not shy about making the most out of the black book of phone numbers he filled up during his three mandates – one of the names in that book being a close friend, namely Bernard Arnault, the chief executive officer of LVMH. At the firm Blair’s role will not involve sketching limited edition Louis Vuitton bathrobes or dog accessories -- but lending his influential voice in facilitating the French luxury conglomerate’s invasion of new markets with luxury goods. Perhaps, appropriately, General Motor have Gordon Brown queued up for post to further sustain the firm’s lack of profitability.