Tony Blair Inc (and how his mates discovered ways to make money from repression)

The evidence that Tony Blair has amassed a fortune since leaving office is clear. He’s rather keen on providing advice to dictators.

This news is therefore unsurprising. It’s how these people see the world; PR is a substitute for human rights. It pays far more, too:

He has produced four volumes of diaries, become a prolific blogger, starred in a one-man show, appeared on the after-dinner speaking circuit, raised funds for charity and followed his beloved Burnley FC around the country.

But until yesterday, almost nine years after he quit as Tony Blair’s director of communications, Alastair Campbell had resisted all overtures to accept permanent paid employment.

The legendary spinner – admired and vilified in equal measure at Westminster – has been headhunted as a consultant by the communications agency Portland, which was founded by his former Downing Street deputy, Tim Allan. In his new role Mr Campbell will advise a roster of clients that includes Tesco, McDonald’s, Vodafone and Google. Portland has also provided PR advice to the government of Russia and Kazakhstan’s dictatorship.

Mr Campbell will help companies with their long-term strategic communications, rather than their day-to-day public relations. And he will draw on his time in government by advising corporate clients on dealing with any crisis that could befall them.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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