Imagine for a moment that money was no object to you. Imagine that you and your associates had hundreds of thousands to spend with free reign. Do images of fast cars, boats, luxury hotels, trips on a private jets or swimming pools filled with champagne come to mind? How about a private speech by Bill Clinton or Tony Blair for you and your associates?
I personally couldn’t think of a worse way to spend ANY amount of money than to pay Bill Clinton or Tony Blair to speak. Paying them to shut up would be a much wiser investment. But frankly, I wouldn’t even pay large sums for a private speech by someone I admire. Certainly not the £330,000 for the 20 minute speech Tony Blair once got paid for let alone the $285,000 for a single speech by Bill Clinton.
I frankly find it perverse that someone could make that much money for such a small and non-labour intensive amount of work.
But this leads to a logical question: Why are such things done? It is true that for some individuals and organisations, several hundred thousand dollars is pocket money, but even so, is paying over $200k for someone to emit words into a microphone really value for money?
Few ultra-wealthy people are generous with their money. Some such individuals become frivolous when it comes to prostitutes or drug dealers, but when it comes to what nominally passes for serious money, one finds that such people can be meaner than Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve.
What than might be the motivation for such extravagance when it comes to hearing the likes of Clinton and Blair rhetorically vomit into a microphone?
Could it be money laundering? Could it be other fraudulent or illegal activities?
Speculative logic would dictate that such things ought to be investigated.
In March of 2012, Tony Blair was paid €220k for a speech in Romania. Blair claimed that 100% of the proceeds went to charity. According to Romania’s Business Review, the businessman who paid for the speech did so in order to further his own political career, something which eventually transpired. The man in question was later prosecuted for money laundering.
This incident which was widely exposed, though hushed up by the mainstream media, does not strike me as exceptional.
Ex-politicians who go on the international speaking circuit are not stupid and nor are those who pay them. In this sense. appearances are deceiving.
The political speaking circuit may just be a colossal example of money laundering in broad daylight.
Serious investigations ought to be held. The United States has the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for this reason and Britain has it’s Serious Fraud Office. I would not hesitate to say that INTERPOL should get involved when appropriate.
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are both war criminals, although the corruption inherent in international justice is such that the two may never get prosecuted for their atrocious crimes.
Might it be easier to go after the organisations of politicians like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair if fraud is discovered after a full thorough investigation?
Al Capone, who was a small time criminal compared to Clinton and Blair, was eventually successfully prosecuted for the comparatively minor offence of tax evasion.
Either way, money laundering and the political speaking charade ought to be examined by the authorities.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.