Charitable Saint Brown shows up Bully Blair
Brown might be angry at Blair’s book revelations, but his retaliation has been masterly
For someone with "zero emotional intelligence" - as Tony Blair claims in his new book - Gordon Brown's retaliation to his former rival's character assassination has been masterly.
Brown is reportedly "seething" following the character assassination of him in A Journey, but he has told his aides not to rise to the bait.
Furthermore, Brown has made a very timely announcement. He is to devote whatever spare time he has while serving as an MP to doing good works in Africa and other poor nations - and all of it unpaid.
The not-for-profit Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, to be staffed by two or three people, will be paid for by occasional paid speeches organised by the Washington Speakers' Bureau. These should bring in about £50,000-£60,000 a shot (compared to a reported £200,000 per speech for Blair).
Brown is to join the Global Campaign for Education, which pressures governments to provide free education for all, and will also join the board of the World Wide Web Foundation, where "Doctor Brown will advise on ways to involve disadvantaged communities and global leaders in the development of sustainable programs that connect humanity and affect positive change".
'Doctor' Brown will also write papers to support these campaigns.
Although Blair did set up a charity, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, on leaving Downing Street in 2007, critics have accused him of monetising his undoubted influence as a former prime minister by taking positions at JP Morgan and Zurich Financial Services.
He also receives an undisclosed sum from UI Energy Corporation, a South Korean oil firm which was awarded the right to drill in northern Iraq. In all, Blair is said to have earned £20m since leaving Downing St.
There is no doubt which of the two men is now firmly ensconced on the moral high ground. The Guardian has duly dubbed him 'Saint Gordon'.