Given how shamelessly on the make Blair and his appalling wife were when they inhabited 10 Downing Street, it should come as no surprise that they regarded the office as merely a stepping stone to serious money.
Blair does, however, appear to have made better deals than the German ex-chancellor Schroder, with his relative pittance from Gazprom in return for playing the anti-American card.
We can still beat the Krauts after all. Makes you proud to be British.
On returning to the sceptred isle eleven years ago, I was stunned to find prices in pounds about the same as they had been in dollars in the States, at a time when the exchange rate was about $1.50-£1.00. Can't remember which political bribery scandal was in the news at the time, but the amount involved was so small that I recall commenting that politicians were the only cheap things left in Britain.
Of course they remain cheap, both literally and metaphorically, but as Raedwald points out, that makes them very expensive in terms of what we get for our money. If you can buy one of the three traditional parties for as little as £5 million, individual parliamentary seats are probably cheaper today than they were in days of pocket and rotten boroughs.
Or 'safe seats', as we call them today. At least in the bad old days voters would get a bung or a piss-up out of it. Now all they get is butt-fucked; and they have to pay for the vaseline themselves.