Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's in town this week, picking up his Medal of Freedom from SMU, which puts him in the same company as Colin Powell, Margaret Thatcher, former President George H. W. Bush, Tommy Franks and John McCain. Only, yesterday The Sunday Times in the U.K. made it sound like a rather unseemly accolade for which Blair was receiving filthy lucre. Groused the paper in advance of Blair's ascension of the Hilltop:
Even though it is eight months since he left Downing Street, Tony Blair has once again laid himself open to an unfortunate combination of the words “cash” and “honours”. A Texas university with close links to President George W Bush will this week pay Blair thousands of pounds and hand him an honour usually reserved for Republican grandees and American war heroes.
Blair has turned down an honorarium that goes with the Medal of Freedom but has asked for a cash fee to speak to students and children from deprived backgrounds after the award ceremony.
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