Are the Blairs right to charge for coach trip to their own party?

To say that Tony Blair has done well since leaving the office of Prime Minister would be a bit of an understatement.

While he and his wife are not everyone's cup of tea at home, for some reason he's a hit abroad and while his day job is now apparently Middle East envoy for the United Nations (how's that workin' for ya?) some estimates put his earnings in excess of £25million from speaking fees, book deals, and special advisory roles.
Then there's the property portfolio worth £14 million not to mention his missus Cherie the lawyer – and eBay seller – who does her best on a £200,000-a-year salary.

So it seemed a nice, generous act to host the end-of term party for their son Leo and his classmates at their £6 million Buckinghamshire pad... until parents found out that they'd have to pay for the privilege.

Yep, Tony and Cherie – who just lost their fight to maintain four armed officers on a round-the-clock detail outside their London pad – consider themselves under such a threat that no one was allowed to drive to their Grade I listed home. Instead a coach had to be hired to take the children from central London and parents were asked to stump up £10 each.

But after parents, who no doubt initially thought the invite was a passport to the rarefied world of the Blairs, complained – anonymously – Tony and Cherie had a change of heart and said they would stump up the tenner for any parents that couldn't afford it.

Just don't expect your kid to win anything at Pass the Parcel.

Protestations that parents can't afford a 10-quid coach trip don't really ring true but I guess it's the principle involved that an act of generosity is soured by a petty, penny-pinching exercise. It's often hard to believe that Tony Blair was actually a Labour Party leader.

As for poor old Leo, he better get used to not being picked for football. I hope he likes reading.

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