He's the man responsible for introducing social enterprise as government policy, so it's a reasonable question to ask whether he'd practice what he expects of others.
According to GQ magazine however, he's a philanthropist, which means he acts from a love of humanity. Typically a philanthropist expresses this through charitable donations.
But Tony Blair and his wife Cherie are both recipients of USAID funding, which is a somewhat bizarre re-interpretation of philanthropy. This money comes from the US taxpayer to fund the Blairs. Even if given directly to social causes, philanthropy has never been interpreted as giving away other peoples money. As USAID state cleary, what they do is "From the American People" many of whom are living in poverty.
As we learn from our newspapers there's little frugality in these foundations, with their sumptous offices and highly paid staff.
In the UK , a social enterprise is a business which re-invests suplus revenue for the benefit of the community. In 2004 I confirmed with the Department of Trade that our business model, rendering at least 50% of profit to community benefit qualified under their definition to be descibed as a social enterprise.
If an organisation depends on public funding to remain sustainable, it isn't a business, it's a charity recipient. It's CEO isn't a philanthropist, he and his staff are public beneficiaries. Some might use the word parasites.
In their own words, "USAID is following a new model of development emphasizing measurable results, more efficient national and local governments, thriving civil societies, and private investment, creating the conditions to eliminate the need for its assistance over time."
So why is so much of the funding travelling in the opposite direction? .
Going back to 2003, when we were operating as a social enterprise in Crimea, their deputy finance minister tried to muscle in on a development project for the Tatar community. There was $40 million of US funding on the table and he wanted a slice.
Our founder was told he wasn't going to be paid for his work and it wasn't his money anyway. His translator was shaking as he spoke the reply.
"Yes it is my money. Mine and every other tax paying American's, so you can go fuck yourself"
As he walked out the deputy minister was banging his head against the wall with rage. USAID were informed that the project would be blocked on copyright grounds. In his notes he wrote:
"Kulish scoffed at copyright, stating it was useless in Ukraine. I asked the US embassy to cease and desist for the time being, reminded them of copyright, and the project was halted. I fired off an op-ed piece in Kyiv Post, characterizing government officials as gatekeepers holding the welfare of citizens hostage unless said officials were paid in advance. That is the definition of corruption. It was so common in Ukraine that few people even noticed it any more than a fish notices water. It remains common now, but has decreased significantly since citizens took to the streets in 2004 to begin to flush out the system."
On second thoughts, Tony Blair couldn't be a social enterprise because he lacks both courage and integrity. One of Ukraine's leading oligarchs is a donor to his Faith Foundation, obliging him to host a panel discussion on faux philanathropy.
Unsurprisingly Richard Branson, whose B Team was criticised recently by the Guardian for "Big Egos' and Inaction is there with them.