the capture of the political class 

Joseph Stiglitz quoted in The Rich: a 2000 Year History by John Kampfner, pg 386:

Virtually all US senators, and most of the Representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 per cent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 per cent, and know that if they serve the top 1 per cent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 per cent when they leave office.

Does the post-office elevation of Tony Blair into the economic stratosphere complicate this picture? Or is it simply an intensification of an existing trend? I’ll be curious to find out what Nick Clegg does with the rest of his life, as I’ve never quite been able to shake the suspicion that for him political office was always a self-conscious stepping stone. Whereas perhaps for Blair and Mandelson, it was more a case of opportunities presenting themselves as their careers unfolded.