Freetown, Baby!

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair by jc2010sl
September 3, 2010, 4:53 pm
Filed under: public life, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

On my office door there is a sign that reads “Office of Tony Blair, Consultant”. It’s not strictly accurate, as the organisation I work for is no longer the Office of Tony Blair, but a separate charity that has spun out from our patron’s office. I’m not really a consultant either, more of an advisor (although quite how my role should be defined is a matter of lively discussion with some of my Government counterparts). Anyway, the point is, it says “Tony Blair” on my door.

As I was entering my office just now a man I’d not met came and said hello. “My son is 9 years old,” he said. “I have named him after your boss: he is called Anthony Charles Lynton Blair Kamara, but we just call him ‘Tony Blair’.” He then very proudly told me how he was doing in school and asked if he could bring me to meet him. “Er I guess so” was my response. “You’ve met him have you?” I told him I had, and he seemed even more excited that his son come and meet me.

Never far from the news, Tony Blair has been particularly prominent this week. The usual suspects have said all the things that the usual suspects say. When his book is no longer front page news, I suspect they will continue to say much the same. What I took from my brief exchange this afternoon was some of the profound feeling that the people of Sierra Leone still have towards him. I can’t think of a time when someone I’ve never met before has wanted me to meet their family on such a flimsy personal association with my organisation’s patron. I doubt it will happen again.



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