Diary: I've got just the man to help you, Mr Blair ... Prince Andrew

It breaks the heart to observe, but the more happiness he spreads throughout the globe, the more suspicion surrounds the motives of Mr Tony Blair. The latest African centre of special Blairite interest to draw critical attention is Rwanda, where that singular philanthropist has been so busy of late.

Saturday's Daily Mail dwelt on private jet flights on the dime of best buddy President Paul Kagame, on whom he lavishes the sort of praise once reserved for Gaddafi. Whether or not Mr Kagame ordered the genocidal slaughter of Hutu civilians when leading the Tutsi army during the civil war, a disturbing number of journalists (all feral beasts no doubt) have been killed and jailed while he has been in power.

What so appeals to Mr Tony about Rwanda remains a mystery. The country's natural wealth is negligible, although one way or t'other it seems to come by a startling amount of valuable minerals mined across the Congolese border. Whatever explains his fascination – and to others, as always, we leave the cynicism and sneering – the Kagame administration is said to be "absolutely stuffed" with former Blair advisers working for his Africa Governance Initiative.

Time may reveal more about this curious friendship. Until then, we trust Mr Tony will continue his good works in Africa; and that if ever he feels his altruistic energies flagging, he won't be too proud to invite Prince Andrew on board to relieve some of the weight from his shoulders.



* What a joy, meanwhile, to see another great mate of Mr T's getting on. Sir John Scarlett (he's indestructible!) is unveiled as a director of Times Newspaper Ltd, and, fingers crossed, this is only the start of the former MI6 supremo's career within the empire. Soon Rupert will need some independent souls to oversee the "spun-off" Sky News, in compliance with his entirely credible guarantee to the Government. Who better than the man who established a fearsome ability to resist pressure in dealing with Alastair Campbell over how to present that WMD intelligence?

Another new director of Times Newspapers is Prudence, the forgotten Murdoch, and Rupert's first-born. With second daughter Elisabeth poised to join brothers James and Lachlan on the News Corporation board once the latter's £415m purchase of her production company Shine is complete, the old boy's hatred of dynastic family structures may be waning a little. Thankfully, however, his anti-monarchy instincts are as strong as ever. Where some quality titles would have overplayed the scoop, yesterday's Sunday Times restricted coverage of Kate Middleton's wedding dress to a chunk of the front page, and all of pages 2-3. Insouciantly thrown away, and all the more captivating for that.



* Making a rare public outing, David Miliband sidled on to the telly yesterday to chat with Andrew Marr. Asked if he intends to remain in politics, the senior Milbandroid said that he does – and with such quiet meaning that the subtitles, had there been any, would have borrowed from hide-and-seek days in the Hampstead nursery to read: "Coming to get you Ed, ready or nooooot!" And how David's alternative career in football with Sunderland FC is rubbing off on him. Speaking of any long-term ambitions, he will, he insisted, "take it one parliament at a time".



* Pringle caps off to the golf commentator Peter Alliss on reaching 80 last week. By the weirdest happenstance, somebody laying claim to the identical name as Peter (who features at No 1, piling coincidence upon coincidence, in my book of the leading 101 sporting irritants) wrote a while ago wishing me a happy Christmas, and "a good New Year, when I ... won't be a bit surprised to see articles in the Jewish Chronicle alongside, who knows, The Beano?" I haven't replied to this namesake from Surrey yet because I can't penetrate the oblique meaning, if any, of that JC reference. But I do think the Socrates of the 19th hole ought to know that someone is writing attemptedly mordant letters in his name, which might, in this present climate, be misinterpreted.



* A contender emerges for Road Sign of the Year. Nothing unusual about "Please Drive Carefully", but on the edges of the north Yorkshire village of Bedlam, it does look foolishly optimistic.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'