Thursday, July 19, 2007

Off to Rwanda This Evening

I've just finished packing for my trip to Rwanda. We leave at 8pm tonight from Heathrow for an overnight flight to Nairobi and then an onward flight to Kigali.

I'm going to Rwanda to make three films for 18 Doughty Street - one on the genocide, one on life in Rwanda today and the third will be a film about the acitivites of the 40 Tory MPs and volunteers who are spending two weeks there doing good works. We'll be there for six days along with various broadcast and national newspaper journalists. David Cameron will be there for two days next week to launch the Globalisation Commission report.

It's not often I get that tingling feeling of excitement before a foreign trip, but I have never been to Africa before. Vicky Ford is already there and blogging about it and she has certainly whetted my appetite. I just hope my trip out there is not as traumatic as hers was.

I'm told the place we are staying has internet access so hopefully I will be blogging the trip at regular intervals. I'll also try to blog about things other than my trip, but it depends how reliable and easy the internet access actually is.

I'm back next Thursday. In case you cared!

34 comments:

Tim said...

So that's a no-comment then, Iain?

Pity.

[You and I both know that you would have crawled across a field of broken glass if it were alleged that the Libs or Labs leaked/made-up the info that made its way to the Torygraph.]

eric the fish said...

I'd say 'enjoy the trip' but I don't think that enjoy is quite the right word. Unless they shield you from the reality it may be quite harrowing for you. Still it should make you realise how lucky we are to live in Britain...

David Anthony said...

Have a good trip.

And I expect you'll be bringing everyone back a holiday souvenir ...right!?

Ok, well, maybe not, but at least post some pics for us to see what we are missing.

Anonymous said...

Iain:

I hate to worry you, but I think that Tim Ireland and Chris Paul are secretly in love with you.

The only way they could prove otherwise would be to stop posting on your blog.

So, Tim and Chris, what's it to be?

Iain Dale said...

Excuse me while I am sick.

Tim said...

Sick over what, Iain? Did I not have the good taste to wave suffering third-worlders in your face before racing out the door?

(Oh, why haven't you noted - as you usually do - that the above anonymous comment would carry more weight if the writer had the guts to put their name to it? Could it be that you are more tolerant of anonymous/abusive comments when they are potentially useful to you?)

Anonymous said...

Tim Ireland's latest posting proves that he is in love with Iain Dale - try as he might, he just couldn't stay away....

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Rwanda. I dare say it smells, and there, they are light on personal hygiene and you can never get any fresh fennel.

(Or am I mixing Rwanda up with Tescos?)

But,there is nothing like seeing for yourself the poverty and degradation that most of the world lives in. It may have a profound impact on you.

All the best. And I promise to lead the "Release Iain Dale" campaign if you get kidnapped.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Dave won't be here when the results come in- shame!
Or is it all part of a glorious gimmick involving an interview from a mud hut?
I wonder if Dave will stay the whole time or will he be back once the publicity shots are in the can?

Bill said...

For God’s sake Tim, grow up. Your constant petulant whining makes you sound like a sanctimonious humourless bore.

The Hitch said...

I suggest you bring back some machete's that were used in the massacres , then auction them just like the Cherie Blair autographed photos of Dr David Kellys corpse.

What a pointless excersise, more Cameron cobblers our country heading towards a dictatorship and Cameron is bothered about Africa.
It may play well in North Kensington dinner parties but to the rest of us it is just another example of what a shallow plonker the man is.

jailhouselawyer said...

Don't forget to bring me back a stick of rock...

Hughes Views said...

Will this be your 'Portillo week'? He went to Liverpool for a week or so to live as a single parent on benefit - came back a changed man. But I guess you and your crew won't be trying to live off a typical African's wage and who could blame you? Have a good trip; even Tunbridge Wells should seem like paradise by comparison with some of the places you’ll see - so that's something to keep you cheerful...

Jones said...

Have a great and safe trip Iain, hope you can all do some good out there.

Best.

Tom said...

Iain, have a safe voyage, looking forward to the pictures of you in khaki and pith helmet.

Anonymous said...

Lived in central Africa for years and go there regularly. My best advice is not to blog, not to brag. Just cut the media crap and listen and learn. But I'm wasting my breath - I don't think an ambitious politician knows the meaning of those words.

As someone said to me when I first arrived there years ago: when you've lived here 4 years you can begin to comment. Quite.

independent traveller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
independent traveller said...

have a great trip ... and although it may seem trite, your first trip to Africa is such an amazing experience ... and obviously unrepeatable !

Nomad said...

Anon 1.45: Spot on! Me too; couldn't agree more.

I too had my fill of one/two day journalistic visitors who thought they knew it all after an afternoon. They used to go home and write the most ridiculous crap that had no bearing on anything they thought they had seen/heard. We shall see what Iain thinks he has learned when he gets back

I just hope he has had all the jabs before getting on the plane and has his anti-Montezuma gunge in his knapsack!

verity said...

Who cares about the degradation and poverty in Africa? They live on the richest continent in the world = gold, uranium, diamonds and every other metal the rest of the world wants to buy - plus the richest farming land in the world. And what do they get out of all that? Poverty and AIDS and the constant begging bowl.

Iain will meet people "who want to make a difference" and will be impressed out of his mind. Cameron will sink deeper in everyone's opinion - why doesn't he save the airfare and work on some sink estates in Britain for two weeks, instead? Not picturesque enough? Not enough neat sunsets to pose against? He's posed with Huskies! Now see him posed with drugged lions!!!!!!

Iain is going to come back impressed out of his mind because he's never been to the Third World before and he's going to find the people are "so real".

This whole enterprise turns my stomach.

jus' passin' thru' said...

jailhouselawyer said...

Don't forget to bring me back a stick of rock...

July 19, 2007 12:59 PM

Shurely shome mishtake.

I would have thought that you would have preferred a blood-stained machete as suggested by Mr. Hitch. Right up your street eh! jailhouse?

I know it's not exactly an axe but it's better than nothing.

Those Rwandan sticks of rock just don't have the same effect, do they?

judith said...

I think you're crackers to do it, but hope you get something out of it - as long as you don't come over all Bob Geldof on us afterwards.

Have a good journey and a safe return.

Anonymous said...

Edward Leigh MP says Turkey is not right for EU.He's right of course but what does super turk,open marriage,Bonking Boris think about that?

The Hitch said...

Mr Dale
Just in case you havent been warned make sure that you include a pinch of salt in every litre of water that you drink , this will help to keep you well if you find yourself drinking huge amounts of water , a powdered fruit drink will help with the taste.
A nice adventure , and frankly £1000 sounds rather cheap.
I hope you return in good health but hope David Cameron gets a tape worm or something worse.

Anonymous said...

"We'll be there for six days along with various broadcast and national newspaper journalists."

Heavens! I'm shocked! To think, I thought for a moment that this might not be one of those spinning media thingummies Cameroon is always getting involved in.

Remind me, what did the Tories actually say we should do regarding the (oil-free) genocide?

judith said...

Remind me, what has the Labour Govt done about the genocide? or about Zimbabwe? or about the Congo?

Oh, yes, that's right, they've sent our boys to die in Afghanistan - not sure why, but I'm sure old TB knew what he was doing, didn't he?

Anonymous said...

Indeed Judith - they've behaved exactly like the totally shameless Tories we all know Blair, Brown, Blunkett etc really are.

verity said...

Oh, so this is a media "happening"! Oh, gosh, I'm so surprised you could knock me down with a feather! David Cameron creating empty photo/video ops? Surely not!

My question, and I mean this sincerely: Does he really, really imagine ordinary people (in other words, not the kind of people he knows) will give a monkey crap one way or the other? Does he really, really think people are going to be impressed that he's gone to all this trouble to address issues in Rwanda, for God's sake, rather than issues in Britain that urgently need sorting out?

The kicker is, he honestly seems to imagine that Britons are going to be favourably impressed with his latest play acting.

stephanie clague said...

Who cares about Rwanda when the UK is in meltdown? Is it a publicity stunt to show how caring he (Dave) is? Old people going blind in England for want of a cheap drug! Housing so expensive that our young cannot get a foot on the housing ladder! Islamist scum running riot! civil liberties going down the drain! EU commisars taking control and breaking up our once independent nation! A Sleazy, crooked and biased BBC! Billions wasted on handouts to African dictators while floods destroy the lives of thousands of native British people! Eco nutcases with BBC help LYING about CO2 being the cause of global warming and so destroying what is left of our competetive Industrial base! NONJOB/gravytrain parasites bleeding the taxpayer white whilst killing of any sense of who we are as a nation! Graft and corruption and greed and selfish and drunken behaviour rife among our young!
BUT Dave is too busy for any of this! He wants to seen with Africans! Poor suffering Tribes of natives! Just to look good for a load of middle class hand wringers who might vote for him come election time? Africans are sitting on a continent stuffed to bursting with natural resources and has the potential to be the richest continent on earth but instead its people live in abject poverty and squalor, Killing each other along tribal lines and so backward as to be almost stone age in outlook while a tiny minority steal billions and stash it in Swiss banks and waste money on Russian/Chinese weapons! Iain, There is nothing you can do there that you cannot do here so why go?

SYD said...

How many ACDCs are on this Jungle Romp?

verity said...

Awwww ... Iain and the Chocolate Orange Inspector will be arriving in Rwanda about now and the sudden sweat of the tropical temperatures will make them think they have got to the heart of the matter. The reality!

This is it! What it's all about! Not Liverpool! Not Southend! AFRICA!

How naive.

verity said...

No one to be charged in the cash for peerages sleaze, but Iain's in Africa saving Rwanda along with the travelling Dave Show.

raincoaster said...

So what, you're in Mexico.

I may actually click over and watch the resulting videos. The issues in Rwanda are very real and Iain is pretty non-mainstream, for such a respectable fellow. He may well bring a new perspective to it, and he's not the slightest bit know-it-all (except about the LibDems, and there are none in Rwanda as far as I know; if there are, he'll find them).

verity said...

Raincoaster - I am a regular poster here and I do not believe that in any of my posts have I ever inferred that Iain as 'mainstream', so you are picking up a gauntlet where none was thrown down.

No. He won't have any new perspectives, although he will think he has, as all people new to an experience - like, oh, visiting a third world country for the first time - do, thinking they have gleaned special insights that no one else had thought of before. They echo a million cries of "eureka!".

"The issues in Rwanda are very real..." Uh huh. The issues everywhere are very real. The issues in Britain are very real and should be the focus of attention of the leader of HM Opposition. Dave and Iain should let the White Man's Burden cool for a while and exercise themselves over the criminal mess that Britain is in. If they want to focus on corruption, there is plenty right there in London. For instance, no one being charged in the cash for peerages scandal. You can't get much more Third World than that, and you don't even have to get on a plane to be in the thick of it.