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The country where Tessa Jowell would appear disloyal

Is Gabon, where President Bongo is celebrating his 40th anniversary of taking the presidency. Imagine, if you will, if we were still toiling under Harold Wilson. El Presidente has submitted to the popular will in '93, 98 and 2005, although there are question about the fairness of the contests.

Anyway, his minions seem well aware of which side their bread is buttered:

"“President Bongo is an exceptional man,” said Antoine Mboumbou Miyakou, a former interior minister and president of Gabon's Council for Social and Economic Affairs.

"I can say that he deserves to remain in power in Gabon,” added Rene Coniquet, the president of the senate.

"He is the messiah,” Richard Onouviet, the minister of mining, told schoolchildren in Lambarene.


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Blogger Mr Eugenides said... 11:57 am

I suppose we must be grateful his God-complex hasn't extended to renaming the country after himself - though it would be fun watching BBC newsreaders struggling with that one...  

Blogger Newmania said... 12:13 pm

I have been known to speak to valuable clients in a not disimiliar way.


Blogger Croydonian said... 12:47 pm

Mr E - Good point. 'Our friends the Saudis' are alone in having incorporated a family name into a state's name.

N - Wise, Mr N, wise.  

Anonymous grumpy granny said... 3:17 pm

An African once told me that bongo means brain in Swahili or Zulu (or something). He was a straightforward fellow, so I had/have no reason to disbelieve him. Maybe one of your African correspondents may know.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:24 pm

GG - You may well be right. Perhaps some kind soul will confirm this.

Ah, a little judicious googling later, we have confirmation that ubongo means brain or mind in Swahili.  

Anonymous GG said... 6:14 am

See! My old ubongo is full of useless information (that comes in handy at moments like this! No substitute for experience is there?)  

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