Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jack Bauer Blair Getting Close to the 24th Hour; HIM&HER: This Week: HIM Next Week: HER

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jack Bauer Blair Getting Close to the 24th Hour; HIM&HER: This Week: HIM Next Week: HER

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Parker and wife Judith Holder

IF proof was needed as to how important the North East Economic Forum is then it was underlined by the appearance of three Cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister himself.

Last week's event was again at Hardwick Hall -convenient for the PM but not those who wanted to do their bit for global warming by using public transport.

This was the third time in five months I had heard Tony Blair and seen him at close (enough to assassinate) hand.

He is an impressive orator - good eye contact with the audience, strong voice, fluent speaker and articulate to boot.

However this time it was different. He looked extremely tired even though it was just after 9am. But who wouldn't be with his schedule?

When he spoke at the CBI dinner last month he spoke at the beginning of the evening, but I was told he was going on to four other dinners that night. And he's been doing this for nearly 10 years! It's a sort of Jack Bauer existence where in just 24 hours (and we're currently into series three) Jack Bauer saves the world from disaster while being buffeted, attacked, abducted and tortured. But he still bounces back with more enthusiasm, believing all the time that he is on the side of the good.

Bauer goes through his 24 hours without needing to eat, drink, or go to the "washroom". Blair does eat - five dinners a night is not bad - and I assume he has time to do the other things as well, but his schedule is phenomenal. Then of course there are always the interruptions to the little spare time he has when another suicide bomb goes off in Iraq or a cabinet colleague is taking centre spread in a broadsheet.

But back to the Forum, so excellently organised by Northumbria University and the lobbyists, Sovereign Strategy, bringing together some 200 major players in the North East both from the public and private sectors. …

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