Baptism of Fire

You’ve got to respect Baroness Amos. As British High Commissioner to Australia she could have whiled away her days with a spot of tennis followed by gin and tonics on the verandah, occasionally hosting a trade delegation or planning a reception for this winter’s victorious England’s Ashes team. But no. Less  than a year into her job, she jacked it in to become the UN’s humanitarian chief.

Her first day was Monday. Without even checking out her office, she flew to Pakistan on Tuesday, toured flood-hit Sindh on Wednesday and today, Thursday, learned about the security risks faced by aid workers in Pakistan. After what can only have been about half an hour at Khunder 2 aid camp, just outside Nowshera, her security team raised the alarm and bundled her in the car and raced back to Islamabad. A big demo near Peshawar meant the local police were nervous about the crowd gathering around the peer. Presumably they didn’t want a repeat of what happened to the last baroness to visit

It’s enough to make anyone, ennobled or otherwise, wish for a croquet lawn, butler and life of a high commissioner.

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