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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-03 11:24 PM
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How Blair hit turbulence and landed in a storm
"Have you got blood on your hands, Prime Minister? Are you going to resign?"

How Blair hit turbulence and landed in a storm

The PM was entitled to his celebratory glass of red wine on his flight to Tokyo. In a single day he'd wowed Congress, seen off the BBC, played tough with Bush. Now he was ready to deliver front page-making news on the euro. Then his Boeing 777 hit rough weather and the satphone rang ... Andy McSmith and Donald Macintyre report
20 July 2003

The ancients believed that rough weather represented the anger of the Gods. The Japanese word "kamikaze" - literally "divine wind" - refers to a sudden storm which sweeps your enemies away. In other cultures, fearsome weather is a portent of disaster rather than victory.

On Thursday night, as Tony Blair slept fitfully aboard a Boeing 777 bound from Washington to Tokyo, he was rocked by turbulence which one of the BA stewardesses described as the worst she had ever experienced. Had the Prime Minister been a superstitious man, he might have seen this as warning that political events - which had gone so well throughout that day - were about to take a new and terrible turn.

It should have been a weekend of crowning success for Mr Blair. As he left Washington, he had every reason to think that his government had finally turned a corner, and that an extremely difficult parliamentary term had ended on a high note.

After his triumphal speech to the houses of Congress, with its 17 standing ovations, the Prime Minister had a 20-minute meeting with President Bush, and a group of senior officials including Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice in the Oval Office before a joint press conference and dinner with the President.
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