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Shocker about Kaczynski, and all the others on his plane. As Denis MacShane points out, no modern European government has ever had its leadership removed en bloc in this way.

I’ve noticed before, though, that a disproportionate number of heads of state and prime ministers seem to die in plane crashes. Barthelemy Boganda of the Central African Republic in 1950, Francisco de Sá Carneiro of Portugal in 1980, Samora Machel of Mozambique in 1986, Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan in 1988, Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi in 1994 – and now Lech Kaczynski of Poland. All the first six were either certainly or probably murdered, leaving Kaczynski as the only one to die in a straightforward crash, flying into a fog-bound airport in a creaky plane. That won’t stop the conspiracy theories.

Comments on “Fog-Bound”

  1. bilejones says:

    It’s always(well nearly always)sad to see the loss of life, but this could have been much, much worse: It could have been a plane full of decent productive people.

  2. Robert Hanks says:

    It’s not just heads of state – once you rise to a certain level of political prominence, plane travel seems to get riskier. Just off the top of my head: Sanjay Gandhi, Dag Hammarskjold, General Sikorski (who was, it occurs to me, prime minister in exile).

    And bilejones: I think you must be defining decency and productivity rather narrowly. At any rate, being a democratically elected head of state strikes me as a fairly decent and useful way of passing the time.

  3. strunkovice says:

    Probably not straightforward as Kaczynski’s style of leadership was maybe a likely cause of the crash. Do not blame the plane which was not an old crock, given, as in this case, good maintenance and no terrorism, it has a record of bring able to land in difficult circumstances.

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