« | Home | »

Fog-Bound

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.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • andymartinink on Reacher v. Parker: Slayground definitely next on my agenda. But to be fair to Lee Child, as per the Forbes analysis, there is clearly a massive collective reader-writer ...
    • Robert Hanks on Reacher v. Parker: And in Breakout, Parker, in prison, teams up with a black guy to escape; another white con dislikes it but accepts the necessity; Parker is absolutely...
    • Robert Hanks on Reacher v. Parker: Parker may not have the integrity and honesty of Marlowe, but I'd argue that Richard Stark writes with far more of both than Raymond Chandler does: Ch...
    • Christopher Tayler on Reacher v. Parker: Good to see someone holding up standards. The explanation is that I had thoughts - or words - left over from writing about Lee Child. (For Chandler se...
    • Geoff Roberts on Reacher v. Parker: ..."praised in the London Review of Books" Just read the article on Lee Child in a certain literary review and was surprised to find this rave notice...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

  • From the LRB Archive

    Chris Lehmann: The Candidates
    18 June 2015

    ‘Every one of the Republican candidates can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.’

    Hugh Pennington:
    The Problem with Biodiversity
    10 May 2007

    ‘As a medical microbiologist, for example, I have spent my career fighting biodiversity: my ultimate aim has been to cause the extinction of harmful microbes, an objective shared by veterinary and plant pathologists. But despite more than a hundred years of concentrated effort, supported by solid science, smallpox has been the only success.’

    Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border
    20 October 2011

    ‘The battle against illegal migration is a domestic version of America’s interventions overseas, with many of the same trappings: big manpower commitments, militarisation, pursuit, detection, rendition, loss of life. The Mexican border was already the focus of attention before 9/11; it is now a fixation that shows no signs of abating.’

    James Meek: When the Floods Came
    31 July 2008

    ‘Last July, a few days after the floods arrived, with 350,000 people still cut off from the first necessity of life, Severn Trent held its annual general meeting. It announced profits of £325 million, and confirmed a dividend for shareholders of £143 million. Not long afterwards the company, with the consent of the water regulator Ofwat, announced that it wouldn’t be compensating customers: all would be charged as if they had had running water, even when they hadn’t.’

Advertisement Advertisement