Cautionary tales from life aboard the government plane

Cautionary tales from life aboard the government plane
The Air Force 757 comes into a rainy Sydney. (Image: BusinessDesk)
Pattrick Smellie
The commander of the US naval base on Diego Garcia, a speck in the Indian Ocean, was a living caricature of the ramrod-straight, chisel-jawed, all-American army officer.“Mr prime minister,” he gravel-drawled, looking Jim Bolger straight in the eye, “I think you need a better plane.”The date would have been May 9, 1994, and Bolger was on his way with a gaggle of worthies, advisers and journalists to the inauguration of the new South African president, Nelson Mandela.A cosy chat in Pretoria between Nelson Mandela and Jim B...

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