Sunday, February 6

Up up and a whale

In a speech to assembled guests in a packed hall in Airbus's headquarters in Toulouse, southwest France, the German Chancellor Gerhart Schroeder said (in German) ''Good old Europe has made this possible''.

The German Head of Government was referring to the A 380 'European' aircraft - the worlds largest.

Well half the aircraft parts, by value, are built by US companies. British engines get the A380 into the air, British wings keep it there and British landing gear will bring it back to earth.

The illuminating description from the normally precise Nick Heigham of BBC News 24 is perhaps more amusing and perhaps equally as worrying as the comment from the German Chancellor. Higham said the new aircraft was rather large and used a graphic to make his point: '' This is a blue whale. It is half the length of the A 380 but it carries no passengers.''

I see, not so much a white elephant but a blue whale. I had better stop now I am in danger of mixing a metaphor or two.

With thanks to: The Times 18 Jan, Deutsche Press-Agenture 18 Jan, US Today and Private Eye 4 Feb.

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