Whilst we were in Japan, their navy rather unfortunately crashed a warship into a passing boat. Said vessel being rather large, the navy came off worse – and the destroyer caught fire. Fortunately, it wasn’t serious, and there were no injuries.
The press reported that the Japanese Prime Minister had been informed of the incident, and had ordered an immediate enquiry. His office confirmed that the PM had also issued orders to naval staff to do everything possible to contain the fire and put it out.
The second part of this rather amused me. I’m picturing the chain of events – a loud crash; flames; a call to the admiral; the message conveyed with urgency to the PM’s office. The ratings on the warship standing round confused, wondering what to do as the fire burned furiously… Eventually, the order arrives back from the PM: “put out the flames”; the naval officers realise that this is a great idea and rush for the fire extinguishers, saved by the politician’s brilliantly perceptive advice.
For Prime Minister, read all too many senior execs when it comes to bids: standing by, letting the flames burn as chaos reigns (with too few staff working too many hours to try to produce the proposal against the odds) – or, more usually, taking credit for a win where their involvement has been (at best) minimal.