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Towering Tony?

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November 16 2005

The Guardian called it “Blair’s day of calamity” and his “worst day in politics”. The day afterwards however, Tony Blair was in Manchester to switch on the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) Solar Tower project.

His single vote victory in the terror bill, which followed swiftly on the heels of David Blunkett’s resignation will ensure that Wednesday 2 November will go down as a day he would wish to forget, although be unable to. His trip to Manchester the following day whilst marginally more successful will prove to be less memorable.

When all of the 7,000 photovoltaic cells are in place on the surface of the building, the solar panels will create 180,000 units of electricity, enough energy to make nine million cups of tea. However the Prime Minister was able to switch on just a portion of the panels as only the south side of the 400ft building has been covered. Unfortunately, The Prime Minister was also unable to complete the photo opportunity, which the executives of Co-Operative Financial Services had been banking on.

The weather in Manchester made a decent picture impossible, although it was unclear whether it was good enough to generate enough energy for a single cup of tea for the beleaguered PM even if he had the time. An indoor photo shoot was organised for the much put upon Prime Minister in front of a model of the tower as it will no doubt look in several months.

“We are delighted that the Prime Minister has taken time out of his busy schedule,” he said. The Prime Minister – no doubt relieved to be concentrating on the alteration of a different institution’s façade – said nothing

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