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Tony Blair flirted with technology today by ordering flowers online for his wife Cheri. One vulture-eyed Registerreader who attended the appointment of Britain's first E-envoy watched the PM in action as he visited the Interflora Web site. Although his technical ability was sound, by all accounts his typing was lousy. No matter, at least this little PR stunt will endear the PM as a romantic if nothing else. But what of his e-credentials -- how did they fare? Predictably, the PM was big on rhetoric and little else. "Britain has a proud history as a great trading nation," he puffed. "We were the first industrial power -- the workshop of the world. Great inventions have "made in Britain" stamped all over them. We are a creative, innovative adventurous people. "Today we need that spirit of adventure more than ever. We need to face up to a new challenge -- the challenge of new information technologies." The soundbite of the day -- which will be regurgitated ad nauseum -- was equally predictable and just as lame. "To British business: a blunt message: if you don't see the Internet as an opportunity, it will be a threat. In two or three years time the Internet could be as commonplace in the office as the telephone. If you're not exploiting the opportunities of ecommerce, you could risk going bankrupt." Don't say you haven't been warned. ®

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