Not a protest from the Blair Brown Regime when the European Civil Aviation Authorities closed European airspace as the volcano erupted in Iceland. This over reaction went unchallenged until German and British airlines began test flights to see for themselves how great a risk the ash clouds were. The growing consensus is that some closures were entirely justified but a level of traffic on selected routes would have been entirely safe.
Having neglected to ask questions about the blanket shutdown of airports, the Blair Brown Regime stumbled on, concentrating their efforts on the election campaign and news that they were now standing in third place in the opinion polls. One poll even followed the election reality of the European elections and placed Labour in forth place with the UK Independence Party in second place behind the Conservatives.
Then a tv presenter organized a Dunkirk Mk II evacuation of trapped Britons with a flotilla of high speed RIBs heading for France only to be rejected by the French. This failed attempt encouraged journalists following the election campaign to ask Bottler why he hadn’t thought of sending a fleet to France. Stung by this and fear of even further loss of polls position, Bottler lumbered into action yesterday and his spin doctors announced that the British Fleet was steaming to the rescue, headed by flagship HMS Ark Royal – “let the cheese eating surrender monkeys try to stop the Royal Navy”, was the subtext.
No great surprise that today it emerges the Fleet rescue was a fantasy and that Britons were being advised that they are on their own.
It seems that HMS Albion had been tasked some days ago to steam to Spain to pick up a group of British soldiers from the Rifles who were returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan and had managed to find their way as far as Spain. The change in plan was that Albion would be allowed to bring back any British civilians if there was any spare capacity after loading the soldiers and any equipment.
Ark Royal and Ocean might have been heading towards France but no one had got permission from the French to let them dock in French ports or to make arrangements to marshal stranded Britons ready to board.
Then the ferry companies pointed out that they had put on a great deal of extra capacity with more coming on stream and the last thing they needed was great big aircraft carriers getting in their way and clogging ports. One ferry spokesperson commented that they saw the belated involvement of RN warships as being unfair competition poaching their passengers.
Oh well, on to the next Bottler Brown disaster.