Wednesday, 23 February 2011


You would be hard pressed to make this up.

This morning at around 6 I heard that Turkey and the USA had sent in boats to rescue people from Libya. Since then I have read that Bulgaria, Russia, China, Tajikistan, France, Portugal and several other nations have managed to remove their citizens from the country.

Bulgaria even sent in military aircraft.

Britain, however, was doing its best to charter a plane this morning, while oil workers were saying that they had tried to get in touch with the British Embassy in Tripoli but that no one had got back to them.

Later in the morning, after criticism from families of ex-pats and from the Labour opposition they had stirred their stumps and a plane was due to leave at 12.30, with another later in the day and yet another tomorrow.

As of 7 pm, the chartered flight due to leave at 12.30 pm still hadn’t gone (according to on line papers). It was on the tarmac at Gatwick, broken down. And Alistair Burt, a Foreign Office minister, pictured below, said when questioned about it: "Sometimes planes develop faults through nobody else's fault or error. We will hopefully get those planes out as quickly as possible."

Hopefully Mr Burt? Hopefully, you say? Oh well, there’s not much you can do in an emergency when British citizens are trapped in a foreign country that is in the middle of a violent and deathly revolution and a plane brakes down. Especially if you’re only the government. I mean it’s not like you could get another bloody plane or anything, is it?

I’ve just checked and it appears that the plane has now left (8pm). At long last.

And Cameron has the brass neck to say that he has done everything possible to get stranded Brits out of there, and that the FCO officials were working round the clock to get people out. He said: "I don't want to give details of the exact plane arrival times or what ships and when, but we are doing everything we can to make sure we
get people out and there are all sorts of different means that we can use to make sure that happens." Just as well you didn't hand out the timetable, huh? What with it all coming down to one broken plane.

All I can say is that they seem to be pretty crap at it if they were doing everything possible and this was the best they could manage. I think too that they might want in their redundancy programme to look at some of the officials who work round the clock to produce a laughing stock fiasco like this.


  1. Yet another embarrassment for the British way of doing things. Is there nothing that the half-wit in Chief and his dopey government can get right?

  2. A sonnet

    Ally's Akhbar !
    Rejoice it is me
    Cast Iron Dave
    With another guarantee
    That I'll get our boys home
    From that Tripoli
    Forget planes and boats
    They've all gone to the scrappies
    But I've found a big bus
    For all of our chappies
    It leaves at first light
    From Londons Kings Cross
    When it manages to get there
    I couldn't give a toss

  3. That man would sink to any level. I see Cameron is slating Blair for his relationship with Gaddafi here.

  4. Oh Monty, a real 14 liner. What can I say?

    Erm, it's very hmmmmm..... good....


    Well done, nearly everything rhymes, + or - :¬))

  5. I'd say Munguin, it's just as well the lads in Dunkirque weren't waiting for Willie Hague to organise their repatriation....

    "I cannie get the matches tae light....!"

  6. Monty the good makarFebruary 23, 2011 11:15 pm

    Yes you're right tris. It's ...good....
    You have excellent taste in poetry and general sonnetry.

  7. Ehhh monty. It wiz thon standard grade in Scottish Lit whot eh got whot done it... ken? It fostered in us, ken, a great love oh them poum thingies, ken like?

  8. tris

    help is on its be fair they would do the job faster and more efficiently and you would have a laff

  9. I don't know enough about the fast moving events to criticise the government response.

  10. Dean said..

    " I don't know enough about the fast moving events to criticise the government response."

    Oh go on. Politics is supposed to be your specialist subject. Don't you watch the news ?

    Quick recap..

    Turkey got 2,000 out.
    BP got it's workers out by air
    Holland/ Denamrk/Poland etc got theirs ( and some of ours out)
    We've got a base on Cyprus with Hercs ( an hours flying time)
    Brits in the desert didn't even get a reply to their e mails asking for help
    The PM is too busy selling weapons to help
    it was a pure flook that HMS Cumberland was in the area ( it was en route to the scrappies after it's final tour.)

    Go on Dean have a stab at a comment.

  11. Bloody hell! So the UK which spends billions on defence only had a broken-down plane available. No wonder the UK is a world-wide laughing-stock.

  12. Not a bad summary of the situation Monty.

  13. John, It appears that they chartered the first one... but they must have put it out to tender and accepted the lowest bid from a little man with a wee old plane that his dad left him when he died in 1957, because it took ten hours to fix it before they sent it out.

    There was a bloke on the radio this morning who was in Warsaw, grateful that the Poles, who had 50 spare places on their plane, offered him sanctuary.

  14. Tris

    One of the funnies comments were left on the story in The Telegraph that you linked to, about Cameron criticizing Bliar.

    [Sometimes in political life you have to meet odious and evil people in the belief you are working for the common good. You have to feel for Gaddafi on this one.]

    Genuine LOL.

  15. Dubs: Brilliant line. I would have thought that meeting odious people was the norm in politics. There must be an occasional exception... but I'm hard pressed to think of one.

  16. tris

    Ta. I've not heard anything from Nick ( currently in charge of the country) or Tony ( our mid east peace envoy) so I'm not sure what their views are.
    I've ignored William ( Foreign Sec) as he still thinks gaddafi is in Venezuela after reading it on twitter.
    Our FM usually has some info but was refused access to COBRA and is being kept out of the loop again.

  17. Monty: He said this morning that he would be chairing COBRA today... a week or so too late, but ....

    Don't knock Twitter though. I mean if the secret services of the US and UK can be taken in by one bloke with a grudge, telling lies, and go to war and kill 100,000 innocent Iraqis and a few thousand allies on the strength of it, surely Twitter is worth keeping an eye on. At least it's cheaper than running MI5.

  18. PS Monty: I believe that Nick is on holiday.

    I believe that on the quiet they gave Willie the title previously held by Lord Voldermort, First Minister, so in theory (heaven help us) Vague is in charge!

  19. Niko,

    Occasionally discretion is the bette part of valour - even I can't really offer up a defense of this utter @#*%!

  20. Libya placed billions of dollars at U.S. banks-WikiLeaks

    LIA, the umbrella body for Libya's sovereign funds managing oil windfall revenues, is estimated to manage assets of around $70 billion with stakes in European bluechips such as Italian bank UniCredit and British publishing group Pearson.

    When Westminster is full of career MPs incompetence is a natural outcome as self importance comes first.

  21. Tris.....Where else but on Munguin's Republic could one find a comment (from Monty) in the form of a sonnet?

    Or for that matter have a blogger (Tris) who would think to check out the number of lines and rhyme scheme. But as to the rhyme scheme and meter, is it Shakespearean or Spenserian? Don't know myself. My English literature course has mostly escaped me.

    More seriously, I hope that your countrymen are evacuated safely.

  22. Ah Danny.... umhhhh. Dunno!

    That standard grade in english wot I got never done no stuff like taht it jus did spellin punktuasion and u kan sea.

    True though... It's a very superior blog!

    I think that the evacuation has started, several days too mate, but thanks very much for your kind thoughts. :)

  23. Niko, I can't open your link.

    It must be Ok because Dean iopened it, but it won't open for me...

    I know you spent ages gitting that link formula from Cynical, but....could you send me the urel please?

    Danny... Did you work out how to do the links?

  24. Surprise surprise CH... London rears its ugly head....

  25. PS... CH: At least Libya HAS a sovereign oil fund. It's more than we have, so Maddafi must have done something right before we went bonkers.

  26. Ah! tris but they are a bigger country of 6 million and only big countries are worthy of World status.

  27. Yep Great one. Letter will be done tomorrow.

  28. Wait cynical, as is proven here

    Scotland has a population in excess of 15,000,000, we should find out where they are all hiding

  29. #Anonymous they must of been looking at Labour's postal voting list as their records must go back 7 or 8 decades!

    Cammy will come to the rescue

  30. Anon. That's a very good point and probably worth a story in itself.

    The government, and the right wing dumbo press, Mail, Express, Sun, has demonised everyone on Sickness-type benefits, to the point where people are often ashamed to be ill.

    It's bad enough to be long term ill, to be in terrible pain, to have a frightening future, without having ill-informed dickwits writing a pile of ballocks about you to add to your problems. But what do they care; they make a shed load of money from it as the blue rinse brigade purse their lips and shake their heads and say a good day's work never hurt anyone.

    I will write something about it later today.

  31. LOL CH. Yes. Mr Cameron and his government certainly know how to show these horrid foreigners the rough side of their tongues.

    I should imagine every tyrant in the world is now shaking in his (or her) shoes.

  32. Things are now moving fast re - the Libya crisis. Baroness Ashton of £320K trousered (plus expenses) our High Representative for Foreign Affairs said she is 'considering sanctions against Libya'. Gaddafi has announced he may have to reasses his positon in light of this news and is considering laying down his weapons and handing himself over to the ECHR in the William Hague.
    Nick has broken his English half term hols and jetted back to England to attend the meeting of English COBRA. He's not sure what it is but it sounds jolly fun.
    Dave has denied paying bribes to Gaddafi to get UK citizens out of Libya. He said they weren't bribes but just a token of our gratitude for not shooting our citizens.
    Mr Hague can't be contacted and is thought to be in Venezuela chasing up a hunch.

  33. Maybe I got my 'old boys network' pals to sabotage his link? ... or maybe not...

  34. Eeeeek Dean. Now you have me really interested. Send me the link pleeeeeeeease.

  35. LOL Good one Monty.

    I think Venezuela is the best place for him after his performance the other day on Today.

    I used to think that Jack Straw was a blether when you took his script away, but Oor Wullie's got him beat!

  36. I think Mr Hague has flown to Geneva on a new wild goose chase. Maybe Dean has been fiddling with his twitter thing again ;)

  37. Geneva is a brilliant place for wild geese; Lac Léman is full of them. There's a little café on one of the islands, and they get fed lots by tourists.

    Great big fat geese they are, as a result. So he should do well. If he's reading this he might bring me one back. I like a bit of goose for Sunday lunch.

    I don't know anything about his twitter thingy, and I'd prefer if it stayed that way.

  38. Ah 'Wild Geese', one of my favourite movies. I used to think it spawned 'broadsword calling Danny Boy' but alas that was 'Where eagles Dare'
    I've often had geese but always find them tougher than an Oily Eck speech. Did I tell you about my friends trip to see a cobra. It was sooooo scary. It was in London though not Africa .
    You can follow me on twitter if you like ?

  39. That was interesting Elmer. Do keep posting.

    I've always thought that TWITter was an appropriate place for you to expound your "ideas".