A Bit of a Cock-Up…

I don’t know if you remember the excellent BBC series The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin from many years ago, but the title character’s incompetent brother-in-law Jimmy (played with deadpan brilliance by Geoffrey Palmer), an ex-military officer utterly incapable of functioning adequately in civilian life, always used that expression to preface his latest mundane failure. “A bit of a cock-up on the [whatever] front…”

For some reason that was the first thing that came to mind when hearing of the hilariously inept British SAS fiasco in Libya. Bit of a cock up on the diplomatic front, one might say. Spoken in William Hague’s smarmy tone of voice, I’d imagine it would sound quite perfectly comical.

Comedy of Errors Update:

Aside from commentary on the hapless British misadventure, if what Richard Engel is reporting about the Saudis arming the rebels is true, this is an incredibly significant development in the conflict.

4 Comments

Filed under British Politics, Humour

4 responses to “A Bit of a Cock-Up…

  1. Depending on whether the media decide to follow this story closely, we either will or will not learn if the ugliness of this little cock-up is more than skin deep—in other words, whether Cameron green-lit this little Boy’s Own adventure without White House approval. If he did—if he risked turning anti-Gaddafi forces against the West through the reckless arrogance of what amounts to a pre-emptive British invasion à la Iraq without Obama’s blessing, we’re looking forward to the frostiest bout of U.S./U.K. relations since the Suez Crisis.

    Mind you, if he did not—if Cameron let the proud SAS be used by the White House as the advance party of a planned American assault in order to shield the U.S. from international condemnation and ridicule in the likely event of things going south (as they have), Cameron may have just politically soldered his lead coffin shut from the inside. We shall see.

  2. Cameron appears to be such a callow, utterly gormless dope, that I’m inclined to think this was, as you so delightfully put it, a “Boys Own Adventure” gone horribly wrong…

    Sadly, we (Brits, that is) have a rather long and storied tradition of awry (but usually quite hilarious) military cock-ups. In the ledger of such things, our misshapen disasters and calamitous failures probably far outweigh our dubious successes and “near run things”…

    Andrew Marr (BBC news presenter) made a wonderfully wry comment on this… He suggested that it may have been better if this “diplomatic mission” had just simply landed in Benghazi and said “Take us to your leader.” That cracked me up.

  3. Rotterdam

    Another botched mission.
    I do not think it will hurt him like Jimmy Carter’s botched Iranian mission.
    The cadillac of mission’s…Entebbe.

  4. It’s funny that wingers always beat on Carter for the failed mission to rescue the Americans held hostages, but somehow never mention the fact that the hostage situation was engineered by Republican operatives with the Iranians to be prolonged so as to aid the election of Reagan… Did nobody think it was bizarre that the hostages were released immediately upon Ronnie becoming president? There was a real 2 + 2 moment…

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