In what can be considered a metaphor for his entire government, Prime Minister David Cameron praised “our most advanced and capable transport plane" just moments before it got stuck on the runway on its way to assist the French in Mali.
The plane, loaded with military equipment and foreign troops, had been due to
help halt an al-Qaeda advance when it was delayed due to a technical fault.
Two C17 transport planes have been deployed to support French efforts in the
west African country while British drones and spy planes are said to be on
standby to help tackle what the Prime Minister described as a “dangerous
But British efforts fell at the first hurdle as the first plane was grounded
just moments after David Cameron discussed the action in an interview on BBC
Radio 4's Today programme. He announced that Britain would share intelligence with France but maintained
that the troops would not be fighting in the region.
"Not army boots, as it were," the Prime Minister said. "But I spoke to
Francois Hollande over the weekend and offered the use of two C17 transport
planes – our most advanced and capable transport planes – because France is a
strong ally and friend of Britain, but what is being done in Mali is very much
in our interests. So we were first out of the blocks, as it were, to say to the French 'we'll
help you, we'll work with you and we'll share what intelligence we have with you
and try to help you with what you are doing'."