As his promised relief coaches failed to turn up in Madrid, and Royal Navy aircraft carriers turned away stranded tourists wanting to get home, Gordon Brown said the blame for his bungled stunt lay elsewhere.
"The volcano started somewhere else," he said, "and OK, the rescue effort has not gone to plan. But give us five more years. If you let anyone else take over this rescue attempt, they won't have the experience," he warned. "In fact, the Tories will throw everyone in the sea. And eat your children. ANd your children's children."
"Is that really what you want?" asked Alistair Campbell.