Gordon Brown used COBRA a lot, if I remember rightly. That ended well. No doubt COBRA has a vital co-ordinating role (sic), and you have to admit that it did play a part in securing Gordon's place in history. Although he didn't use it so much with the financial crisis, come to think of it. More with the "things fall apart" phase between the end of his honeymoon and Vince Cable's remark about Mr Bean.
At around the time of the incident yesterday, I was sitting outside a café half-way down that long, sloping street in Wadebridge, sharing a lunch of hummus, olives, etc., with a friend who believes in conspiracy theories. We dipped home-made bread in olive oil (little splash of balsamic) and discussed the coming collapse of western civilisation. My friend expressed her belief that "They" are behind a lot of sinister goings-on, and I suggested that "They" have actually lost the plot. We couldn't decide which was a more troubling prospect - to believe in a competent "Them", or to imagine that "They" aren't up to the job.
Meanwhile, in Woolwich, a young man was hacked to death by two men who believed that they were serving a noble cause. And Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary Of State For Home Affairs called the committee.