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August, 2017

Not the briar patch, Brer Trump!

March, 2017

A Serious Case of the DTs

January, 2017

The American Yeltsin
Sunlight Through Troubled Times
Beyond Zealots and Cold-War Warriors

December, 2016

A Vandal at the Gates of Rome

October, 2016

Are you conscious?

September, 2016

Brave New World?

August, 2016

Stop, for a moment.

July, 2016

Rupert's Coup

March, 2016

Between a Shill and a Hard Case

July, 2015

Swimming in a sea of sugar

June, 2015

Information Rich, Attention Poor
Nerds need to get out more ...

March, 2015

There is a homunculus at the end of the garden path

October, 2014

Determination, not dreams
Welcome Home
Addicted to GDP
Irony?Karma? - take your pick

August, 2014

History? Whose story?
Marketing Ebola

July, 2014

As above, so below

December, 2013

A time for tolerance

November, 2013

Thinking out of the xBox
The old ones are the best ones ...
Welcome to the Gulag

October, 2013

A timely response to spying

September, 2013

Obedience and the Machine
Ban the bible?
Fracticide - don't do it.

July, 2013

Serfing, USUK

June, 2013

Deafened by gossip

May, 2013

Who needs words...?

April, 2013

Why would they stop?
It must be true

March, 2013

Beyond belief

February, 2013

RBS: doing Fine, not Time
Pillars tumbling down
Trouble with models
A matter of perspective

January, 2013

Royal Promo
Boiling the Lance
Boson Brains Rule

November, 2012

Burning symbols

October, 2012

Charles and Jimmy's little secret
Beach bums and Magi
A Reality Check
Happy Birthday

August, 2012

A journey through riotous times

July, 2012

Caring for life
Not everyone for Tennis?
A banker lie? Unthinkable!

June, 2012

A cynical ploy
Collateral damage for The United States of Europe
Will you walk into my parlour?
Beams and motes
From one Jubilee to another

May, 2012

Perturbations
A crazy idea
The course of time
Sorry, Harry

April, 2012

Cracks in the Rear-View Mirror
A keeper of sheeple
Principled Policing
Say goodbye to Betty
Lessons learned
Causality and good news
Manufactured irrelevance
Corporate responsibility

March, 2012

Poppycock - without question
Who's pushing your buttons?
Investigate the Blair-Murdoch Conspiracy

February, 2012

In Praise of The Seven Liberal Arts
The real story
When giving is taking
Giving it all away

November, 2011

Poking a hornets nest
Wealth of Nations poured away
Squeaky and the Paedophile Prince
Boiling frogs
Death of an industry
Change blindness
What a world ...

October, 2011

Gifts
Pictures and words
Screeching to a halt.
Taxing noise

September, 2011

Hand over your money
Breeding psychopaths
Mr Fox, is the hen house safe?
A ludicrous Conspiracy Theory
Can you believe your eyes?
Getting eye contact
Partners in Crime

July, 2011

It was the Wettins 'wot won it'

May, 2011

Kevin
Heir apparently

April, 2011

Putting Emergencies in Context
Underground networks travelling First Class

March, 2011

Be careful what you ask for
Water - a tale of two countries
Newspeak
Here we go again ...
Wake up!!!

February, 2011

Priorities
The right stuff
Revolution! ... and yet, and yet.
Follow the money
Shh - don't tell the children
Does the MoD have a Cunning Plan?

January, 2011

Met Office caught in winter weather whitewash
Read between the lines
The new parable of Noah
Banking on People

November, 2010

Wettins don't say sorry
It's just not fair ...
Remember, remember ...

October, 2010

Kindness sees no crime
Pundits in the frame
Killer drones target the middle class
A tale of two Charlies

September, 2010

A failure to discriminate ...
Good Grief
A rent-boy's rent-boy

August, 2010

Size psycho-fancy
Baiting a Wikid Trap?

July, 2010

... at the gates of Rome
Monday musings

June, 2010

Guilty - but not charged
Psychopaths at the door

May, 2010

ConDemned to the Shock Doctor
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Guns and Banksters
Death of Old Conker

April, 2010

Bankster at bay ...
Nuke Iceland?
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March, 2010

It's how you say it ...
Bullying Manner
Quelle surprise!
Iceland - showing the way.

February, 2010

Small steps to a far place
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January, 2010

Liar
So who needs people?
Late and censored
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December, 2009

Patterns
Testament
Boy-friendly!

October, 2009

Fools served by Zombies
Webs
BBC dogs that didn't bark ...

September, 2009

Taken Hostage

August, 2009

Have a good weekend ...
High Frequency Trading ...
Money money money
Fit for a politician

July, 2009

Inside clouds

June, 2009

Fond thoughts of Tony Blair ...
A good day ...
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May, 2009

aaah diddums
Zal may ...

April, 2009

Echos of a dark past
Sharks in the Shadows
Worlds Apart

January, 2009

Money Matters
Killing History
Magic

December, 2008

Home improvements
Get the Picture?

November, 2008

Barak - the movie

October, 2008

Won't get fooled again
Bankers, all of them!

September, 2008

And The Winner is ...
Light relief
A Financial 9/11
That's Lucky!
On this day

August, 2008

Mark My Words

July, 2008

The Management Myth
Sense Making Questions

June, 2008

Beware this Griffin
42 Day Folly
A Tortured Silence

May, 2008

A new Dawn needed
Is Justin Webb A Neo-Con?
The Puppy, the Mountain and the Fascists

April, 2008

Attention Pays

March, 2008

Fat Cats and Pork Pies
Fed up Darling?
Swearing - it's just not British!

October, 2007

TsarkoMania

Does the MoD have a Cunning Plan?   February 5, 2011

A lot of words and a few tears have been spilt over the lamentable lack of common sense that seems to be being displayed in the ongoing defence cutbacks. Like, how the RN and RAF kept it's favourite toys - and screwed the Ark Royal and Harriers.

Which makes no sense to me at all - and I'm mindful of our history. This is our Fourth Afghan War, with no end in sight. Should we take grim comfort in the fact we have lost less this time than in the 1842 Massacre of Elphinstone's Army, when 12,000 civilian refugees and 4,500 regular troops were killed during a retreat from Kabul.

Nobody has ever won in Afghanistan - but there are plenty of losers, including us. 

Back to recent days, and a letter to the Times, a model of brevity, which made the following unanswerable points: 

Harrier could still use Kandahar runway if half of it were blocked by Taleban action; can use any make-shift landing site; has a response time of less than 10 minutes, as against 30 [for the Tornado]; performs better in hot weather; requires fewer ground crew; and has better availability.  
Harrier can deliver close air support of ground forces anywhere from the existing carriers ... [it] has nearly twice as many airframes provided with precision-guided ground attack capability [as Tornado]; will not require a further £1.4 billion to re-engine in 2014; and can remain in service until 2023 without significant investment.
The existing Tornado force will cost, over 10 years, seven times as much to keep in service as Harrier. The decision to axe the entire Harrier force is strategically and financially perverse.
The letter was signed by former Royal Marine Major-General Julian Thompson, who should be the best-known of the signatories. Thompson commanded the UK's Commando brigade, mostly made up of Marines (reinforced for the occasion by troops from the Parachute Regiment) during the Falklands campaign, when it acted as the primary unit in the victorious land fighting.

Now comes the news that the 22 new Chinooks promised for 2012-13 have not even been ordered yet, and if they are ever ordered, it will only be 12 of them. Our troops contribution to this saving is to carry on travelling by road and getting blown up by IEDs on a regular basis.

On Monday, in response to a Parliamentary question, Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology Peter Luff said that the order could not be confirmed "until the current planning round is settled". Which smells like an expediency for something. 

So - the parts of the armed forces that are most heavily involved in front-line action (or were capable of it) are being starved of equipment, while the RAF keeps its near-obsolete bombers, the Navy keeps its strategically-irrelevant frigates and destroyers, and the Army keeps its tanks in Germany.

But what if this all part of a carefully-crafted Cunning Plan from the MoD? (As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University). 

Blackadder

As in - we can't loose face by simply retreating. That's politically unacceptable. But what happens if we go to the Allied Forces planning meetings and say something like .."of course we'd like to help, but we've got no equipment that's of any use at all. Not quite sure how that happened. Sorry NATO-colleagues, hope you can do the job instead?"

Carry on, chaps! We'll all be home by Christmas!

Repatriation
Posted by Keith MacDonald    12:47:27 PM
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