30 March 2007

The Iranian hostage situation

I suppose this has been covered in some depth in other blogs, so let me add some points of my own.

Firstly, it's going to be pretty much impossible to prove one way or the other where the British boat in question actually was. Maps and evidence can be faked and I don't think the Americans had a spy satellite in the right place at the right time.

Secondly, either the British have done something very stupid or the Iranians have. I'd personally favour the Iranians.

Thirdly, does anyone think that the British military personnel have been tortured or threatened with torture?

Comments are welcome.

24 March 2007

An apology

I've been posting my comments on 24 on this blog for a while now, not realising that not all countries have seen these episodes. I apologise to anyone I've inadvertently spoiled the show for and will remove all 24 related posts from my blog.


Abolition of the slave trade

It's 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.

Let's, however, make some points:
  • Slavery still continued in the British Empire for another 26 years.
  • Slavery lasted for another 56 years in the US.
  • Slavery still goes on today.

So let's not get too excited about this anniversary.

19 March 2007

Iraq- Four Years On

It's probably best that I link you to my post last year on the matter:


We should add the words "sectarian militias and death squads" to that.

There's little point in repeating myself again.

14 March 2007

Trident renewed

The vote has passed in the Commons, with 95 Labour MPs rebelling.

While I may not agree with the decision, I accept it. However, there needs to be serious work on multilateral disarmament. That will reduce the risk of proliferation.

12 March 2007

Trident (again)

As you're probably aware, the Commons is to vote on whether to renew Britain's nuclear deterrent, Trident, on Wednesday. You're also probably aware that a minister and a PPS are resigning over the issue.

I read the Defence White Paper on this today after a recommendation from a Labour-supporting friend. While it's not changed my mind on the issue (I still support non-renewal and negotiations on multi-lateral disarmament, with the Lib Dem proposal as second best), it has clarified a few points.

So let's say a few things:
  • The Americans do not have a veto over whether we can launch our nuclear weapons. We do not rely on American satellites.
  • It's completely unclear and deliberately so what our targeting policy is. It is by no means a given that Pyongyang, Beijing or Tehran will not nuked. It's also no means a given that they won't. That's nuclear deterrence for you.
  • All of the other four "permitted" nuclear states are modernising their weapons and even improving them (Russia's SS-27s anyone?). Britain is merely renovating them. CND would be a lot more credible if they campaigned against those countries as welll, especially the People's Republic. They may well be a British campaign, but their briefings say nothing about the Chinese. Some people would call that biased.
  • The subs are, for the moment, pretty much undetectable.

Comments are welcome.

05 March 2007

Last Action Hero

Finished off Last Action Hero yesterday, which was reasonably good. The Governator was good in it. Mind you, there was an inaccuracy of action movies in the 'real world'.