30 November 2011

Speaking of Battlefield 3

I love a stunt video.

Battlefield 1943

On a lighter note, I got Battlefield 1943 free this weekend just gone because of the whole legal action thing. Got to say I thoroughly enjoy it - it combines the best of both settings for the games.

Also, the provision of a dedicated air warfare mode makes the pilot in me very happy - I like to fly in this game.

29 November 2011

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement

More austerity for longer, lower growth and rising unemployment. £5bn of public spending moved into building projects that won’t be shovel ready for months if not years and won’t benefit most people anyway. To top it all, this is dependent on the Eurozone crisis being sorted out.


I expected economic growth with high unemployment when this Coalition came to power – they’ve given us stagnation.


2015 can’t come soon enough.

26 November 2011

Strikes on 30 November

I have decided, after some thought, that I back the TUC strikes on 30 November and would take part on them if I was a member of a participating union.

My reasons are as follows:
  1. While I feel that something does need to be done about public sector pensions; this should be a change only for new joiners rather than existing employees. I do not feel that making existing civil servants work longer and pay more while getting less is correct - it is a fundamental change to their contract.
  2. The arguments about the conditions in the private sector are a logical fallacy - what they are doing is not a reason for the public sector to do the same.
  3. The arguments about turnout are also spurious. An abstention is not a "no" and anyway, most politicians weren't elected by a majority of their electorate.
  4. Lord Hutton's review points out that many of these pension schemes are not "gold-plated" at all - in half of public sector workers get less than £5,600 a year.
  5. The "£500 million" cost that the Coalition cites is nothing compared with the cost of the too far and too fast cuts.
I don't want to see a strike - I want to see a fair deal. The current proposal isn't.

20 November 2011

An Infinite Supply of Sidewinders: Battlefield 3 thoughts

I've been playing Battlefield 3 lately on the PS3, mixing between the single-player story and the more enjoyable multi-player.

This is not to say that the SP game isn't interesting, but after the superlative Half-Life 2, I've seen better. One particular area of comment is the fourth mission, "Going Hunting".

Essentially a rail-shooter, you play a female F/A-18 WSO who has to shoot down Iranian Fulcrums (not "Flankers" as IGN says - no tail booms), take out radar sites and mark targets for JDAMs. While enjoyable, having an infinite supply of AIM-9Xs to hand does damage the realism some what.

Although not as much as getting from the Persian Gulf to Tehran in under ten minutes...

Anyway, I'm glad to see Glenn Morshower (Agent Aaron Pierce from 24) in both voice and face form as one of the cut-scene people.

13 November 2011

In the defence of freedom

Today is Remembrance Sunday, where we remember those who died in the service of our country.

Many might feel that our involvement in many recent conflicts has not been in the defence of Britain at all; instead getting involved in other people's wars for material gain.

Yet, when you look back at our martial history, there have been surprisingly few conflicts that we've actually entered because we've been directly attacked. We declared war in the two World Wars in defence of Belgium and Poland respectively, certainly not being successful in the latter case as Poland spent almost fifty years under foreign control. In fact, we could have stayed out of both conflicts and remained independent.

What kind of nation would we be though if we did that? Certainly not as respected as we are. In fact, not entering the Second World War would mean that Hitler could have dominated Europe and be in a greater position to attack us.

I think Rudyard Kipling summed it up perfectly in his poem Dane-Geld:  

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
  To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
  Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
  And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
  And then  you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
  To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
  We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
  But we've  proved it again and  again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
  You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
  For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
  You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
  No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
  And the nation that pays it is lost!"

Our servicemen and women have not put their lives on the line for their country - they have put their lives on the line for something greater; the principle that people should be free to determine their own destinies, rather than dictated by strongmen. For that, I thank them.

03 November 2011


On or shortly after 26 October 2012, I will be visiting a cinema to watch the fifth James Bond film I've seen in one. It's got an intriguing title and an intriguing premise.

Anyway, it's Bond. Even the worst of those are watch-able.

02 November 2011

Battlefield 3 on the PS3

Got Battlefield 3 in the post today and had a go on it this evening. I definitely prefer the multi-player to the frustrating and stage-managed single player. Only thing I want is two-seater jets...

Two very impressive remote control planes

Both fighters from the Wing Commander series.