In Guano Veritas

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Posted by on in Blogging

Try this for size:

Up to 8th May 2015, DC held BO at bay with the terrifying thought that pressure to revisit the bombing of Syria might easily finish up with BO having to deal with EM as PM which kept the heat down. It appears the time for that promise to be redeemed has arrived.

I am old enough to just remember LBJ asking Harold Wilson for troops for Vietnam. LBJ was his usual, insensitive self, it was just as the British Empire was collapsing about Wilson's ears and just after US pressure on UK over Suez in 1956 which had humiliated us. Wilson had a nil or tiny majority at the time and said: No!

It was reported at the time that LBJ said all he wanted was a "company of the Black Watch."

As we know, Wilson still said no, it wasn't the numbers it was the principle. Maybe, just maybe, Wilson had some kind of inkling that despite 500,000 men on the ground and in the air in Vietnam, the project was doomed as Pte Frazer would say.

LBJ, and JFK before him, were fighting yesterday's war, trying to build a lop-sided coalition for a war that "they could not lose." It took a decade but lose it the Americans did.

Suez was the watershed: Britain and France, having been humiliated by Eisenhower, went in very different directions: France recoiled from the US and NATO; Britain clung to nurse. But even then, Wilson said no.

DC's speeches and TV appearances at the moment seem to be setting the tone for UK foreign and defence policy for the foreseeable future and it seems we are jumping on America's bandwagon without thinking it through, and if we do, heaven forbid, send troops for another ground war, as per Lord Richards entreaty, will we have any left over for NATO/Eastern Europe/Putin?

Is the DC/BO relationship Johnson/Wilson or Bush/Blair or a bit of both.

It is certainly not Reagan/Thatcher, when US helped UK over Falklands.

Security does and will always start at home.

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Posted by on in Blogging

Truth & Consequences

Why has Cameron announced British defence and foreign policy on the Middle East, specifically on bombing Syria as well as Iraq, on US television?

    Has he lost faith in the UK Parliament and media?

Why has Lord Richards indicated that we should 'get on a war footing’ ?

            Is this some kind of rallying call?

Why has Fallon dismissed the participation of British aircrews in actions over Syria as ‘standard operating practice’?

Is that a phrase that has any meaning in the context of airmen and women on exchange tours with allies?

It seems we’ve had rather a lot of fly-pasts over London on television recently (The Battle of Britain’s 75th anniversary should, absolutely, be marked, but I get the feeling it’s being milked for political reasons.)

Is the confluence of these news managed forays coincidental or are they part of a wider plan to substitute policy with populism. If so, we’ve all seen where improvised policies get us: Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Libya and it would have been Syria except Parliament intervened.

None of the above was clearly thought through. Now all, except possibly Kuwait, are in chaos and adding to funnelling tons of arms, scores (?) of terrorists, millions of refugees, millions of migrants, brutal ideas, etc all flowing into Europe.

I would support military action if it had a clear objective.

I accept that governments, even democratic ones, must be able to keep certain military matters secret.

However, the prerequisite for that is that we trust our government. And the track record on that score of this, and the previous Blair Labour, government is virtually non-existent.

If the situation is as serious as the political pronouncements suggest then it’s not foreign TV stations that Cameron should be gracing, but Parliament.

And Westminster is about to close down for a couple of months.

Above all we need to hear the truth, insofar as it can be told, and nothing else will do Prime Minister! No lies, just tell us, don't try and manage our brains and emotions. Try it!

Before you go off on holiday Mr C, consider this: World War 1 started in a muddle in 4 August 1914; World War 2 started unexpectedly on 3 September 1939; The Korean War started in surprise on 25 June 1950 (a Sunday); Saddam invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990, to name a few wars that started as western/democratic ministers were preparing for the beaches and fleshpots and dictators remained in their bunkers and offices.

Where is Putin planning to go on holiday? Sochi; the Kremlin; Kiev; Riga; Warsaw; Berlin?

Perhaps we should be on a war footing But for which war?

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Posted by on in Blogging

Tennis: 1 Brit beats 1 Italian

Football: 11 Brits beat 11 Germans

Formula 1: 1 Brit beats 2 Germans (to the podium)

Politics: 11m Greeks beat 65m Germans

Economics: a couple of hundred assorted Europeans will pretend to beat 6m Greeks

Nationalism: 6.5m Greeks will now pretend to 4.5m Greeks that things can only get better

Personal animosity: a few dozen Europeans will make sure things get worse.

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Posted by on in Blogging

Sex is the art of proximity

And the essence of losing virginity

Should be pure pleasure,

Something to treasure,

Unless Kate is in the vicinity!

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Posted by on in Blogging

Brilliant Heather Watson - be proud, very proud.

Tweet support: @HeatherWatson92 

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The website for Solar Impulse 2 is a wonderland of engineering communications and involvement. Any young person will be fascinated to look at the human story, the technical story, the climate change story but above all at the communications and the opportunities for involvement in what the pilots and the support team are doing and why.

It's full of science but it's also full of quietly spoken human endeavour and for me (aged 68, I grew up before aircraft and jet engines had shrunk the world) it's an adventure as big as Alcock and Brown, Amy Johnson, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager or Neil Armstrong.

It is a landmark flight. This afternoon SI2 will land in Hawaii after nearly five days flying on sunlight alone. The pilot, Andre Borschberg, is surfing the weather at speeds around 40 mph, not punching holes in the sky at over 500 mph. His aircraft works like a leaf, it photosynthesises today's sunlight rather than burning fossilised sunlight from millions years ago and many young people alive today will travel in its descendants.

This is as big a big shift in human transport (and all the social, cultural, technical and economic developments that go with mass movement of peoples) as the internal combustion and jet engines in the 20th century. And anybody can follow it in detail. It's also backed by a mega collection of communications and technology brands.

As we struggle to clear up the detritus of the 20th century, so SI2 is a peek at the 21st. Young people could do a lot worse than go to the solar impulse website and follow it today, then across America, the Atlantic and Africa before landing in Abu Dhabi to complete its circumnavigation.

If you're looking for inspiration, virtually all aspects of life on the planet are there; you can even learn how to make a paper glider!

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Posted by on in Blogging

So, Mr TSIPRAS says the sun will still rise tomorrow. Phew, that's a relief.

It will also sustain and thrill the pilot of Solar Impulse as he crosses the Pacific Ocean!

But, as Icarus found, the Greek sun can be too hot to handle when flying too high without the right expertise and technology.

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Posted by on in Blogging

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Posted by on in Blogging

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Posted by on in Blogging

She's going to try and hurt somebody. Brian? Jenny? Phoebe? Toby? Roy? Lukas?

She found her identity only for it to reject her. Very topical!

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