British Aerospace gets a conscience

A headline caught my eye today in the Sunday Times. Lead-free bullets for environment-friendly wars.

What the fuck?

Well, it seems that a company called BAE Systems, one of the biggest armaments manufacturers in the world, has developed a conscience. They’re going to reduce the lead in their bullets so that you cause less pollution when you riddle a crowd of villagers.

What a good idea. In my time, when we riddled a crowd of villagers, that was the end of it. We went home with a sackful of ears and had a good old chin-wag in the mess, with a brandy and a game of snooker. These days, the environmentally-conscious mass-murderer doesn’t even set fire to the village after riddling the villagers. Certainly not. Think of global warming, old bean. Got to do one’s bit, y’know?

Another spiffing idea they have is sustainable artillery. Apparently, the shells have a longer shelf life and don’t blow up unexpectedly. They don’t? Really? So you can buy these things, and they won’t blow your fucking head off while you’re looking at them? Isn’t that brilliant? I love the whole armaments thing. You buy, for instance, a hand-grenade. It costs as much as a BMW, but you have no guarantee AT ALL that it will work, and it might even kill you before you use it. Isn’t that great?

I bought a camera a while back and it was fucking expensive, let me tell you. Very fucking expensive. It gave me problems though, and didn’t take pictures the way a good camera should, so I brought it back to the shop and they changed it.

Excuse me? This camera doesn’t work.

Doesn’t it, sir? No problem – here’s a new one.

The end.

Imagine if I bought a camera from BAE systems, before they brought in their new ethical policy.

Hello. I want to bring this camera back. It exploded and killed my entire family.

Did it, sir? Well, you can fuck off.

They have a director of corporate responsibility. Isn’t that great? One of the biggest arms makers in the world has a department of ethical responsibility. They have, for instance, a policy that their tanks won’t emit harmful substances from their exhaust pipes. Good. That’s very good. Here I am in some rebel Tamil village in Sri Lanka, and here comes a government tank, and I’m thinking Thank God, at least it won’t produce harmful emissions. BAE systems saving lives.

So who exactly are BAE systems? Well, as far as I can see, they’re British Aerospace under a new name, merged with Marconi, but they’ve moved on a bit, and now they build lots of things. As well as planes, they build ships, submarines, tanks and artillery. You might remember the controversy over the Hawk trainer aircraft they sold to the Indonesian government some years back. Before they had an ethical policy, obviously. Here’s what their blurb says about the same plane today: Hawk can be configured to meet customers’ specific requirements. Of course it can, as they did for the Indonesian government when they fitted it with rockets to kill villagers in East Timor, for training purposes of course, as it is only a trainer after all.

But that couldn’t happen today, could it, now that they have an ethics department. What great news for all of us.

Crime Politics war World

The war on terror

Just for the record, let me tell you that the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today released a report about Iraq. If you want to read the full text, you can find it here.

What does the report say? In summary, it says that Saddam Hussein had fuck-all to do with al-Qaeda, that in fact he distrusted the fuckers deeply because they were mad Islamic fundamentalist crazy bastards and he was afraid they wanted to overthrow him, and furthermore that he refused all their requests of help. He also had no weapons of mass destruction.

So there you have it. Officially, from the US Senate, confirmation that Iraq had nothing whatever to do with the 9-11 attacks. Well, we all knew this, didn’t we? Of course we did. All of us except two hundred million Americans. And still we hear W and Rumsfeld pumping out the Big Lie.

Look. This is what the Senate report says:

No nukes
No chemical weapons
No biological weapons
No Islamic extremists
No 9-11 plot
No support for al Qaeda

Right. So why the fuck did they invade him? Because he was an appalling murderous despot? No: they spent years setting up appalling murderous despots all over the world and Saddam was just one more in a long list. Because he was a threat to world peace? No: there was a real-life lunatic in North Korea at the time who really did have nukes, and who was threatening to fire them at Japan. Did the US invade that mad bastard? Did they fuck!

I don’t know if you heard Rummy on TV last week. Following comments about appeasing Hitler, and linking Iraq with Islamic extremism, he went on to say “once again, we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. But some seem not to have learned history’s lessons.” It’s incredible. This guy can lie out of two sides of his mouth at the same time, which is an amazing trick, you’d have to admit.

And incidentally, while we’re talking about the appeasement of tyrants, think back to Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds in 1983. Who was the first senior American emissary into Baghdad after those attacks? That’s right. It was Rummy, with a hearty handshake and a big fat weapons brochure for Saddam to flip through. “Have a look through that, Saddam, me old stock, see if there’s any bangers in there you’d like to fire at them fekkin Kurds.”

Politics World

Next country to invade?

Who should America invade next?

What the ordinary citizen thinks.

Politics Religion war World

Suicide Bombers

I see that some people in Britain are getting upset about the idea of passenger profiling at airports.

What’s passenger profiling? Well, it’s not something you’d need a genius on the payroll to figure out. Indeed not. What it means is that they’re going to pick out some passengers for deeper questioning, and they’re going to select them on various grounds, including their appearance. I saw a guy on television tonight complaining that it would be discriminatory to pick on young Asian men. Yeah? Your point being? Apart from young Asian men, who else is threatening to launch Holy War on the decadent West? Of course: old Asian men. But the old guys don’t go out and fight, do they? No: they’re too busy growing beards and learning French. So, you would imagine it would make sense to stop some young Asian men, wouldn’t you? Not according to the equality fascists.

So there you are at the airport, and you’re in charge of deciding who should be questioned. You can’t stop everyone, so you have to pick the most likely candidates. What do you tell your minions?

Do not stop any Asians for fucksake. Look, there! See that fuckin Eskimo? He’s probably carrying concealed whale-blubber. Grab him before he detonates it!

And while you’re at it, I want you to grab those two old nuns, that tribe of Apaches and pick up any loose rabbis you notice wandering around.

That’s going to keep our skies safe, I’m telling you.

Where the fuck are we going with this equality shit? The PC people are making all the decisions, and now you can’t identify anything at all about anybody. There’s a horrendous multiple murder in a crowded supermarket. A giant 400-pound one-legged Samoan man goes crazy with a chainsaw and chops a family in half. There are two hundred witnesses. What can the TV news say about it?

A family were dismembered today by a giant –

NO NO NO, you can’t say giant – that’s sizeist!

OK. A family were dismembered today by a fat –

NO NO NO not fat, you can’t say fat.

Right. A family were dismembered today by a Samoan

NO NO NO NO NO, that’s racist and you can’t say it.

Right. A family were dismembered today by a one-legged –

NO NO NO NO NO. We have issues around disability.

Ah, let’s see then. A family were dismembered today by a man –

NO NO NO NO NO!!! Sexism!!

OK. Here we go. A family were dismembered today. Police are looking for someone.

That’s where we’re going, you know.

Meanwhile, the incredibly active intellects in the British security services have come up with a surefire way to keep us safe. As long as your hand luggage is the size of a carrier for a laptop PC, you can bring it on the plane, but not if it’s any bigger.

Oh Jesus, there’s a guy with a slightly-bigger-than-permitted bag!!! Christ Almighty, we’re finished!! Sir, step away from the slightly-bigger-than-permitted bag and place your hands above your head.

I’m starting to feel safer by the minute, especially as they’ve now figured out what the deadly dangerous things are that these new terrorists are bringing on board planes. Toothpaste. 7-Up. There was a guy on the radio today who had a small Spanish pocket dictionary confiscated at Heathrow. They told him they’d take it away and destroy it. (In case it contained anything inflammatory, no doubt). He’d have been ok with a French or German dictionary, but not Spanish. That’s the worst kind. They even have highly literate sniffer dogs at the airports now, fluent in eight European languages and with a passable knowledge of Mandarin and Arabic. The only problem is, the airport authorities refuse to let the dogs light up their pipes or wear dinner jackets.

Now, as you know, I wouldn’t exactly be the world’s greatest admirer of Monkey Boy, and I thought his comments about “Islamic fascists” were especially rich. This is particularly stupid coming from a guy whose supporters think Jesus will cure AIDS, and not only stupid, but dangerous. Still, though, you’d have to admit, there’s a lot of strange ideas among the Muslims. I mean, for instance, I thought Islam was a religion, not a race, not a nationality. So why does everybody in the West take a middle-Eastern name when they convert to Islam?

“Oh, howya, Murty? How’s tings?”

“I am no longer Murty. Call me Youssef Islam Jihad al-Jawhalrlarlarwllalrwlrawrawl!!”

“Oh right. Fair enough so.”

What would be wrong with a Muslim called Brad Flintlock? Or Festy McMonagle? Do they not realise we’re actually not in a fucking desert? Do they think it’s a disguise so nobody will notice they have a big mad freckly boiled Irish head? Ah for fucksake, let me alone.

And don’t get me started on the Jews, who seem to be just as obsessed with their diet. Do they not also realise that we’re not in a fuckin desert? That we have fridges now and the meat won’t go off? So you could actually kill a pig if you wanted and it would be ok, it wouldn’t rot or anything. That we have running water and bathrooms and modern medicine so you no longer have to cut off the top of your dick to stay healthy?

Now that I’m on a roll, do you remember that story of the Gadarene swine, about how Jesus drove a gang of evil spirits out of some poor possessed fucker and into a herd of pigs, who promptly charged straight off the edge of a cliff? The pigs killed themselves, or the evil spirits did: I’m not sure which. Well, this happened (I think) in a place populated exclusively by Jews. There were no Muslims in those days, nor Christians, or only a few. Oy vey! They should keep pigs in such a place, already? I can’t imagine business being great.

But again, as I’m on a roll, I think I see the way forward for Islamic suicide bombers. I doubt if they’ll get past the sniffer dogs with Korans or tubes of exploding toothpaste. Therefore, what I think they should do is simply bring a possessed person onto the plane. Then, when they’re over their target, an Islamic suicide exorcist can hop out of his seat and drive the evil spirits straight into the cockpit, repossessing the pilots and Bingo! Youssef’s your uncle!


Pope offends Muslims

Imagine being a dead Muslim

Muhammad MacGyver

Idiots, religious lunatics and the war on terror

Politics Religion war World

Muhammad MacGyver

I’m not yet completely familiar with this latest terrorist extravaganza and I’ll therefore withhold judgement about what the police have said. I don’t know anything about the plot, or about the plotters, or indeed about anything at all to do with it. And so on that aspect of things, I’ll remain silent for the moment.

Let’s just shut the fuck up for now until we find out what’s going on, ok?




You can’t bring liquids onto a plane?

Is this the end of duty-free as we know it?

Let us just back-track a little bit, here. There’s a book that I heard of called the SAS Handbook, or something like that. I didn’t read it because it involves sleeping in a piece of tin-foil and eating lizard-shit for a month, but the main point is that it’s been around for years and years. And it contains all kinds of dangerous information like how to turn a tooth-pick and a piece of cotton wool into a thermonuclear device.

This is not new. This is stuff that anybody with even the most rudimentary knowledge of chemistry would have been aware of years ago. Yes, you can walk into a hardware shop and yes, you can buy ingredients that, yes, you can turn into a fucking bomb. Every geek and nerd on the planet has known this forever, and therefore, you would imagine, so has every security agency in the world. You’d imagine that, wouldn’t you? In fact, you’d hope so.

Therefore, given that MI5 and the CIA and the KGB and all the rest of the fuckers had this information since the formation of the universe, why is it that only now are they preventing you from taking bottles of stuff onto a plane? Are they saying, Shit! Are you serious? You mean it’s real? You can really make a bomb out of ordinary stuff?

Oh fuck off.

The security apparatus that developed facial recognition software didn’t know that a bottle of stuff might burn?

Come on! I don’t mind being fooled, but for fuck’s sake, don’t take me for a total idiot.

As I said, I haven’t worked out the implications of this stuff yet, and therefore it’s too soon to express any opinion about the operation that’s happening as we speak, but I can’t help remembering one thing: the people in charge of this are the same ones who assured us Jean Charles deMenezes was a terrorist. Hey, I know everyone is entitled to a bad day at work, but still, you gotta think, well, let’s give it a day or two before we make our minds up. Nothing personal, you understand.


Pope offends Muslims

Imagine being a dead Muslim

Suicide bombers 

Idiots, religious lunatics and the war on terror

Politics Technology

The power of belief

I don’t know if we should develop nuclear power plants here or not.

I think there are valid reasons why we should, and I think there are equally valid reasons why we shouldn’t. I don’t know. I think we need a debate on it, for certain, but right now, I just don’t know, and why would I when even the committed guys are beginning to have doubts?

We all admired James Lovelock, the founder of Gaia theory, but even he thinks now that we’ve fucked the Earth up so much we have no choice but to go nuclear, even if we don’t like it. He thinks we’ve left it too late to do anything else. Unlike him, I don’t have a deep knowledge of the subject, and so I still don’t know for sure.

But I’ll tell you who does know, in case you needed a bit of certainty in a hurry. Bertie Ahern knows, that’s who. This is what he told a conference on the issue:

“I’m opposed to nuclear. I’ve stressed that in the Dáil as late as yesterday. I’ve never believed in the merits of it from an environmental point of view or from a sustainable energy point of view.

We must consider all the alternatives that are available to us, including the development of alternative technologies and promoting the uptake of more energy-efficient options.”

No room for doubt there.

Bertie is opposed to nuclear power, so that’s all right then. We won’t be building any nuclear power stations, and we won’t be importing any electricity from Britain either, if it was generated at a nuclear station.

Isn’t that right?

It is of course. We have incredibly high principles here in Ireland. We have such high principles that we can afford to be “neutral” in Ireland. No war here! Down with war! All right, so we’re protected as part of the EU by the military power of Britain and France, but still, Down with War!

The same incredibly high principles changed our constitution to include a ban on abortion – remember? And what a roaring sucess that was. Not a single Irish woman has had an abortion in twenty years thanks to SPUC and SPIC and SPOCK. Not one. So that’s all right too. No abortion here, and no nuclear power either.

If there’s even the hint that any of the electricity we buy from Britain was produced at one of those places, we’ll send it back. We’ll have inspectors to check samples of electricity as they come across the border. Take back your filthy nucular electric, ya Brit fuckers! Our forefathers died in the GPO to stop filthy Brit Nukes. Fuck it, we’ll have nuclear sniffer dogs. I know what we can do: let’s write a ban on nuclear power into the constitution, and that will solve the whole thing. It will just go away and we won’t have to worry about it at all at all at all.

You might be interested in what Sustainable Energy Ireland made of Bertie’s diktat. SEI was set up by the government as Ireland’s national energy agency to promote and assist the development of sustainable energy, so you’d imagine they might know something about the subject. But no. Their head of energy policy development, commenting on Bertie’s statement, said Ireland would have to look at nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels from 2020 on.

You see? Fucking experts – what do they know?

Now, as we’re on the subject of power, I’ve been thinking about the power of belief. To the best of my knowledge, Bertie has no formal training in anything whatsoever, not that this is in any way to demean him.

No indeed.

Many people have no training in anything whatsoever, and more luck to them, but they don’t all come out with absolute statements of belief on subjects they know fuck-all about, and they aren’t all Taoiseach either.

Sorry. Sorry, let me correct that statement.

Did I say Bertie had no training? My apologies. Doesn’t his CV claim that he attended the London School of Economics? Of course it does. It’s just that he didn’t enrol for any courses there or attend any lectures or sit any exams or receive any academic awards, but apart from that, he did go to the London School of Economics where, no doubt, they teach nuclear physics. So, armed with this formidable academic arsenal, Bertie has vetoed a national debate on nuclear power.

He hasn’t said “I’m not convinced about all this Nucular stuff”.


He has said “Fuck off. I’m Bertie and yiz are not talkin’ about Nucular, full bleedin stop!”

This is a deeply impressive level of conviction, and it seems there isn’t anything Bertie is unable to believe, once he puts his mind to it. For example, as we’re talking about energy, and resources, he has no problem believing it’s a good thing to give away all our natural gas to a private consortium, at no cost at all. Not a penny! There you go, lads, take it all, and if anyone tries to stop you, we’ll fuckin jail them. He also believes it’s good for us as a nation to buy back our own gas from Shell at full market price, once they’ve extracted it from beneath our coastal waters.

Here’s the very peculiar part: the Norwegian government has a substantial share in this consortium, and is bound by law to invest all the profits for the good of its citizens. Hence we have the surreal situation where Irish gas is extracted without payment to us, taken away, sold back to us, its original owners, and the profits invested for the Norwegian citizens. Bertie believes that this is the best deal achievable in the circumstances. He believes that nobody would be interested in bringing the gas ashore unless we give it to them free, even though energy is such a precious resource that all future wars will be fought for gas and oil as reserves dwindle.

I see.

I might just point out in passing that this deal with the Shell consortium was signed by Minister Ray Burke, as fine and upstanding a convicted crook as you could hope to meet.

You think all that was an impressive act of believing? That’s nothing. Bertie is also the man who believes Condoleezza Rice when she tells him that no “extraordinary rendition” flights passed through Shannon. I love that expression though. It reminds me of weddings. Did Uncle Phonsie recite Gunga Din? Yeah – it was an extraordinary rendition.”

Anyhow, this all leads me to my suggestion. Since Bertie is able to believe – without considering the arguments for and against – that nuclear power is unviable, why not get him to believe some more things? For instance, we could have him believe that global warming is not happening.

Go out there, Bertie, and just believe. Use the training you got at the London School of Atmospherics. It’ll go away. It will, I promise you.

Global warming will reverse itself and everything will be hunky dory again, thanks to Bertie’s belief.

Dear Bertie,

Thanks very much for fixing me.

Best Wishes,

The Gulf Stream.

We can send him to Africa, where he can believe there’s no water shortage in Kenya, no AIDS epidemic and no corrupt leaders anywhere on the continent. Bertie’s belief will sort the whole thing out, and all the problems of Africa will go away, once Bertie chooses to believe they don’t exist. He can deploy the unique insights he gleaned at the London School of Africomics. There are no despots in Africa, none of its problems were caused by Europe, America or Russia, and it’s ok anyway: we’re on top of the problem.


Bertie could be a true global ambassador, out there among the suffering people of the earth, believing their problems away, just like he can with nuclear power.


Bertie Ahern 2
The Friends of Bertie
Bertie’s Parallel Universe

Business Politics


I’ve been in fairly frequent correspondence with my old friend Joe-who-works-for-Halliburton-the-unprincipled-bastard. Let’s call him Joe d’Arab, for simplicity. Actually, he’s a baldy fucker from Tipperary (hock-thooey!) but we’ll overlook that. His second most recent email was to point out to me that Denis Leamy is from the next parish to him outside Fethard, and I thought to myself, well isn’t that a good one. Here’s a guy living in some 99th floor luxury penthouse in Cairo. His business card says something like

Hyper-mega-vice-deputy-assistant President,
Halliburton Asset-stripping Division,
Northern Hemisphere
The World
The Universe

And he’s up there on top of a gigantic tower there in downtown Cairo, relaxing in his tennis whites after a hard day schmoozing with the King of Bhutan, and what is he thinking? Is he thinking, Christ, what a tycoon I am. Dick will be delighted with me and the next time we go hunting together, he won’t shoot me or anything? No. Is he thinking, that was great the way I bought all the oil in Iraq for fourpence, and now I’m going to sell it for 93 squillion hobnobnillion dollaroids? No.

He’s thinking, I can’t let that fucker get away with calling Leamy a Limerickman.

Nice one Joe.

Politics World


Amazingly, I actually made it out for a pint, but only to the local pub with Jimbo. A good walk, which is probably as well since we both need the exercise.

A good chunk of our night, I’m sorry to tell you, was given over to the late Mr Milosevic, a thundering bollocks, in my humble opinion, and no loss to humanity. An individual who, for opportunistic reasons, facilitated a gratuitous war in which there were absolutely no winners. At least Babic had the decency to acknowledge the evil of his actions before ending his life. I was looking at the news last night, at footage perhaps of the Dayton talks or something like that, and there were Milosevic, Tudjman and Izetbegovic. Table quiz question!! What do these guys all have in common? Yep, they’re all fucking dead.

While musing on the Yugoslavian conflict, and in particular on the flaccid European Union response to the genocide on its doorstep, my thoughts wandered to the Rwandan obscenity of 1994. Now, admittedly, we did just as little about both genocides, but I thought we probably agonised a good deal more about the European one. We were upset about people like us being killed. In truth, we achieved an astounding thing, by inventing the concept of racist apathy. It’s that kind of original thinking that makes the EU so great today.