Monday, March 28, 2011

"Did she say anything about spatulas?"

A friend and fellow reader here on Blogger recently wrote about her total disdain for the saying "that's what she said."
I used to overhear that a lot at a sports bar I would frequent at the old Boston Garden during the early '90s (a place that became rather Cheers-like to me). But I was also reminded of the job I had while attending college.
For five years, I worked night-shift at a large supermarket in Cambridge. One guy who worked there, Ernie, said that all the time. It's as if he was finely attuned to picking up on any instance in which he could utter it; he never missed the opportunity. For instance, if Ernie was present when the grocery manager approached and asked you what time you could report to work, and you replied "I'll come early," Ernie would quip, "That's what she said."
We did some crazy shit. We'd holler "whooo-hooo!" like cowboys. Another guy started a tradition where if you had to pick up a heavy box—a box containing supersize jugs of bleach or large cans of tomato puree, for example—you'd scream "urrrrgh!" in a manly way, like a weightlifter trying to lift 400 pounds.
One time, I saw Neil walking by with a large wooden spatula that he'd obviously borrowed from the homewares aisle. I instinctively knew what he was up to. My suspicions were confirmed just seconds later when I heard, from two aisles away, Billy's playfully outraged holler.
Salvage time was always fun. "Salvage" referred to all the cardboard waste—boxes and box-lids—that we'd load our dollies with and transport out back to an empty delivery truck. We'd throw all this cardboard trash in there for recycling. If you were in the cargo bay of the truck, off-loading your boxes full of box-lids, and someone else came up behind you with his own dolly full of cardboard, he would chuck and shove all the boxes at you at breakneck speed, sending you flying into the big pile of cardboard with box-lids raining down on you, and you'd spend the next fifteen or so minutes carefully planning your revenge.
I've saved the best for last. There was also a penchant for us to sneak up behind a co-worker, as he was bending over to pick up a box or block the lower shelves ("blocking" is supermarket-worker parlance for making the shelves look good by bringing all products forward if the spaces allocated to the products aren't full). You would dry-hump him and the guy getting humped would have to squeal like a pig: "Weeeeeeek!" We all engaged in this endearing activity at some point, perpretrating it against our fellow workers and having it perpetrated against us.
That gives you a pretty good idea of what an all-male crew doing blue-collar labor get up to. Against all that, muttering "that's what she said" seems rather tame.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The aftermath of the alternative-embracers ...

Well, as predicted here, there was mayhem on the streets of central London yesterday. The usual suspects sprayed anarchist graffiti on nearly every available surface, smashed up the fronts of stores and banks, lit fires and threw ammonia-filled lightbulbs at cops. A fun-filled family event, to be sure.
Apparently, the marchers turned on the troublemakers, resorting to that great British tactic of showing indignity, which is to shout "shame on you!" What the hell kind of confrontation is that? C'mon, let's have some real in-fighting here! Where were the scuffles? How about letting some fists fly, breaking protest signs over some greasy-haired vacant heads and throwing some of that human flotsam underneath police vans, if you're that upset about being so ill-represented? I'd have given up a month's salary to see that.
"Shame on you," indeed. Trouble is, these vagrants, vandals and vigilantes know no shame.
Even at 10:30 p.m., things hadn't returned to normal. The bus terminated its route at Parliament Square, because Whitehall was blocked off to all traffic and there was obviously no pre-planned detour to Regent Street. So I had to walk the two miles into work—Trafalgar Square, I noticed, was still heaving with outraged mindlessness—my feet crunching litter almost the whole way. Thank you, Trades Union Congress. You're not just a public-sector union, you're a "keep fit" motivation club as well.
I will add one positive note here. At 7:30 a.m., the sidewalks and streets were clean. Bus routes were fully operational again. Trafalgar Square had been hosed down, a quiet expanse of wet concrete. It's public-sector employees of the city and Westminster Council who were picking up the mess from a public-sector mass protest. How ironic is that? I was so tempted to ask, "So, enjoying the extra work this morning, fellas?" But, honestly, massive props go out to every employee who helped return the city to normal by daybreak.
Don't get me wrong, either: I'm not defending the banks. These whack-headed protestors say it's the banks' fault we're in this financial crisis, and I agree. But, as most of them were bailed out courtesy of the taxpayers, the public has part ownership of them. These people need to realize that they're to blame too, because we will end up like Greece if we don't clamp down.
The fact of the matter is, you have absolutely no right to bash the banks if you're demanding lavish salaries, pensions and services that are simply not affordable. If it's your belief that we're "all in this together," then prove it by being willing to share the burden and the pain. If not, then shut up about the banks and the financial crisis.
Honestly, it's a case of one group of spoiled-rotten, clueless fat-cats criticizing another.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

As if they're interested in alternatives ...

They're going to turn Trafalgar Square into Tahrir Square today. The Trades Union Congress has organized a mass rally protesting the Government's cost-cutting. It's entitled The March for the Alternative.
They haven't explained what "the alternative" is. But then, you can't expect a rag-tag motley collection of layabouts, anarchists, and public union thugs to explain much. You'll get plenty of platitudes, but no real in-depth explanation of why we should continue to allow the unwashed, "gimme gimme" crowd the sort of raises and pensions that private-sector workers can only dream about.
I love how this crowd has embraced the word "alternative." That's not something they ordinarily promote. They're all about diversity, except when it comes to opinions or politicians that dare not be left-of-center.
Two Labour MPs, John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn, have helped to organize the demonstration that will "turn London into Cairo". Do they know that ordinary Egyptians were trying to overthrow a man who'd been in power for 30 years and was completely out-of-touch with the hoi-polloi, a man they considered a cruel dictator? No, not Ted Kennedy, though Hosni Mubarak, so far as I know, was never responsible for the drowning of a young woman.
McDonnell and Corbyn wrote, in their joint statement, "On March 26 we are inviting everyone to join us to stay in Trafalgar square [sic] for 24 hours to discuss how we can beat this government and to send a message across the globe that we stand with the people of Egypt, Libya, Wisconsin and with all those fighting for equality, freedom and justice."
Fight the power! This is the ultimate test of our democracy! We're talking about the "haves" and the "have-nots" here, and we're the "haves." We're gonna scream and holler and smash up storefronts to ensure it stays that way! But, please remember, we Lefties are never violent. We're the agents of peace—which is why we so valiantly stand in defence of terrorists, domestic or foreign.
Question: Are McDonnell and Corbyn aware that Wisconsin is an American state? They probably think Wisconsin is a Canadian province, because Canada is a righteous, peaceful regime (just ignore the seal blood stains). Someone needs to drop the 4-1-1 to them that Wisconsin is part of the U.S. I'll bet the sudden downplay in sympathy will be like water down the drain.
They do not realize that the whole point of our new government was to tackle the severe financial crisis facing us, that cuts are necessary because the money is running out. But somehow, the results of our general election in May, and the results in Wisconsin in November that put cost-cutting Republicans in office, don't count as part of the democratic process. Obama himself said that elections have consequences, but if the Left witnesses an election they don't like, it amounts to "shock doctrines and neo-liberal attacks (that) threaten to devastate the lives of ordinary people the world over," in McDonnell's and Corbyn's opinion.
Honestly, it would make for great satire if it wasn't so sadly true.
Philip Collins, a columnist for The Times, summed it up succinctly when he referred to the mindset of the alternative-embracers:
"Conjugate with me the verb 'to be on the Left':
I care.
You don't.
He / she is oppressing me ideologically."
I just hope London is London once more by the time I have to head in there tonight, because I have a real job to do where I earn my own money, what little of it there is in my paycheck. It's the price I pay for being an honest, tax-paying member of the proletariat.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hey hey, ho ho, to Libya we won't go!

No blood for oil! Not in my name!
You know, part of me wants to shout that from the rooftops with regard to American military involvement in Libya. President Obama did not gain Congressional approval for launching strikes against the North African country. So, it's an illegal act of war, is it not?
Say what you will about Dennis Kucinich, the far-Left whackjob Representative from Ohio, but he was the very definition of consistency in denouncing the air strikes and calling Obama's action a potentially impeachable offense.
From a recent interview with MSNBC:
Interviewer: "Alright, so, Congressman—impeachment? Really?"
Kucinich: "I raised the question ... because the President is acting outside of the authority of the Constitution. There is no question about that whatsoever ... And then you think about, there's no imminent threat, there's no end-game. They're still after regime change. We could be strengthening Islamic extremists who could be setting up camp in eastern Libya. There are people who want to divide that nation. This is a nightmare."
Regarding the United Nations approval for these actions, Kucinich said during an interview with the RT America network, "It's good that the U.N. is involved in security matters, except for one thing: When it comes to the United States, we have a prior process that trumps the U.N., and that's called our Constitution, which requires that Presidents have to get Congressional approval to take our country into war. If the President feels there's an imminent or actual threat to the United States, he can move forward. This threat is to citizens in Libya. That's regrettable. But last I checked, Libya isn't one of our states."
I could never have imagined a scenario in which I would like to give Kucinich a slap on the back, but give him credit. He is absolutely correct. I, of course, disagreed mightily with Kucinich's objections to action in Iraq, but as I say, at least he's being consistent.
(I dearly wish these men of the Left, such as Kucinich, would realize that the Constitution also doesn't authorize the mass invasion of American soil by foreign nationals viz-a-viz illegal immigration. But, alas, that's a different topic ...)
Consider this: While campaigning for the Presidency in December 2007, Obama said, clearly referring to the War in Iraq, "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
So, Mr. President, how on earth, given your own apparent convinction in that very process, could you authorize attacks, from outside the nation no less, while on your "working vacation"?
Furthermore, where are the massive protests? Who's out there shouting "not in my name"? Libya has oil, so why no large-scale denouncements from anti-war liberals about this being another war for oil? Why no demonstrations against the French, who kicked-started this attack on Libya? (Looks like they're not "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" anymore!) I don't care what the anti-war crowd says, Bush did not act illegally with regard to Iraq. The resolution for the action against Iraq granted the authorization by the Constitution and Congress, so where's the uproar over the complete absence of a similar resolution in this case?
I direct you, dear reader, to this extremely well-written column by John Hawkins. Hawkins writes:
"Can't you just see it? The Communist Party, Code Pink, the black bloc, and the free Mumia wackjobs all joining together with the Tea Party to protest Obama. Wouldn't that be fun? I mean personally, I've been waiting for years to wear a "No Blood For Oil" sign while I carry around a giant puppet head. Someone call the commies and union members who organize all these hippie shindigs for the Left and let's do this thing!"
I concur that this was unconstitutional, that we can ill afford it, and that the U.S. does not need this diversion from Afghanistan. NATO isn't sure what the end-game, as Kucinich calls it, is either, and France and Turkey are bickering over what route to take in these proceedings in Libya.
Moammar Gaddafi is a horrible little man, no doubt about it, and he had this coming. It's the perfect opportunity for us to work with NATO and with U.N. approval to exact our revenge on him for all the American deaths he's been responsible for in the past. But isn't it also true that Gaddafi kept a low profile with regard to terrorism after Saddam Hussein's fall? We can, and should, ensure that Gaddafi goes six feet under, but who will replace him? Does anyone know the motives behind the rebels' insurrection and what they hope to achieve? Who will take over Libya in Gaddafi's absence?
Let's get to the nuts and bolts: Should American troops be put in harm's way in a conflict whose objectives are unclear if not totally missing? Absolutely not!
This story in Libya is completely missing a plot. Dennis Kucinich and I are in total agreement on this one.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The King hearings do not amount to a witch hunt

Peter King, a Representative from New York, has led the House homeland security committee's hearings on the homegrown Islamist terror threat. The investigation cannot go down the road of McCarthyism: on that, I'm sure we agree. But it is a necessary procedure to collect information on whatever radicalization we face on our own soil and what steps are necessary to defuse it.
I believe the Ford Hood disaster merits these hearings, as well as the opportunity to repair the consequences of Homeland Security incompetence under Janet Napolitano and the Obama administration who would rather see the bogeymen in straw dogs, i.e. Americans who are unapologetic in their patriotism.
Mike Ghouse, the Muslim president of the America Together Foundation, has said of the investigative hearings: "We thank God for this opportunity to put the doubts and nagging behind for good so we can continue to participate in and contribute towards the well-being of America, our homeland."
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, a Muslim convert, wept during the opening moments of the hearings, relating the tale of a Muslim paramedic who perished in the 9/11 attacks, reminding us that the man was "an American who gave everything for his fellow citizens." Fine, but that's not the sort of member of the Muslim community the hearings are targeting. Maybe the paramedic in question didn't even consider himself part of a "community," and thought of himself solely as American—something that should be lauded.
King and the investigative committee would like to know about those Muslim Americans who White House spokesman Jay Carney said "are part of the solution." Isn't that what this is all about? Finding solutions to radicalization and presenting the chance to the American Muslim community to participate? Doesn't sound like a "witch hunt" to me.
The one problem with Peter King acting as chair of the hearings is that he was an ardent supporter of the IRA. King had his head in the sand regarding the suffering the IRA has meted out, so is he really the man to condemn terror? What isn't often mentioned, however—certainly not by the New York Times readership—is that King participated in and helped to mediate the Good Friday agreement. So I think we can give props to him for that.
We need someone to expose Al Qaeda-style homegrown terrorist activities. If King can deliver, if he's got the determination and the tools to carry out full disclosure on the subject, then let nothing stand in his way.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Milking it, the sequel

My wife took a poke at me regarding the issue of human breast milk ice cream. Just click these purple words to read her counterpoint.
To be fair, she has a point. It's a free society in which unique business ideas should be given a chance for success, as long as they are legal. Westminster Council, the authorities who removed the "Baby Gaga" ice cream, had it tested, found it to be safe, and returned it to the ice cream parlour in question.
Nevertheless, my personal antipathy toward this product remains unchanged. I still think the inventor of this unorthodox dessert is a nutjob, and that it appeals mostly to guys who use only two words throughout their workday—"jackhammer" and "oogah!"—as well as the "crunchy granola" crowd that Squirrel mentioned. Interesting bedfellows. I'll leave them to it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The latest sordid tale from National Public Radio

Oh dear, Ron Schiller.
If you thought National Public Radio screwed up in their unwarranted firing of civil rights supporter Juan Williams for daring to say what we all think, dear reader, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Schiller, NPR's vice president of development, was the recent victim of a conservative-inspired prank (commentator James O'Keefe was the perpetrator) in which he met with two men posing as members of the Muslim Brotherhood at a Washington D.C. cafe. When the fake Muslims brought up the subject of Zionists funding the media and how they wanted to donate to NPR because it was free from such influence, Schiller responded that, unlike newspapers, where the influence is "obvious," NPR was owned by no-one.
Schiller did not go off on a grotesquely anti-Semitic rant. Instead, he ranted against those racist whites in the Tea Party movement. But having accepted the slur uttered by these supposed Islamists and responding that NPR answers to no-one, it's clear that he buys into the liberal smears against those dreaded Jews controlling our media. Schiller also backed up his colleague Betsy Liley by saying that while the American Jewish World Service may be supportive of NPR, "many Jewish organizations are not."
Does Schiller actually believe that Zionists control the media or was he just taking advantage of the potential offer of $5 million from these "Muslims"? (It seems that Schiller's opinions of Muslims are none too dignified either if he was so easily fooled by their act.)
Ron Schiller resigned, while the station's CEO, Vivian Schiller (no relation), was ousted by NPR's Board of Directors.
I wish I could believe that this was the end of it, that these wingnuts won't simply be replaced by equally horrible leftists who will be more cautious with their prejudices. The fact of the matter is, NPR could easily stand for "National Palestinian Radio," and Schiller, by acting as a fundraiser for the station, doesn't appear to mind how shariaists are so often presented in a sympathetic limelight.
Here's the real catch: Schiller is gay. He has a partner by the name of Alan Fletcher.
Now then, I have no doubt that Schiller decries homophobia, but only as practiced by straight white guys in Western societies. He must know how homosexuals are dealt with under sharia law. They are executed in any number of inventive ways. But somehow, it must be alright, because this is a penalty carried out by the "religion of peace." The straight white guys in the Tea Party are the real danger! What do tortured and dead homosexuals in Afghanistan or Pakistan matter? We have far worse homophobia in America. Those Tea Party rabble-rousers all support "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Oh, the horror.
Schiller reminds me of these hippies who listen to Jamaican dance hall music, thinking that certifies their liberal-left credentials, and completely unaware—or, more likely, conveniently ignoring the fact—that the accompanying lyrics are wildly anti-gay.
Honestly, I don't know which bothers me more about this latest sordid tale from NPR: The liberal kowtowing, or the blatant hypocrisy, on so many levels, behind it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pointless hyperbole won't do much for the nation's health

Last month, during the New York Fashion Week—not something that I make a point of following, I can assure you—Diet Pepsi unveiled their new packaging. It took the form of a "skinny" can, a taller, slimmer receptacle for the beverage.
Critics, of course, panned it, saying that it was pushing the agenda of size zero models and projecting the prejudicial message that thin is in. Whenever I see a roly-poly waddling up the street, someone I know for a fact is pushing up the cost of health premiums and placing strain on health services, God forbid that I think thin should be in. Do these fashion anti-heroes honestly have nothing better to bitch about?
These liberals, who feel that carrying 400 pounds on one's frame should count as freedom of expression, were squawking alright. One writer for Slate called the marketing "faux-empowerment" and offered the sarcastic thought, "If you're confident on the inside, you'll be skinny on the outside, or something. Huh?" Not to generalize, but I've pretty much found that to be true. Then again, I've never resembled the human equivalent of an SUV, so I suppose I couldn't say. But I would sure miss my skinny jeans, darrr-ling!
Let's get one thing straight. I'm not advocating the size zero ethos. I agree with the aim of defeating anorexia and bulimia. But doesn't it make some semblance of sense to offer a diet beverage with an admittedly subliminal message? I hate stupid gimmicks, which is exactly what this skinny can amounts to, but do we really need the fat brigade to politicize this?
Then you have the "don't tell us what to eat" crowd. I will never understand those conservatives who cry about the effort to ban transfats, presenting them as vital to our way of life. When our border control agents have to fire beanbags at narco-terrorists so we don't offend the sensibilities of Felipe Calderón, you have to wonder why Michelle Obama's healthy living campaign even appears as a blip on their radar. Mrs. Obama wants children to eat healthier and exercise more, and their parents to make better choices for them. Try as I might, I cannot see the problem with that.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour back Mrs. Obama's campaign. So does Ted Nugent, and you don't get more right-wing than him. Sarah Palin, however, says that the choice should be left to parents. Well, that's worked brilliantly so far, hasn't it? Surely the rigid control that we are to believe the country's parents are exerting has nothing to do with the obesity crisis and why most kids couldn't run a mile if their lives depended on it?
No-one wants to munch on vegetables all the time, but could we just perhaps indulge the possibility that this is not what the First Lady is advocating? This is hardly a case of government overreach. Every First Lady has had a crusade. Why is the campaign to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation's children any more odious than the effort to increase their literacy?
This is one instance in which the pinkos' favorite expression—"it's for the children!"—is mostly believable. (It's also the only instance in which I could be persuaded to give even half an ant-sized shit about what's good for children.)
Furthermore, we are being persuaded to believe that the food industry will police itself and faze out harmful additives like the aforementioned transfats. Since when has big business ever opted for the protection of society in general over profit? Answer: Never, if you're talking about Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol—or Big Food. Transfats extend shelf life. Thusly, they extend profits. They also raise bad cholesterol while also lowering good cholesterol. They add nothing of any nutritional value whatsoever to human health. They didn't even exist before the 1930s, and didn't start appearing in junk food until the '50s. Yet somehow, in those dark pre-transfat days, Americans still enjoyed their desserts. And the great majority of them were able to move around without the aid of a motorized Wal-Mart cart. Golly gee.
Now we've got Palin (and Limbaugh and Beck) acting like McCarthyites: "Do you now support, or have you ever supported, the elimination of transfats from the nation's diet?" As they say, follow the money. And the money dictates that the disappearance of transfats from our precious junk food and microwave dinners somehow threatens our existence. America is only strong as our synthetic, shelf life-saving oils!
God bless us, everyone.
All this sensitivity over skinny cans, the right to be fat, and these supposedly excellent choices that parents are making which Mrs. Obama apparently wants to take away from them makes for very lively debate, and we've had plenty of that. Unfortunately, it's done nothing to get the nation's health back on track.
Could we please, at the very least, change the nature of the debate—that the existence of a skinny Diet Pepsi can is not advocating anyone's starvation, and that we should not discuss choices when we're at the mercy of food producers who care more about the life of a product than the person buying it? And how does it make sense to fret over anorexia or bulimia while excusing or ignoring that other eating disorder, known as EATING TOO DAMN MUCH?
You make informed choices about your food, you make time for exercise, you don't smoke and you treat alcohol with respect, and these virtues are what you pass on to your children. It really is as simple as that. Despite the shock, awe and flat-out horror that Mrs. Obama's campaign, or any subsequent minor regulation of the food industry, may provide to our lifestyle—which at the moment could adequately be summed up in three simple words: "While Rome Burned"—the choice to be a bad consumer will still be there. Hopefully, in future, very few will avail themselves of it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Talk about milking it ...

Were you aware, dear reader, that breast milk ice cream was, however briefly, on sale here in Britain? I kid you not. An ice cream shop in Covent Garden entitled Icecreamists served up ice cream made from human breast milk. Not surprisingly, the restaurant in question had its supply of "Baby Gaga" confiscated by Westminster Council on the common-sense grounds that it was a "foodstuff made from another person's bodily fluids."
Now then, I'm a fairly straight guy, at least in terms of my sexual activity preference—making my deposit in the right bank, so to speak. I am an avid fan of any female form that's fit and foxy. But I have to say, I cannot, even in my wildest dreams, countenance the thought of consuming breast milk ice cream. I'm not even fond of ice cream in general; in my opinion, it's the favored indulgence of obese people who clearly plan on staying that way.
Matt O'Connor, the inventor of the ice cream which surely made the average shaven-headed, no-necked Daily Star reader drool, said the frozen concoction "challenges our preconceptions about food." Well, Mr. O'Connor, food is something for which I am quite comfortable—indeed, grateful—in not having my preconceptions challenged. I actually enjoy being able to eat sans the urge to puke. That's why there's very little that I consume which originated from something that can walk and vocalize.
O'Connor also said that if breast milk "is good enough for our children, it's good enough for the rest of us." OK, I consider myself quite youthful for a fortysomething, but honestly, let us not get carried away here.
What's next? Urine lemonade? Fecal fajitas, perhaps? Hey, we need to challenge our food preconceptions, damn it all! If coprophagia is good enough for rabbits, surely it's good enough for us!
Even Michelle Obama wouldn't touch this one with a ten-foot pole.
And let's face it, we can't see the women who donated their milk. I'm guessing they didn't exactly all come fresh from a shift at Hooters.
Let me leave you with one final thought from this roguish entrepreneur. "No-one's done anything interesting with ice cream in the last hundred years," O'Connor opines. And yet it still sells. Go figure.
Mr. O'Connor, get thee to a supermarket or a normal ice cream shop and discover how something that ain't broke doesn't need fixing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A rare moment of clarity from a public-sector union

I generally agree with the cost-cutting that the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has been engaging in. As could be expected, the British trade unions are reacting with the same infantile tantrums that have been occurring in Wisconsin; what's happening on the American stage with respect to unions, their power and their flawed defense of lavish pensions that no-one in the private sector enjoys, is being mirrored over here.
Unions are threatening to strike on the day of the royal marriage (Wills and Kate) in April, and to also disrupt services during the Olympics. It's childish and preposterous behavior on the part of the unions for making the general public pay for their grievances. If you actually care about the wedding or the Olympics, excuse me while I laugh uproariously at you—you are a sentimental dope in the case of the former or a gullible fool in the case of the latter—but you still have the right to expect a trouble-free journey in order to witness either of them.
However, I totally agree with the union Unite in their condemnation of the Government's plan to scrap the Nimrod spy planes. The Ministry of Defence plans to turn the entire fleet of newly constructed Nimrod planes, which cost £4 billion to build, into scrap metal. On its website, Unite opines that, with the loss of the Nimrods, the "defense of the nation has been compromised," while union representative John Fussey (now there's a great last name for a union rep, eh?) called it "barbaric vandalism."
The Goverment and MoD claim that surveillance can be carried out via our Type 23 frigates, and Merlin anti-submarine and Hercules C-130 helicopters. But BAE Systems will need to be reimbursed for the destruction of their product, so how exactly is this a cost-cutting measure? We're not talking about the decommissioning of the 41-year-old Harrier jump jets, the last models of which were constructed in 1997, which will be replaced by F-35 fighters. The Nimrod surveillance planes were introduced in 1969 also, but the latest models, the MRA4, were brand new—and will be replaced by ships and helicopters.
Now I'm not an expert when it comes to defense issues, and I don't blame you, dear reader, if you nodded off while reading the previous paragraph. But surely you get the gist—the government still has yet to explain how exactly this counts as either a cost-cutting measure that makes even mathematical sense or a sound defense policy procedure. Unite was well within their element to question this from a national security point of view.
I only wish trade unions would argue from a patriotic perspective more often instead of their usual platform of cushy greed which they hypocritically accuse the cost-cutters and the private sector of.