Sunday, March 04, 2012


After the wave of links posts, here's a links post with no particular theme.

Fantastic new civil servant blog has some interesting thoughts on Trident replacement and the interactions with US defence cuts. Specifically, as the Americans reduce their nuclear arsenal, will they still want an Atlantic and a Pacific SSBN fleet, and in the case that they close Kings Bay naval base, is it practical for the RN boats to sail to the West Coast to pick up new rockets?

Jeffrey Lewis at Arms Control Wonk discusses whether the US might be thinking about a minimal-deterrent option, in which case it might paradoxically be less of a problem for the UK as submarines would be relatively more important.

The best paper map. I was really pleased to see a demo at Mobile World Congress in which the radio coverage footprint was overlaid in Openlayers onto the OpenStreetMap.

UKBA stops signing up new users for the IRIS biometric identifier. Thank God we spent all that money issuing new passports! Passing through Gatwick North on Thursday night, I noticed that, as usual, it took several times as long for IRIS to deal with a passenger as it did for a human.

A history of Sharjah Airport...but only up to 1952.

General Washington’s compliments to General Howe. He does himself the pleasure to return him a dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the Collar, appears to belong to General Howe. He does this in the context of an exchange of compliments between armies arguing over who torched the mill to deny the other grain, and what this would do to the civilian population. Kings of War has been excellent recently after an influx of new bloggers.

Hopi Sen's grandad and the propaganda film.

There's a trio of kittens tucked into a tiny bed,
and what looks like a Golden Retriever in a shirt and tie, holding a long-stemmed rose between its teeth. At the bottom of the image it says, "PUPPIES & FRIENDS." "One deity rules over all the other spirits," Henry tells me as the sacrificial chickens are plucked and tossed into a hot caldero. "He is the Godfather.

We saw this one coming, and here it comes. Katharine Birbalsingh's academy (that's the one with the "private school ethos" right down to "I don't need to know Ohm's law, I read Greats") won't be opening due to a lack of buildings, money, and indeed anything.

Voidy contributes to King Mob vs. IDS, demonstrating that the DWP has been very keen to get rid of embarrassing facts from its web site.


Anonymous said...

Frequent observation suggests to me that IRIS does not work in about 25% to 35% of cases. This then involves important-looking passengers from First Class looking foolish as they try to get the machine to work, then retreat dejectedly to stand in a queue. Great entertainment for the masses waiting in the queues.


Anonymous said...

If Ms Birbalsingh had bothered to check with the local authorities, or any of the schools' campaigning groups in Lambeth or Wandsworth, she would have found out quickly that lack of suitable sites is a key issue for secondary school provision in those areas. New schools in Lambeth have been shoe-horned onto small sites or required complex land swaps.

From the 1980s onwards local authorities were encouraged to balance their books by selling land. Former schools were turned into flats. Then after the GLA was recreated it was discovered that the population of inner London was rising again so it had been a mistake to close down some of those schools. Gove's policies seem to make it the responsibility of parents to find the land, not the politicians who closed the schools and sold the land.


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