Skip to main content
Three Kings

Keep saying it Tony, “Weapons of mass destruction” and don’t forget to mention, “Weapons of mass destruction” either.



Like you, perhaps, I was watching the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman last night on the BBC. The studio audio had been carefully chosen to reflect the nation’s median IQ and grasp of foreign politics and Paxman didn’t spare any punches, obviously quite prepared to wave goodbye to any dream of a knighthood under this government.

Were you convinced by the argument? I wasn’t and it became clear that the evidence for “Weapons of mass destruction” was rather thin on the ground, absence of evidence not being evidence of absence in the minds of Mr Bush or Mr Blair.


What I did notice though was the hint of a real worry below the surface, when the subject of terrorism was discussed. There is something, I suspect that the Prime Minister is not telling us, it doesn’t involve Iraq and it’s frightening him. This is quite possibly the risk of a terrorist attack on mainland Britain and this may be more likely, more of a clear and present danger than we might think it is.

Saddam Hussein claiming that he doesn’t have any “Weapons of mass destruction” is of course as credible as Michael Jackson denying that he has had plastic surgery but whether Iraq’s weapons are capable of deployment or simply represent a figment of Saddam’s disturbed imagination, like Hitler’s “Wonder weapons” are questions which need to be determined by the United Nations or we simply throw in the towel and leave America to play world policeman when it suits that country’s foreign policy to do so.



But time is running out and the troops are watching re-runs of “Three Kings”. I was in Kuwait in the middle of February last year and it was getting hot, very hot. The military option starts to expire in less than three weeks because it will simply be too hot to take preventative measures against the threat of chemical warfare. - try wearing a CNW suit in 45 degrees celsius - So sometime between 15th and 28th of February is my guess for an invasion. Anybody disagree?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Mandate of Heaven

eGov Monitor Version

“Parliament”, said my distinguished friend “has always leaked like a sieve”.

I’m researching the thorny issue of ‘Confidence in Public Sector Computing’ and we were discussing the dangers presented by the Internet. In his opinion, information security is an oxymoron, which has no place being discussed in a Parliament built upon the uninterrupted flow of information of every kind, from the politically sensitive to the most salacious and mundane.

With the threat of war hanging over us, I asked if MPs should be more aware of the risks that surround this new communications medium? More importantly, shouldn’t the same policies and precautions that any business might use to protect itself and its staff, be available to MPs?

What concerns me is that my well-respected friend mostly considers security in terms of guns, gates and guards. He now uses the Internet almost as much as he uses the telephone and the Fax machine and yet the growing collective t…

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…

Civilisational Data Mining

It’s a new expression I haven’t heard before. ‘Civilisational data mining.’

Let me start by putting it in some context. Every character, you or I have typed into the Google search engine or Facebook over the last decade, means something, to someone or perhaps ‘something,’ if it’s an algorithm.


In May 2014, journalists revealed that the United States National Security Agency, the NSA, was recording and archiving every single cell-phone conversation that took place in the Bahamas. In the process they managed to transform a significant proportion of a society’s day to day interactions into unstructured data; valuable information which can of course be analysed, correlated and transformed for whatever purpose the intelligence agency deems fit.

And today, I read that a GOP-hired data company in the United States has ‘leaked’ personal information, preferences and voting intentions on… wait for it… 198 million US citizens.

Within another decade or so, the cost of sequencing the human genome …