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Bang Bang

On the same morning that the Guardian newspaper runs the headline “Rogue Syrians must be held to account, says US”, I’ve been on the phone to Damascus discussing the possibility of assisting with their electronic government project. You might say that the situation is both fluid and delicate, so I’ll drop a note to our Ambassador in Syria and their Ambassador in London and ask for both opinions once the details of the project come through to make sure I’m not treading on any sensitive diplomatic toes. If that isn’t enough, I was asked on Friday, if I might be interested in doing the same in Islamabad, leading me to think that eGovernment projects are like buses, you sit waiting for them for ages and then, all of a sudden two come along at once.

Closer to home, I’ve been shooting over at Hythe this morning on the military range there. I had wondered why the seagulls zigzag when they fly across the face of the targets but I suppose it’s an evolutionary trait, survival of the quickest. Hythe is relatively short and good for small arms training; hence the rattle of machine-gun fire from the Territorials but Lydd, with its 1200 metre range is preferred by many of us shooting long rifles but to be honest 800 metres is really enough, anything longer and it’s far too much of a walk to the target line.

There’s a certain irony that given its present commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the British Army doesn’t really have enough skilled rifleman, unlike the Americans that have an impressive military training programme, which they use to their advantage in an urban setting. Meanwhile, back in Hythe, there’s a small group of heavily-armed but quite respectable, middle-aged men, who can accurately outshoot many of our front-line troops at ranges up to a 1000 metres.

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