There are times I wish the British would just shut up and give others a chance. One can’t watch the BBC news, or peruse its website (or that of any other U.K. media outlet) without being forced to listen to opinions on the European Union spouted by folk who really don’t know what they’re talking about. Their views reflect whichever celebrity politician turns them on the most, and whether he/she is a “Stayer”, or a “Leaver”.
Those most needing to refrain from opinion are the old fogeys (like me!). It won’t matter one iota to those over sixty whether Britain stays in Europe, or leaves. By the time any advantage, or disadvantage, results from the referendum on June 23rd, they’ll all be dead anyway. This is all about the future of Britain for the young. Anyone over fifty shouldn’t even be allowed to vote.
One hears constant, arrogantly expressed remarks like, “I’m British. I don’t want to be European,” or, “I want to stay in Europe. When I’m in France or Germany I love to flaunt my Britishness. I love being British.”
Such rampant nationalism was just what the Brits complained about in 1930’s Germany.
Perhaps, after all, Britain should leave Europe and become the 51st state of the U.S.A.. Brits have moaned on for years about “arrogant Americans” coming to London and complaining. Now, it seems they have much in common with their transatlantic neighbours.
We all know that Britain and the U.S. share a “special relationship” (ha!) but it’s not just Britain that relies on America for its security. NATO covers all of Europe and is spearheaded these days by the U.S. military establishment. It comes as something of a shock, therefore, to learn that the Pentagon is still controlling its nuclear arsenal using 1970’s era computers with floppy disks:
The US nuclear weapons force still uses a 1970s-era computer system and floppy disks, a government report has revealed.
The Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon was one of several departments where “legacy systems” urgently needed to be replaced.
The report said taxpayers spent $61bn (£41bn) a year on maintaining ageing technologies.
It said that was three times more than the investment on modern IT systems.
The report said that the Department of Defence systems that co-ordinated intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft “runs on an IBM Series-1 Computer – a 1970s computing system – and uses eight-inch floppy disks”.
According to Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt Col Valerie Henderson, this is not a reason to feel insecure:
…the floppy drives are scheduled to be replaced with secure digital devices by the end of 2017.”
An investment in DVD drives, perhaps?
I have an aging HP XW4600 Workstation I would gladly donate if it would help improve nuclear security?
Maybe, after all, Britain would be better sticking with Europe.
“US nuclear force ‘still uses floppy disks'” BBC, May 26th 2016