You can see their point...
...the last thing we need is a bunch of pirates equipped with RN RIBs.
Following a recent spate of pirate attacks* off the Horn of Africa, reportedly Her Majesty's Royal Navy has been powerless to act following official concern over possible violations of the buccaneers' human rights - and worries that they might seek asylum in the UK after being captured. The shipping paper Lloyds List first …
So if I move to Somalia and rob, pillage and generally make a bloody nuisance of myself HMG will let me get on with it or give me a nice council house, but if I dare to look at dodgy pics in a magazine or on an offshore-based website I can be clapped in irons?
What is the difference between "Give us your valuables and a ransom and we'll let you go home" and "I'm sorry, I'm only a Pensioner and cannot afford another £60 a month on my council tax"? (For those El Reg readers who cannot tell the difference, and for any fsckwit Government types who have managed to stay awake long enough to read the story AND get to the comments, it's this - one is an old lady from the north of England, the other is either a pirate or a council official depending on what badge he's wearing today...)
Since the gaols are already too full of those intimidating council tax dodging grannies and depraved speeding motorists who actually have tax and insurance, maybe HMG's policy is the right one.
Fill the theiving scum with lead and let 'em seek asylum with Davy Jones...
I don't normally go for the BBC 'Have Your Say' Daily Mail approach, but this seems a bit of a non-issue to me.
Rather than worrying that the pirates might seek asylum if captured, could the Navy not... well... shoot them and sink their ships?
"Oh dear, Admiral, you know what? We were just going to invite them on board and offer them a cup of tea and a biscuit, but would you believe, just as we're coming about, their poor ship exploded and sank. Terrible thing, really. The humanity, etc. Mind you, the ship was in a terrible condition as we passed - surprised they put to sea in it at all, really. All those holes in the side, and fires kept starting all over it for some reason. No, no survivors that we could find. We looked. We raked... I mean combed... the area until we ran out of am... until it went dark, and not a sign."
Seriously, I know the tradition is that everyone's in the same boat - so to speak - on the sea and when push comes to shove you help your enemy if he's in trouble. But on the other hand, they're pirates. And pirates, despite the popular conception, aren't cuddly funny people with parrots. They're robbing, raping scum the world would be far better off without. So sink them and to hell with them.
Sorry. I'm going to go for a lie down.
Judging by the enormous villas being built in Puntland, around Eyl, most of the cash goes to the local economy and not to terrorism I'd say.
If you define piracy as terrorism (it's anarchy and strikes terror in its victims: fair enough) then of course the point is moot.
...asylum seekers are not the source of council flat shortages, and it really hacks me off when people suggest that they are, because you end up with an uprising of right wing lunatics who go off chaning xenophobic "Britain for the British" slogans blaming all of society's evils (such as council flat shortages) on foreign nationals.
My particular borough in London has a waiting list of 11,000 households wanting a council flat - last year 85 got housed. The housing shortage has nothing to do with asylum seekers hoovering up council property - it has everything to do with there being simply not enough council housing stock.
Seeing as The Reg has such a distaste for the Daily Mail, any chance you could stop pedalling its lies?
I think I'll get my coat - it's the one with flameproof lining.
At the risk of being identified as a tub-thumper, I have a question about modern naval training. It used to be a point of pride for a bosun's mate to be able to organize an efficient and humane hanging at a yard-arm. Is this skill missing from today's Navy?
[the only time this icon, or its late lamented forebear, has been geniunely useful]
Lets resolve this one in the least painful way possible.
Re-commission HMS Belfast, lock and load the 6" guns. Dispose of Home & Foreign Office (and possibly the houses of parliament - freindly fire excuse and all that).
Paris - Because she would only wring her hands as much as the FSO if she were buing a REALLY expensive handbag.
"for fear of transgressing human rights legislation or encouraging their seeking asylum once taken to the UK."
Sea Pirates aren't all like the "Captain Sparrow". These are generally quite violent and vicious criminals who probably don't give two stuffs about the human rights of the people they have robbed from/killed/terrorized.
This f***king country just gets worse. Blow the pirates out of the water, make them walk the plank and stuff their human rights.
(Pirate for obvious reasons)
> "Your correspondent recently spoke off the record to a lately-retired admiral who said that the once-aggressive Service culture has been "shockingly" undermined in the modern era ..."
I'd agree with that. In my own opinion, many Western navies have become shadow of their former selves. As one former senior officer I know put it, "Women and telephones - that's what I blame. I swore to myself I'd resign if they introduced women and telephones at sea, and regretted everyday since that I didn't".
Not that the women themselves are a problem - they can be trained to perform just as well as men (most of them, anyway) - but it's the top brass' attitude that came along at the same time ... "We must appeal to a broader spectrum of the community" ... "We must not be seen as harsh or uncompromising" ... and the consequent watering down of just about everything.
Then there's the telephones. We used to issue a set of orders to the CTF/CTG and trust they would get it right using their judgement, framed by "the finest traditions of the Service". Now we issue more Rules of Engagement (a long list of things you can't do) than orders and further cloud the situation with very untimely voice calls from Whitehall (or wherever) from people with no fucking idea how to conduct a naval campaign, or worse, HQ with politicians on their back. There's a damn good reason why they're the *Armed* Forces, and fuckwit civilian managers and politicians should withdraw to their corner and let the Services get on with it. Then there's the apparent neutering of senior officers - paralysed by legal shackles and media paranoia.
Please excuse the langauge, but for fuck sake, these are pirates - order to stop, fire warning shots, then (if they haven't stopped) engage - any survivors can be picked out of the water, emprisoned, then deported. And to keep the lawyers happy, instead of passing more legislation on disenfranchising citizens of the freedoms their forefathers died fighting for (with a damn sight more courage then shown since), how about a simple statute/amendment that permits the emprisoning and deportation as above?
I've had exactly the same experience as Lewis with overnight transit in certain straits. I'd go into a couple more examples, but I'd be inviting a visit from men in dark suits ....
It's a lot more difficult to request asylum when you're hanging.
Or when you've got a bullet through the head, for that matter.
What is the world coming to ? The remnants of the worlds' greatest Navy have all become yellow in a generation ? Since when does this kind of debate take place at the task force command level ?
It should be a debate in the political arena, where the softies can wring their hands repeatedly while the hardliners rebuff them with economic logic, then everyone stops for tea. Meanwhile, the Navy just keeps on blowing the buggers out of the water.
Meaning the pirates, of course, not the politicians.
the Senior Service? sounds like a bunch of wusses nowadays
but as for the 'guidance' how can you expect better from a government - here I mean = elected representatives + civil servants (ha!) - that continues to treat the Gurkhas so damned shamefully
pirate - well obviously we should fight fire with fire, make the scurvy scum walk the plank - preferably with a kukri in their back :)
PS was trying to work in a Cap'n Pugwash reference in . . thought better of it as it is before the watershed (i.e. the lunchtime pint)
Men in small boats, armed with RPG-7's and AK's. Looking slightly threatening. (And an RPG would be considered a relatively serious threat)
RN vessel identifies threat, makes challenge, 'inadequate' response received, engages with close defence weapons. Say for example Oerlikon 30mm and mounted M134s. You know, the light stuff.
Smoke clears. Threat gone. And no asylum claims.
May be considered a bit of an overreaction, but it deals with the immediate threat and can be considered to discourage the others. And after all, the pirates get in their boat knowing what could happen, and intending to do the same to others.
I suspect the policy would be even more effective if employed via armed merchant vessels but as the article is about the reaction of the RN we won't go there.
Or is this a case of the French actually doing the right thing while everyone else acts like a pussy and pulls the human rights excuse for doing fuck all?
Hey, you know all those guys that took out the World Trade Centre? I'm fairly sure they impinged the human rights of everyone in the building at the time, think they cared?
Isn't piracy still one of the 3 things you can get hung for in the UK?
So the pirates are successful in getting UK citizenship and then get hung 10 minutes later. Pirates are happy (for a bit), Sun readers are happy and a notice in the job centre "Wanted, hangman, black hood provided" will help bring down the unemployment figures
It's all doubleplus good
I'm ashamed. Has the royal navy come to this? Being afraid of pirates in case it makes them a little bit late? I can't help but think in days gone by they would have gone out of their way to be mistaken for a merchant convoy and would have been keen to make blighty proud, and the powers that be would have lauded their efforts.
Of course they would probably also have been "privateering" the french, dutch and/or spanish merchants, but as we all know that's completely different.
have converted to the CoFSM. They know that Pirates are also followers, and all this talk of ransoms, terrorists, theft etc. is just propaganda spread by Christians.
The Royal Navy 'warships' in the area are actually used to hold prayer meetings, as it is at least a safe from being boarded by French or Russian seamen (**giggle**, I think I'll leave this in despite reading it back and noticing the double entendre) seeking to persecute our righteous brothers.
"There is in fact an international naval force operating in the Arabian and Red Seas called Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), currently commanded by a Canadian officer..."
WTF? The Canadian Navy consists of 2 blokes in a rowing boat with shotguns!!
(disclaimer: I'm Canadian, OK?)
My Girlfriend and I are planning a round the world sailing trip and were considering heading down through the Red Sea. However, there is some concern of Pirates (think boats not software) and rather than be boarded by a bunch of stroppy Somalian’s wielding machete's I think we will head over to the Caribbean instead.
They used to say that a an Englishman could safely walk across the breadth of the British empire unprotected because no one dared provoke the armed forces. Maybe I should practice my French instead...
Paris - because she knows how to lie back and think of England..
Of all the nuLabour PC bollocks that is straightjacketing the entire country.
It starts out with school children banned from climbing trees or playing conkers etc. and ends up with the RN not allowed to fight genuine piracy.
I have to agree with Lewis.
Skull and crossed bones obviously (Why does your icon have crossed swords?)
Well this one wave anyway, off the Cornish coast, unless of course we are offending you in any way or upsetting your view perhaps in which case the wave is yours.
We will just carry on with our mission to defend the right of the Public School boys at the Foriegn Office to behave like prats. After all without the extra money from the KGB they can barely afford the Opera these days.
Pointless having a navy if you're not going to fight piracy with it. Really sad when training exercises are more important than getting a few pirates.
Perhaps the real problem is that if there were british casualties, there'd be hell to pay and the mealy mouthed politicians would be incapable of explaining. And who'd have to foot the bill for damage to Her Majesty's fleet?
Personally, I'd have no problems with the Navy just sinking pirate ships/boats on sight and steaming away after making sure all the pirates were dead, but it seems rather inconsistent that when we don't even execute murderers/rapists/etc. in this country, pirates can be summarily drowned or machine-gunned.
That probably means they have to at least be given the chance to surrender which brings its own problems - do modern Navy ships even have a (large enough) brig? After a few vessels dealt with, the ship might have to make a special unloading trip to the nearest British controlled port.
I feel like I'm coming over all Daily Mail, but a British prison, while being an extremely unpleasant place, probably offers a better life than a modern pirate has - so the proper incentives aren't really there.
Handing them over to possibly easily-bribed local police might not be the best idea either.
What seems like the best idea is mentioned in the article - pretending to be an easy victim then killing them all...
"British Foreign Office officials are understood to have advised the Royal Navy not to confront or arrest pirates in the region for fear of transgressing human rights legislation or encouraging their seeking asylum once taken to the UK."
- you really couldnt make this up could you?
surely these people who murder, steal and kidnap have forgone any human rights? also why the hell should we bring such nasty pieces of work over here to live?
i fucking despair at this government i really do! the navy should just blow them out of the water ffs!
werent we the best sailing nation in history at one point? now relegated to a world joke! is anyone else feeling embarassed to be english these days? :(
It is a really sad day when the French have more guts than the royal navy. What the f*** happened "England expects that every man will do his duty"?
Not that there is something new in that. Throughout its history it generally took a Scott to command ships flying the Union Jack for them to show some guts.
Plenty of examples to that starting with Admiral Cochrane and finishing with the now forgotten scottish school teacher called back from the reserve who disobeyed Lord "do not do it" Dudley orders to abandon defenceless the PQ 17 convoy in World War 2 and refused to abandon merchant ships against an incoming combined raid of the Luftvaffe, Denitz subs and the German surface fleet. He stayed, a combined British and American fleet consisting of an aircraft carrier, several heavy cruizers and escort fled.
Oh well, I guess the times have not changed since "Do not do it" Dudley. Sad. That is all that has to be said about it. Really sad.
OK, so it's the *only* Somali pirate story I know, and it's short:
Apparently the Americans are a little less reticent about the use of force than are the Royal Navy. Once, as a US Destroyer closed on a pirate vessel, said vessel displayed a little spunk, albeit accompanied by a large dose of stupidity - They fired an RPG at the destroyer. The Yanks promptly arrested the pirates anyway.
In case anyone doesn't get teh funny of this: They fired an RPG at a Destroyer!
They'd have had better luck shooting a spitball against a charging rhinocerous! All they achieved was to annoy some poor sod who had to spend all of five minutes cleaning off the smudge.
Make the vermin walk the plank after introducing them to the cat o' nine tails.
Between this and the woman soldier who's suing the army for £400,000 for being called names, you have to wonder what's coming next... orders not to shoot at the enemy in case they sue or because it's a breach of their health and safety rules?!
Surely, if they can't capture them, they can comply with government guidelines simply by blasting them out of the water.
Nelson would be turning in his barrel.
So if the RN is to do nothing...just whats the point of us taxpayers paying for them to actually be there then? It would be cheaper have the RN patrol the waters off the Isle of Wight in Mirror Dinghy's and blow soap bubbles at passing seagulls.
Just when you think HMG cannot get any more sheeet they go and surpass themselves.
Where's the Icon for I want to kill the lot of them useless fecktards in HMG and slink off hanging my head in shame at the ar5e my country has become. Almost makes you consider voting for the BNP...I'm that fecked off. Maggie wouldn't have issued such a stupid order. She sank the Belgrano not waved a hanky at it like Nu Liars would.
Gordoom McSnot-Gobbler needs replacing with a more effective cardboard cut out.
Though I agree that the navy shouldn't be forced to be limp-wristed, there is another dimension to the situation. As a comment on the Times article, which Lewis references, points out:
"Many Somalis see the pirates almost as heroes protecting their waters from pillaging by EU and Asian fishing fleets and the dumping of toxic waste."
Had you been a fisherman and seen most of your potential catch sold off by a bunch of politicians and businessmen who then grew rich and fat on the proceeds, while destroying your livelihood, what would you do? Is it wrong to fight back? Quite often when people are ripped off they see little option but to redress the balance by conducting a rip-off themselves.
Whether or not piracy can be condoned, the question does arise of who is doing the plundering. It can't be much fun to be an officer in situations where the 'dissent' you are called on to put down may seem to have more justification than some of the unjustness in which your country has co-operated.
What's the tradition here? Might is right or British fair play for all?
I grew up near Portsmouth, I've dated an Admirals daughter, and numbered members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines past and present amongst my friends and drinking companions, and this wishy washy Government interference digusts me. But they've been doing it for a long time now.
The Senior Service was the largest and most respected Navy in the world. Its also our frontline defence. So why is it for years we've struggled to fill ships with fuel and munitions, let alone get them out. Because the Government doesn't seem to think that our armed Forces are important. We have two new super carriers going to be built, with 50+ JSF's on each. Why don't we have more ?? Why are the number of Frigates and Destroyers we have shrinking in number ?? Because of the Government.
We need more ships, more aircraft, and more people in the Navy. These all create jobs, their support businesses create jobs. And most importantly we need them as we take on more and more UN and NATO work, We can't fulfill these global responsibilities with a wishy washy Government and Home Office that tells the Senior Service to go softly softly with Pirates.
Apparently none of you bothered to read the conclusion of the article - that the so-called excuse is a second-hand unsourced report of ... bo11ocks. The whole thing is simply untrue.
"you couldn't make this stuff up"
Well, someone did: whether it's the Lloyd's List hack or the person who s/he was talking to. Either way, it's bogus.
The way these people are headed, I'm expecting the imminent arrival of the Mekon.
(Yeah, been reading the recent Dan Dare comic that Virgin published.)
Lewis, tell your Admiral that I thoroughly approve of his cinematic tastes.
(Note on icons: the pirate flag matches the descriptions of that flown by John "Calico Jack" Rackham, who had the famous Anne Bonney and Mary Read in his crew (according to reports, they were the only pirates sober enough to fight back when captured).)
The simplest way is not to sink those cruddy little ships most pirates sail, and then hang the survivors.
The simplest thing is to train *real* guns on the pirate vessels. Even in these days where missiles have made big guns obsolete, those guns that remain on your average destroyer are still plenty big enough to blow a pirate dhow into teeny-tiny itty-bitty pieces. Now let Whitehall try to prove that there ever was any pirate ship in the first place! Toothpicks and slivers of flesh disappear very quickly from the ocean, after all.
"Missing rounds from the magazine you say, sir? Must have been the gunnery practice from last Thursday."
You're unlikely to kill them all on the first shot are you? Sink their boat, fine, but there will be a few survivors floating around in the water. What do you suggest, sailing over and machine gunning the survivors? What kind of a navy do you think we have?
Anyone even remotely civilised is going to bring them on board and arrest them, and as a naval vessel is considered UK territory they then have the right to apply for asylum, just as they would do if they'd snuck over the border at Calais.
That said, a captain at sea can make all sorts of decisions autonomously. I don't know what the rules are for considering asylum claims, but if the captain had the power to consider them himself when in international waters I imagine this would neatly solve the problem.
From the Council Directive 2004/83/EC, giving clarification as to who may be considered a refugee or persons needing international protection:
"A third country national or a stateless person is excluded from being a refugee where there are serious reasons for considering that:
(b) he or she has committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to his or her admission as a refugee; which means the time of issuing a residence permit based on the granting of refugee status; particularly cruel actions, even if committed with an allegedly political objective, may be classified as serious non-political crimes;"
Maritime piracy has been considered a serious crime for long time and attacking one or more RN ships for such a purpose would surely be grounds to void any asylum claim.
isnt the penalty of piracy in most countries death?
surely just open fire and blow the suckers out the water...
its a sad day when i wish our gov was more like the merkins :(
wtf is our british navy? seems more like the RNLI to me!
"that continues to treat the Gurkhas so damned shamefully" - hear hear! we lets all kinds of sponging europeans over here but true british spirit is sent packing. this makes me ashamed!
@ "My particular borough in London has a waiting list of 11,000 households wanting a council flat - last year 85 got housed. The housing shortage has nothing to do with asylum seekers hoovering up council property - it has everything to do with there being simply not enough council housing stock." - so you are saying nobody is an asylum seeker then? i used to live up in hull and i can tell you large areas have been given to eastern europeans. one shop even had 'no english' sign on the door!
i know most council properties are held now by stupid pregnant teens who are too stupid to use johnnies but you cant say no places are taken by asylum seekers. why cant we have the same logic as every other country in the world? 'fix us first then you'- why do the english feel the need to help everyone else at the expense of ourselves (i say english as its the english paying for great britain)
maybe we could just dress the pirates up as british servicemen and let the yanks practice more friendly fire?
But this is yet another story of the British Government having gone completely barking mad and is, in fact, very soft on terror.
It should be clear, and if necessary parliament could add a codecil to the Human Rights Act (better yet, repeal it) that these rights are not enjoined to people comitting any sort of criminal offence in the UK or abroad. Pirates (the non-digital type) have no rights. They cannot claim asylum under any circumstances. In fact, their vessels should be used by our noble lads in the navy for live fire target practice.
Make them walk the plank and dance on davy jones locker.
A few years ago, three boatloads of Somali pirates attacked - wait for it - a US navy battle cruiser and a US navy destroyer off Somalia. They fired AK-47 rounds and some RPGs. The US ships returned the favor with somewhat larger artillery, and it was about the shortest naval battle in history - three pirate boats sunk, several pirates killed, remainder captured, a few smudges on the Navy ships.
Captain of the cruiser went and asked the leader of the soggy morons what the F**K was he thinking when he decided to take on the US navy with a couple of leaky rowboats and a slingshot.
Moron answers "We had you outnumbered, there were three of us and only two of you."
We (and you) pay a lot of tax money for this hardware - lets USE IT instead of sailing it around in fair weather looking pretty. If we got serious about stomping out this kind of crap it would be over in a day. Eyl would be a glassy parking lot that glows in the dark, the few survivors would seriously reconsider their career paths, and piracy would be something you see only in movies and as Halloween costumes.
Peace through superior firepower!
Nobody wants to pay to find out whether this is a problem, nobody wants to take the issue on to find out what they could do and there's no money or prestige for the numbnuts in charge to risk making a decision on their own bat.
Just ask them which country they belong to, sink the boat (after taking the contents that are worth something) or take the boat to impound it. Then take the pirates back to their home.
If they say "no home" then they either sink on the ship or get impounded with it.
I call bullshit on this story. It's clearly bollocks.
@Glyn: Noone can be hanged for anything in the UK, nowhere in Europe is allowed to have the death penalty for anything (except in time of war) anymore.
@The London council house guy: The reason you don't have enough council houses is because of Mrs Thatch. She gave everyone the "right to buy", the right to buy hoses that belong to everyone else, at massive discount. Great. No wonder councils didn't build any more houses. Still, it can't be long till I can sport my "Ding Dong the witch is dead." T-Shirt and dance in the street.
Human rights always seem to get in the way of doing the job. Why not go back to the old days of hanging the pirates then they could not make it back to the UK to claim asylum or that their missus just dropped a sprog and they now need sky tv and a council flat plus UK citizenship for themselves and all there mates!
Paris Hilton because even she would understand the stupidity sometimes in the human rights bill protecting the criminals more than Joe Bloggs......
Exactly the attitude that leads me to want independence for Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, and re-establishment of Scottish territorial waters which conveniently include most of the offshore oil and gas reserves.
describing yourself as "English" is a bit of a misnomer given most "English" are genetically french/german/other euro nation hybrids - due to Romans, Saxons, Normans etc.
I support british weapons design but without government interference (Which always means cut costs and capabilities in short sighted electioneering)
However I do like the americans approach....big guns ala A-10 (why didnt we buy them or build something even more mental? useful in afghanistan I hear)
For the pillock who parped on about herr thatcher.....we were lucky to have a Navy given her lot of axe bearers decommissioned the HMS Ark Royal thereby neutering the navies aerial capabilites (Otherwise we would have been able to bring Phantoms and Buccaneers and other fixed wing assets into the fight and really hassle the Argentinians), also made rampant cuts across the RAF and the army oh and fed the troops on the ships to the falklands with argentine corned beef that the stores couldnt sell. that "woman" should be tried for crimes against Britain and its people, stripped of any and all honours and be banned from the public eye. (If you want a good account of the hassles that happened and what the RAF did to try and help, check out Vulcan 607 - a good read :) (on a sidenote sad that the restored vulcan likely will be mothballed again due to lack of funds (whats 1.5 million a year for 10 to 15 years to showcase a crucial part of our history compared to the X Million for Northern Rock or the XXX trillion the new nuclear missiles will set us back or even the 400 million labour blew on the stack of portakabins sitting at holyrood masquerading as a parliament *rolls eyes* )
Ignore the lima bean munchers and their "dont aggravate people or we will be destroyed" BS, spend some proper money on the forces, ban the chavs from the forces (or beat the chavviness out of them or human shields if they cant be made into tolerable people)
Put catapults on the carriers and put some proper planes on board ala E-2, EA-6B, modified Typhoon etc)
Lastly If we are going to spend £50 billion on new nukes then lets use the ones we have before they go out of service (for the reason of persuading other nations not to screw with us (Iran, N Korea, Venezula etc would make good demonstration targets) or just cancel the whole stupid scheme and buy a lot of conventional bombs to put the point across.
I strongly object to your characterization of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service as being filled with limp-wristed, peace-piping, ninnyslinkers. Most officers I know are strong and burly and will start a pub fight at the drop of a hat. There is very little gentle, sensitive lovemaking among fellow officers, midshipmen, Rear Admirals, Boris Johnson, or the Foreign Secretary and none of it has influenced the policy of the Foreign Office with respect to piracy on the high seas, which remains staunchly heterosexual. Please correct this appalling error of fact.
Yours very truly etc.,
Roger M.E. Backside
Up the old yardarm
The whole human-rights-or-asylum argument is farcical; when a boatload of heavily-armed men motors up to a merchant ship uninvited in international waters, it's fairly obvious they aren't looking to sell you tax-free cigarettes or ask directions. Lethal force can thus be used in legitimate self-defense, with full confidence that you're not whacking innocents or violating international law. (After all, there's nothing that REQUIRES one to warn the pirates that they'll be sunk if they attack you; that's entirely their problem.)
It occurs to me that those presently operating as pirates would be rather less inclined to hoist the Jolly Roger if they thought they were likely to be summarily sunk by their intended targets. Thus, resurrecting the 20th-century concept of the Q-ship (a heavily-armed warship disguised as a defenseless freighter) would seem to be a great idea. It has excellent deterrent value if pursued over an extended period with a sufficient variety of "defenseless freighters." Word WILL get around on shore that the risk-reward balance just became untenable.
It's not as bad an idea as you might think. Even the crummiest modern radar can differentiate between a destroyer and even the biggest boats the pirates sail. What's more, the pirates will have SFA in terms of radar jamming or stealth. A dinky scow (or even a captured commercial vessel) will stick out like a sore (but tiny) thumb in the midst of a group of relatively huge destroyers. A professional crew should have no difficulty at all in avoiding friendly fire.
And we're also not likely to see another Gulf of Tonkin balls-up where naval vessels spend all night firing at radar glitches, either.
'describing yourself as "English" is a bit of a misnomer given most "English" are genetically french/german/other euro nation hybrids - due to Romans, Saxons, Normans etc.'
As are the Scots, Welsh, the Cornish and the Irish if you check your history.
BTW - I am British and proud of that, but I am also English and proud to be so. My Grandfather is Scottish and I am also proud of my Scottish heritage. The origins of my surname have been traced all the way back to the time of bonny prince Charlie and the Jacobite uprising. I have no doubt that most family trees in the British Isles contain mixes of all our nations if you look.
I completely agree with you about Thatcher, she should be tried and shot for treason.
Back on topic, This order for the navy is a complete disgrace and makes us a laughing stock. The order should be to blow them out of the water and kill as many as possible. It is their choice to live a pirate lifestyle so they take the consequences.
Council Houses being sold - It wasn't just a case of the stock being sold off and the councils not wanting to build more - they were actively prevented from using the proceeds to invest in building more council housing.
The Ark Royal (R09) which had the big desk was actually decommisioned in December 1978, not by the Tories.
What they are missing is that there is an alternative if the Royal Navy really is worried all those pirates they bring to Britain in irons will ask for asylum. That alternative is to summarily execute the Pirates on the high seas under English admiralty law and the articles of the 1856 Declaration of Paris.
The people who are this is overblown or exaggerated are wrong.
It wasn't that long ago that an aircraft was hijacked by armed men who forced a landing in the uk.
After a while they released the hostages and instead of receiving an SAS bullet through the head the hijackers all claimed asylum and received a council house for their trauma.
The phrase "you couldn't make it up" is becoming worn out!
"I suspect the policy would be even more effective if employed via armed merchant vessels but as the article is about the reaction of the RN we won't go there." Thats a very good idea a few armed merchantmen and job done Worked during WW1 against German U boats I don't see any problem with it now crewed with Mercenaries if need be.
<< You're unlikely to kill them all on the first shot are you? Sink their boat, fine, but there will be a few survivors floating around in the water. What do you suggest, sailing over and machine gunning the survivors? What kind of a navy do you think we have? >>
Just sail away and leave them. Let the sea decide their fate. They signed the contract when they took up piracy.
sink the ships and burn the port, demolish it's breakwaters and go back to blighty for a celebratory drink!
I don't mean the imperialistic "if your not with us we kiilllll you" like uk did in the 19th century and the merkins, Israelis and slamicks are doing now. I mean a bit of pride and direct action like the frogs!
FUCK political correctness - when did it ever save lives?
Rant over - is there an IT angle? (hence the headstone)
used to hire pirates to handle this sort of thing for us? Hand the Somalis a Privateer Commission or two and let them have at the French and Spanish.
No wait.. that was last time.. anyway what I meant was..
Hand the French and Spanish some Privateer Commissions and let them have at the Somalis..
BTW in case the British Government hadn't noticed, Piracy is a violent crime and normally, just normally we don't accept immigration applications from violent criminals. Even when those applications come under the guise of political asylum. There isn't really any need for a new law as suggested by a previous commenter, we already oppose this as well as the other little things we usually say no to and commonly committed by pirates - such as rape, murder, drug smuggling, gun running, prostitution, robbery.. so I think we might be safe on a solid reason or two for refusing their applications.
Funny but we regularly send people back to the worst places on earth, and we don't usually have anything close to the valid reasons for refusing asylum that piracy and it's related crimes would give us. Seems to me the cowardice angle is bang on Lewis.
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