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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:24 AM

 

Former Labour Minister Lord Gilbert made the plea to drop neutron bombs on Pakistan and Afghans

It might have seemed likely that when former Labour Minister Lord Gilbert, made the plea to drop neutron bombs on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border, he had been caught by a hidden camera or microphone. However, the remarks were made during a debate in the House of Lords last Thursday (22nd November 2012).

"Your Lordships may say that this is impractical, but nobody lives up in the mountains on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan except for a few goats and a handful of people herding them.

If you told them that some ERRB warheads were going to be dropped there and that it would be a very unpleasant place to go, they would not go there. You would greatly reduce your problem of protecting those borders from infiltration from one side or another.

These things are not talked about, but they should be, because there are great possibilities for deterrence in using the weapons that we already have in that respect."

The news has been largely ignored by the main stream media in the UK but it has been making headlines around the world.

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Not surprised. Quick search of the BBC found nothing.

18 replies, 1396 views

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Reply Former Labour Minister Lord Gilbert made the plea to drop neutron bombs on Pakistan and Afghans (Original post)
MichaelMcGuire Nov 2012 OP
Bolo Boffin Nov 2012 #1
MichaelMcGuire Nov 2012 #2
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #4
Bolo Boffin Nov 2012 #6
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #7
Bolo Boffin Nov 2012 #9
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #11
Bolo Boffin Nov 2012 #13
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #3
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #8
MichaelMcGuire Nov 2012 #14
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #5
MichaelMcGuire Nov 2012 #16
dsc Nov 2012 #10
RudynJack Nov 2012 #12
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #18
MichaelMcGuire Nov 2012 #15
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 #17

Response to MichaelMcGuire (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:32 AM

1. Even the House of Lords pretty much told Lord Gilbert to STFU.

But I thank him for demonstrating the utter foolishness of letting an aristocracy grow up around power.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:49 AM

2. They are going to be adding 80 new lords soon. So much for reform.

 

The interesting part is now mute the UK media is. Where elsewhere this right-wing former Labour minsters remarks are printed and aired.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:52 AM

4. He was an elected MP and given a life peerage after his retirement from the Commons.

Not an "aristocrat".

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:06 AM

6. And he's an aristocrat now. n/t

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:47 AM

7. Nope.

Life peers aren't "aristocrats" in any meaningful sense. Hereditary peers are, but very few of them sit in the Lords now.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:14 AM

9. Sitting in the House of Lords and he's not an aristocrat "in any meaningful sense"?

Yeah, run tell that.

My point is that this is why "letting an aristocracy grow up around power" is a bad thing. Whether Lord Gilbert is or is not an aristocrat by your subjective definition of such is not a subject that has two fingers of concern for me.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:11 AM

11. No, he's not.

The House of Lords is the upper house of the British Parliament. Since the last reform, the majority of hereditary peers (those who inherit their titles) no longer sit in the Lords. The majority of the membership of the House of Lords consists of life peers; life peers are senior politicians, university professors, leading business figures, and so on, appointed to the House of Lords for their political, social, and business knowledge and not because of who their father was. Life peers are not aristocrats. I live in the UK; I submit that I probably have a somewhat greater understanding of both the British political system and the British class system than you do.

What this shows is that not having a mandatory retirement age for the Lords is probably a bad thing--Gilbert is 85 years old; one suspects that is why his comments were not taken seriously or reported by the British press.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:40 AM

13. Relax.

The world will not rise or fall on my correct understanding of the British peerage system. You're making far too much of a stupid remark of mine. Find another hobby is my suggestion.

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Response to MichaelMcGuire (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:29 AM

3. Where are those folks who usually tell us UK media is run by saints and angels

unlike our own which is all weather reports and Honey Boo Boo? I predict that like the BBC on Gilbert, they will fall atypically silent on the subject.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:18 PM

8. It's just another example of why House of Lords reform should have gone ahead

The man is a nasty buffoon - perhaps going senile, perhaps just hateful. Since his seat is for life (given that the reform to change the Lords into an elected chamber has been dropped, he gets to have his idiocy recorded in Hansard. 'Lord says something stupid' is not, unfortunately, an unusual occurrence. There's not much for the media to say about it.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:40 AM

14. Well they do have a lot on their plate with scandals of paedophilia at the BBC.

 

It's odd that when silliness is said it tends to be reported at least somewhere, but not on this topic? Make what you will of it. It was reported as headlines all over the world. Defenders will tell you that somehow were above reporting silly remarks, if you've ever picked up a paper that argument falls flat.

The BBC in general is like many state broadcasters they will protect the interests of the state by any means. Well known for lack of balance in debates or lack of political impartiality with political commentators on record taking a political stance and giving seminars or closing of the comment section so nothing is challenged, odd that political comment is allowed outside BBC Scotland. Impartiality is important at the end of the day because they take money by way of TV licence from the public. A public that hold many different political views. Starting to go off topic.

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Response to MichaelMcGuire (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:57 AM

5. Which is any different...

to MacArthur wanting to use cobalt bombs to create a radioactive "no-go" zone along the China/North Korea border, how? Just as insane, and just as unlikely to actually be authorised by any sane and rational government.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:51 AM

16. I'd like to think so.

 

However history is full of examples to the contrary.

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Response to MichaelMcGuire (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:22 AM

10. On top of everything else

I thought the whole point of neutron bombs was that you could go into the area right after the were dropped and be OK.

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Response to dsc (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:35 AM

12. That's not my understanding.

The point of a neutron bomb is to minimize the explosive blast, and maximize the radiation, thus keeping the physical aspects of the target intact, while killing everybody nearby. I don't know how long-term the radiation danger is, but the point was not to be able to waltz right in, afaik.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:39 AM

18. No, I think dsc is right; the ability to go in shortly afterwards is important

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6DBnS2g-KrQC&pg=PA148&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

It maximises radiation, but not fallout. So the radiation (ie neutrons, in this case) kills people in the vicinity at that moment, but there is relatively little radioactive fallout, so that the environment is both intact (beyond the area where there is a blast), and free from contamination with radioactive material that would cause continued danger. The idea was it could be used against troops that had invaded a friendly country. Intact, but radioactive, infrastructure is of no use to anyone.

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Response to dsc (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:48 AM

15. They are known as the Capitalist bomb due to the design to leave buildings alone and max radiation.

 

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Response to MichaelMcGuire (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:52 AM

17. "I Just Want You To Think Big, Henry, for Christ's sakes." (VIDEO)



PB

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