Sunday, March 11, 2007

Recent Bonfires- 56

Cutting edge. Not.

In the news this week:

£2.4bn forces radio fiasco- "The military's £2.4bn battlefield digital radio system has been slammed by MPs for being late, outdated, too heavy for troops to carry and ineffective when it comes to preventing 'friendly fire' accidents. The Combat Infrastructure Platform (CIP) and its Bowman digital radios were first accepted into military service in 2004. But the comms system's capability has been scaled down and several key features have had to be removed to enable the rest of the rollout to be completed in 2008. One of the key capabilities that has been dropped is the ability to communicate data directly with allies' systems, which was aimed at reducing the risk of 'friendly fire' incidents on the battlefield." ( 8.3.07)

£578,000 to curtail free speech- "Taxpayers are helping to fund the national body of a student organisation trying to get an academic sacked because of his links to an immigration think-tank. Student Action for Refugees (Star) has been granted more than £150,000 over three years through the Department for Education's national voluntary youth organisation programme. It was also given a grant of £428,000 last year from the Big Lottery Fund. The Oxford branch of Star has circulated a petition seeking the removal of Prof David Coleman, a demographer and a co-founder of Migrationwatch UK. He has denounced their action as an attack ''on academic independence and freedom of speech''. (Telegraph 6.3.07)

£60,000+ on 'pamper days'- "Unemployed single parents are receiving free massages and beauty treatments - paid for by taxpayers. Under the Government-backed scheme, being tested around the country, they are being given the treats to 'boost their confidence'. So far, more than 1,000 people, mainly women, have taken advantage of 'pamper days' at salons as part of the project, called Big Brother. So far the cost to taxpayers is at least £60,000, but the figure is likely to spiral... A teenage girl who works in a salon used by the single parents was critical of the initiative. 'They didn't look like they needed their confidence boosting - they were all very loud. They seemed to have a really good time. One of them was talking into her mobile phone and laughing and joking with a friend about how she was still drunk from the night before when she woke up that morning.' (Mail 11.3.07)

£250,000 for more light pollution- "Giant laser beams will be shone across the night sky over some of the UK's most beautiful countryside in a dramatic example of the light pollution that is blocking out Britons' view of the stars. In the first development of its kind anywhere in the world, Southampton plans to beam 15-mile-long lasers from its clock tower every night for five years in an attempted to "rebrand" the city and "nourish" its "physical appearance". Its example is expected to be followed by other cities... Southampton City Council insists the lasers - which will be funded by £250,000 of public money - will showcase the port as "a city of innovation". (Independent 11.3.07)

Total for week- £2,400,888,000

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