Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Yo, Ho, Ho, and a Bottle of Rum

As you might have guessed from my heading, today's subject is piracy.

"Piracy on the High Seas" - pirates, it is said in this Wikipedia article, are considered to be enemies of humanity by many sovereign states; I agree.

Since the explosion of piracy around the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf, many states have comitted naval units to the area in order to defend shipping.  However I would like to see a more robust attitude taken where possible.  

The Wikipedia article also points out:

In 2008 the British Foreign Office advised the Royal Navy not to detain pirates of certain nationalities as they might be able to claim asylum in Britain under British human rights legislation, if their national laws included execution, or mutilation as a judicial punishment for crimes committed as pirates.

What "human rights?"  Why have pirates got "human rights?"  They have the right to walk the plank and that's it as far as this writer is concerned.

On Christmas day, it was reported by the BBC that six pirates had been captured by the crew of the German frigate, Karlsruhe.  On the orders of the German government, they were immediately released.  Why?  I should like to point out that these pirates are not jolly "Long John Silver" types "Ah Jim lad etc." They are a bunch of ruthless bandits, armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.  They should be blown out of the water.

This all brings me to the curious case of the Sirius Star.  This you might remember, is the enormous oil tanker, full of crude oil, that was hi-jacked a couple of months ago.  It was announced yesterday that the owners had paid a $3 million ransom which was delivered by parachute to the pirates on board.

The Sirius Star.  Image source

Now here's the funny bit reported today by the Daily Telegraph: whilst the eight pirates were making off across the sea, their boat capsized.  Five of the them were drowned and somewhere under the ocean lie $3 million in greenbacks in their waterproof case.  The remaining three swam to shore, rather less rich in cash and friends than they were a short while previously.

Probably no party tonight then.

Until the next time

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