The defence minister comments*
May 22, 2012
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I don’t know if anybody remembers this ephemeral politician. This is something I wrote when he was in office.
I was reminded of it by a Twitter hash tag started by the novelist, Joanne Harris (@joannechocolat) entitled #CriticallyReviewedFairyTales .
Geoff Hoon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, comments on the “Three Little Pigs” dèbâcle*:
Of course, the “Wolf” system is still at a very early stage in its trials, and let us not forget for a moment that even this prototype was in fact sixty-six and two-thirds per cent successful. The Government has recently had very frank discussions with the manufacturer, and we are assured that Wolf Mark 2 will have an enhanced version of the “Huff-and-Puff” system with additional brick-house-busting capability.
In the new global situation with which we are now confronted, it is increasingly difficult to predict where agencies such as little pigs are likely to build their houses. Without wishing to raise undue alarm, I have to point out that, in the future, we must be prepared to expect not just groups of three little pigs, but increasingly sophisticated micro- or nano- little pigs, and our armed forces must be trained and equipped to react accordingly.
As to these ridiculous allegations that there were unnecessary civilian casualties resulting from the chopping-down of the Beanstalk, this is quite a separate matter and it would be very wrong of me to comment until all relevant experts have filed their reports. All I will say for the moment is that Jack’s Axe is a vital ingredient in the firepower needed by today’s flexible and responsive armed forces, and I am certain that there would have been greater loss of life had it not been employed in the timely manner that it was. My condolences obviously go to the families of the bereaved and my congratulations to the brave men and women of our services who participated in the action, particularly those who live in Derbyshire.
* None of this is true.