Feeds

MoD: Frontline troops must have silent Xmas crackers

Exploding planes yes, exploding cargo no

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Friends of the UK forces seeking to send a bit of festive cheer to troops fighting on the front line have almost been thwarted by bureaucracy. Volunteers were forced to defuse 650 Christmas crackers before the British Forces Post Office would accept them, on "safety" grounds.

"Christmas crackers are classified as dangerous air cargo and therefore require special handling," an MoD spokesman told the Telegraph today.

"The troops will just have to go 'bang' themselves when they pull them," said Ian Dalzel-Job of the Scots Guards Association, the organisation sending the seasonal packages out.

"Christmas cracker snaps are forbidden from being transported on RAF planes," the paper added.

That last bit isn't quite true, actually. It is possible to get the RAF to haul loads classified as explosives; especially if they get to drop them on someone at the other end. They will also carry ammo and so on for the army, if the right paperwork is done. The red tape becomes fairly extreme with things that aren't listed in the RAF's official list of exploding things they have decided are safe to fly with, though. This is probably what defeated the Scots Guards Association.

Even so, the MoD's tight-as-a-gnat's-chuff attitude to exploding air cargo contrasts strangely with its curiously laissez-faire attitude to aeroplanes known to sometimes explode on their own.

Your correspondent always found commercial air freight easier to use back in the day. During the early days of the UK involvement in Afghanistan, this would have been a good option for Mr Dalzel-Job. At that point most of the British forces' air cargo into the country went by chartered Russian Antonov planes, as the situation was seen as too dangerous for RAF C-17s. (The RAF didn't have anti-missile countermeasures then. Nor did the Antonovs, to be sure, but the Russians were willing to accept some risk as part of doing business.)

Anyway, Blighty's servicemen and women out in Iraq and Afghanistan just now are probably fairly sick of things going bang. They probably won't mind about all this too much. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.