Wednesday, September 14, 2005

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and other questions of grave importance, are suggested by this piece on the Defence Systems and Equipment international (DSEi) exhibition currently taking place in Docklands, London:
... the Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed that a number of countries whose human rights records had been criticised by the Foreign Office had been invited to the show, which is taking place at the ExCel centre in London's Docklands.

But MoD spokesman Stephen Bethel denied that the invitations undermined the Foreign Office's stance. He said: "You must draw a distinction between delegations invited to attend and countries that the UK government offers an export licence to. The distinction is: just because a delegation from a country is coming to the exhibition does not mean that British companies are going to be free to export to those countries."

Any UK company wanting to export to a foreign country has to apply for an export licence. The Foreign Office played a big part in making that decision, Mr Bethel said.
So, that's all right then.

"Come and look at our goods. That's it. Come on. Have a feel. You don't get quality like that these days. Feel the width. Feel how light it is."

"You want to buy some? Oh. Where is it you're from?"

"Oh. Dearie me. I'm not allowed to sell to you."

"You're prepared to offer how much?"

"Meet me round the back later."

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