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Al Queida have got it seriously wrong or at least the Muslim terrorists that are lining up to become martyrs and enter “Paradise” may have. The city they chose to attack not long ago with a burning four-wheel drive was Glasgow, Scotland’s second city.
Though most Glaswegian’s think it should be the capital and are often heard to refer to other cities in Scotland and in particular Edinburgh in somewhat less than glowing terms. Their attempt to bring about a situation that would set the delicate balance of community relations ablaze fell upon  “Stony ground” for the simple reason that Glasgow has for more than five hundred years been two cities encompassed within the city limits. One devoutly Catholic and the other vehemently Protestant but both worshiping the same god yet with “Rival” firms of religious persuasion. Interposed between the warring factions that have opposed each other for centuries are the various “Ethnic minorities” who when it comes to religious bigotry and hatred one mere apprentices learning the trade. Amongst these ethic minorities the Muslim persuasion is probably one of the larger groups yet even they could only muster an army of seven “Wannabe martyrs” to attack Glasgow airport with a four-wheel drive off-roader packed with incendiaries and gas cylinders, which they set ablaze after crashing it into the main entry point to the airport. The attack might have brought panic; confusion and chaos if the chosen target was Heathrow, Birmingham or Manchester but in Glasgow it was just “Another day at the office” for many of the heroes of the hour that responded to the attack on “Their city”. The rivalry between Protestant and Catholic Glasgow can be seen on the football terraces and the ensuing “War” after the game whenever Glasgow Rangers [Protestant] play Glasgow Celtic [Catholic] in a local “Game of football”. The idea that any terror group could introduce racial/ethnic unrest in that city is laughable.

The attack on Glasgow airport came just one day after Tony Blair resigned as UK Prime Minister and Gordon Brown picked up the baton and the thought was mooted that this attack was brought forward to take advantage of the changeover and was actually planned to take place on the anniversary of the 2005 London tube bombings that claimed 52 lives.
The response from the security services was swift and effective; arrests followed within hours of the incident and included not only the immediate perpetrators but also participants on the outer edges of the plot. A man and wife element were “Lifted” from a car on the M6 motorway in traffic in a targeted “Scalpel” like operation and several arrests followed in Brisbane in Australia but the real coup was the burning 4 x 4 inside Glasgow airport which may to the average terrorist seem to have been totally destroyed. Contrary to popular “Criminal” belief, for that is exactly what this is “A criminal act” forensic evidence is not destroyed by the inferno of a burning vehicle no matter how hot it burns. In most cases the fingerprints, DNA and the like are indelibly etched to the scene of the crime “Baked in” and awaiting the consumption of the forensic teams. The average car thief is under the same misapprehension.

One aspect of this attack however has given the lie to the average “Brits” perception of the “Type of person” that might become a terrorist, until now it has been thought that the “Muslim terrorists” were disillusioned members of the Islamic faith that had been “Radicalised” by dissident clerics preaching “Death to the Infidel”. They were generally thought to be of low education, unfulfilled ambition and easily led, in fact disillusioned Muslim youth seduced into the cause.
To find that the perpetrators of the Glasgow attack were all doctors working or have worked at some time or other for the UK National Health Service [NHS] will have caused the UK security services to re-think the profiles of what makes a Muslim terrorist. As doctors they would be well educated, as graduates they would by virtue of the fact that they were practising doctors or surgeons be fulfilled in their chosen profession, they would not be of an intelligence level that would be easily led or seduced to a cause in which they did not whole heartedly believe. The plain conclusion to be drawn is that if such people are now willing to participate in acts of outright terrorism then the threat level has risen with the obvious sophistication of the intelligence level taking part. Vigilance will no longer be enough when those who swore an oath to save life have now decided [for whatever reason] to take it.

On another subject, this week saw more than two billion people take an interest in the “Live Earth” concerts to raise awareness of the plight that is fast becoming a reality that is caused by “Global warming” and man’s apparent arrogance that it will be OK and no one should be concerned.
The initial idea came from the USA in general and Al Gore [45th Vice President of the USA] in particular and the mere fact that Al Gore can lay claim to the ownership of the idea is an indication that America’s opposition to the control of “The Global Carbon Footprint” may be about to soften. The US is among the top four polluters of the atmosphere and its contribution to the greenhouse effect is only marginally greater than The Peoples republic of China, to have the US rethink its opposition may be a cornerstone of future atmospheric controls.
 It does not really matter whether those watching the seven concerts world-wide were “Tree huggers”, “Green activists”, ”Intent on saving the world” or from the “Jesus boots and brown rice fraternity the message that went out was, “America is now interested”. The sleeping giant has now woken up and when it does things tend to happen.
It will be noted that there were seven concerts, one for each of the seven continents and for the first time Antarctica made a contribution with two songs. It is fitting that it should as two scientists from Cambridge University discovered the first indication that something was amiss there. Cynically though the concerts probably owe more to Al gore’s political ambitions toward the White House as he has been an “Also ran” in the past and perhaps sees the “Greener profile” as a vehicle to raise his political ambitions for the next time he runs for President but it can’t hurt the cause to have a prospective US President on the team it will be a long hard road and strange alliances will win the day.
One of the ways that a carbon footprint can be reduced is by using fuels that are not made from crude oil. Diesel engines will run efficiently on a wide variety of fuels ranging from coal dust to sunflower oil. The fields in the UK are often painted yellow by the cultivation of oil seed rape, which can and is being used to produce a type of Bio-fuel for diesel engines. In addition to the bio fuel alternative there is also a growing trade in used cooking oil, which can also be turned into diesel fuel. In a recent announcement the American owned fast food chain Macdonald’s said that “In future all used cooking oil from Macdonald’s would be collected and sent to a plant at Milton Keynes to have all particles of food removed and then sent to a plant in east Anglia where it would be turned into diesel fuel. The end product would then be used to fuel their fleet of vehicles and reduce the company’s carbon footprint”.
When a company the size of Macdonald’s makes such a commitment a few conclusions may be drawn. First, the tax on diesel fuel in the UK is exorbitant and at least 10 pence higher than it should be, the company will save a considerable amount of money. Second, there with no disposal cost on the used cooking oil the company will save money. Third, bio diesel burns cleaner than conventional diesel so maintenance costs will diminish so the company saves money. There is a premium allowed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for lower emissions created by road vehicles and bio diesel has a lower carbon outfall, the company saves money.
The statement covers all 1250 of Macdonald’s UK outlets and is a considerable commitment to the reduction of its carbon footprint but if it succeeds then it is likely to be rolled out to all Macdonald’s outlets world- wide. There are 31,000 of them taking 20 billion [$US]
Whether the idea is politically driven by events at home in the US and its alleged support for Al Gore or it is “Credibility fix” by its PR divisionin Oak Brook,Illinois it is an example and on this scale one worth the investigation.


Posted: July 10, 2007 

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