back to article British minister claims technology makes maritime cannibalism obsolete

A British government minister has claimed that cannibalism on the high seas should now be a thing of the past, as modern navigation and safety technology have made it very unlikely sailors will find themselves in circumstances where they might want to eat each other. This hopeful statement came during a debate in the House of …

  1. Mullah Bob murder is out, but what about Rum, Sodomy and the Lash?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      or what if you find an odd brick floating around that appears to contain a powdery substance that makes your lips go numb...

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >Rum, Sodomy and the Lash?

      Still proud traditions of the Tory party

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Or Boris's divorce lawyers

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      You mean Rum. Bum & Baccy?.

  2. Keven E

    You've waited a long time...

    ....ElReg.. to use that photo!

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: You've waited a long time...

      Photo? What photo? I see no photo.

  3. Ol'Peculier


    Do you think that when he joined the House of Lords, somebody bet him that he'd never be able to shoehorn "R v Dudley and Stephens" into a debate?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Naval prank

      "The MP for Portsmouth North has admitted her statement to the House of Commons about cock and hen welfare in which she repeatedly used the word ‘cock’ was a naval prank"

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    Have we learned nothing?

    Ever been to Motel Hell? Meats, meat, man's gotta eat!

    Vincent Smith : There's too many people in the world and not enough food. Now this takes care of both problems at the same time.

    1. Christoph

      Re: Have we learned nothing?

      Just a modest proposal.

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Oat Cuisine

    Tins of turnips ?

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Re: Oat Cuisine

      Thats what happens when you leave Baldrick in charge of the provisioning.

      1. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Oat Cuisine

        "Thats what happens when you leave Baldrick in charge of the provisioning."

        He had a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a fox.

        1. gerdesj Silver badge

          Re: Oat Cuisine

          ... a weasel

          1. Kane Silver badge

            Re: Oat Cuisine

            "... a weasel"

            I don't see how sticking a weasel on a fox helps.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Oat Cuisine

              Because you're not cunning enough.

  6. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    Ohhh The Drama

    A friend of mine got to play one of the jury\foreman in a drama-doc of the case with filming inside Exeter Guildhall doubling up as the courtroom.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Ohhh The Drama

      He played the jury foreman and doubled up as the courtroom?

      A range even Alec Guinness would be proud of

  7. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    First-world problems

    In the commercial shipping world, perhaps, cans of tuna, salted beef and turnips are readily available.

    It was actually 14 dead men, their bodies drifting for weeks in the Atlantic until their discovery in Trinidad and Tobago. Their origin was later traced to Mauritania, north-west Africa.

    Safety at sea is never easy.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: First-world problems

      Tuna? More first-world problems...

      "Lab analysis of Subway tuna sandwiches fails to identify tuna DNA

      New York Times commissions test of 60in worth of tuna sandwiches but researchers were unable to pinpoint a species"

  8. gandalfcn Silver badge

    What M'Lord fails to realise is that the oceans are rather big and not all ships are kitted out like HMS Queen Elizabeth or the "Symphony of the Seas". He should try a trip from Port Lyttleton to Valparaiso on a small general cargo ship or similar.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea since 1993 all ships over 500 tons are required to have a Global Maritime Distress and Safety System installed.

      These days in those circumstances where you lose your masts you can put in a distress signal before taking to the lifeboat (or even aboard it with a satellite phone) and you'd get a helicopter or ship pick you up long before you needed to kill and eat the cabin boy since firstly the response is directed rather than random, and secondly lifeboats have to have 3 days worth of food per person the lifeboat is rated to carry. (which would probably be several times the actual occupancy)

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        I note you know little about shis, navigation etc. SOLAS requirements, whilst admirable, do not cover every eventuality. Which is precisely why I posted what I did. Have a look at the Great Circle route.

        "These days in those circumstances" You mean in the Southern Ocean with the weather and sea conditions normal down there? Miles away from anywhere with precious few ships of any kind within a reasonable distance.

        "where you lose your masts". And what have masts got to do with most ships nowadays, Jim me lad?

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          As you will no doubt know, the ship lost back then was a coastal sailing yacht being sailed across an ocean for a new owner. Coastal sailing yacht's as well as race craft still have sails and precisely the same thing still happens in the same locations, ie Loss of masts in the southern ocean during a storm with the ship reduced to a sinking state:-

          And despite that, a ship was diverted to sail 2 days out of it's way to pick her up because as I said in my original post, the response is directed these days rather than just hoping somebody sails within sight of your lifeboat.

  9. Winkypop Silver badge

    Makes a change

    From Roger the cabin boy….

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge


    Are drugs available for free there or is this just senility?

  11. Christoph

    "an established “custom of the sea” "

    As explained by no less than Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

  12. tiggity Silver badge

    Richard Parker

    Keen readers may recognise that name from Life of Pi (or film fans from the adaptation) - just shows the random research authors do & that often character names don't just get "randomly" chosen (and in this case, either quite an ironic name or spells out a wholly different alternative survival scenario)

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Richard Parker

      I read Life of Pi (not my favorite Booker winner, but probably not my least favorite either), but of the many things I recall about it, the names of characters are not among them.

  13. User McUser

    Dear Sir

    As a naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the RAF who now suffer the largest casualties in this area.

    Yours etc.

    Captain B.J. Smethwick (in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic.)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Dear Sir

      I did once put "reduce incidences of cannibalism by 15%" in my teams goals for a performance review.

      Nobody said anything, leading me to think that either nobody reads these things, or they thought that was an acceptable target

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021