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84 million reasons to be cheerful

I just heard some bugger scooped 84 Million quids on the Euro Mockery.

Wowsers! What would I do with that sort of wonga?

Decisions, decisions!

Obviously, firstly I would give a few quid to my family and ensure through wise investment that me, my wife and our little cat were set until the heat death of the Universe. But that’s only a small chunk of it…

What with the rest? I mean what about the fun stuff? A gaff in London and perhaps another in Florida on the coast. London gaff about 5 mill, Florida… Maybe 3 mill. Plenty still left! An Aston Martin (obviously) but that’s chump change so best make it two with steering wheels on opposite sides. Actually no, maybe a “tweaked” MX-5 perhaps. Anyway forget the motors. I’d have the cash for them in the back pocket of my jeans and though I am a natural scruff the service I would get in the dealership would be close to worship when they saw my Californium debit card. Yeah, forget the motors. With that level of wonga I could arrange to be carried in a titanium palanquin by Dave Cameron and Nick Clegg’s kids as part of the war on childhood obesity.

So what would be my fritterings? I would make some “punt” investments. Space travel, biotech – that sort of thing. I would definitely set-up a scholarship at my alma-mater for poor kids who are good at physics. But my real indulgence would be a plane.

Guess what?

Well, I could be tempted by one of the F-16s that will be entering the market when replaced by the F-35s (if that happens). It would have to be a two holer which means a D I guess. Not a B because that’s like buying an Austin Allegro. Except F-16 – great jet and all that but a couple of flaws… No flaps and a bugger to land because of that and I just don’t really like fly-by-wire which is frankly like tossing-off Peter Mandelson’s joystick – it’s that gay. And ex-Romanian MiG-21 Bisons could be available. Yeah, I’ll buy one of those the moment I decide to amputate my legs with a cheese knife. There can be only one. Now we are talking about me being seriously minted here so the Folland Gnat can go bite itself. I want a T-38 Talon. Handles like a good ‘un and climbs like a teenage rat up Angelina Jolie’s Grand Moff Tarkin on a Saturday night.

And I think I’d have enough on the side to have it fitted with a Mauser BK-27 for the straffing.

So if you had 84 million sponds, what would you buy?


  1. Sam Duncan says:

    What’s your take on Saabs? Are they as wanky as the cars? I’ve always rather admired the Swedes for building their own. And if they’ve got one of their underground naval bases going spare, I’m totally having that…

  2. Mmmm. A flat across from the House of commons and a Barrett 50 cal sniper rifle. No. Make that a javelin missile.

  3. Kevin B says:

    I’d spend it all on whirled peas.

    I understand that there’s guys out there who, for a small consideration, will remove any impediment to your whirled peas, and I can think of a few obstructions I’d like to see removed.

  4. Kevin B says:

    Saabs are very noisy, but apart from that they’re not a lot these days.

    Mind you, as a phallic symbol they’re not bad. “I’ve got a Viggen don’t you know.”

  5. Bod says:

    Holy crap, Filthy Engineer, you could do that for a damn sight less than 84 mil.

    In fact, there are probably people out there who’d do it for a loan of a Barrett, a box of ammo and a kiss on the lips from Giselle Bundchen.

  6. JuliaM says:

    “So if you had 84 million sponds, what would you buy?”


  7. Chuckles says:

    JuliaM, Nah, bad investment, hold a week and you can have the UK, with a side order of the rest.

  8. NickM says:

    Greece is going to be sold to Turkey by Frau Merkel for 1 Euro and a kebab.

    SAAB (cars) are GM and SAAB (aircraft) are something else. Viggens are OK but the money SAAB is the Gripen. Let me speak honestly now. The RAF squandered big-bucks on rejuvenating the (shortly to be retired) Jag fleet to GR3 standard when they could have bought Grippens. The Grippen is a great little fighter. Cheap to buy, cheap to run and totally multirole. There is nothing not to like about it and whilst the Swedish versions are built in Sweden the export models are built at BAE Wharton in Lancashire and SAAB have for a long, long time co-operated with BAE on er… stuff so integration of our weapons would be a doddle. For example the Viggen along with Tornado F3 was the only user of BAE Skyflash.

    I love the Gripen and we should have bought a few wings of them. Great little fighter. Sort of like a Super Hornet but cheaper and not gay.

    Listen to this…

    A two-seat “New Technology Demonstrator” has been built,[14] and was presented on 23 April 2008. It has increased fuel capacity, a more powerful powerplant, increased payload capacity, upgraded avionics and other improvements. The new aircraft is also referred to as the “Gripen Demo”.[15][16]

    “The new Gripen NG (Next Generation) will have many new parts and will be powered by the General Electric F414G, a development of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet’s engine. The engine will produce 20% more thrust at 98 kN (22,000 lbf), enabling a supercruise speed of Mach 1.1 with air-to-air missiles.[17]

    Compared to the Gripen D, the Gripen NG’s max takeoff weight has increased from 14,000 to 16,000 kg (30,900–35,300 lb) with an increase in empty weight of 200 kg (440 lb). Due to relocated main landing gear, the internal fuel capacity has increased by 40%, which will increase ferry range to 4,070 km (2,200 nmi). The new undercarriage configuration also allows for the addition of two heavy stores pylons to the fuselage. Its PS-05/A radar adds a new AESA antenna for flight testing beginning in mid-2009.[17]

    Gripen Demo’s maiden flight was conducted on 27 May 2008. The test flight lasted about 30 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of about 6,400 meters (21,000 ft).[18] On 21 January 2009, the Gripen Demo flew at Mach 1.2 without reheat to test its supercruise capability.[19][20][21]

    Saab performed study work on a aircraft carrier based version in the 1990s. In 2009, Saab launched the Sea Gripen project in response to India’s request for information for a aircraft carrier aircraft. Brazil also has a potential carrier aircraft need.[22][23] Sweden awarded Saab a four-year contract in 2010 to improve the Gripen’s radar and other equipment, and lower its operating costs.[24]”


    That is a class act all around. 40% more fuel for 200kg empty weight… I want to kiss it’s cherry lips. AESA radar, Mach 1.2 supercruise and that carrier stuff just means it (in SAAB style) cains STOVL. I – I could be wrong – think the NG has helmet mounted cueing. That’s a serious piece of kit. It won’t BVR like a Raptor or WVR like a Tiffy but it’s one hell of a ‘plane.

    Of course I want one but I was being modest with my desire for a T-38.

  9. HSLD says:

    I’d buy myself a small modern engineering factory and spend my time making cool things like firearms, racing cars, telescopes and lord knows what else – just for fun.

    I’d also buy land to build a shooting range on with 50 to 1500 yard firing points, a ‘killing house’ and a plinking area where I could see what happens to a washing machine say when it’s lit up by a 50 cal tracer round.

    I’d buy a couple of cars too – a 1970 Porsche 917K in Gulf colours to run at the Classic Le Mans and for Nurburgring track days and a nice road car like an old V8 Aston Martin.

    An aeroplane too of course – Griffin engined Spitfire with invasion stripes painted on the wings. Maybe I could give it markings from a Polish squadron and buzz the BNP’s festival every year…

    And a tank too, something Russian probably just to be different.

    The rest of the money I’ll waste :)

  10. IanB says:

    I am frankly rather hurt- perhaps devastated would be the better word- to find that my friend Nick M- well, my former friend now, in fact- has not immediately divided his imaginary fortune between his true family, the Cat Counters Of Zanzibar.

    Further to that I am appalled at the idea that Cats Himself would likely be so selfish, so short sighted, so avaricious, that he would probably keep his imaginary share rather than give it to somebody more deserving, that person being myself.

    I am, in fact, in a state of shock at my realisation that I am sharing this blog with a nest of vipers; money grubbers who think only of themselves. O, to return to the days of a better Britain, when Mr Attlee taught us that the greatest virtue is to give other people’s money to the needy.

  11. Sunfish says:

    I would buy a private hunting preserve. Probably Nebraska.

    And a bunch of cartoon pr0n.

    And then I’d buy a smuggling boat in the Florida Straits. Guns south, rum and tobacco north.

    And then I’d drink thirty-year-old single-cask bourbon out of Hugo Chavez’ skull.

  12. CountingCats says:


    Of course I would hand my entire finances over to you. What are friends for after all? Hence forth I will redirect all those heavily built gentleman callers to you.

  13. Sam Duncan says:

    Well, if it’s any consolation, Ian, I’d let the Counters use my Swedish naval base as a Secret Underground Lair. I intend to fit it out with a giant map of the world that slides up from the floor and lots of stainless steel staircases with no bannisters, so it’ll look the part. And I expect the Swedes would probably leave a few submarines or suchlike lying around that you could use to commute to Zanzibar. If not, I’m sure some kind of trapdoor arrangement could be set up in the mountain above to launch my (happily, not wanky) Grippens out of.

    Now I come to think of it, £84 million doesn’t go far these days, does it? Maybe I’ll settle for an Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and busk it from there.

  14. NickM says:

    Much though I like the cut of HSLD’s jib I’d be trying to sign-on as Sunfish’s bosun.

    With one caveat. We want to drink single malts (not bourbon) from Bob Mugabe’s skull. Although maybe the 30 year old single cask bourbons are a game worth the candle and if so sir educate me with a bottle of the finest and the cranium of your dictator of choice!

    Obviously I would really give it all to Cherie Blair’s charidee for the childreeen! Nah, the jet but never fear me old mucka I’d still get the ‘plane and take you over to the Gulf of Mexico (BP and Iceland permitting) to be Captain Sunfish’s XO where you could stick a cocktail umbrella in the severed head of whoever I straffed on the way over. Yeah, you can be XO and I’ll be content in the engine room being arsey to you and the skipper in a “Yea cannae change the laws of physics!” manner. “It’ll take days” – “We need it fixed by the end of the episode”- “Yeah, alright”.

  15. Bod says:

    I can donate a white longhaired cat and run training courses on steepling my fingers and intoning Evil Genius Quotations, if that gets me a few feet of the bar in the Secret Libertarian Hideout.

  16. Roue le Jour says:

    An Apache.

    I go all tingly just thinking about it.

  17. CountingCats says:

    Actually, 84 million? Pah.

    I need much more than that.

    Who cares about a secret underground lair when we could have a lair in the sky and rain death on all our enemies?

    I will not settle for less than an O’Neill habitat in geosync orbit. Sod making threats to the UN and getting all that bloody cat hair on the carpet; think of the billions we could make with our very own Babylon 5 in the sky, selling legit services and having our very own Free State Project for all to see.

  18. CountingCats says:

    If Nick wants to stock his quarters and workshop with fit birds in glasses and short lab coats and with names like Boobies McBounce and Tushie Wellshape that’s fine by me.

    I’ll come visit and discuss his tastes with [removed - NickM].

  19. IanB says:

    Ah no Cats, that’s my lair you’re describing there. Nick’s a married man, so he gets the dwarves and the henchman with the titanium teeth.

    I’ve often wondered who builds villains’ lairs. They seem very specialised. I wonder if there are particular villain contractors.

    “And where are the poison gas releases nozzles going guvnor? In the pen holders? Ooh, very classy if I may say, very good choice. Over the windows is so passe, iznit?”

  20. greap says:

    1. Fly to Zimbabwe
    2. Offer uncle bob £25m if he retires immediately taking his goons with him and nominates me as supreme ruler
    3. ????
    4. PROFIT

  21. NickM says:

    you remind me of an old Peter Cook skit. Contracted by Kubla Khan to build a stately pleasure dome he quibbles of the specification, “Cavern’s measureless to man, doesn’t Kubla know they come by the yard?”

    I think Ian was making a reference to a Bond villain who also had a third nipple and in defiance of all known metallurgical science a golden gun. Nik Nak I think the little fella was called and he ended up in a suitcase whilst Roger Moore (oddly enough – never thought of it before – but is that not a Bond girl name in a way?) rogered more with Miss Goodnight(?). Personally I’d find having a howling midget in a suitcase at the end of the bed a bit of a passion killer but Cdr Bond was on Her Majesty’s Service.

    No dice on the dwarves. I may be a married man but I’m married to a woman has also been known to bowl from the pavilion end. Interesting that you use the JRRT spelling. It should be “Darwfs”but the good Prof was reffing an old English word “dwarrow” which meant something to do with digging.

    I’d prefer it if you didn’t ref my wife by name here. I’m now gonna edit your post. Sorry but I blog very personal stuff and there are personal circumstances that make me particularly vulnerable and visible.

  22. Lynne says:

    I’d buy Downing Street and evict the bastards who think they are our masters. And the Jags (or wotevva) they rode in on. I’d then turn it into a museum dedicated to suicidal politics of stupidity and incompetence so that future generations can look and learn…

  23. CountingCats says:

    Sorry chum, it was only that you have mentioned her name in the past.

    I’m cool with the retrospective edit.

  24. NickM says:

    Cats, I was much less circumspect in my salad days. I should have been.

  25. Chuckles says:


    Heavily built gentleman callers??? Tell us more, enquiring minds would like to know.

    84mil Euros. How much is that in real money? Give it a week or two and it’s probably about 10 or 20 Yuan?

  26. CountingCats says:

    The heavies. Ian is perfectly welcome to take on my financial situation, debts and all.

  27. Bod says:

    C’mon guys, it’s not like there’s any secret about who builds these bases – it’s gonna be a subsidiary of Halliburton, isn’t it?

  28. Leg-iron says:

    First off, no car. With that much money I’d never be sober enough to drive it. Besides, if you’re that rich, anyone who wants to see you will come when called.

    I might buy a top of the range Ferrari, coat it with brush-painted Hammerite and leave it to someone I don’t like.

    Mostly I think I’d invest it in good cigars, rare whiskies and a short but delightfully oblivious life.

    Anything left over goes into the crematorium with me.

  29. The man with many chins says:

    Shame the F20 tigershark never made it into production. What a plane, would suit me fine:-)

  30. mike says:

    I would spend it on whores, drink and lamborghinis like every red blooded man would, and I would build a basset hound rescue centre because they are my fav dog.

    I would also do a mooney out of the window of my new Bentley at those wankers in my life who put me down…you know who you are Mr Bryant.

  31. Sunfish says:

    My style of captaining (AKA “doing captainy stuff”) involves brown trench coats.

    I’ll need a specialist in playing with dinosaurs in the wheelhouse. Do you have an aloha shirt or will I need to order you one? (Uniform standards must be maintained, after all. This is to be a criminal enterprise, and we will have order here!)

  32. NickM says:

    I have an array of Hawian shirts. It’s kinda my look. Combats with pockets full of posidrives, skater boi trainers, battered leather jacket, Hawian shirt. I tend to dress like a moderately depraved Korean War fighter ace. Some of the shirts are from England, some from SE Asia and Japan and some from Florida where they seem to be considered formal attire. And I have shorts that can kill strong men at 100 metres.

    At least one of the Japanese ones is pure silk. I’ll be your chief of staff Sunfish!

  33. Bod says:


    Nick can have Kaylee – all that techie knowhow – as his pet, as long as I get first dibs at Inara.


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