In an excellent case of "here's a sentence you won't read every day", Britney Spears has emerged as an unlikely figurehead in the fight against Somali pirates.
According to reports, Britney's hits, including Oops! I Did It Again and Baby One More Time, are being employed by British naval officers in an attempt to scare off pirates along the east coast of Africa. Perhaps nothing else – not guns, not harpoons – is quite as intimidating as the sound of Ms Spears singing "Ooh baby baby!"
Merchant naval officer Rachel Owens explained the tactics to Metro: "Her songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most. These guys can't stand western culture or music, making Britney's hits perfect. As soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney, they move on as quickly as they can."
The military seems to be fond of using loud, annoying music to drive miscreants mad. I remember US forces inviting Manuel Noriega to the headbanger's ball to get him to surrender. It worked. I think Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music would do the trick. Any of you lot have any suggestions?