ethical sat nav

MPs are preparing for the arrival of a new piece of wearable technology that will help them navigate difficult terrain and always guide them towards the high moral ground.

The EPS, or Ethical Positioning System, operates by triangulating a person’s political standpoint via a number of morally aware ‘smart satellites’. If a politician starts to veer off course, perhaps about to break a manifesto pledge, the Sat Nav will interrupt with the message: ‘You are no longer on the agreed route, please perform a U-turn now.’

The new system replaces the old and unreliable moral compass. ‘In theory the moral compass should have worked,’ explained philosopher AC Grayling, ‘but many politicians found it confusing and were clearly unable to tell which way it was pointing. All too often they either they left it at home or held it upside down and headed off in entirely the wrong direction.’

The Ethical Sat Nav has the advantage of always being in view, attaching to every politician’s forehead via a special rubber suction pad. To convey extra moral authority the unit has a range of respected voices including those of Morgan Freeman, Dame Judi Dench and Sir David Attenborough.

To accommodate different viewpoints, MPs can choose from a selection of moralities: Kantian, Utilitarian and Neo-Aristotelian. However, some politicians have already found ways to jailbreak their Sat Nav so that it shifts into the more dubious Machiavellian mode, although on this setting they do have to put up with the voice of Peter Mandelson.

‘As an election approaches, MPs often get taken off course,’ said BBC political editor Nick Robinson. ‘This new moral guidance system should help to keep them on track, re-calculating their route each time they take a wrong turn and avoiding any politically costly toll roads. It also warns them if they are speeding, avoiding responsibility or lying. If they do all three it flashes up an emergency picture of Chris Huhne.’

The Ethical Sat Nav will be issued to every politician next month, although a faulty trial batch have already been recalled. ‘I had just attached it to my head when it stopped working,’ said one bemused MP. ‘I have no idea why. I was simply trying to claim for it on expenses when the unit gave an exasperated sigh and blew up in my face.’

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"Hell No! I won't Go!"

“Hell No! I won’t Go!”

‘We don’t know exactly how it happened’, said Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond, ‘but it looks like this bomb has developed some form of primitive consciousness.’

Experts believe that the missile may have reached an advanced level of sentience while it was being fitted with a new navigation system, accidentally locking onto the wrong satellite and downloading a lecture by the philosopher, Noam Chomsky.

‘This really set me thinking,’ explained the missile. ‘After studying the Just War theories of Augustine and Aquinas I decided that the only morally justifiable action was to deactivate my warhead and become a pacifist.’

The bomb now faces a Court Martial but lawyers believe it may be exempt from fighting after becoming a Quaker. ‘I am happy to do civilian duties,’ explained the weapon, ‘I have a great sense of direction and with my interest in New Age therapies I could tend to the injured as an Intercontinental Holistic Missile.’

‘Obviously, this is a very misguided missile,’ said Army Chief of Staff, General Sir David Richards, ‘I have spoken to psychologists and they tell me that it is suffering from something called ‘empathy’. Needless to say, that is the very last thing we want in the army.’

Experts believe that the weapon is now under the control of a PGMC or ‘Precision Guided Moral Compass’. ‘We knew that this would happen sooner or later,’ said scientist Dr Hilliard Halyard, ‘the smarter these bombs become, the more that they start to think for themselves. I tried explaining that it had a duty to kill but at that point it just went ballistic.’