15 October 2010

Those carriers

Defence Secretary Liam Fox in today's Times (£):
Two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers were ordered . . . by ministers who knew that the money did not exist. Advice was ignored and the government of the day wrote a cheque for £4 billion that it knew could not be cashed. . . In 2008, they decided to slow down the construction to save money in the short term. However, this added a further £1.56 billion - or roughly two thirds of the entire Foreign Office’s annual budget - to the cost of the carrier. . . Now we find ourselves in an impossible situation. Cancelling the carriers would cost almost as much as building them and would mean the end of the British shipbuilding industry. But getting the carriers right would take longer and is likely to cost more.
How boring. The question is - in the light of Britain's strategic commitments, are they necessary? If so, get on with it. If not, abolish the MoD and let the Foreign Office institute four levels of response to an external threat:
  • Defcon 1 - Run
  • Defcon 2 - Hide
  • Defcon 3 - Surrender
  • Defcon 4 - Collaborate


  1. I believe this is the French terror alert scale

  2. The Americans went big on "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and "freedom fries" when the French opposed the invasion of Iraq, but we went in with the Americans and they now regard us as "losers". Kinda hard to say the French were wrong to stay out of that mess.

  3. You have to give the Iraquis credit for offering all-round loser status. The Sunnis have now come off the hinge between US-protection and Qaeda
    'protectionism.' Pick your Mafia. Plaudits to GW for his protection of Iraquis from former Baathists by prohibiting their official employment. Now the camel's nose is no longer within the tent, only its foul hindquarters.
    Now the US will be blamed by all the Iraquis for leaving. Obama catches the bame - as usual.

  4. How true - Colin Powell warned that it would be a tar-baby and boy, was he ever right!