70,000 Tonnes of Hubris 115


There is no defensive purpose to an aircraft carrier. Its entire purpose is to move aircraft to a position where they can attack other countries. As soon as they are equipped with attack aircraft, these carriers will spend most of their time around the Middle East, including at the UK’s brand new naval base in the vicious despotism of Bahrain. Having spent £7 billion on these behemoths, politicians will seek to enhance their prestige and demonstrate that they control a nation which is a “major power”, by using them. The very fact of their existence will make bombing attacks such as those we saw on Syria, Libya and Iraq more likely.

Sirte, Libya, after NATO bombing

That further twist in the cycle of violence will lead to more terrorist attacks in the UK. There is no sense in which this aircraft carrier is anything to do with defending the United Kingdom. It is a device to attack foreign countries. The result is it makes us a lot less safe at home.

When they think about it, people understand that, as YouGov demonstrated during the recent election campaign. The politicians will be trying to whip up feelings of jingoism and national pride around this huge hunk of floating hubris, to stop us thinking about that.

There is no money for our schools and hospitals, but unlimited sums for the armaments industry. The United Kingdom is not just a dysfunctional state, it is a rogue state and a danger to the peace of the world.


115 thoughts on “70,000 Tonnes of Hubris

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  • Je

    They spent £1560 million on delaying the build… changed the design of the second one while being built… then changed it back again… sold off the Harrier aircraft that could fly from it to the US for a pittance making it the world’s most expensive helicopter carrier…

    if the build quality is anything HMS Astute (reactor potentially vulnerable to a structural failure)… or the Type 45 (prone to near-complete power generation failures)… we might have seen nuttin’ yet… (same builders…)

    • Je

      If the build quality is anything like HMS Astute I meant to say.

      Or they could have Astute’s running aground off Skye… or have one of the ratings get drunk, go berserk and start shooting his officers…

  • Philmo

    I agree completely – BUT how do you persuade the Assads that they must destroy all their Sarin bombs and all other abhorrent “weapons”? I’m amazed he’s not been taken out!

  • John Monro

    Thanks again,, Craig, pretty straightforward, not difficult to understand. These military expenditures are not just wasteful of finance to social services, education and health, but they are a huge economic distraction from making things that actually have some use and that others might wish to buy. All the amazing science, engineering, technological expertise that goes into constructing such bloated instruments of destruction is being criminally diverted from making tradable technology, such as scanners, machine tools, construction equipment, robots or all the other high tech paraphernalia which is an essential part of any advanced, productive and wealthy nation. These lumbering, obsolete monstrosities are a compelling illustration of the UK’s continued misapplication of its scientific and technological prowess, and the politics of jingoism and militarism that facilitates it – the UK will continue to fail economically, socially and morally if it doesn’t challenge these fantasies.

    • Dave

      As Ron Paul would say, there’s a difference between defence spending and military spending. If you go around making enemies you need a lot of military spending, but if you make peace, you need less defence spending.

  • Ishmael

    A show of strength with your boy’s brigade and
    I’m so happy and you’re so kind
    You want more money? of course I don’t mind
    To buy nuclear textbooks for atomic crimes

  • mike

    I’m still waiting to hear what the fuck “potential evidence” of a gas attack actually means…

    Another Israeli attack near Golan today, timed with another “moderate” head-chopper attack.

    When will Russia hand over the Pantsir?

  • Peter Beswick

    “U.S. Has Seen Chemical Weapons Activity in Syria, Pentagon Says”

    So it must be true!

    May has said Britain will use military force against Syria if Assad uses CW again
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/world/middleeast/syria-chemical-attack-trump.html

    “On Tuesday Michael Fallon, the British defence secretary, said the UK would consider retaliating with military means against a cyber attack by another state, reflecting rising concern about the militarization of cyber space the havoc such attacks can cause.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/28/nato-assisting-ukrainian-cyber-defences-ransom-ware-attack-cripples/

    So confrontation with Syria and Russia is being prepared along with NATO going after Russia with military force because Russia has been co-ordinating cyber attacks.

    And its all true.

    • Laguerre

      I reckon that White House warning to Asad was a sort of official version of a Trump 3 am tweet. He heard about (I won’t say read, as it’s unlikely) Seymour Hersh’s article about the capricious way he went about the 59 Tomahawk attack, and got in a rage. He’ll show ’em, he’s serious. And had Spicer put out the warning, rather than tweeting it – to show he’s really, really, serious, and not someone who just tweets at 3 in the morning in a rage.

  • J

    They’ll lose the future as surely as everyone else. They’ve created a vast machinery of confirmation bias which almost completely blinds their every waking moment, and ours, if we buy in. Another world is possible. Another war is too many.

    • Dave

      I would warn the “anti-war Left” that to be effective you need to support free speech to identify the dark forces, otherwise “hate speech” legislation will be deployed to criminalise anti-war views as “anti-Semitic”!

      • J

        What does anti-war mean to you Dave? Left? Free? Dark? You’re speaking a foreign language because I know that you mean something by those words. Just not sure what it is.

        • Dave

          Well there is a anti and pro-war Left, as there is an anti and pro-war Right. Certain issues cut across the political parties and for different reasons or priorities there is opposition to UK getting into a confrontation with Russia and generally destroying countries on behalf of Israel. But the Left fondness for banning free speech in the name of political correctness means the pro-war lobby will hang you with your own petard by using “hate laws” to ban anti-war sentiment as “anti-Semitic”. Simples!

          • J

            I still don’t relate to the apparent definitions you hold. What does ‘left’ mean to you? Who does it satisfactorily describe? Who does it fairly characterise? Haven’t you noticed that by itself it’s an almost meaningless usage today, a conversational gesture which refers back to it’s user more than it describes a quality in the world or another?

      • Suhayb Addo

        The term anti-war left has no meaning. It’s not an anti war movement, it’s a belief in basic human rights, democracy and freedom of everyone to make their own decisions in their own countries

  • Suhayb Addo

    Prime example of this is Corbyn being described as a “nuclear surrender” for stating he would only use it as a last resort and that he believes in a nuclear free world. It’s a complete reversal of everyone’s moral compass, through pure lies and and mass propaganda. We are led to believe that nuclear power and weapons of mass murder are a necessity when the world was a much safer place without them. It’s an exploitation of the weak human nature when it comes to decision making and the “herd instinct” theory.

  • Xenophon

    There is one small fact missing from your story Craig.

    “Labour was the governing party during the carriers’ gestation; Rosyth is next door to Gordon Brown’s old constituency. I remember that in the 2010 election, Labour told the Fife electorate that it was the “two-carrier” party. Other parties, if elected, might renege on both or cancel one, with the loss of thousands of jobs.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/30/new-aircraft-carrier-hms-queen-elizabeth-royal-navy

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