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.

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115 thoughts on “70,000 Tonnes of Hubris

1 2

    While aircraft carriers could be used defensively to preempt or deter a threat from a foreign power, there is no such power.

    These will be used – if indeed they ever get any aircraft for them! to attack the civilian populations of countries that cannot do anything in return except terrorism.

    Colossal waste of money. I wonder how much of the money spent really went into stimulating the economy of the regions involved. Just giving the local community the money would be more efficient. Building homes and infrastructure is another way.

    But there is no fun in that for those who run things.

  • Pyewacket

    They won’t be bombing much for some time to come though Craig, as from what I’ve heard and read, we have no aircraft, as yet, that are capable of taking off and landing on them. Further, if they’re anything like the new fleet of Type 45 Frigates, they may not even work in warm water. Just saying.

    • Salford Lad

      Aircraft carriers are sitting ducks in modern warfare and can be ‘taken out ‘easily by modern missile systems. Only useful against little brown men with bows and arrows and maybe AK47s’.
      The demise of our once great shipbuliding and Marine Engineering industry has resulted in the Royal Navy building their 3 tankers in S,Korea and the 4x TYPE 45 destroyers being incapacitated by the failure of their gas turbine propulsion systems, due to overheating cooling systems in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. The problem has not been fixed as too expensive ,so they operate on their standby diesel engine/generators.
      The latesT QE Carrier is unable to launch the other boondoggle from the US,the F-35 jet aircraft. Another fine mess.
      Nelson is rolling in his grave laughing.

      • German Girl

        I doubt that the engineers made mistakes. Engineers are very cool heads. But I bet there were some Business-degree MBA types as well as top-down authoritarian politicians who “wanted” things despite the engineers saying that it wouldn’t work.

        A little story from a relative goes like this:

        Germany 1960-1970, in a huge well-known German steel combine with an engineering department:
        Remember that in Germany before ’68 there was a lot more authoritarian behaviour and the little man had to bow to the big man. And this happened during these authoritarian times:
        Mechanics (non-academic) in their 30ies, 40ies and 50ies are standing in front of a technical drawing of an engine. The engineer (academic) in his 30ies is standing next to the drawing. Suddenly one mechanic points at something in the drawing
        and says: “this doesn’t work.”
        The engineer blushes because he is ashamed. Then he and the mechanic start a discussion related to the questioned thing in the drawing.

        What this ment back then is this: The engineer has a higher position than the mechanic and in every day life the former would look down on the latter and not take him seriously. But at work the engineer is obliged to take the mechanic seriously. The engineer is legally obliged to ensure that:
        a) all questions from mechanics are answered because they need to know what to do in order to do it properly. This would be the case if the mechanic was wrong or didn’t understand something.
        b) critical points and questions must be inquired because if the mechanic is right and the engineer doesn’t take the mechanic seriously then the engineer commits denial of duty. Even back then the general understanding was that non-academics who get a vocational education do understand a lot about their work and therefore their arguments must be taken seriously.

        My suspicion regarding the aircraft carrier is this: some engineers and mechanics were not taken seriously.

    • Xavi

      Corbyn ardently opposed every war created and supported by New Labour. His judgement has been proved correct in every instance.

    • Manda

      Oh dear the tactics to smear Corbyn are really getting desperate. All British governments have been warmongers up to now. Do you not support the chance to change that? We citizens have to stand up and be counted if we want to stop the neo-colonial actions of our governments.

    • Dr T. McMaster

      Since when was Blisr’s “new labour” ever Mr Corbyn’s party?
      Do try to keep up!

  • Peter Beswick

    I remember Craig writing on here a short time ago that the was no possibility, zero, of Russia attacking the UK with nuclear weapons.

    That’s his view, mine is whilst the UK harbours US nuclear weapon systems the UK will be destroyed in the first 30 – 45 minutes of Putin taking the first strike option.

    Thats not just a few holes in the ground, it means complete and utter destruction of everything and everyone with perhaps only a dozen weapons. Important people in bunkers might make it but when they open the hatches, there will be nothing there.

    If the UK did not have the US nuclear weapon systems, I agree with Craig there would be no tactical or strategic advantage to obliterating the UK.

    The longer Trump and the likes of May steer our destiny the nearer Putin gets to making the first strike decision, it will give him a massive advantage.

    • Xavi

      A massive advantage in seeing Russia get turned into a nuclear desert. Does he really strike you as being that stupid?

      • philw

        Putin would not be stupid enough to use first strike.

        My worry is that the US military feels it could win a war against Russia, with an ‘acceptable’ level of damage. But whereas the US might well be able to intercept missiles fired at the US, it would be highly unlikely to be able to take out everything aimed at the UK.

        • Peter Beswick

          A Russian counterforce strategy makes a lot of sense.

          The UK has no missile defence and neither does the US against Russian under the radar and EW countermeasure capability.

          Good job I am not the president of Russia I’d have pressed the tit by now

  • reel guid

    It’s bad enough that Westminster has had one of these neo-imperialist warships built. There’s another carrier of the same class being built. Which is imaginatively called HMS Prince of Wales.

    At least one service chief admitted to a parliamentary committee that the US had been urging the British to build these costly carriers. Basically to strengthen the US carrier capability at no expense to the US taxpayer.

    Also to make the UK much more likely to back up the Yanks in future foreign adventures. After all if you’ve forked out so much on these carriers it creates a psychological need for them to be used in order to justify their commissioning.

  • Vestas

    Hopefully the lack of RN support ships to protect the floating white elephant(s) means it’ll/they’ll either be sunk PDQ or won’t be at sea much – like the rest of the RN.

    • reel guid

      The US would provide the support for the carriers in any joint action. These carriers are really part of the United States Navy. Except the UK taxpayer gets the honour of buying them.

      • Radar O'Reilly

        USN doesn’t (yet) have any protection against hypersonic terminal velocity ASBM such as the Dong Feng 21D or the newer DF-26 irbm. The USA & for that matter the QE, seem to be naked against the asymmetric threat, which in this case could mean it’s better to keep ~2500km away from hotspots such as Asia or Iran.

        (This really reminds me of the 1970s comparing numbers of intermediate range ballistic missiles) China probably has 80 DF21-Ds in service, how many 70kt targets – I mean – carriers are there again?

  • Ian

    That’s all true, but I think you miss out the overwhelming reason they were commissioned by Blair in the first place. Namely, to integrate the UK with the US when it comes to foreign policy and the pursuit of Washington hegemony. Blair’s, and subsequent lame PM’s, goal was to be the US’ ‘best’ ally and partner in foreign military adventurism, as demonstrated by our pathetic need to follow in their footsteps wherever they go, contributing our ageing Tornadoes on bombing raids, in a desperate attempt to look like a ‘global’ power. Conscious of how little we can actually contribute in terms of troops and hardware, Blair was desperate to have some big boy’s toys he could contribute to any US adventurism, blithely ignoring how much it suited the US to have the UK pay for what are effectively a sub-contracted piece of the US armed forces.

  • Manda

    It is as plain as day to me that it is our governments, western so called democracies and their allies that are the greatest danger to us and the world.

  • Thomas D. Smart

    Spot on Craig,
    Complete waste of money, it will only be used to pick up the refugees they create and spot them on the massive deck area !

    • Manda

      I don’t think it will be used for refugees. US led coalition is currently engineering an excuse to attack Syrian forces, annex more land and attack Iran at some point. The western led coalition share military assets these days, many European countries no longer appear to have full capacity independent forces, they are dependent on each other and US. This aircraft carrier , if it can function in warm water and make it to its destination, will host non British aircraft as well as British that are fit to serve.

      • Michael McNulty

        Your comment makes me wonder if this wasn’t another plan of rotten-to-the-core US neoliberalism? To bankrupt western countries as ours certainly is, thus leaving them unable to put enough of their own forces in the field, in the air and on the sea, then demand what’s left falls under US control to increase its own invasion forces. It may have been planned that way by some US nasty like Brzezinski.

        • Manda

          UK Column news have done a lot of work on EU military integration under the neo liberal globalist [EU super state part] agenda. Whether the EU is fully under control of US is not clear but then I ask the question are any of western governments under the control of or acting in the interests of their citizens or have they all been co opted by Oligarch/Plutocrat/insanely wealthy ideological factions vested interests?
          Some UK Column articles. http://www.ukcolumn.org/defence

          Of course until Brexit is done and dusted UK remains firmly in the EU.

  • Dave

    People understand “you reap what you sow” and therefore its logical to assume if we attack them, they will attack us. The problem is the MSM say to explain is to condone and whatever we do to them, cannot possibly excuse what they do to us, or is it ever right to kill a child?

    its a deeply manipulative and offensive argument which is why you get the refrain of “not in my name”, but its worse than that, because in the absence of any attacks, as opposed to blowback in form of migration and criminal behaviour, the state has to stage events to provide the excuse for an aggressive foreign policy.

    The reason Corbyn did well in the election is because ironically he suffered the same demonization as all the other targets of neo-con hatred, but during the short election period had the chance to appear as Uncle Jeremy and by merely saying “make love not war” turned the tables on his distractors and in so doing mobilised the non-conservative, anti-establishment and anti-war vote in favour of the underdog.

    But he will need to identify the dark forces and staged events to progress further and ironically again the new found youth vote are very aware of this due to social media.

      • Laguerre

        A mealy-mouthed half denial. Your link says XP will not be used *when it (the QE) becomes operational*. However ‘Windows for Warships’ is based on even older Windows 2000, and that is still widely used elsewhere in the fleet, all according to your link.

      • Clark

        I find the refutation unconvincing. It concerns a different source for the allegation, defends Windows XP’s reliability(!), and then confirms that the Royal Navy still uses it. Indeed the MoD statement seems to confirm that XP is currently used, but will not be “when the ship becomes operational”.

        Some BAE software engineers have criticised the use of Microsoft Windows for naval command software:


        • Ba'al Zevul

          Just as well they never bought Vista, though, or Windoze 8….XP’s a fair choice, considering.

          • Clark

            I think not, Ba’al. 2000 was the last of the NT line, and not too bad. XP broke the NT multi-user security model by incorporating compatibility with the single-user 9x/ME line. That’s why XP had such poor security.

            Vista fixed that somewhat with the introduction of User Account Control, where the screen greys down and a message appears “such-and-such a program wants to do so-and-so; only let it if you asked it to”. But stupidly, Vista was rushed to market full of bugs, though M$ found time to add enough bells and whistles to slow the system to a snail’s pace and make it very demanding of RAM. 7 fixed that but didn’t make enough money because they had to supply a free upgrade for dissatisfied Vista users, hence 8 with its “Upgrade to renting 10 from us” nagware.

            There is no M$ OS fit for military use; they’re designed for making money by complying with the requests of M$ business partners’ websites, which bodes very ill for security.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I bow to your superior knowledge. Which nevertheless confirms my impression that the MoD could have saved itself a shitload of cash and had far improved systems if it had just retrained some IT specialists and downloaded Ubuntu.

            Which I now have at work, and it’s fine.

  • Dave

    The problem with western procurement is its not intended to work or be of any use, just extremely expensive. That’s why on a smaller budget the Russians and can produce more effective weapons. But then again all modern weapons, such as aircraft, are ‘too good’ to be effective against defenceless countries, because they fly too fast to hit the target.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The United Kingdom is not just a dysfunctional state, it is a rogue state and a danger to the peace of the world.”

    Indeed, in my opinion, Britain is part of the axis of evil, which includes the USA, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

    This leviathon, and its sister ship, the aircraft carrier the Prince of Wales, will predominantly be a floating staging post for attacks on countries, that are seen to be unstable and unco-operative. Nations such as Libya, in which we had a hand in destroying, will feel the wrath of British fighter/bomber jets again, as soon as the American’s are finished building them.

    Meanwhile the Red Cross has described the English NHS, as a humanitarian crisis. Throw, in that a billion quid can be found to prop up a failing Tory government, via the DUP, but England has a shortage of police officers, and it makes the building of these two bringers of death even more preposterous.

    • Sharp Ears

      Read about this fiasco as Hunt squirmed in the Commons today answering an urgent question from the Opposition concerning a backlog of 709,000 unprocessed communications and the cover up.

      NHS Shared Business Services

      He is revealed as both incompetent and deceitful. Note how he accepted advice from his ‘officials’ to keep quiet. OUR NHS is not safe in his hands nor the Tories’ hands. Full stop.

      Also note the content of the comment from this SNP MP –
      ‘Peter Grant (Glenrothes) (SNP)
      Earlier, the Secretary of State assured the House that the individual directors who are responsible for this catastrophe are no longer in a position to cause similar damage. Is he aware that the briefest of searches through Companies House records shows that the same three or four names associated with Shared Business Services come up time and again?

      There are about a dozen companies, many of which come under the Sopra Steria Ltd group of companies, and most of which advertise the fact that they do a lot of work for the NHS right now. One is titled NHS Shared Employee Services Ltd, which suggests that, far from having been removed from any influence, the individual directors who were legally responsible for this disaster are still very much in a position to make money for themselves while presiding over similar disasters in the future.’

    • CanSpeccy

      “Indeed, in my opinion, Britain is part of the axis of evil, which includes the USA, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.”

      Absolutely. While pulling out of the EU, Britain should pull out of NATO and the US embrace also. Britain needs to be transformed into a confederation, including one hopes the Republic of Ireland, with much greater devolution of powers than at present, which means dividing England, Scotland and Wales into their constituent parts, Scotland, for example, into the Highlands, Islands, Lowlands left, Lowlands right, etc. Permanent foreign policy should be “friend of all the world” without entangling alliances. Defense should be along Swiss lines, every able-bodied male to possess a rifle and know how to use it against a home invader, a terrorist, or a national invader. Trident must be abandoned but not the nukes, for which the Brits must spend whatever it takes to build a delivery system that will for all time deter a first strike on the homeland.

    • Ishmael

      We could be like other countries the realm of foreign policy. Any of those European countries many seem to aspire after. But it’s clear its about money for the few, killing machine industries, US “security” links. Not safety lol, or morality. No NO, Money for the rich and screw UK society.

      I checked the sums. They are astronomical public spending levels. We could transform the uk with that kind of money.

      But they don’t give a shit about it, frankly. I would have thought that’s obvious by now. Including all the military brass…It’s ££££. The patriotism gig, Over the bodes of so many dead, It’s gona pay them as long as they can milk it.

    • Laguerre

      There is no question by whom. It is crystal clear: it will be by the rebels.

    • Salford Lad

      The Sean Spicer announcement seems like a diversion from the publishing of a report by Seymour Hersch in the German newspaper Die Welt exposing the fake story of the Chemical attack in Syria.
      No US paper dare publish so Hersch published in Germany,as previously he published in the London Literary Review. Disturbing expose of the rashness of Trump. This man has access to the Red Button and no idea of the malevolent forces manipulating him.

  • J

    Admittedly, his explanation can’t quite reach beyond his own media savvy, but invigorating to see the public/private discourse of these people laid bare. Incidentally provides vindication of Assange’s approach, that is, to narrow the gap between the private and public conversation by leaking the private discussions of power and thereby creating an informed public. It’s far more likely that the democrats are in charge of Trump if only through proximity to his various crimes, though personally, I think Democrat/Republican hierarchies are of one mind, divided only by who gets the lions share of the spoils.

    CNN producer admits Russia narrative is ‘bullsh*t,’ just for ‘ratings’: https://www.rt.com/usa/394233-russia-cnn-ratings-veritas/

    There’s also this from Slavoj Zizek (which I’ve been arguing for some time):

    Macron entered the scene alongside le Pen’s xenophobic populism….Such a gesture of (re)diabolisation is clearly not enough: instead of just focusing on that, one should immediately raise the question of how such a leader could have emerged in our society (in le Pen’s case, le Pen is a reaction to the policy whose embodiment is Macron). The function of “diabolisation” is precisely to obfuscate this link, to locate the guilt in an agent outside our democratic space.

    Historically, it was the task of the left to raise such questions, so no wonder that, with the diabolised enemy, the radical left conveniently disappears from the picture. Recall how, in the last elections in France, every leftist scepticism about Macron was immediately denounced as a support for le Pen. So we can venture the hypothesis that this elimination of the left was the true aim of the operation, and that the demonised enemy was a convenient prop.

    Julian Assange recently wrote that the reason the Democratic Party’s establishment has embraced the “We didn’t lose – Russia won” narrative is because if they didn’t, then the insurgency created by Bernie Sanders during last year’s presidential election would dominate the party. And in the same way that the US Democrats diabolise Trump to get rid of Sanders who poses a threat to the Democratic establishment, the French establishment diabolised le Pen to get rid of the potential leftist radicalisation.

    The UK is a special case here, since it is one of the big old parties – the Labour party, under Corbyn’s leadership – which is emerging as the main threat to the establishment. So we can perhaps imagine a new anti-Brexit “radical centre” composed of the Blair wing of the Labour Party, Lib Dems and anti-Brexit conservatives which will explode under the pretext of containing the Brexit threat, but in reality destined to get rid of the Labour threat. We do indeed live in interesting times.

    • Salford Lad

      Recall how, in the last elections in France, every leftist scepticism about Macron was immediately denounced as a support for le Pen.
      Yes ,we had our own ‘purge of the Left’ on this blog. Fascism in action.

      • glenn_uk

        BS. There was criticism aplenty for Macron. But direct support for Le Pen was not allowed here – are you telling us you cannot tell the difference?

    • glenn_uk

      A James O’ Keefe video – chopped up and selectively edited – and you’re going to take that at face value?

      In case you don’t know the guy, look at his other ‘work’, such as that which got Acorn shut down. The guy is thoroughly dishonest, completely partisan, and produces content for the likes of Pamela Geller’s rancid hate-site.

      The source is not the only important thing, sure, but when you’re fishing around with bare hands in a cesspit like this, don’t be surprised if you fish out something highly undesirable.

      • J

        One salient fact any reasonable person might be expected to take away is that even the most vocal advocates of the entire ‘Russia’ narrative are captured on camera explaining that they don’t believe a word of it while the tribesmen maintain whatever position they previously held. (Clue: a position they did not adopt of their own devices.)

        Unless O’keefe used CGI and voice actors to create what John Bonifield is actually saying in that report, you’ve missed the whole point of my post. Another good ad-hominem argument might be to suggest that John Bonifield is an arsehole and doesn’t pretend to understand anything much except in terms of ratings. Also demonstrable, and beside the point.

        • glenn_uk

          This wasn’t a long-form interview, J. It was a very choppy sequence of vague sentiments. A skilful, not to say absolutely unscrupulous operator can make anyone sound as if they’re admitting virtually anything. You don’t have a clue what the actual questions were, or the context of the replies, nothing. Neither do I. That’s entirely the point of these hit-piece jobs by that absolute liar and far-right stooge O’Keefe.

          If you believe anything produced by him, you’re a fool – no offence. Nothing that he does is honest, he is not a journalist, but rather a duplicitous manufacturer of deception.

          But carry on trawling those sites on the rancid-right, which is where you got this in the first place, since you apparently are sucked by with stuff like this.

          • glenn_uk

            It’s bizarre that you’d believe it, J. Do you know (or care) that this Bonifield dude is not actually a producer with anything to do with the Russia/Trump coverage, but actually works for CNN Health?

            But let’s take it at face value for a moment (which is unwise). He actually said, “Could be BS. I mean, it’s mostly BS right now. Like, we don’t have any big giant proof.”

            He also says, “I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging” and “And so I think the President is probably right to say like, look, you are witch hunting me.”

            He didn’t – as you imply – state that CNN is making the whole thing up. Does he actually know what he’s talking about? Is he a fan of Trump, and showing some bias?

            Maybe we’ll get a right-wing janitor to blow the lid off the whole thing next, and tell us the CNN is simply a communist plot.

            OK – you don’t care. But this is the scumbag you think is a genuine reporter. Here is how he destroyed a decent organisation that helped the poor, with his lies and deceptive editing, to the glee of the far-right:


            Plenty of references there – does that sound like someone you’d get behind, or are you going to dismiss my points here with another smarmy little comment?

          • glenn_uk

            J: Sorry I took off a bit there. I have a particular loathing of this lying creep, who’s done a great deal of harm with his lies, particularly by getting closed down a charity which helped poor people in downtrodden ‘hoods find places to live and get access to life’s necessities.

            Acorn also helped these poor residents to register to vote too, so that politicians might take at least some notice of them – that’s why this scumbag and his rotten organisation set them up as they did.

            Nothing personal about you, honestly. Hope I didn’t offend.

    • Xavi

      It’s true. Liberal commentators incessantly conflated Sanders-Trump, Melenchon-Le Pen, Corbyn-Farage. But the sheer size of the vote for Corbyn (and the sheer nastiness of the Tories as a comparison) has largely silenced them for the time being, here at least. Certainly all the talk of a new centrist Blair-Osborne party has suddenly gone quiet.

    • Bill Rollinson

      “Recall how, in the last elections in France, every leftist scepticism about Macron was immediately denounced as a support for le Pen.”

      That is exactly how they destroyed the left in UK. “Every Labour vote is a vote for the unions”, they screamed. They crucified them, yet we never saw any proof of the alleged ‘bad management’ that forced us to ‘sell off all our Industry, Transport & Utilities’! We only had Tories word of this, considering the majority of Industry was managed by Tories, knowing the Government could create a ‘strike’ merely by changing policy. They needed the Unions declawed, in order for them to sell everything to their donors! Which was all part of the continued agenda of Globalisation aka One World Government.
      Does one not think it rather odd, that both of Le Pens bigger opponents, Fillon, Melcheon, where fortuitously ‘exposed’ at the same time. And that both of these candidates would have also taken France out of the EU, or at least forced some changes. Thus forcing an end to the agenda.

  • Sharp Ears

    Spot on Craig.

    I receive blank expressions from the Tories round here who say ‘there is no money’ when I tell them about the cost of these monstrosities ( a BLiar/Brown project if I remember correctly).

    The names appal me too.


    The first will spend two years on sea trials before it arrives in Portsmouth. Trust there are no cock ups on the way!

    There seems to be a bit of a boom in naval shipbuilding.

    Watch giant HMS Forth warship make its first journey down the River Clyde –
    August 2016

    The Forth is with us – the first of five new patrol ships is named on the Clyde
    The first of five new patrol ships for the RN, HMS Forth, was today officially named – the modern equivalent to a traditional slipway launch – on a fine late winter’s morning on the Clyde.

    And so on.

    • German Girl

      What does the real Queen Elisabeth II. say about those warships which seem to be launched in her name and by her country during her reign?

  • Ishmael

    Maybe we could aspire to north Korean foreign policy. I think the uk population and the world would be safer as a result.

  • K Crosby

    The fascist state spent decades re-colonising the working class for this; anything to keep its status as American Caesar’s chief jackal.

  • David Collins

    Spot-on Craig, and the farce runs deeper as Admiral Lord West said on yesterday’s R4 Today programme that there are no F35-B aircraft for the ship and that the first deployment (around 2021) will be manned by US Marine Corps and its aircraft on board. Sounds very like the myth that Britain controls the UK Trident Nuclear capability when in fact we are simply paying for an extension of US military power.

    • German Girl

      For centuries the UK managed a political diplomatic balance act between “being part of Europe” and “not being part of Europe” (=part of Commonwealth / Colonial Empire / USA). But today’s politicans are no longer that capable.

  • mar

    You are probably correct – no point in spending a huge amount of money and not using the carrier in a war zone.
    If we are going to have this huge aircraft carrier then we must have more ships acting as a defence shield to protect it as it would be very embarrassing if a small gun ship managed to sink it, let alone the loss of hundreds sailors lives.

  • Anonymous

    Even worse, the F-35Bs it is intended to carry won’t be ready for another 3 years. So until then it is just a phallic symbol. The MoD/Treasury claim the thing will have a 50 year operational life – an accounting wheeze to make it seem affordable. And if TSHTF, it can be taken out by a £1 million (estimated) Shkval hypercavitation torpedo from one one the ultra quiet Russian diesel electric subs. That is one helluva bang per buck.

    • SA

      Interesting how you can make such projections assuming that the state of the art now will not change for 50 years.

  • Anonymous

    The vessel’s commander described the situation with perfect clarity.

    “Commanding officer Captain Jerry Kydd told BBC News that the ship was important for Britain’s reputation as a naval power. He said: “I think there are very few capabilities, by any country, that are as symbolic as a carrier strike capability. Submarines you can’t see, but these are very visible symbols of power and power projection.”

    So it is symbolic and a means of power projection (once the aircraft are there and assuming the engines don’t fail in ME waters).


    What a load of sim bollix.

  • J Arther Nast

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but wasn’t a certain ex communist, now a noble lord, largely responsible for
    commissioning this monstrosity?

  • CanSpeccy

    Yes, absolutely correct.

    Britain is building aircraft carriers that can be sunk in minutes by Russia, China, India and sundry others with cheap anti-ship missiles. Therefore, these carriers can only be for imperial police duty against the lower orders of mankind, lacking the most basic defensive arsenal. But since Britain has no empire, it is clear that Britain now serves the US Empire in the way that the non-Russian Soviets and satellites served the Russian Empire. Or as the courageous young woman Emma West put it so concisely, “My Britain is fuck all now,” merely a servile dependent of the United States of Aggression.

  • Ishmael

    Guess we are really seeing the effects of our own colonisation now. What our ruling class have done around the world.

    The poor are expendable collateral damage… “Nationality” what a joke, ‘You get down and work in that shit till your dead’, Uncivilised peasants’.

    • Ishmael

      And the right want to bang on about patriotism and “traitors” to this country, Yea? Really?

      The country is the people in it.

  • SA

    Meanwhile Fallon ‘would support’ another attack by USA if Syrian Government uses chemical weapons again. Since the first and second times have not been proven we seem now to be moving towards pre-emptive attacks on Syria, every time when the Syria Government has the upper hand on terrorists, we support the terrorists.
    And I wonder what legitimacy does this Fallon of the minority government has to make such pronouncements on our behalf?

  • SA

    As far as I can recollect the UK base in Bahrain was slipped in during the last coalition government without much public announcement. I am sure many are not even aware of its existence. But of course it is paid for by the Bahrainis and so does not come out of MOD budget and presumably not under scrutiny from Parliament.

  • SA

    The cholera epidemic in Yemen is a much worse humanitarian crisis than anything else in the ME that have excercised the West. There is no major outcry about this preventable tragedy and we carry on as usual.

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