We Got Two (aircraft carriers) With Nothing to Do

The United Kingdom’s ability to waste public money seems to no know bounds. Several years ago Gordon Brown decided that the Clyde shipyards should build two air craft carriers just before he left office and as a result the government is spending (I should say wasting) £10 billion on building two aircraft carriers in Scotland which will never be in service by the United Kingdom because it cannot afford to put aircraft on them. The government that succeeded that of Mr Brown is too lacking in courage to cancel the building of the carriers (and presumably if it did cancel the job it would have to pay high penalty charges to the shipyards) and so the waste goes on.

£10 billion amounts to £500 per household. The Scots, no doubt, are pleased that the shipyards of the Clyde have employment for a few years and will no doubt have further employment when the air craft carriers are mothballed and scrapped but Scots pay taxes just like the rest of the United Kingdom and £10 billion is a lot of money.

Unfortunately the nation has no recourse against Mr Brown and the others involved in making this foolish decision. He will not have to put his hand in his pocket to recompense us the taxpayer for what was a shameless bit of what the Americans call pork barrel politics. Instead, Mr Brown can profit from the lecture circuit to the extent of millions each year untroubled by the fear that the decision that has cost the households that he was supposed to serve a huge amount of money.

A hundred years ago Britain was engaged in an arms race with Germany which including the building of “dreadnoughts” – large battle ships. “We want eight and we won’t wait” cried the masses in Britain to show their support of Britain in its race to build more warships than anyone else.

Today Britain will have two aircraft carriers with nothing to do. We must apply our minds to a use for these large flat vessels. Perhaps one aircraft carrier could be used as a Royal Yacht, to enable the monarch to sail the seven seas as she used to on Britannia. The other could be converted into a prison – we are very short of prison space – from which escape would be very hard. Or, we could sell the carriers. I am sure that Argentina would be prepared to buy one at what will inevitably be a very high discount to cost and Iran would find them useful too.


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