The Royal Navy Needs Better


How about a couple of headlines to start with

Britain cannot ensure food supplies because we only have 23 warships, senior Tory warns

Britain needs a bigger Navy, and fast to combat Russian threat

Both have seen the light of day recently, read them here and here

The first, from outgoing head of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, James Arbuthnot, and the second can be laid at the door of another MP, Tom Watson.

I don’t even know where to start with this drivel, the prize quote from Mr Arbuthnot

If someone wanted to close the Suez Canal, it would be really quite easy to do. I don’t know how many days food or fuel we have but we will certainly find the price of everything going up quickly. If I wished ill to this country, it is what I would do. Goods, food, fuel come to us by sea, much of it through the Suez Canal. We need to be able to protect our supply lines. We have abolished all the warehouses we used to have and turned them into shi-shi flats. And we have got no stocks of food or fuel or essential goods to last us for any reasonable length of time.

That the RN is too small is not open for debate, that all the services are suffering from cuts is hardly news, they are all too small and suffering from cuts.

We all know this.

But invoking the specter of starvation because someone can easily close the Suez Canal shows a serious lack of understanding of the shipping industry, global economy, a likely multi-national response and the desire of the nation state of Egypt to stop itself from going bankrupt.

As for Tom Watson, please, the Russian Navy might be able to do a bit of show pony but is hardly such a threat that we should all be shitting ourselves.

If this is the level of advocacy for more surface vessels then the RN should be worried.

Politicians wishing for stronger armed forces should be able to do much better than we are an island you know and the Russians are coming.



What exactly are shi-shi flats


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