Lovely boating weather? “The haves and the have yachts”

 

             I am all in favour of a new royal yacht. I am not in favour of any public money going into its construction.

             The public mood is ambiguous about this project. Some who usually oppose austerity rush to condemn what they see as frivolous spending like this. Some neo Keynsians see it as another make work project, assuming it would be built in a British yard. Some see it with Mr Gove as a way to celebrate monarchy and the Jubilee. Some dislike it because they dislike the institution of monarchy or the UK state.

           The old Britannia was largely a working vessel. Used properly, a royal yacht is a great aid to extending the UK’s influence, winning friends, gaining contracts and promoting the UK’s aims and values.  The rich, powerful and famous of the world are regularly wined and dined in five star hotels, and Michelin starred restaurants to seek their cooperation for the nation. Dining on the Britannia was a more memorable experience that mere money could not buy.

             Were a new royal yacht to be paid for by voluntary gift and subscription there would need to be a clear and strong trust document establishing who could use the vessel and why. The way it was used and presented would need controlling to avoid damage to the royal associations. The UK government in one form or another would be a major buyer of its services, and would presumably pay for operational use as part of the diplomatic , ceremonial and promotional budget. Leading users are likely to include UK Trade and Investment organisations, the Foreign Office, and the royal family as part of State visits. Leading charities and great UK institutions also might wish to use  her when docked in a suitable adjacent UK harbour.  The vessel would be more for entertaining than cruising.

           I would be pleased to hear your thoughts.

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102 Comments

  1. J Mitchell
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The decision to scrap Britannia was petty, mean minded and short sighted. It was made by a government with no sense of history and with republican tendencies. Britannia more than paid her way; it was a fantastic marketing tool and enabled much useful entertaining to be done by British companies with consequent contractual benefit.

    I would happily support the provision of a new yacht funded by the public purse. We all benefited. If the capital cost can be met by private subscription, so much the better. Perhaps we should try to cloud source the funds!

    • Richard
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, you have saved me needing to post a reply, as I totally agree with what you have said.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      J Mitchell,

      Oh, how I agree with you against all the misers and Republicans below. ‘Twas a move of Labour spite and jealousy to take the HM Yacht away from our Queen and all the businessmen who benefited from Britannia’s service.

      However, if public subscription is the only way, then so be it. However, I am uncertain that it would raise the necessary ‘spondoolies’ under the present economic conditions; this is not the Nelson’s Column of the 19th Century.

    • Phil Richmond
      Posted January 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Couldnt have put it better myself!
      In fact it would be a great way to spend £100mil of Public money. Im all in favour.

  2. Single Acts
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    You are entirely correct, subscription is the way. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe this is how Nelson’s column was funded.

  3. Javelin
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The UK punches above its weight because of its perceived attitude. Presidents and Kings feel the presence of the UK through the Queen. The new ship would be an excellent addition to the UK.

    • APL
      Posted January 18, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      javelin: “The UK punches above its weight because of its perceived attitude.”

      Sorry Javelin, I have taken against these trite platitudes, ‘the UK punches above its weight’. No we don’t, we are no longer an autonomous country, our political class have perpetrated a fraud and betrayal of the British people.

      We no longer have any punch, our politicians have betrayed us for fat expense accounts and double accommodation allowances for couples that try to disguise their true relationship (allegations against individuals deleted-ed)Later on they get rewarded for their graft by being plopped into the Lords.

      It is no wonder this country is in decline, we tolerate these people and reelect them each opportunity.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I realise that the UK has been brought to its knees by socialism, the EU, the green religion, Major, Blair, Brown and now even Cameron. Surely, however, if thousands of Hollywood stars, businessmen and others can afford large yacht then we can still afford one for the Queen it is surely a good investment anyway. It is clearly a better one than the Millennium dome, the Olympic stadia, HS2, Huhne’s absurd green energy subsidies.

    We could easily pay for it with the extra tax revenue and growth that would arise by getting rid of the 50% tax rate, reducing regulation, CGT and IHT and welcoming business and the rich to the country again instead of kicking them out.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      We could also pay for it by getting rid of the “Equality and Human rights Commission” which does such huge damage incubating envy, pointless dissatisfaction and disharmony within the UK. Also the many other similarly pointless (or worse) government bodies like 80% of the BBC.

      Get rid of staff pay off over six month pay for anyone too first to save even more. Release all these people to get a real job and help pay for the yacht in just a few hours.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Release them to do what? Loose their house and go the dole? Six months pay for harassment? You can go quietly if you like cos’ I ain’t.

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 19, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

          Release them to do something useful for a change.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Certainly in favour of the Royal Yacht – but it might be nice and politic if Prince Charles stopped lecturing others on the green issue while spending so much on travel and energy himself.

      At least the Duke of Edinburgh seems to be sound on this issue and the Queen sensibly stays above it.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 18, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        They clearly deserve a Royal Yacht just for the endless entertainment and amusement the large royal family provide to the nation. Let alone the helpful impact on business, trade and overseas image. This quite apart from their vital role in preventing a future President Peter Mandelson or Blair ever assuming office.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget letting the banking system run riot due to lack of government legislation or to much. Depending on what you believe this week.

      • APL
        Posted January 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Bazman: “banking system run riot due to lack of government legislation or to much. ”

        Exactly the opposite of what happened.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 19, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        Too little regulation in some areas and too much in others. Basically just bad and incompetent regulation by the government as usual.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          In either case nothing to do with bankers and banking? Make mine a large one.

  5. frank salmon
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Brilliant. So, as no public money would be used, why isn’t there already one in progress? Why doesn’t a company already have the ear of the Queen, building a yacht to her specifications which can be rented out at a profit and used by her when she wants/needs it?

  6. English Pensioner
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Write out 100 times
    “YACHT”

    Reply: I got called away to do something else before checking the typing – ouch!

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      “Yot” would surely be more sensible and save a lot of time and effort – were spelling not absurdly fixed in aspic by arbitrary and irrational old ex-dictionary editors. I always have to think several times before writing my annual cheque to the “Yot” Club.

      Shaxspere, Shakespear, Shackspeare, Shakspere, Shackespeare, Shackspere, Shackespere, Shaxspere, Shexpere, Shakspe~ had it right – long live variety and evolution in spelling and indeed pronunciation.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        As with spelling it would be good if there were some mechanisms in place which encouraged the UK government and legal systems to evolve. Evolve that is in the interest of the public, rather than (as currently) in the interests of the governors their friends and those in the legal profession.

      • APL
        Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “would surely be more sensible .. ”

        Was the argument they tried in support of the archaic old currency. It’d be so much easier to count in base 10 than to have to convert between pennies, shillings and pounds.

        Then, everyone knew the value of a 10-/- note. They were worth something. Now fifty pence will hardly buy you a packet of crisps and 20% of the population cannot read nor add up by the time they have finished with the most expensive education system in the history of the country.

        That’s progress I guess.

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Base twelve is better giving convenient quarters, halves, sixths, thirds and twelfths.

          • APL
            Posted January 18, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Lifelogic: ” Base twelve is better giving .. ”

            Yep. I went through the indoctrination that decimilization would make the whole thing so much easier. But realize with hindsight that the whole thing was a con.

            Who sponsored it? That old traitor and Tory Edward Heath
            What else did he do? Destroyed ‘ localism’ with his local authority ‘reforms’.

            Isn’t it funny, the word ‘reform’ has such positive connotations, one still thinks ‘reform’ will be a good thing implying ‘improvement’, by now our experience should make even the most optimistic fellow, shun anything labeled ‘reform’.

            In fact ‘reform’ is used in the Marxist sense by our political elite, that of continual change thus eroding the cultural landmarks that underpin our culture.

          • lifelogic
            Posted January 19, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink

            Evolution, trial and error, experimentation and the replication of what actually works best is rather better than Government knows best Ted Heath type of top down commandments.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Yot” would surely be more sensible than yacht? No. It would be another one of your races to the bottom.

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 19, 2012 at 3:34 am | Permalink

          Race to the bottom of what prey? It would just be allowing sensible evolution of irrational spellings. Why on earth is “yot” any nearer the bottom than yacht. It is just a notation for communication and clearly a quicker, simpler and more rational one for all concerned. Not that I would ban anyone from using alternatives.

          Do you think allowing a northern or southern “a” to be pronounced as in “walking on the grarss rather than grass” is a “race to the bottom”? Spelling is just the written equivalent of the spoken sound. Would you ban regional accents too?

          • Bazman
            Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            This was used in the early 1970’s in the form the of I.T.A phonetic alphabet. Leading to thousands of adults unable to spell. Myself included.
            Race to the bottom of what ‘prey’ or ‘pray’? Learn to spell properly and then talk about change instead of trying to make it easy for yourself.
            0/10 more practice needed boy.

  7. A different Simon
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Would rather we gave the royal family back to Germany when we leave the European Union .

    • APL
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      A different Simon: “Would rather we gave the royal family back to Germany”

      Time was when I would have been utterly against you. But you know, the only argument I can summon in support of the Monachy is that it stops us being lumbered with King (President) Kinnock, Hestletine, Prescott etc ad nausium.

      If HRH 2 had done something to protect the ancient laws and customs of our country … but she did nothing!

    • outsider
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Simon but I do find this attitude offensive. Our royal family is international, emblematic of Europe before 1914 and the world today. You might just as well say they should go back to France, Denmark or even an independent Scotland.
      By taking this line, you are telling anyone whose ancestors are recorded as having come to this country that they can never be British. Descendents of Jews who escaped from the Russian empire a hundred years ago will always be Russians or Poles. Grandchildren of Italians who came to man the birckworks will always be Italian. The children and grandchildren of West Indians who came to drive London buses 60 years ago will always be foreign. They can never be British; still less the children of more recent South Asian immigrants.
      As far as I know all my eight great grandparents were English so I have no axe to grind, but that is just not what being British is about.

  8. Tedgo
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    While I am a fan of Super Yachts I am totally against this idea. As a nation we have moved on from that privilege sort of thing, just like we need to change the House of Lords.

    If it is built in a British yard, that is BAE, then it will cost twice as much as planned, and no doubt be years late.

    Big private yachts rent from about £250,000 to £1 million per week, the large boat proposed would therefore rent for perhaps £2 to £3 million per week. This sort of money would have to come from the tax payer, so over 20 to 30 years it would become an enormous gravy train.

    If private money wants to build the yacht as a gift for the Queen and use the word Royal (use of a trade mark), then it should offer the yacht to the Queen and Government for free. They would use it only for a few weeks each year. For the rest of the year the owners would have to rent the yacht to other people and organisations at a commercial rent.

    A yacht is not consistent with the austerity need by the nation.

    • Tedgo
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Anyway the Royal Family has enough money of there own to build and operate a Yacht if they want one.

      • Disaffected
        Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        I agree. They could all club together if they wanted one.

        This is a worse idea than the high speed train disaster.

        No money means no money. About time politicians acted in a thrifty way as if the UK was broke. There are many places to entertain; namely many castles spring to mind (that we pay for). I am a royalist, but I would object to this.

    • Tedgo
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure that a sail training ship, with its relatively primitive accommodation and movable cabins would make a suitable Royal yacht.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      A royal yacht is entirely consistent with an uplifting vision of a proud self governing, maritime, democratic nation moving one more towards strength and rapid growth through a smaller and more efficient government and a welcoming of the rich, hard working and successful.

      We just need a government with this vision too.

  9. Bob
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I’m with Gove. For little more than what we pay the EU every day it would enhance our national prestige way beyond it’s cost. We’ve already blown billions on a two week athletics competition, but let’s stop the wasteful spending on white elephants like HS2 and spend a tiny fraction of the saving on something worthwhile for the Diamond Jubilee.
    Or have we really lost our sense of nationhood so totally?

  10. Damien
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The last thing the royal family need is a new Royal Yacht and nor do I believe that this idea is coming from within the household. Lessons were learnt at the time of Diana’s death that the family must modernise and become more inclusive, less out of touch.

    Prince Andrew was our unelected Ambassador for trade and his behaviour or effectiveness was regularly questioned in the media and many would question why the taxpayer should pay to run a yacht for the likes of him and the worlds most privileged .

    By every measure a Royal Yacht is a symbol of exclusivity and a throw back to a bygone era. It is now the sort of extravagance associated today with spivs, oligarchs and dictators. I cannot imagine a young modern couple like William and Kate would advocate such nonsense.

    Gove is right that we need something less transitory than street parties and the like. It was suggested that the grounds of Buckingham Palace would be reopened to the public and renamed Jubilee gardens. Also our vaults are crammed with paintings for which there is no suitable space to hang them. Could not the unused rooms of Buckingham Palace be used to hang them on view for the public? Let us try and find an inclusive way to honour the service given if the taxpayers are to pay for the upkeep .

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Personally I have gone from a traditional working class upbringing and being passionately royalist through the first half of my life, through my adult years, having seen many of the great and good up close and personal, sat and chatted to many of them in VIP lounges and first class and similar, to the position I find myself in now where with a lot more up close and personal experience of the great and good of British life that I find the whole Royal family, the ruling classes, the public school system, the sheer unbridled contempt many of them have for people from humbler backgrounds a bit hard to take. I no longer have to take the press and public relations as my sources of information I now know enough first hand. I no longer support the royal family, my own view is they should have the public purse removed, take back much of their private wealth that really belongs to the British people, and they can all go and try their luck in the real world. I support anyone who pushes for a proper meritocracy in this country, regardless of race, colour, creed, accent, school, regional background, parents jobs, sex, sexual orientation, and so on (which is why I hate Cameron’s positive discrimination for female parliamentary candidates while he simultaneously makes sure almost all of the candidates in winnable seats have a public school backgrounds). I don’t think these social structures can survive, they sure are not supported by most successful ex-pat Brits who have had to leave the country to make a success in a country which disregards their class based accent and so on. As the internet empowers real people to find out what really happens, the gloss of the press and public relations dims, I think more people will come to my view. I’ve been in town abroad when the Queen and Prime Minister roll in, with the attendant hangers on, not been impressed with the quality of eithers hangers on or the way they treat the local ex-pat community. Probably there will be a mood swing when the current Queen dies anyways.
    Royal yacht? No thanks, not with my money, not while the sink estates still have the worst schools in the developed world and the NHS fails to save people from dying from easily treatable stuff, while British soldiers going into action have to buy their own kit because what they are provided with is third rate.
    Any I am not a left wind nutter either? I am in the Conservative spectrum of political thinking.

    • Bob
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      @Iain Gill
      “not with my money, not while the sink estates still have the worst schools in the developed world and the NHS fails to save people from dying from easily treatable stuff, while British soldiers going into action have to buy their own kit because what they are provided with is third rate.”

      The removal of the Royal Yacht did not affect the NHS one iota, it was just an act of pure spite from ignorant churlish socialists.

      The failures you mention are not due to lack of spending but rather mismanagement by the political classes, otherwise we would not have had the Dome or the Olympics and we would not have wasted billions on a failed NHS computer and countless failed MOD procurement cock-ups. And here we go again with HS2. Doesn’t it make you proud?

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        New royal yacht would cost in the region of £60,000,000.
        NHS computer system £12,000,000,000 and very little to show for it!

        NHS computer system (failed) = 200 * new royal yachts.

        Makes you think!

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      HM the Queen is human. Isolated and honoured, she is bound to be a little different from ordinary people. She means an awful lot to me, a distant subject of hers.
      Of course we should have a Royal Yacht and I (OAP) would willingly pay my next lesson’s worth towards it.

    • Mark
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Obvioiusly from what you say you’ve not met the Queen.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        not sure thats got much to do with it.

        a great chief exec does not excuse a substandard organisation below them.

        and a great chief exec there by accident at that.

        I have a lot of respect for what this Queen has done but I dont believe in the institution or think it is viable medium to longer term.

  12. Caterpillar
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Whilst I see that any contact with the brand is a chance to build / destroy brand value and as such a Royal yacht might assist the UK as a whole, I think there are perhaps many other contact points between the world and the UK brand that may be an alternative focus.

    In the case of Mr Gove’s recent school-teaching comments he might first stick with his portfolio’s contribution to a UK brand, equally sorting out the Scottish devolution/independence mess might assist (UK brand, English brand or other), and the integrity of the MPC/BoE may be another issue (December CPI today suggests that the rate won’t be down to 1.5% by June => 1.93% if no more price rises).

    The brand I would like would signal integrity, competence, rationality, liberal economics … yes permanence and confidence would be there as suggested by a monarchy and significant projects (HS2?) … I don’t think a yacht alone will achieve much (though I agree removal suggested decline).

  13. Clarsach
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    There’s no need for a new yacht, even one funded by the Daily Mail’s pals. The Britannia is still afloat, has been refurbished lavishly, and would presumably be able to pick up where it was left off by Mr Blair. The only slight complication might be that it’s docked at Leith, which is in – ooh – Scotland. This would mean Mr Cameron having to pucker up to Mr Salmond, which is probably why it hasn’t happened. (File under toys, pram, nose, face)

  14. alexmews
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    When are the cuts starting?

  15. Old Albion
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    If the wealthiest family in the (dis)United Kingdom want a new yacht. I suggest they go buy one themselves.

    • Mark
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Lakshmi Mittal already has one – available for charter at $1m per week from time to time. We’re talking about the monarch.

      • Bob
        Posted January 18, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        @Mark
        Our generous government funded his yacht many times over with the deal that resulted in the closure of the Corus steel plant at Teeside, costing the UK 1600 jobs and providing a “carbon credit” windfall to Tata.

  16. Paul Danon
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I suggest no spending on this, and a deal with President Kirchner to buy the Falklands in exchange for solving our national debt. Imagine how England would soar above her competitors if she were debt-free.

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      By the time Salmond and Connery realise they have unwittingly played their part in Westminster selling Scotland to China we’ll have begun to get ourselves into debt all over again .

    • Bob
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      @Paul Danon “I suggest no spending on this, and a deal with President Kirchner to buy the Falklands in exchange for solving our national debt. Imagine how England would soar above her competitors if she were debt-free.”

      I presume you mean the United Kingdom?

      I don’t think selling the family silver would solve a structural problem, in fact it could make it even worse in the long run. Our political class are addicted to debt, and addicts often sell whatever they can to get their next fix, but it never solves their underlying problem. Alan Redfield summed it up rather well in a previous blog article 20/20 vision for tax.

      “The government is not interested in business. How could it be when it is devoted, in the main, to strangling the life out of it? It is interested in MONEY. Lots of it. Plenty to spend on favoured client groups, plenty to pocket, and plenty to employ friends and colleagues. If businesses fail – they just borrow it. If they can’t borrow it – they print it. Why do you think the state is now 55% of the economy? It’s the easiest, most sure-fire way to make a great living. Ask Kinnock, Mandelson, Prescott etc. etc.”

  17. Anoneumouse
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Questions

    Where will it be built
    Where will it be registered?
    what happens after scotland gets independence?

    HMS Darien

  18. oldtimer
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    The practical questions, after raising whatever sum is needed to build a Royal Yacht, is who will pay to man, maintain and operate it once it is built? And who will operate it, the RN or private enterprise (via some agency arrangement)? If this was all set to be paid for by the state, the issue would be simple. But Clegg seems to have scuttled that idea. A half baked solution would not do. It looks like a great muddle to me – which it was Clegg`s intention to create in the first place. Unfortunately the political hooha now raised looks set to blemish the Queen`s celebratory year. The matter should be closed down as soon as possible.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      After posting this comment I saw a link to this project which appears to have been the genesis of the idea:
      http://www.universityoftheoceans.org/

      That idea seems to be worthy in its own right and has, apparently, raised a lot of money already. Quite why Clegg would want to scupper this project is unclear to me unless it was to gain a few cheap headlines at the expense of the monarch.

  19. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    So not even the Royal Family is free from having their transport network privatised.

    Perhaps we could allow Foriegn Countries to book appearances by our Royal Family.

    Prince Philip could earn much needed cash doing Standup Comedy in Las vegas.

  20. Roger Farmer
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    One way to make it a more universal experience would be in part to crew it with members of the to be expanded Combined Cadet Force. It would provide work experience from making a soufle to navigating the ocean. I feel sure it would get Prince Phillips seal of approval.

  21. john w
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    John,i would prefer the queen to buy her own boat or get labour to pay for it.If we had loads of money i would want her to have a yacht the size of an aircraft carrier with all the trimmings.

  22. Gary
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    If we need a yacht to sell our products , maybe we should concentrate on producing better products ?

  23. backofanenvelope
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I would be happy to contribute towards a new royal yacht; not replacing Britannia was typical Blair/Brown spite. But I would like it to be built and owned by a trust – independent of Crown and government. Perhaps the subscription list could be open to all Commonwealth citizens.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      I like this idea and post very much.

  24. A different Simon
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Subcontract it out to France like we have with our Navy .

  25. Winston's Black Dog
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    The Monarch forms part of the British Constitution.

    If it is wrong for the British taxpayer to pay for a Royal Yacht it is wrong for the British taxpayer to fund othe constitutional roles such as the Prime Minister, Cabinet, Houses of Parliament and judiciary.

    The same applies to our masters in Brussels whom all 3 Westminster parties seem only too happy to lob money at whilst old people are left to die in inhumane conditions in NHS hospitals.

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      I was terribly disappointed that our monarch did nothing to defend the British Constitution in the face of treason perpetrated by the leaders of the three main parties .

  26. Iain
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Would the Queen be happy accepting a Royal Yacht while the country is being served up a diet of austerity?

    But as expenditure goes, while the British establishment find ways of wasting fortunes on the likes of EU, Aid, and their foreign military ventures, spending £100 million on a Yacht for the Queen would be small in comparison and not so much of a waste.

  27. Nick
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    If we’re buying the Queen a ship can we at least make sure we get an Italian captain…

  28. sm
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    It was a little mean to take the ‘Britannia’ away considering the epic financial regulatory and spending incontinence. It seemed to me to be spiteful politics. If Britannia is still serviceable and useable why not.

    I have no strong feelings either way. However i would not like it to be an excuse for our politicians to have a Yacht, they definitely a little more austerity and travel economy or coach. If only you could get the nEU aristocracy lot to do the same!

    For traveling i suspect other modes are a better choice.

    I would like to think we can maintain historic traditions in balance with a more egalitarian society. I would like to think those in power and high society should reflect on the remarks by a Iain Gill. It is actions that speak to the public the loudest.

    God forbid we ever have a President! I rather like the idea of seperation of powers and titles, with our politicians required to formally ask permission to dissolve parliament. A reminder that they are to serve the public. Megalomaniac leaders need not apply for a yacht.

  29. alastair harris
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    couldn’t agree more.

  30. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Popular though the royal family is at present, I don’t think the public mood is in favour of an increase in spending on them.

    Therefore it would be necessary not only to find the capital outlay but also the running costs for the yacht. I imagine the latter could perhaps be covered by carefully planned and appropriate corporate use of it? Provision would have to be made for the risk associated with this long term cost.

    As you say John, it is important the image of the royalty and all associate with it is carefully protected so the nature of the funding streams must be transparent and appropriate. If all this can be achieved then I suspect you have a good policy which those with strong pride in our monarchy and our business image will like and those who dislike public funding of the monarchy will not oppose.

    It would lovely if it were possible for the yacht to be British made and fitted with British items.

    As for Michael Gove and his ideas…… I see the mandarins directing Ofsted have now achieved precisely what they want – lots more inspections of the old type which will keep themselves and their friends employed on fat salaries. None of this complying with the law which arose from the Hampton review that all other inspectors are complying with malarkey. Efficient and effective inspection and regulation in the interests of children and schools? In our dreams only it seems.
    http://mathseducationandallthat.blogspot.com/2011/08/ofsted-part-2-journey-to-heart-of.html

  31. Atlas
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t have put a new Royal Yacht high on the list of priorities in the great scheme of things…

  32. Tom
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    A perfect example if we needed one of the insensitive totally out of touch mind set of the establishment, you couldn’t make this up ,let them buy and maintain their own toys.

  33. alan jutson
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    If it was constructed with Private funds, and staffed and maintained with private funds, and could be used by UK companies to help promote their products, why should we even be consulted on the project, at least in private hands it may make a profit.

    Only one condition:
    It is not to be used by Government Ministers, Quango’s. Politicions, or the Civil Service for away day bonding sessions, meetings, exhibitions, treats etc.
    Not even if they pay for it, because then it will be taxpayer money being used.

    Guess it would be run by some sort of trust.

    I remember Price Philip saying at the time Britannia was scrapped, that it was “as sound as a bell” and would last another 50 years if its propulsion mechanism was changed.

    Sounds like another decision made by politicians, based on the grounds of we must all be equal no matter how much it costs..

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Oops Prince Philip.

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      You can just see Huhne replacing the propulsion unit with an electric motor and pv panels at unbelievable cost .

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 18, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        A different Simon

        ……. “electricmotor and Pv panels”…….

        Simon, if you look at the so called design details, you will find it already has them!!!!

        The sails are the Pv panels

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Bound to have green wash PV’s all over the design and a wind turbine hiding the big diesel engines that will actually do the work. I assume there will also have to be a bicycle lane in green tarmac going round the deck with outlines of white bicycles on it.

          Mind you wind turbines do make more sense on a boat than on land.

  34. John B
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Would it not be a Royal Navy vessel for use by the State? It would then properly be paid for by public funds.

    It would be used by the Monarch as Head of State on those occasions he/she were on foreign travel, and to “fly the flag” and promote British interests, business and diplomatic, abroad at other times.

    If the Monarch or members of the Royal Family wanted to use it for personal travel, then they should be charged a charter fee.

    Why would anyone – aside the usual bunch who object to anything they don’t think of as a matter of impulsive reaction – object to this?

  35. Michael Clark
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Since its arrival in Edinburgh in 1998, the Britannia has become one of the top attractions in Scotland, receiving on average 250,000 visitors every year. In fact the Jutland warship HMS Caroline, with 80% of its original fittings, may soon be berthed with Britannia as a great attraction.

    We love ships in this country. They make up a huge part of our illustrious past and can do so again. This is our history and our future at the same time. The British have been into great ships for centuries and now is not the time to give up and fade away into the mists of obscurity.

    Our ship yards need the work and we need to fly the flag around the world. The comparative small cost of a new Royal Yacht would be recovered many, many times over by the prestige that would accrue to Great Britain in future years and be a fitting commemoration for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – only the second time this has happened in the history of our hugely admired and respected unique Monarchy.

    We need to display vision for a new generation and the devlopment of a 21st century Royal Yacht would set a new standard of achievment for the Commonwealth which is the future now that the EU is being fatally holed on the rocks of an unworkable single currency.

    The very modest amount needed to build a new Royal Yacht could and should be raised from private donations around the Commonwealth which organisation, historians will recall, contributed to the repair of the Palace of Westminster after the Blitz in the 1940s.

    The depressive message and cheap jibe about ‘ the have nots and the have yachts’ from the Deputy PM on Blue Monday yesterday was not what we need at this time.

  36. Barbara Stevens
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I suppose if business paid for the yacht we would have nothing to moan about, yet, who would pay for it’s up keep? That too should not envolve the public purse. Yes we could use it for things, and the FO could pay for the privalige, how much? We are used to being fleeced in the UK, and I thought stopping such things would improve fairness. There are many people, young and old, who are suffering in this country at the moment, and suggesting a thing like this, at this time, will only cause contention amongst the have and have nots. If busineses have money to throw away on gestures like this, then may be they should invest it in busineses that promote employment and jobs, which create growth and wealth for many. This may be a noble idea, but the timing, is not right, and the Conservative government as not got a majority in parliament, it as enough to do to survive at the next election fully. May be some of it’s members should reflect on this more instead of wild dreams.

  37. Anne Palmer
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    How many Royal Yachts could we afford to buy if we didn’t have to pay billions and billions of British pounds to the European Union? Answer here:……….

    Remind me once again, exactly WHY we vote and pay, plus contribute to British MP’s vast expenses when they too have to obey the same rules and regulations that the people are supposed to do. Why do we contribute to MEP’s pay and Expenses for surely that is a foreign Parliament?

    Why should the people pay British Taxes at all when the people had absolutely ‘no say at all’ in the signing or ratifying of any EU Treaty?

    Why anyone could possible not agree to buying a new Yacht for the Royal family yet (eagerly accept paying the EU plus all the great many EU agencies etc), I simply do not comprehend.

  38. Dan Course
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Let them have a yacht, then make sure we can all see it and use it well please!

  39. Bernard Otway
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    If I was a seriously wealthy person, I would gladly GIVE a yacht to the Queen and her descendants,It would be LEGALLY ring fenced AGAINST any interference by VENAL POLITICIANS,especially those with a republican agenda.It would have covenants that expressly forbade any work for and on behalf of ANY government unless PAID for at a market related going rate,AND acknowledged by any government that it was GRATEFUL
    for the PRESTIGE AND CUDOS gained by having it work on behalf of all of us.As for BLIAR
    and the venal taking away I will not utter a syllable as you John will definitely Ed. me.
    Finally it would be built in the same GRAND OLD FASHIONED STYLE as Brittania,
    NO GARISH COPY OF an OLIGARCH’s plaything,the sight of it in any harbour especially
    on special occasions would inspire WONDER ,AS THE ORIGINAL DID wherever it went.
    On an occasion in New York ,the Queue to attend any function would start in Los Angeles.
    ENOUGH SAID. BRANSON WHERE ARE YOU ???????????? or SIMILAR.

  40. Mike D
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    So where would the frigate come from to escort the yacht when Her Majesty is on board? The frigate fleet is now down to thirteen and I’m sure they’re pretty busy and don’t need any extra duties!!

  41. Mark
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the £40m being allocated for a VIP Olympic bash could be better spent on this. At least it would last more than a few hours.

  42. Electro-Kevin
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I hate to say it but the Queen isn’t going to be around for much longer.

    Who else is regal enough to warrant a Royal yacht ?

    Blair just had to do it, didn’t he ? An act of pure republicanist spite (other personal attacks removed-ed) However; Blair was anti British to the core and his every act exuded it – especially the concealment of his republican ideals.

    Sadly the Royal Yacht wasn’t the worst of the vandalism inflicted upon our country.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t describe those as personal ‘attacks’. Merely an expression of suspicion about his timing with regard to changing religious denomination only until after the damage had been done to our Monarchy and institutions.

      I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I called him names or ranted.

  43. Monty
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I very much doubt whether either the Queen or HRH would particularly want a new yacht. Their affection was all for the old one, the scene of many of their happiest memories. You don’t kill someones beloved little dog and decide to buy them a new one.

    No, the whole idea is a non-starter.

    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      hmm yes but their grandchildren might enjoy having one…..

  44. i albion
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    As a loyal supporter of our royals I say No no and thrice no, do we want the tumbrils rumbling down the Mall?
    It is neither the time or the place to think of such a thing I do not care who is going to pay for it it is wrong. And if the dumb people who are running our country at the moment can not see that then ……..well it says it all we need to know about them!

  45. Jon
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I certainly have no trouble in seeing the potential with which it could lubricate the corporate and political negotiations that would help our country.

    The running costs would be huge, in the many millions every year which is a thorny issue at the moment. Do we want a subject that would be manna from heaven for the red rag tops, a perennial gift to the unions and Labour and possibly turn positive favour to the living crown to a negative. Lets face it, it would probably give the Conservatives more bad air time than fox hunting, privatising the forests, poll tax and the NHS put together. Silly but I think it would.

    I don’t want that to happen. Also we are in a transitional period, not to put to fine a point on it but messers HM and His RH are probably looking to slow down.

    A better time might be for when the young Wills & Kate are in that role, a Coronation present?

  46. Bazman
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Yachts as a rule of thumb cost 10% of their build cost per year to run. Pretty expensive. I am not against the Royal family having such a vessel, but privately funded? You just know this is going to be scam and it will be.

  47. Peter Davies
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    The sums talked about for a new boat are a drop in the ocean compared to what has been wasted in the past and continues to be with failed projects and stupid red tape dictated to us by Euroland etc.

    – NHS IT system
    – Building an aircraft carier we don’t need
    – Too much being paid to EU
    – Lending money to EU states that wont be pad back
    – the canceled NIMROD replacement
    – billions in aid to corrupt states that more than likely use it to buy arms/prop up regimes
    – Stupid EU red tape
    – Flogging gold at bottom dollar

    You could have bought a whole navy with these cockups let alone a single boat!

    Take a new Royal Yatch – on one hand it might be a hard sell given the cuts, on the other it could well act as a symbol which could bring untangible benefits so I think it should be looked at in detail with a sound business case put up. If budgets are rigid I would look at the aid that goes to one or two countries and take it out of there – I’d better not say who I’m thinking of

    Presidents have big planes etc so why not have a symbol which could serve a dual use purpose to support government work as well? It needn’t be an exclusive royal yatch but a non military state support vessel.

    One justification could be that we now need to look further afield than Europe for trade links as they will be in a mess for years to come – so perhaps this could help form a positive building block in shaping ones destiny abroad.

  48. Max Dunbar
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    The yacht idea sounds good but how many of the younger Royals would be interested in this rather slow and vulnerable form of transport and accomodation? The Queen will probably be too old to travel by the time that the yacht is launched. The cost would be high.
    Would it be a practical proposition to build a vessel that can be easily converted or adapted for military purposes or, in fact, be capable of defending itself while on royal duties for that matter? Ships such as the battlecruiser Hood promoted British power and prestige before the war.
    Do any of the Queen’s relatives in Europe have royal yachts? I doubt it, but the idea may appeal to them. Perhaps if any of them have a bit of spare cash to contribute to a new yacht that would be preferable to funding from government or businessmen.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Correction – accommodation
      and
      “Hood projected British power”

  49. forthurst
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    At the time that Britannia was built, sea travel was possibly considered the safest and thereby the most appropriate means for Royal travel across the high seas; it was after all at a time when De Havilland Comets would crash on a regular basis. Nowadays, people including the Royal family fly and private yachts tend to be used as floating gin palaces.

    The Britannia, may have been refurbished, however according to Wikipedia, it had a crew of 19 officers to the rank of Rear Admiral and 217 Royal Yachtsmen, a platoon of Royal Marines and whatever escort would be considered necessary. Did the Royal Yachtsmen include all the cooks and stewards required for operating the vessel as a 5 star restuarant for foreign dignitaries and businessmen etc or were they flown out?

    As the Royal family are involved, a new yacht would probably still need an RN crew although of a smaller size, but such might not wish to serve as flunkies to charterers, limiting its additional earning capacity. With an RN crew, it would also be much more expensive to run than with a corresponding cruise ship crew.

    There is an issue of running cost and how it could be offset; there is also the issue of whether it is the right symbol for a modern Head of State.

    • LittleBlack Censored
      Posted January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      The Britannia may have been refurbished…
      Either it was or it wasn’t; couldn’t you find out?

  50. lojolondon
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Withhold our EU subscription for 2 DAYS. £100m will cover the yacht plus a great party.
    The money is only being wasted on the mafia and bailing out the Mediterranean countries anyway, much better spent at home!

    Plus then Clegg can say that the EU funded it!

  51. ian wragg
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I have a cheque waiting for £100 as soon as collections start provided the Yacht is built and fitted out entirely in ENGLAND.with uk components and design.
    Kate and William will make excellent ambassadors for the UK but the Yatch should be commissioned into the Royal Navy and crewed accordingly.
    Ex submariner.

  52. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to use the funds allocated to the Scottish Tennants Fund?

  53. Paul Harris
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes I think a Royal yacht should be built and that it will help our country, but the thing is that it should be what it is, or else we should call it a government yacht. It should be run by the Queen so the Queen gets to decide who uses it and for what. That way high standards will be maintained and it would remain neutral. We don’t want future Lord Cashpoints using it or businessmen in charge of porn empires. It has to be a bit special, so that money alone does not buy you that privilege. In actual fact I see no reason why it should not be done the same way as it has always been done. Indeed I don’t know why they scrapped the last one.

  54. Boating
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Well… this was a very interesting read.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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