Letter to Defence Secretary

Dear Ben

I am writing in support of more UK procurement of defence equipment in general, and about naval vessels in particular.

The MOD has promised to reboot the competition to acquire three supply vessels in the Fleet Solid Support Programme. This would be a good opportunity to add them to the list of vessels that are put out to tender for UK shipyards. I appreciate we need to increase the UK capacity and competitiveness of ship yards, but we will only do so by offering them a more sustained workload. The MOD did buy the large tankers from foreign yards recently which missed an important opportunity.

I was pleased to see the UK taking delivery of 5 Offshore patrol vessels, and inviting proposals for renewal of smaller patrol vessels for Gibraltar. As we move to take control of our fishing grounds at the end of this year, and need to reinforce our border policing against various types of crime, we will need more offshore patrol capability.

Building back better should include expanding the UK’s maritime capacity, creating many more opportunities for UK jobs and skills. It will provide a bigger taxable base of good employment in the UK, and is also necessary for our defence. It is important not to rely on imported spares and service for naval vessels or other strategic defence equipment.

Yours ever


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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink


    As you say:- It is important not to rely on imported spares and service for naval vessels or other strategic defence equipment.

    It was also important that the pandemic emergency planning should have had plans to make PPE and other medical equipment locally and quickly as needed. Alas the pandemic planners failed totally in this.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      I’ll have a guess that the pandemic planners are people who have only ever sat behind a desk, where their world has been a phone and a computer making them feel all powerful and that the world couldn’t run without them.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Alas, the Tory government, for ten years, seemed to have little interest in how well or otherwise those to whom they delegated discharged those duties.

      • steve
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


        And what about Blair’s government ? Do you not accept the reality of the serious damage done to this country and the British way of life by him ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, Exactly – we cannot rely on Jonny Foreigner to look after us. And, after all, why should he?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Why on earth was the whip restored to some of the dire 21 (who in my opinion were guilty of blatant treachery)? I see that Sir Nicholas Soames is rewarding Boris for this foolish decision:- “This is the worst cabinet in my 36 years. And Boris will never be Churchill” he said.

    Plus he thinks the Cornish should have voted remain due to the £700 million bribe from the EU and should be told to f*** off if they now want this money from the UK government. It was British money anyway you silly fool sent to the EU and a small part of it returned to Cornwall with idiotic restrictions attached on how it could be spend or largely wasted.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      I’ve no time for the Remaineristic tantrums of Sir Nick – but I find myself in complete agreement with his assessment of the Cabinet. We are badly-governed at the moment. There are two great problems: (1) decision-making quality is not high; and (2) the timeliness of decision-making is shockingly poor. The latest example of the latter? The decision, late on a Thursday night, to quarantine returning Brits from 0400 on a Saturday. Is there no-one in Whitehall able to look at a graph and make timely deductions? Conservative-me wants to see the Conservatives last until 2024 – but I hope that Boris and his ghastly, untalented, overpaid, over-empowered Spads get the boot within the next few months. The Conservatives need another leader. I’d vote for Gove.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        I did not say I disagreed with his assessment of the Cabinet performance so far (he is still sticking to green crap and HS2) but Boris did at least save us from 9% support Theresa May and a Corbyn/SNP trip to Venezuela. He deserves a Dukedom just for that.

        • NickC
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          “Duke Boris” sounds a bit like the name of a railway engine from the late C19th.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          We will quickly return to 9% If he delivers anything but a clean Brexit that we voted for. He knows it’s only Brexit keeping him in Downing St. that’s why he is extending the talks ….

      • turboterrier
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Sea Warrior

        I’d vote for Gove.

        Sorry but no way warrior, he will be remembered for his back stabbing antics and who wants to deal with a man who you shake hands with and count your fingers afterwards.

        We need a more experienced hand on the tiller, someone who has the respect of the vast majority of his peers and is not influenced by the present flavour of the month politics trying to be all things to everybody and achieving nothing. Sir John would get my vote because I fervently believe that he would put a team together that will weather the storms and heavy water we will be entering over the next few months. We need a leader with a vision. Clear vision that we can all sign onto and as Lord Nelson once said “A captain go do no more than to ensure that his guns are alongside that of the enemy” All these 100 odd politicians who supposedly stood on getting Brexit done, are now being reported as turning against the government to bring it down. With weak leadership at the helm it is an outside possibility. With a JR
        selected cabinet the “best of the best” would go do in history as another defining moment in history as WSC taking the helm in 1940. I ain’t joking. Trust me you know it makes sense. His post today as like many he produces here are straight from the heart and thought provoking. Albeit with many others I get hissed off when they stay in moderation forever but in all the years no one can argue with the fact that the man has a vision true vision and this is what the country needs right now.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        No originally it was 4am Sunday, which then got changed under pressure to Saturday. Yet again confusion rules.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Even Soames can’t be wrong all of the time.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        It’s not just the Cornish. It’s going to be farmers all over the UK.

      • NickC
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Lynn, Is that hope over experience?

    • steve
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink


      “….dire 21 (who in my opinion were guilty of blatant treachery)? ”

      Blair repealed the treason laws, now there’s a surprise.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        paving the way for the future!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Not all the Treason Laws. And any case started before the repeal is heard under the laws that were in force when the case was started. So the Atkinson McWhirter treason cases can be ‘picked up’ anytime because there is no limitation period on criminal offences.

  3. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Defence Secretary,

    What are you doing to defend our freedom?

    More fines from Boris for not wearing masks, which we were told were useless until a couple of months ago.

    Is this a democracy or a Doctatorship?

    More draconian treatment for people taking a holiday in France.

    Continued softly softly approach for illegal immigrants from France – the Four Star Hotel awaits.

    In December we though we were voting for Freedom. Seems we were fooled.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      The fines do indicate the PM’s priorities. The supermarket serving my area currently has about 3/4s not wearing masks and this has grown from maybe a half a week ago. It is a very mixed area, with quite a few on low income, most would not be able to afford the £100 threat so continuous doubling is stupidity signalling. The area I live has knife crime, general violence, car crime, uninsured cars, rough sleeping, drugs, etc. If the PM wants to operate a police state dictatorship I wpuld prefer it if he had his Home Secretary sort out some of the other problems.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      fooled – hook line & sinker I believe

      • turboterrier
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        glen cullen

        You forgot to add the boat

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Spot on Stephen.
      WE no longer have freedom. WE were told to stay indoors – OR ELSE – while those arriving were bussed to their all-inclusive accommodation. WE have to pay for our own tv, our water, our electricity, the roof over our heads, our food etc etc. Now we have to pay for theirs as well.

      We are now a democracy – in name only. WE don’t want loads of certain people arriving daily to be a burden – clearly our govt ( and those of the same party in previous elections) – despite getting voted in on that very promise – -clearly DO want them here. I think they LIED. . . . ALL of them.

      • Nigl
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Still no workable solutions then? Easier to fire off angry rants that contribute nothing to ending the problem.

        • NickC
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Nig1, Solutions to what? There has been plenty of suggestions on here covering Brexit, the pandemic response, BLM rioters, and immigration. What do you suggest? – we riot on the streets instead?

    • RichardP
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Completely agree.
      Not quite sure what we’ve got but it definitely isn’t democracy.
      There will be a ‘wave’ of something nasty soon caused by contaminated Boris Muzzles. The NHS had better brace itself.

      • gregory martin
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Probably pneumoconiosis caused by inhalation of random fibres, any research done on microplastics in respiration,many spurious materials have been eagerly deployed with no concern as to their effects.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Oh, so suddenly the Precautionary Principle is de rigueur?

          Whereas for climate protection it’s utterly unnecessary?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        I went into Lidl and Tesco’s today, forced to. No muzzle, no questions, no problem. Loads of people with lips visible, funniest things is that people Pull the muzzle down to talk to each other 😂😂.
        Boris the bull******r. We all know it!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    The triple lock on A level grades is really rather useless and a pathetic last minute intervention. The use of mock results is fraught with difficulties and inconsistencies, many did not even sit them and there is no standardisation. The student has no direct right to appeal other than with the schools permission (so what if the school gets it wrong and refused to appeal?). Plus an October resit would be too late for most. Might as well resit next year and then have time to get back up to speed.

    Pupils should have the right to appeal directly based on their GCSE grades. If someone got say five A*s in GCSE double maths and the sciences they they should be getting rather better than the Bs and Cs at science A levels that some have been given. GCSE results are surely by far the best and most obvious guide. Teachers can often be very bad judges as some let their feelings get in the way as they know the pupils. Feeling sympathy for hard working but dim over lazy but bright in general.

    • Nigl
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Please tell us who you were involved with to try and get a better system. Meetings with the Minister, Unions etc. Why weren’t you listened to.

    • Rodney Atkinson
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Exam results have always been a reflection of teacher ability as well as pupil success.
      External examiners hold the teachers to account. We cannot allow teacher assessment to be the guide for these Vovid crisis results

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Indeed my daughter had excellent maths/further maths teachers but rather dire physics teachers (the only half decent one they had was on maternity leave most of the time) and even she was only just about satisfactory.

        It is not helped by the fact that so few teachers especially in the state sector ever get fired – however useless they clearly are.

  5. agricola
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Well there is half a chance that such vessels in Gibraltar will be used to protect the interests of Gibraltar. Does the UK need more hospitality vessels running an illegal immigrant welcoming service that results in said immigrants staying in the UK. Until this government has an immigrant and territorial waters policy what purpose will these vessels serve.

    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Agricola, Defence is critically important for the UK, but has been undermined by inconsistent politics and desperately poor procurement. The root of the problem is we have too many in the establishment who do not put the UK first.

      Another SDSR is due. Let us hope that it will be at least as good as 2015s, and a whole lot better than the dire 2010 version. One problem is equipment cost over-runs already incurred – we should not cut the armed services to pay for that; take it out of the foreign aid budget instead.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Staying in the European Union is what about ninety-eight percent of the people of Gibraltar wanted in order to protect their interests.

      Why now the sudden concern?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Their regional votes were added into the total.

  6. Adam
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    It it splendid that the Defence Secretary received the quality of the message, yet a better Defence Secretary would not have needed telling.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink


    • Fred H
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      So the Defence Secretary needs support to do the obvious. I’d have added ‘with the possibility of renewed calls for independence, priority should go to English shipyards’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      I see that the transport secretary (the one who idiotically thinks electric cars a zero emission) went up to Scotland to look at the crash. It seem the track was not equipped to show any land slips or fallen trees etc. back to base and not even equipped so that the train crash was reported back to base either. Very fortunate indeed that another train did not smash into the first one then and also that the train was virtually empty.

    • formula57
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      I should think Ben knew and so is only the addressee here, not the intended recipient of the message. 😉

    • Timaction
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      ………It will provide a bigger taxable base of good employment …………. as if we are not taxed enough. It shows the current mindset in the bubble. I’m afraid we need radical reform in the House and in the Civil Serpents, mostly it’s selection processes to get away from the mass migration is good, climate change nonsense, minorities actions can be forgiven as they are victims of white English people who are privileged to allow third world people 4* accommodation with loads of handouts etc………. Westminster has gone nuts and is supported by the BBC and the rest of msm.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Probably makes sense to buy more minesweepers, which can then be used in the dual role as patrol vessels also. Does a minesweeper really cost that much more than a patrol vessel? when lots of the cost is in staffing etc anyways.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      I believe that minesweepers, per square foot, are the most expensive of warships to build due to their particular role.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Ton-for-ton, mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) are very expensive. (This is largely down to the need for extensive signature-reduction.) There is a move afoot, around the world, to embed MCM capability in non-traditional forms – e.g. helicopters and unmanned vessels. If we have a long-term need for vessels to enforce immigration control then that requirement should be met by additional, simple craft for the Border Force. For short-term needs, the Royal Navy has a range of assets that could be tasked to the mission. But the solution to the problem lies ashore – not at sea.

    • agricola
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Well the engine and all fittings need to be anti magnetic which should push up the price a bit.

      • UKQanon
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        And make sure there is access to replace the engine should their be a need.

  8. Nigl
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Ben. Ps it is quite apparent your national shipbuilding strategy, specifically to broaden the supplier base, is not working with two yards closing and a third going into public ownership. The tardiness in procuring motors for the new frigates almost ended with the work going to France.

    Your refusal to publish the review of it can only lead to the conclusion that it’s contents are severely embarrassing to your Department. It has been accepted by almost everyone outside the vested interests of the MOD that its tendering, procurement and subsequent production has been inefficient and wasteful for decades.

    Your inaction means this will continue resulting in us being put at risk relying on other countries, waste at a time of financial constraint and a loss of jobs when pressure on employment has rarely been greater.

    Regeneration of the ship building industry in areas like north east would prove that the governments policy of rebalancing the economy is not merely words, as it has been to date.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Hear hear on all points.

    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Nig1, Agreed.

  9. Nigl
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Re some of yesterday’s comments complaining that your refusal to publish their diatribes Is censorship/denial of free speech. As ever it is only about them what about the people that don’t want to be subjected to it?

    Strange people that thinking joining a club and then complaining about the rules, is acceptable. Let them start their own blog or use the ready made swamp, that is Twitter.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      We of course you can complain about the rules of a club you have joined it (but in an appropriate way). How else would club rules ever improve or adapt?

      • beresford
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        I have had some of my bon mots blue-pencilled, but I console myself with the thought that poor old Andy must be seeing the majority of his contributions vaporised.

    • agricola
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Teachers pet.

      • Nigl
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Always the answer from a jealous bully.

  10. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    No, Sir John, we do not need more ‘offshore patrol capability’ – particularly if it’s in the form of the over-priced Rivers (a job-sustainment scheme for the Clyde). To secure the Channel from the Dinghyist threat, we just need the Home Office to do its job. But there certainly is a need for additional maritime capabilities. The RAF’s MPA force is too small and a decision to buy additional P-8A aircraft will need to taken soon, before the type goes out of production. The Royal Navy needs more hulls capable of getting into a scrap – and they don’t need to be the size of the over-large/under-armed Type 31s. As for the RFA, you are right to push the MoD into having their ships built in the UK. The RFA is just about large enough to sustain a continuous building stream, if a replacement for ARGUS (aviation training ship) and a late replacement for DILIGENCE (repair ship) are added to the programme.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      The Home office clearly think their job is to pretend to be tough, (tough on woke Ice Cream purveyors) while doing the complete reverse. Effectively saying come, come, come – all are welcome you just have to get here illegally. Forget any legal routes and buy a RIB and an outboard motor now while the seas are calm.

      • beresford
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Priti Patel is threatening to introduce new legislation on illegal migration……next year! Why does it take so long to do anything when bills to block Brexit can be produced seemingly from a hat? Couldn’t an MP bring a Private Member’s bill to discuss withdrawal from the UN Migration Compact, which I believe was never debated in Parliament, and have it considered in a reasonable timeframe?

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          No new legistation required – we could adopt the Australia system today with current laws – smoke and mirrors

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Surely that was passed by SI and can be repealed by same – the work of seconds!

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like a job for you, Sir John!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      The illegals can only be tackled be returning them to place of origin, then at that end they will know the criminals that are profiting from the traffic are making false promises.

      We only need so many RFA’s because of not spending enough taxpayer money to get the Aircraft Carriers fit for purpose in the first place. At best they are close support assault ships, that due to limited capability need the support of a non-existent armada before they can enter any theatre.

      Or in other words, procurement by penny pinchers that have no regard for who’s money they are spending.

      • turboterrier
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink


        procurement by penny pinchers that have no regard for who’s money they are spending.

        As was and will always be. Nothing has changed in the minds of the ministers who actually control these people. No responsibility, no accountability

      • beresford
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        In fact the carriers could only operate as a component of an American fleet and would therefore be acting in support of American foreign policy.

      • NickC
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Ian, I believe we should be spending more on defence and less on foreign aid. We certainly need more frigates and submarines to protect the aircraft carriers. And drones too. It’s a pity the carriers are not nuclear powered which would make them less vulnerable to re-supply issues. A third carrier would make sense with two on patrol, one in port.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Well said sir.

  11. Andy
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    A new Brexit Navy. To protect our fish and keep out people in dinghys.

    The ships can be built by disadvantaged young people.

    Many won’t be going to university because they were allocated grades by a Tory designed computer which favoured private schools.

    Has this failed government done anything which has not been a complete and utter car crash?

    • Nigl
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      And the tooth fairy and Father Christmas are real. By goodness that is a massive chip on your shoulder.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Get lost Andy. Grades were up 3.4%. That alone should ring alarm bells.
      Todays kids are not as bright as our generation so not going to university is a positive.
      50k debt for media studies is not value for money.

      • Andy
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Today’s young people are far, far brighter than most of you.

        You didn’t have to go to university as there was a post-war glut of men.

        You all walked into good jobs with few qualifications.

        Today few of you would even get an interview for the jobs you did – because you do not have a degree.

        Unless you have a rich well connected family – like Mogg and Johnson – you need a degree just to open the door.

        I appreciate none of you realise this. Perhaps you should all talk to – and actually listen to your own grandchildren. They are all smarter than you.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink


          Even the most dimwitted kids I know are going to university this year.

          You need an IQ of below 80 to dip out on going to university in fact.

          They are studying bullshit and the fact that we have to import better raised kids from abroad to pick up their slack proves it.

          As a little bet I took an A level in Law and left it until five days before the exam using a cramming book and passed it with a C. (Ten years ago.)

          • glen cullen
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


        • NickC
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          Don’t be silly, Andy, we’re not going to believe your subjective assertions without evidence. A Norwegian study of more than 730,000 standardised IQ test results found that IQ scores declined beginning with those born in 1975. So, no, today’s young people are not all smarter than me.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Yes, due to the never ending brain drain … our average IQ slipping substantially from that of previous generations (some of whom could invent calculus! This generation don’t even know what that is!)

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          The tax and benefit system do perhaps give a form of reverse evolution. Some bright working people have none, one or two children because they feel they cannot afford them. Mainly perhaps because they are paying taxes for others to have 4 to 10+ of them.

        • hefner
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Fermat? Leibniz?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Doubles Gummer’s moronic Committee on Climate Change will insist on battery powered ship plastered with solar cells and with several wind turbine masts. Plus they will insist on suitable recharge points being installed in all potential war zones!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        Doubtless Gummer’s …. I meant.

        All ships to have at least triple glazing, heat pumps, electric cooking and a full three feet of super insulation everywhere. All weapons to be powered by batteries and no carbon based explosives to be used either.

        We are, after all, governed by completely scientifically and economically illiterate dopes as we see every day.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          Dopes who think they can pass laws that will change the laws of physics!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink


      • Nigl
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink


    • jerry
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      @Andy; “The ships can be built by disadvantaged young people.”

      Why ever not! Don’t you think British youth should learn skills and trades that will remain with them for life?

      There is a company local to me whose founder entered a RN shipyard in the late 1930s, there he learnt many skills and a specific trade, having left the services of the RN in the 1950s he went on to use that knowledge and skill to eventually start his own business, when he retired and passed the company on to his sons he was a self made millionaire – the chap grew up in what today would be classed as “disadvantaged” circumstances…

      “Many won’t be going to university [this year]”

      I think that is in the hands of the Universities and UCAS, not the govt!

      But even if you are correct, many people do not need to attend University, many skills and trades don’t need degrees, in fact I will go further, many skills and trades do not even need 15+ style exams – aptitude tests perhaps but not formal exams.

      At one time it was possible to train as, say, an accountant at night school (or even by correspondence) course, perhaps whilst working in a junior within a practice, having a Degree was not a prerequisite as it seems to be today with employers.

      “a complete and utter car crash”

      Stop trying to use Universities as a brickbat, even more so when yours is made of rubber. The left has a lot to answer for with their “50% of school leavers should attend Uni” nonsense, basically handing out Degrees like gold medallions – chocolate ones, foil wrapped…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 4:58 am | Permalink

        handing out Degrees like gold medallions – chocolate ones, foil wrapped and of little or no value with a £50k bill attached going up and £3,000 PA in interest.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      The dinghies are a symptom of the failure to reform our welfare system and a turning of blind eyes to the illegal UK economy that MiC talks about. Instead the average British person is told they are a criminal (to be racist is to break the law.)

      Boris has listened too much to one type of scientist and not those who would have graphed out death-due-to-lockdown to give the whole position. Not even New Zealand has considered the death and suffering to be inflicted on their trading partners in poorer countries.

      How are the suicide figures in the UK being considered ?

      We elected Boris, not scientists. Who is in charge ?

      Mrs Thatcher said “Advisers advise, Ministers decide.”

    • Richard1
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Why are you writing about the Royal Navy? You’ve previously said the U.K. doesn’t need any armed forces, we should just rely on the EUs.

      • Andy
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        We don’t need a Navy. We’d be better off with a clown car. The rest of the world is laughing at us anyway.

        The EU doesn’t have a Navy – and doesn’t need one either. The EU exercises its immense power through diplomacy and economic might.

        The UK has no power – which is why the Brexiteers plan to negotiate amazing trade deals has failed. You have produced not one single deal that is any better than what we had.

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          It’s an argument to be had – do we need a deep blue Navy Fleet, the F35 fighter, the Parachute Regiment, foreign nuclear weapons and hire of the foreign Gurkha Regiments

          Is our military for the protection of the UK or to police the world…it would be interesting to have a genuine debate… maybe more weapons, vessels and manpower to just defend UK

        • NickC
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Andy, The EU was going to use our Royal Navy, as well as the French, Italian, Greek, etc, navies, in the EU Navy. You know, the EU armed forces that Remains like you keep denying exist, despite its structure being written in the Lisbon treaty.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Building back better should also include things like reservoirs, drainage and supply systems and super fast broadband – not just masses and masses of housing added on to villages that weren’t expecting it.

    3x Wembley stadia of people arriving every year. (270k net 2019)

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      A couple of days of hot weather and villages in Mid Sussex were having their water cut off. Meanwhile I gather 5,000 more houses are planned for Mid Sussex.

      • turboterrier
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Iain Moore

        Situation normal then.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Like we haven’t noticed. Mind you we could add to 300,000 annual net by offering 3.5 million Chinese Hong Kong Nationals citizenship in the most overcrowded Nation in Europe. No thought to the health and other woeful public service provision for the English. Awful Government. Perhaps they could stay with Boris so he can suffer the consequences of his actions…….oh, I remember he doesn’t care about that, he lives for today! When are they offering me free 4* hotel and free food, health and pocket money?

  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks for that John but don’t hold your breath. There are 57,000 working at the MoD and mostly rabid Europhile so watch them out manoeuvre you.
    The government must insist that these vessels are built in the UK using British materials.

  14. An English Partisan
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    In support I would urge we move urgently to reinforce and strengthen our defensive capability and to rebuild our shipbuilding capability, and we must not be afraid to put our intetests above all others, even if it upsets some sensibilities.

    Cameron transferred all naval surface shipbuilding to Scotland as an act of betrayal of England. With Scotland speaking and behaving as a hostile power it means we must build in England. This is urgent too. There must be no more appeasement.

    This puts Unionist Tories in a fix but they must now decide whose side they are on.

    • turboterrier
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink


      With Scotland speaking and behaving as a hostile power it means we must build in England. This is urgent too. There must be no more appeasement.

      100% correct. Now is not the time for faint hearts.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        But by your benchmarks the people of London are also speaking as a “hostile power” that is, by having a positive attitude towards our friends and neighbours on the Mainland.

        And those of Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, York, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, and of all of our fine, pro-European, great cities.

        This little England of yours is looking to be a rather odd place, isn’t it?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Love Europe
          It is the EU that isn’t so great.
          Do you even begin to understand the difference?

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          What ?

          The cities that people are deciding they don’t want to live in since CV19, Andy ?

        • NickC
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          Martin, I think it’s more the EU that looks a little odd – an artificial political construct with no other aim than to keep itself in power like any old-fashioned empire.

    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      AEP, Polls are indicating the Scots will give the SNP a landslide in next year’s elections. We are getting dangerously close to throwing away a valuable union that has lasted for 417 years (from 1603 with James 6th/1st) that ties together two almost identical peoples on one small island. Unlike with the EU we have far more in common than we have differences, and for 370 years longer.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        I see what you mean but I believe that the actual Acts of Union were not until 1707 under Queen Anne, with a few failed attempts in between. Until then we were just two countries with a shared a monarch.
        Doesn’t make any difference and it was probably a very bad idea anyway.
        Funnily enough one reason for wanting the Union ( that has cost us a great deal of dosh over the centuries) was a kind of war of extreme policy very much like Sturgeon is doing now.
        Anyway..politics…what a waste of lives!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Nick, I think that a cultured, civilised person from Edinburgh or from London has far more in common his or her peer in Rome or in Barcelona than he or she does with the niggardly, cynical, dullard of a Leave voter in Clacton-on-Sea or in Thurrock.

        Equally a car worker in Runcorn has far more in common with one in Düsseldorf than he does with Jacob Rees Mogg or with the PM.

        That’s where the divisions lie.

  15. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Yes we do need more of the right ships, but we also need a lot more courage if we are to stem the tide of illegal people, and what I am sure will shortly be illegal fishing.

    If we are to be a proper sovereign nation then we need our politicians and Government to act accordingly.

    • Andy
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Claiming asylum is not illegal. Arriving by dinghy to claim asylum is not illegal.

      Refusing to help people in trouble in the Channel is illegal.

      Turning them back to France without process is illegal.

      European boats fishing in UK waters will not be illegal either – as they have the historic right to be there. As the courts will one day confirm.

      It is shocking that you advocate lawbreaking by the state.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        They are safe in France.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          You sure? France is a tinderbox. Read the reports on Gatestone! Truly shocking.

      • beresford
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Andy, you do understand that it is not possible for these small islands to accommodate the entire population of the Third World, don’t you? Even if that population was a fixed number, which it isn’t. I know you have little regard for the British people after they ‘betrayed’ you by voting to leave the EU, but you do understand the catastrophe that will occur to whoever inhabits these islands when the moment arrives where there is no money to import food and energy. Is that what you want? Do you advocate just letting it happen?

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Any rubber dinghies going the other way, Andy ?

        You realise the ‘civilised’ French put these people up in squalor, don’t you ?

        The law states that you must claim asylum in the first safe country you land in.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          No, if they had co-operated with the authorities in France by telling the full facts about who they are etc. then they could have had their cases considered by due process there.

          For whatever reason they did not.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        but they are never in trouble – making sure they can reach our beaches.
        THEN they are in trouble.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink


        I think you need to think your comments through again.

        Look at what legally constitutes a refugee.
        To the best of my knowledge France or even the Country they moved into France from, do not constitute a risk to life or persecution, so they are not refugees.
        It would not be illegal for the French to turn them back to France as they would be in French waters.

        These people choose to put themselves in danger by attempting to cross the channel, and then refuse help by threatening to self harm unless they are escorted to their intended destination.

        Fishing boats have to abide by whatever agreements cover the waters in which they are fishing, otherwise they are breaking the law that governs such. I simply suggested that I believe there will eventually be trouble, when or if the present rules change.

        I certainly do not uphold anyone breaking the law, State or otherwise.

      • NickC
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Claiming asylum in the UK is illegal if they are already in France (a safe haven). Which they are. It is also illegal to attempt to evade legitimate UK border checks.

        The historic fishing “rights” to which you refer are minimal, and do not cover the EU controlling all our EEZ fishing rights, or anything like. They were also concessions, not rights, and were over-ruled by the EU anyway.

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


  16. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    When looking at the amount of money that our government wastes on salaries, benefits to those who should not qualify and other ostentatious shows of generosity and being magnanimous, spending a few extra pounds to buy British (at the required quality) seems sensible to maintain British industry.

  17. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    When the UK Government takes it on its shoulders to spend Taxpayers money, buying foreign because it is perceived to be ‘cheap’ is insulting. The more we spend outside of our own tax ecosystem the more tax that needs to be collected to furnish our day to day needs. How much tax does government expect to squeeze from the general population? We have long passed the point of to much, that gets compounded by how it is wasted on ego peccadilloes of the Political Class

    ‘Cheap’ in so many ways is not value for money. Moving taxpayers hard earnt money deliberately to other tax domains has a price in lost UK revenue and should be counted.

    As for the Royal Navy, it is undermanned and under equipped for the tasks at hand and ahead. With only 17 frontline surface ships how can it even start to address all the many tasks the MsM’s agenda would task for it.

    EU or no EU the UK traditional looked out as such needed an effective maritime capability. For successive UK Governments it has been an out of site out of mind subject until an urgent need arrives. Then due to natural cycles we act like a crippled donkey and are unable to fulfill even a token gesture. Its like asking firefighters to react with out having a working fire fighting appliance.

    Good government is about keeping us safe, secure and healthy.

  18. Andrew Gall
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Let’s shelter UK companies from the competitive pressure of overseas suppliers, let’s give UK companies a cosy guarantee of contracts even if their work is mediocre, let’s ignore everything trade economists have learned over 200 years! Brilliant!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      No country outsources military capability to another nation. No doubt you are a remainer or EU troll.

      • turboterrier
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Sadly I agree with Gall. Guaranteed sales to the Govt did for ICL – they invested nothing from that moment on. So we lost industry we invented – the whole IT industry and now Englishmen have to learn American spelling or the the computer doesn’t not swallow it (if you are programming).

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        +1 agree

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        The UK outsources them to the US.


        • glen cullen
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          thats not capability that a weapon

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink


    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      The ships being built in this conversation are costing more for less than the equivalent built in the UK. For every £100million spent on these ships, the exchequer looses around £25million directly. That is the amount the UK taxpayer then has to replenish on top of the purchase price being paid for by the same UK taxpayer.

      A seriously flawed concept and not coming anywhere near having any thing to do with competition. The cost is not always the ticket price.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Well said, other countries calculate the loss of tax receipts and unemployment pay etc. when calculating the true cost.
        Don’t expect the dozey remainers in the MoD to take this into account. Why the rush to award the contract before 31st December when EU rules no longer apply.

      • NickC
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Ian, Exactly right. Procurement of ships (and aircraft, and army vehicles) in this country means around 25% off the ticket price because of taxes from the workers and not having to pay out dole money. As well as the fact it gives us resilience and dependability of supply.

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink


  20. Mark B
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Just build the RN some ferries. Under this government it is what they really seem to need.

  21. jerry
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    So 40 years after supporting (?) the continued closures of UK shipyards, and RN dockyards our host is today supporting an expansion, and willing to use the MOD as means to subsidise them for the national good – the policy that should have remained in place back in the early 1980s!

    I hope this is the end of the Tory parties infatuation with policies that did nothing other than create long-term national economic pain, for short-term political gain…

    reply I have not supported closing our dockyards

    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, The policy of maintaining British supply of defence equipment, and British defence spending, was Margaret Thatcher’s policy from 1979 on. She did call for cuts in 1980, after an initial expansion of spending, because of the deteriorating economic conditions. However, the cuts were never implemented. She was certainly the most overtly patriotic PM in the last 60 years, and we need to return to her policies of putting the UK first.

      • jerry
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        @NickC’; Wrong again, you’re not very good on historical facts are you?!

        Chatham RN dockyard closed in 1984, announced in 1981. There were also other defence and procurement cuts [1]. Also the UK failed to secure UK interests in the mid 1980s, when by all accounts the economic outlook was far better, at least that is what we were told. I seem to recall a Cabinet bust-up over who should rescue a UK helicopter manufacturer, both side of the argument were wrong in my opinion, Westland Helicopters should have been kept solely British, even if that meant nationalisation. Then of course there was the withdrawal of support to the UK shipbuilding industry.

        If the economic conditions were so dire that we could not afford to maintain the three services how was it that money was found to income cut taxes?!

        [1] and best we not mention other cost cutting plans, such as those involving HMS Endurance, also announced in that year…

        • NickC
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Wrong again. You’re not very good at overcoming your anti-Thatcher bias, are you? UK defence spending rose fairly steadily from about 1978 ($40bn) to 1985 ($54bn) where it levelled off and reduced slightly to about $52bn by 1991 (source: Trading Economics, in 2017 constant $ prices). Change is inevitable, which is why you have to look at overall spending, rather than being emotively subjective about this or that closure.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Whatever anyone on here says, Jerry will take the opposite argument.
            It is his hobby.

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “Change is inevitable, which is why you have to look at overall spending, rather than being emotively subjective”

            That’s a bit rich! Unlike you, I suspect, I do judged the decades objectively and without emotion, hence why I’ve become increasingly critical of 1979-1990 period and policies (not the personalities), even though I gave both Mrs T, her govt and the Tory party my total support at the time, not least because I had a whale of a time, not a ‘Yuppie’ but life was good.

            But back to topic, sort of;

            Our national finances were on the mend, or at least coming under control, by the time the Tories won in 1979. It was Callaghan/Healey who first introduced Monetarist policies, at the behest of the IMF, and that was the seat of the dispute with the trade unions that came to a head in late 1978. Inflation was down to single digits in 1978, unemployment was low, and living standards up by 7 or 8%, hence why many believed Callaghan would call in election in 1978. It is why Mrs Thatcher knew she had but one chance…

            As for the increased defence spending you mention, what was it for, might it have been the replacement and improvements to our nuclear defence? The point you miss is that other, conventional, defence spending was cut (a historical fact). We should have been able to afforded both conventional and nuclear deterrents, not to mention the UK based/owned support industries – but other -political- priorities were to the fore.

          • jerry
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            @Edwrad2; Oh the irony. Place the following words into a well known phrase; Pot, Kettle, filthy… 😛

  22. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    That is a good letter, but you could have also made the following points more strongly :-

    Open competition may be in line with Conservative policy, which is broadly against intervening in the free market, but it should not be against intervening in a rigged market. Many foreign governments, even within the EU, have no compunction in subsiding their shipbuilders and government should recognise this.

    Placing substantial shipbuilding contracts within the UK has very obvious benefits to the local economy and the wider supply chain. As the QEC project has already demonstrated, building in Britain would help industry invest and become more efficient so as to be able to compete for future work. It will also provide another stepping stone towards British yards moving back into the commercial shipbuilding market – which could provide a sustainable future. The QEC construction project is in its final phase, but one of its very positive legacies has been to help stimulate a modest revival in commercial shipbuilding and there are now yards hungry for further naval work.

    The project to build three 35,000 tonne FSS ships is expected to cost at least £1b, a clue that these are no ordinary vessels. The need to safely embark, store and transfer explosives adds complexity to the design beyond simple merchant vessels or even the Tide class tankers. Ammunition and explosives require careful handling and storage so the ship must be equipped with measures to mitigate the effects of blast and additional fire protection far beyond what is found on a standard merchant vessel – they will also require a self-defence capability

    Do we really want a foreign yard to win RN work of this nature? Let’s support British shipbuilding and keep these crucial skills in-house.

  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    All good detail – but why do they need reminding of such things?

    Did the Germans before WW2 put out tenders abroad to get the cheapest prices or for political approval? The UK doing such a thing is worthy of mocking.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Don’t tell anyone but due to the restrictions of the treaty of Versailles Germany brought some military hardware from Denmark and Sweden that they weren’t allow to make themselves – naughty boys

  24. Old Albion
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Will the gov. be procuring some more ferries to help all the illegal immigrants across from Calais?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Supertankers surely?

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        a bridge

  25. Richard1
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Good for President Trump getting this Israel-UAE peace deal done. I do hope everyone who professes themselves in favour of peace and prosperity in the Middle East will be supporting this and thanking and congratulating the President.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Richard so far I’ve heard nobody congratulate Trump. Just sneers.

      • hefner
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        Could it be because both the Israelis and the UAE people practically did not need anything from Trump to get to that agreement. FFS read John Bolton’s book! Bolton was already around as a youngish guy at the time of Reagan then had positions within the two George HW and George W Bush Administrations. He is quite an hawk and a real politician. His book on his 16 months within the Trump administration should be a required reading for all here, despite Bolton’s writing style, for all Trump’s lovers and haters.

    • multiID
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      All I can think of is ” build that wall – build that wall”

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Amazing achievement and Trump delivering yet again. He is a master deal maker and that is the ‘job‘ Mrs May – not ‘selling’ the plan of the enemy to your own people.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    O/T I fear the worst about this A level grading fiasco. There needs to be mental health support for students who are clearly suffering injustices at such a vulnerable age.

    Another consequence of lockdown and listening to one side of the debate too much.

    I have yet to hear a Government scientist talk about the tragedies and loss of life caused by lockdown.

    Has Boris even bothered to graph this one out ?

    (I suppose he’s good at naming Greek Gods though.)

  27. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Three new ships! Do they come with an admiral each, or am I just thinking of fighting ships?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Hell no, You can have Admirals without having a ship at all – there’s Charles, Andrew, surely William will get his blazer too as he ‘achieves’ the right age? I think the strategy originated with Idi Amin.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      we could have 5 Admirals for each ship – and still have plenty twiddling thumbs on land.

  28. Annette
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    We voted to leave the EU over four years ago.
    On the 24th June 2016 the Conservative Govt knew that this meant
    i) planning for control of our waters for stock management, illegal fishing, security & defence of the realm;
    ii) planning for, promotion of, & implementing the regeneration of the UK fishing fleet & coastal communities;
    amongst other independence planning.
    We have seen very little evidence of this.
    At the very least there should have been physical evidence of a build up of capacity to patrol our waters. Particularly as our independence SHOULD have happened on 29th March 2019 at the latest. 17 months after that date you are still having to write to chase up the initiation of protection.
    Anyone might reach the conclusion that this Govt had & has no intention on truely delivering what was voted for.

    • Andy
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      You voted to leave the EU – and you left last January. I think we can all agree the six months since have been an overwhelming success for the UK.

      Most importantly, after your epic 45 year whinge about Europe perhaps at some point the Europhobes may stop moaning? Or maybe moaning is all any of you can do? Particularly as you all seem particularly inept at actually governing.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        We leave on 31st December 2020.
        We are still having to obey their laws, regulations and directives.
        And we continue to pay them many billions until then.

      • beresford
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        As far as moaning goes, it is you who keeps bringing the Brexit vote into every discussion.

      • NickC
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Andy, If you think we’re no longer controlled by the EU, you better have a word with your mates in the EU. Because the EU is convinced we’re still a colony.

        Your epic desperation to be literally controlled by Brussels is psychotic. It’s just a damn trade deal (or so remains keep telling me) after all, not anything really important. But independence is.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      That is certainly true, Annette, of the May government and also of her ministers and MPs who did everything possible to cancel, delay, or water down Brexit. Philip Hammond in particular would not release money for planning for a post Brexit UK. I don’t think it’s reasonable (yet?) to make the current PM and his people responsible for the shocking betrayal that took place between June 2016 and August 2019. There will be time to judge them after December. I hope they realise how closely they are being watched

    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Annette, What you say is true – all the governments (Tory) since 2016 have been dilatory about preparations for independence from the EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        You can only become independent of a thing if you were dependent on it before.

        Please explain how the UK – of any of the main members – was ever “dependent” on the European Union?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          That is a false analogy.
          Your introduction of an opposite doesn’t mean it correctly refers to the original.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            An “analogy” to what?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            To what you said.

        • NickC
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Martin, If you want to see how the UK is dependent on the EU, read the Lisbon treaty. Surely you’re not saying it’s too difficult for you to understand? Especially since I can. Despite your Remain inclination to believe your own propaganda that all Leaves are thick.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          We were totally dependant on the EU Commission allowing us to survive as they have the unilateral power to Propose binding legislation. They could have done anything – and they did do a huge amount to destroy the UK.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

            No, they could only have done things within the Lisbon Treaty, nearly all of which is about how to create a level playing field for the Single Market, the environment, H&S, and not much else.

            They could never have ordered a lockdown, for instance.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            …and the European Union’s own institutional structure, principles and procedures – loads of it.

  29. Jess
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    We shouldn’t be spending ridiculous amounts on aircraft carriers that have ineffective aircraft and require large supply trains when the country cannot even stop rubber dinghys crossing the channel. There is an abject failure of policy and will to do anything except make fools wear masks and finish wrecking the economy.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      You have to ask why we have Aircraft Carriers that can only handle a specific type of a ‘one of a kind’ single purpose aircraft. The type of plane that is built in the US, but not used and they have no intention of using it in the US Navy, its capabilities and range render it not up to the task. The UK carriers simply cannot handle any alternative aircraft, an unheard of concept.

      Most other navy’s with carriers facilities use of different aircraft for different functions. So can adapt to the circumstances at hand. Not the Royal Navy, its a one ship style, one type of aircraft unable to adapt. Top down vanity and lunacy.

      An Aircraft Carrier that cant defend itself, and is limited to being a close support ship, is strange as it needs a full fleet around it to protect in that situation. For a few shillings more on the ships could have been fit for purpose. Which is strange the planes required the would have cost less and been more varied open to a variety of tasks.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Todays prices –
        UK Version $101 million, combat range 505 nmi. – Navy Version(Not UK/Royal Navy) $94 million combat range 669nmi. UK Anticipated total purchase number 138. In rough speak that is close on a billion dollars more than it needed to be. Still who cares its only the taxpayers money

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      We should take one of Gordon Brown’s floating white elephants and convert it into a gigantic disaster relief vessel. It could be sitting off Beirut right now helping the Lebanese.

    • beresford
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Trying to physically stop the dinghies is a questionable policy anyway, since we can’t touch them in French waters and once they are in our waters the French will not accept them back. Better to identify the vast majority of landings, arrest the illegals, and provide them with an unfavourable outcome which will deter any more from setting out in the first place. A good start would be to get rid of the convoluted asylum process, no need for any involvement by lawyers to establish whether there is a prima facie case.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Ever heard of Magna Carta, Beresford?

        You don’t seem to have much pride in English legal traditions at all.

        • beresford
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Magna Carta, did she die in vain? Famously David Cameron had never heard of it. It was about the rights of barons vis a vis the King, nothing to do with the rights of anyone from around the world to sponge off of the British people.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            The right to a fair hearing was extended to everyone, and became a foundation stone of the universal declaration of human rights, ECHR etc.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          It had its day (centuries) but in recent times has become almost worthless.

        • NickC
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Very little of the Magna Carta remains in legal force.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            No, it was repealed and its key principles made universal.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Magna Carta is for a british people Martin. We did not legislate for the world. The rights and freedoms are for us and to protect us from exactly the invasion we are complaining of.

          • glen cullen
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink


          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink



          • Edward2
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            So how does open borders and an inabilty to be able to deport undesirables relate to the Magna Carta?

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        ”the French will not accept them back”

        how do we know we’ve never even tried

    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Jess, In one sense I agree about our two aircraft carriers. When Gordon Brown signed off the costs in 2003, I said they were a disaster waiting to happen. We are not a big enough military power, and should not have opted to have them.

      However, we are where we are. And actually, properly defended by frigates, destroyers, submarines, and drones they are viable. As for the F35B, I think you will find it is a very effective fighter aircraft.

  30. Nigl
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    And in other news maternity services in a Shropshire NHS trust continue to decline with incompetent management and out of depth staff. This was the same trust that the ex Chief Exec and senior managers refused to accept the initial report and paid for their own report from the Obstetricians lead body to be less critical.

    Chief Exec gone but has he got another job in the sector, have all the senior management been axed. There is still no improvement so I guess not. A letter in the DT from a person investigating hospital failure wrote that they say lessons will be learnt but they never are.

    Your next letter to the Health Secretary. Short and sweet. Dear Matt. When will you and your officials finally get sort out the appalling performance culture in the NHS and get rid of those lacking the necessary competences?

  31. Iain Moore
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It is so shameful that this has to be said , the British establishment have allowed our industrial base wither away. They haven’t just sat on their backsides and watched, they have been major players in offshoring production. The new frigates are Dutch designed, German built engines, French electronics, etc.

    Everywhere you look you see the British state in full retreat. The Border Farce has five cutters, one built by Thornycroft and four by the Dutch, meanwhile the Italians have 600 border force vessels. This malaise, this decadence is to be found everywhere, in the BLM protests our political class did not robustly defend our nation and institutions they rushed to get on their knees, and just as it’s too much like hard work intellectually defending our country , its culture and history , its too much bother military defending our nation, its too much trouble controlling our borders, and why bother with having an industrial base when you can flog it off abroad to China.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      PS the political class rushed to hang draw and quarter the drunk fool who took a leak by a memorial in Parliament Square, meanwhile nothing on the person who tried to burn down the Union flag on the Cenotaph. The establishment are kicking can down the road hoping we will forget, but some of us haven’t. See they won’t even defend a war memorial to the dead who died fighting for our country.

      • NickC
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Iain, I agree. I have not forgotten that our establishment took to its knees to grovel before marxist thugs whilst arresting a mere dolt, but also arresting lockdown and mask imposition protestors.

  32. Rhoddas
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Ships take years to build so to have them operating from Jan 2021 means orders should have been placed some time ago..

    Perhaps we can repurpose some of the impounded vessels who will no doubt continue to rape and pillage our waters until we project requisite strength… some of us older readers will remember the Icelandic cod wars. It provides the modus operandi we will need to deploy, cutting nets etc.

    It is noticeable we cannot even stop very small boats of illegals migrants.. what chance illegal fishing craft?

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      In North Devon there is a shipyard that has built small warships in the past. It is currently shutdown – lack of orders. I’m sure the Navy has a stack of suitable plans that Appledore could soon convert into actual vessels.

  33. Nigl
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    And credit where credits due. Went into a local pub last night. It is never busy. He told me because of the cheap food scheme he was absolutely rammed, he has never been so busy. So well done Mr Sunak. I wonder whether the increased take from the booze sales and overall profits outweigh the costs.

    If so why not make it permanent. A good message. Less could generate more.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Your observations mirror my own. Half-way through this project, the relevant minister – one of Sharma’s team, not Sunak’s – should be assessing how it’s working, and talking with trade bodies, so that a decision on continuation can be taken NEXT WEEK. If continuation is likely to be cash-flow positive for the Treasury, then the decision really is a no-brainer.
      P.S. But remember, this is a government that was unable to give The Crucible early notification that it can admit snooker-fans tomorrow and, just a couple of weeks ago, gave Goodwood only a day’s notice that it couldn’t.

  34. Edwardm
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I just wish our government our government over the years had JR’s desire to support UK PLC for both economic and strategic reasons. Our armed forces need better funding and secure and reliable chain of procurement, we need to support our suppliers else we lose their manufacturing capability.
    (Except in the case of HS2, the govt is supporting a false project because it costs 5 times that of France’s TGV. Where is all the money going and to whom? Why aren’t the engineering consultants getting costs down? An enquiry is needed).

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Very little of HS2 is from the UK, try French Canadian and Japanese’s. Their taxpayers gain extra revenue from the already over charged UK taxpayer. The UK taxpayer gets to pay twice for old outdated technology that doesn’t advance or improve UK communications – just keeps us locked in the dark ages.

      When, hopefully IF it gets finished, the UK taxpayer will then be tasked with having to cough up even more to update its network to a modern efficient one fit for purpose. Many years behind

    • turboterrier
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink


      Totally correct

  35. glen cullen
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Well done Sir John

    What I’m reading between the lines is a suggestion to buy british

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      it shouldn’t be a suggestion, it should be an instruction.
      Don’t hold your breath though.

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        agree – it should be a law to adopt a policy of buying british when using public funds

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

          So suppliers would not need to compete.

          Yes, I’m sure that the UK private sector would fill their boots good and proper.


          • glen cullen
            Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            If it keep UK funds circulating in the UK, ensure profit for UK business, funds for UK shareholders and employment for UK people….I’m all for it let them fill their boots

  36. Lifelogic
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    University places up 9,000 it seems so even more largely worthless degrees for many people with circa £50K of student debt plus 6% interest most of which will never be repaid and will fall on people (often with no degrees) as additional taxes.

    Interesting to see that many UK universities have lots of places only available for overseas student paying the higher overseas fees but are otherwise full. So British universities are actively discriminating against UK students even if they are prepared to pay the overseas fees. Where is the sense and morality in that? So if you want to get in and have money move aboad and apply that way then very easy to get a place at a better university than you would otherwise attain.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Scottish universites discriminating against Scottish students and in favour of higher paying English ones in a similar way too.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Scots and EU students don’t pay at Scottish universities at all. So the English pay for them as well as the odd individual from England who goes to a Scottish university.

  37. agricola
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    The governments pending tray is overflowing. I can accept that Covid has added a veneer of uncertainty but until we can inject immunity we need to learn to live with it. We cannot continue for the next four years with so much unresolved and having to live with many half solutions.

    Exam chaos
    Brexit unresolved
    Migrant crisis in full flow
    Enormous NHS catalogue of treatment pending.
    Education restart
    Travel industry in limbo
    Illegals awaiting deportation, if ever?
    Back to work, work at home ?

    Not to mention the drug fueled lawlessness on our streets and anarchiac demos for trendy cause of little substance.

    Where is the vision, where is the direction. It matters not that solutions are 100% correct. I would settle for 75% and a cessation of drift. This is the message that needs to go to Cabinet.

  38. Barbara
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Firstly, a great letter and congratulations on a sane blog in a time of what seems like almost universal madness.

    However – OT, but I hope you will permit me: a few news items from the last few weeks:

    Masks may need to be worn outside in all public spaces; masks may need to be worn inside; mask wearing may last forever; concert audience-goers may be penned into individual pens; the council may now demolish your home if they say it has signs of Covid in it; your children can now be removed from you forcibly if the government, council or social services say their health is at risk due to Covid or a coronavirus; £3,200 fines for not wearing a mask; NZ is to introduce quarantine camps, longer forced stays for the uncooperative; wear a mask and do not kiss while having sex; ‘cases’, ie a piece of paper, are now suddenly more important than hospitalisations or deaths, even though there is no case as far as I know from anywhere in the world where an asymptomatic individual has passed on Covid19 to someone else; children are too ‘at risk’ to go to school, even though statistically they are hardly affected at all by this nasty bug; vaccination will need some measure of state-backed coercion; singing may be banned at football matches.

    All in case someone catches Covid19, a coronavirus (the common cold is a coronavirus) which will not affect more than 99.7% of people.

    There seems to be a non-stop campaign of bullying and threats against the public, a removal of almost any freedom, small or large, all for an illness which we now see is of the order of seriousness of a seasonal flu.

    What on earth is going on?

    • agricola
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      What you say is another way of expressing what I have said in an as yet unmoderated piece timed at 11.32 am.

      • agricola
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Conclusion, our host is only amenable to the sycophantic, serious comment is censored by ommission apart of course from runnibg vendettas. He should remember, we are not party lobby fodder, nor do we have any agenda beyond the success of GB Ltd. We pay homage to intellectual integrity not to a party or remove A just because we have spent most of our lives in support.

        The censorship in this diary has nothing to do with length of submission, contained personal slanders, or nonsense thinking. In fact the latter is encouraged as a humorous distraction on which to vent our spleen. It is in fact a vehicle for the bland. Sad but true.

    • Nigl
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink


    • Barbara
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I also forgot to mention, of course, the loosening of regulations covering death certificates, so that far from the world-leading admin standards we usually have in this regard (to protect the public from people like Shipman), any medic or care home person can now just put down ‘Covid’ as the cause of death if they feel like it.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Not only that.
        Surely it is a basic human right to have one’s death correctly recorded.
        What comes next? A quicklime pit?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Barbara, I was saying this only this morning. Also do the scientists know something we don’t? I don’t under stand why there are hundreds of people contracting Covid but hardly any deaths. Are those few ( tragic all the same) elderly with other problems or what? In that case why are we all finding ourselves being curtailed and forced to wear muzzles?

      • Otto
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard that getting Covid 19 is not the problem but the recovery causing untold bad medical problems for the rest of your life. Is this no longer true?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Boris as ever is being pushed lunacyward by the extreme, far left.
      Unseemly scramble from France and Netherlands being pushed by Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales.
      He gives in!!!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        You wait…he will be following the new draconian, totalitarian uber, uber scary Scottish gagging laws.
        Unless someone stands up to him!
        I see there was a mini revolt over exams..much less important than mask imposition I think. Yet still we must wear them!
        ( I wonder if it has occurred to him that exam results were hiked by leftist teachers for kids coming from the correct families …ie far left.
        Much self congratulation on lefty social media!)

      • steve
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink


        Yes but it has upset the French, which is a good thing.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry.

      Martin in Cardiff says it’s not a problem.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        Wearing a bit of cloth on your face for a small part of the time, in the scheme of things, is not a big problem in my opinion.

        However, if your beloved “identity” is Someone Who Will Not Ever Wear A Mask, then maybe it is a Big Deal for you. Tough – that’s your silly, self-made problem.

        The Right is all about Identity Politics.

  39. Nigl
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Why are you allowing travel providers to blatantly profiteer from your recent decision re quarantine by ramping prices. I am due to go to Spain next month, and as it stands will to,all intents and purposes be unable to fly. Yet the airline will not offer a free change of booking so unless I pay a considerable fee, I will lose my money.

    Another success for the Government. Hundreds of thousands of people potentially adversely affected. Complete inaction from you.

  40. Julian Flood
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Strategic military planning should concentrate on the ultimate high ground which will dominate 21st century warfare.

    Prioritise Reaction Engines’ air-breathing rocket, as important to the UK now as was the Merlin in 1935. Plan for a future where any fixed assets are vulnerable to kinetic energy weapons launched from space.

    Elevate Alan Bond to the ermine.


    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, like just about everything else developed here government encourages foreign investment and the US has a big piece of this.

      I’ve said many times before this government and the Tory party is hell bent on prostituting each and every one of us; they and their City conspirators just want money, they care nothing for national pride and honour; they pay lip service only to such as that.

      • Julian Flood
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Our politicians are trained from the start of their careers to be subservient, to be compliant. Spines are a disadvantage when climbing a greasy pole.


  41. ChrisS
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    A very sensible proposal which the MOD should undoubtedly act upon.

    However, there are other maritime issues that need to be considered.

    1. As no major nation allows its naval assets to be built in another country and it seems likely that another Scottish Independence referendum will be called, plans should be in place for moving all naval shipbuilding to England.

    2. In the event of independence, the SNP would undoubtedly insist that the Faslane Nuclear Submarine base be closed. Plans should therefore be in hand to move this to an English location. The effect of these changes on Scottish employment should be costed and published to ensure that the people of Scotland know the consequences of voting to leave the UK.

    3. Taking control of our fishing grounds will inevitably result in the pattern of fishing by UK boats changing. For example, UK fishermen will need to return to catching Cod for home consumption because currently most of our cod is caught by EU vessels. It also seems likely that the EU market for our current catch will be reduced.

    This will require an expansion of the current fleet with new and different fishing vessels to suit the task. The government should already have announced plans to build a new fleet of fishing boats to be leased on favourable terms to British skippers providing that they land their catch in the UK, employ only British crews and train at least one apprentice per boat. I first made this suggestion here more than two years ago.

    • steve
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Chris S

      Nice post. So pertinent I am compelled to add.

      Firstly the French have said they intend to ignore British sovereignty and continue fishing (thieving) in English waters. Should be interesting.

      As for Faslane, well if Sturgeon wants to throw thousands of Scots into unemployment that’s up to her.

      Re Cod – for sure the French will cry like brats and stop our catch going into Europe, but so what ?……plenty of fish in the sea, all for us. Besides, even for domestic catch only the British fishing fleet would have to expand. Win – win and with added ecological benefits. We could have very rich fishing grounds, all to ourselves.

      “The effect of these changes on Scottish employment should be costed and published to ensure that the people of Scotland know the consequences of voting to leave the UK.”

      Sorry missed that, but yes very true. Sturgeon doesn’t appear to have spelled this out to her people.

      1) No currency. She’ll have to join the EU and adopt the Euro, which by the way she’s dead against.

      2) End of barnet formula etc and all other subsidies coming from the English tax payer.

      3) All publicly funded office will have to come south of the border e.g HMRC etc.

      My guess is a Scotland independent from us nasty toory English overlords will have to try for EU membership, which it won’t get since several EU countries have said they will veto.

      No currency, massive unemployment, no more blackmail money……let ’em go for it I say.

      • DavidJ
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        We should give them a taste of it by moving our industry south and cancelling Barnett and other subsidies.

    • anon
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      Maybe existing under-utilised fishing assets could be purchased in the future. Given the super trawlers spending much more time in UK waters recently, stocks may need time to recover. Which may not be a bad thing, as new UK capacity comes on stream.

    • dixie
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Good suggestions,

      On item 1 I would restart naval shipbuilding in English yards immediately anyway, the split of work can be adjusted based on Scottish political outcomes. Because each yard will need a minimum level to remain viable there is therefore likely to be a decrease in work that would otherwise go to the Scottish yards, unfortunate but a consequence of SNP lack of commitment to the union.

      I suggest the same approach apply to any and all public sector activities supporting non-Scottish areas. Your point 2 applies to these other activities also.

      In the meantime we should be recording fishing patterns and behaviours by foreign vessels to be taken into account if and when they apply for access.

  42. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    OT today it is reported in the ES that since 8th June there have been 26 Homicides reported in London.

    Khafi Kareem, 30, a serving Met officer, told the Standard: “The murder rate is high and I fear people just switch off when they hear it on the news”

    Predominantly these murders have taken place in the areas of the Capitol were ‘Stop and Search’ is being held up as an imposition of freedom. I would ask what freedom did these dead people have taken from them?

    • ChrisS
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      The murder rate in England and Wales is quite high but the predominant fact is that murder is a crime (where victim numbers are ed) disproportionally linked with ethnicity.

      These are the official figures for the year ending March 2019. Source :


      71% of murder victims were white and they make up 86% of the population.

      6% of murder victims are people of Asian background, exactly in proportion to their presence in the general population.

      But the truly shocking statistic is that fully 14% of all murder victims were black, when black people make up only 3.3% of the population. Furthermore, 60 of the 66 black people murdered in the year were victims of knife crime and 36 were aged between 16 and 24. One can only speculate but it appears a near certainty that gang culture has a very significant influence in murder in the black community.

  43. Fred H
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    from BBC website.
    Thousands of holidaymakers are racing to return to the UK, with quarantine restrictions imposed on France coming into force from Saturday. The 14-day isolation requirement from 04:00 BST also applies to people arriving from the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba.
    Extra ferry services have been added, but Eurotunnel trains are booked up and air travellers face steep prices.

    France warned it would take “reciprocal measures”. Oh dear all those French tourists had better dash home.

    • everyone knows
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      France warned it would take “reciprocal measures”. Oh dear all those French tourists had better dash home.

      this is just nuts and is causing people real heartache
      Covid 19 is a hoax, when will this nonsense ever end?

      • DavidJ
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        Nonsense indeed on the face of it but with sinister intent behind it all.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      just in case you missed the last ferry – – I’m sure the traffickers will find a way to cross the channel for you!

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        thats not even a joke…I wonder if all the illegal migrants are to isolate for 14days in 4*hotel

  44. steve
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink


    “……. creating many more opportunities for UK jobs and skills.”

    As an ex Defence Industry worker I can tell you this, JR, – been made redundant by Blair and Hesseltine, and I’ve seen hundreds of colleagues all damn good men with valuable skills thrown onto the scrap heap.

    So if I was asked to go back into that industry, because of my unique skills, suffice to say the answer would be ..get stuffed ! I’m not available.

    If governments, Lab & Con alike had looked after us then we might not be so bitter now.

  45. Everhopeful
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Also building Support and Royal Auxiliary vessels would provide work for Scottish shipyards.
    This would not be an option if Scotland became independent!

    • ChrisS
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Given the state of politics in Scotland, I would be ensuring that any future orders placed for ships for the Royal Naval go to shipyards based in England.

      • DavidJ
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        Unless Blair’s stupid devolution were to be reversed which it should be. In particular Sturgeon and her cronies have been a pain since the start of it.

    • steve
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink


      “Also building Support and Royal Auxiliary vessels would provide work for Scottish shipyards.”

      Why bother ?

      They don’t like us, and we do have British yards in the north east and NI.

      Seems daft to give fat juicy contracts to a country that loathes us and wishes to destroy our sovereignty.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        I would not bother.
        Just a bit ironic since they are so keen to leave.
        We have always bent over backwards for them…even trying to help them get colonies…which I believe was a failure.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Sad that our Royal Fleet Auxiliary only belongs to the Royal Navy during service and war, during its building phase its non military identification means its building tender is world-wide….absolute disgrace

  46. Jake
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Masks and isolation of 14 days is the order of the day while hundreds of thousands of migrants, a lot of them east european and south american, sex workers roam the land without regulation without restriction?

    • Fred H
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Jake – I must have missed out, not been accosted lately!

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    These are good proposals for our defence and security. We have to acknowledge that the European Union, dominated at the moment by Barnier and Macron, is potentially a hostile force.

    The other key aspect of our security is to produce more of our food locally, say 70% UK produced. To prevent food price rises, we need to import the remaining 30% from the cheapest safe sources of supply. Which are these? I would guess that New Zealand and the USA would figure but it’s not my area of expertise.

  48. James
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Just been listening to old recording of Ode To Joy being performed at the Sydney Opera house and remember back in the 1960′ while the opera house was still being built as a young seafarer, a teenager, I jumped ship. It was a time before seafarers needed passports- i fell in love- anyway after two years they caught up with me and deported me back to Ireland. Life went on and I sailed for another forty years. Those were the days of true adventure for young people when we did no always bow the knee or the head to authority- I do hope the returning English from France might recapture some of that spirit and give a bit of the same back to the Government over their demand for 14 day isolation if you come into the country after 4am on Saturday- it’s all a load of old rubbish- time you you guys stood up a took back control- don’t give it away to Boris and the other latter day chancers.

  49. ed2
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    All the threats are internet, there is no need for armies to invade anymore.

  50. ed2
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    All the threats are internal, there is no need for armies to invade anymore.

  51. ed2
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Why would the Chinese or anyone else invade when they can just inflitrate, blackmail and bribe? History has shown their is no protection against this.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      The Chinese have already invaded too many aspects of our lives and none for the better!

  52. GilesB
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Can we make explicit that after 1 January, foreign vessels fishing illegally in British waters WILL be confiscated. And added to the U.K. patrol fleet. Trawlers with their nets out move very slowly so are easy to catch

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      And we did pay for them in the first place When Chancellor Clarke insisted that they would ‘not be able to compete with us otherwise’. He seemed to think he was a Handicapper aiming to get all the horses it cross the line together rathe then the Chancellor of the U.K. (ie the jockey of horse 1).
      Im certain that Lord Clarke has not changed his view.

  53. DavidJ
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    It is essential that our navy and associated services are restored to a level fit for an independent sovereign country surrounded by sea on all sides. Of course ships and ancillaries should be sourced from UK facilities with no reliance on supplies from foreign countries which have been our enemy in the past and may well show their true colours again. It is great opportunity to restore our industry.

    If government were to pursue such policies it would be an extraordinary display of common sense, an attribute lacking for many years.

  • About John Redwood

    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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