Thursday, 7 November 2013

"Tartan wrapped pork"?

Well, that's how Benedict Brogan describes the shipbuilding decision in the Telegraph this morning. Con Coughlin continues the meme, writing "I am sure I am not alone in thinking we are paying too high a price for keeping a few querulous Scots on side". And around the place are some quite nakedly offensive anti-Caledonian comments that would never make it into print if they were about blacks or chinese. The decision to axe 2 RF is also commonly attributed to the need to keep the RRS intact and gets thrown in. Spluttering red-faced Blimps have come as close to calling the Scots porridge wogs as they dare. This is worrying.  

As a Localist I'm fully in favour of 'devo max' - that is, devolution of all government powers to Scotland except those that can only be exercised effectively at a national level, such as defence, foreign relations, air traffic control and the like. I'm also fully in favour of a similar devolution of power in England. 

But if Portsmouth and the Clyde are of equivalent capability and I had to choose between them, I'd pick the Clyde too. And for political reasons that are not just about the referendum, but to create and foster a shared dependency. England and Scotland are partners in the Union, despite our disparate size. Theirs is a proud and ancient Kingdom that honours us as partners and allies and has stood alongside us in battle for three hundred years. Remember that tomorrow the shipbuilding decision may be between the Clyde and Toulon.

(NB I suspect I'm going to take a kicking on this)


East_Anglian said...

"NB I suspect I'm going to take a kicking on this"

Not from me you won't. I couldn't believe the rhetoric I was hearing last night.

TrT said...

The rhetoric may be wrong, but the reasoning is right.
You would pick the clyde to foster a shared sense of union, join common purpose recently?

Who builds better ships for less is the only worthwhile question.

The Union is long past its sell by date

Wildgoose said...

Yes you are. Scotland gets nothing but carrots to stay in the Union.

This was a perfect opportunity to say "Because of the dangers of a vote for Independence we will be keeping Portsmouth open" in order to use a persuasive stick as well.

But as usual, the English are the ones who lose out.

Never mind the "porridge wogs", what we need is English Independence!

Elby the Beserk said...

The reason Scotland is in the Union is that that was the price they had to pay for us paying off their horrendous national debt.

What's changed?

Anonymous said...

I Go through three stages on the thought of Scottish independence.

The first is: The typical "well sod off then Jocks if that's how you feel"

The second is the appreciation that the Union is centuries old and has provided a lot of stability over the years.

But the third is that the Scots should go their own way. If you look at what seems to be the typical Scottish mindset, it is to blame the English for their woes.

If you read books about the history of the Empire, the Scots were a disproportionately large part of the individuals carving a new world out. To see them fall into such pathetic victimhood saddens me. The see that an Albanian pig farmer has a longer life expectancy that a constituent of Glasgow east is truly shocking and a measure of how far they've fallen into a trap of their own making.

So like a recalcitrant teenager, it's time to let them leave the nest...

Anonymous said...

Surely the last warship built at Portsmouth Naval Base was Andromeda in 1966?

The bits of warship (T45 & QE2 carrier) made at Portsmouth are from a relatively new facility, displaced from Woolston, Southampton in 2004.

Sceptical Steve said...

This story takes me back to the 1980s, when there was storm about the planned closure of the GEC Marconi Torpedo factory. It was claimed that "Britain needed to retain its own ability to manufacture Torpedoes", despite the fact that we only used a handful each year for training, and most of these were recovered and reused.
Now, forty years on, the same arguments are being brought to bear, but the truth is that the UK does not need these ships and, if they did, they'd get far better value buying the hulls from abroad.
The real irony is that everyone knows this. Even as far back as 1939, the Royal Navy was only interested in placing orders for floating gin palaces whereas the ships that were urgently required to win the Battle of the Atlantic, i.e. corvettes, frigates and merchant aircraft carriers were farmed out to mercantile shibuilders.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, the Clyde and Portsmouth *aren't* of equal capability. Pork-barrel procurement is the only thing that's kept Portsmouth in the shipbuilding business for the last decade or so.