When the order for these ships was placed I wrote
'This order is more about securing the Labour vote in some key constituencies than it is about defending the country. It is just another example of vile political jobbery by the Labour government. Perhaps the carriers should be named HMS Please Vote Labour and HMS Please, Please Vote Labour.'
The ships could not be cancelled because of the penalty clauses that Labour had written into the contracts. The Coalition had no choice but to go ahead with the orders.
The money spent on these ships is completely wasted.
- The Harrier jets that might have flown from these ships are to be scrapped, so they will not have any aircraft until 2020, and most likely not even then. So we will have aircraft carriers without aircraft. You could not make this stuff up.
- To pay for the aircraft carriers a lot of smaller ships will have to be scrapped. That will mean the carriers will not be able to have an effective support screen of other ships. I feel sorry for anybody sailing in these ships if they ever go anywhere near an enemy that is equipped with some of the deadly Russian or Chinese sea skimming anti ship missiles. The carriers will be floating coffins.
- To pay for the ships the Navy's only operational aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal, is being prematurely scrapped. Once it is gone we will no aircraft carrier capability for at least 20 years.
Government sources indicated that the Queen Elizabeth was unlikely to return to service after that, and could well be sold to another country to recoup some of the cost of building it. “There are no plans for it after 2019 and it could well be sold. No one wanted the second carrier but we had no choice,” said one source. “No one is pretending this is an ideal situation, but this is what we were left with.”
This entire fiasco is the fault of Labour and their cynical use of public funds to buy votes.