The Ark Royal is to be sold for scrap for £3 million. I make no judgments on the fact that the UK has no aircraft carriers merely on the New Speak lies that the Government is pumping out today. I quote from the MoD:
‘‘Retiring her five years earlier than planned was a difficult but necessary decision to help address the multi-billion pound Defence deficit and deliver a balanced MoD budget.”
Revenue generated by the MoD is by definition nil. And so the department will always have a multi billion pound deficit. The only way you can have a “balanced” defence budget is to spend nothing at all on the army, navy, air force and the tens of thousands of administrators who back them up. Given that this is not going to happen, there will always be a multi billion pound deficit and pretending that this can be changed by turning the Ark Royal into tin cans is a lie.
For what it is worth, Defence will cost the UK £46 billion this year. That is the same as the interest on the ever mounting national debt. And it accounts for just 6.7% of total Government spending. I am sure there are cuts that could be made in defence (pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and resisting the urge to invade anywhere else for starters) but equally we all know that there are cuts that could be made elsewhere.
That discussion will rumble on. What begs comment today is that the Government can serve up such New Speak on the Ark Royal which I have just heard the BBC repeat without question and I see the Telegraph has done the same. Plus ca change.