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Wednesday 6 January 2010 - in more detail

Sarah McDermott | 15:12 UK time, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Two senior Labour backbenchers are calling for a secret ballot on Gordon Brown's leadership. Ex-cabinet ministers Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon have emailed Labour MPs calling for the leadership issue to be sorted out "once and for all".

So will the challenge succeed or fail? Would the successful removal of Brown help Labour? Tonight we'll be trying to answer the questions behind the plot against the PM.

We're also hoping to speak to the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, and then we have the first UK TV interview with Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson who yesterday vetoed a bill that would reimburse the UK and Netherlands for bailing out depositors of a failing Icelandic bank.

Mr Grimsson's parliament are due to meet on Friday to plan a referendum on the controversial Icesave bill.

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two for all that and more.


  • Comment number 1.

    A challenge long overdue, I would say, with the country fiinancialy and diplomatically in shambles.


  • Comment number 2.


    to that I'd like to add, etically in shambles

    how could anyone possibly vote for Gordon would be beyond my comprehension

  • Comment number 3.

    Further proof (if needed) that Israel controls the legislature of this country; via the subversive Jewish lobby within...

    'Attorney General Baroness Scotland may block Israeli war crimes warrants'

    The salient sentance being...

    'It would give the Attorney General the ability to block the arrest of Israeli politicians but would not block action against Nazi war criminals, Afghan warlords or fugitive leaders of genocidal campaigns'

    Ergo...anyone can be a war criminal...unless they are Israeli!

  • Comment number 4.

    Brown starts to score points and reduce the Tory lead and arch-Blairites Hoon and Hewitt stick the knife in...isn't that what the Tories do, stab leaders in the back? What about all this loyalty crap? Did it ever exist? The usual suspects like Clarke and Fielding always stick the boot in but as someone who is not a Brown fan to change now, with the Tory lead reducing is absolute madness......they must be Tories deep down

  • Comment number 5.

    BTW - the score last night of Jewish economists on the NN special economics panel was 1 out of 3....I reckon you asked the fourth member to step down at the last minute so as to make the percentage figure look a bit better better!

  • Comment number 6.

    #21(earlier blog) ecolizzy - re your link
    Sorry, a bit late catching up but still on thread - as most NN topics, (whether GW, Terrorism or Who Will Win The Next Election) are all to some extent linked to - it's the immigration problem stupid.
    Glad to see that he who barrie perceptively referred to as 'The Arch of Cant' has finally joined you, I and David Attenborough. As the Telegraph blogs on that article seem more relevant than the 'dear diary' that this one has become I re-post (with blogdog's New Year tolerance) a sample herewith:-
    "Haud on son…..Haud on…. Who said anything about 70 million being too much, how do we know….and how are we to limit it to some number, any number, below that..?? If it wasn’t for the Culture of Death, abortion and contraceptives, which the late Pope John Paul II warned us about on numerous occasions we wouldn’t have a flood of immigrants in the first place. The immigrants are a consequence of the Materialist philosophy that has been raging around Western Society since before World War II. Where was George then..Why didn’t he support the Universal Churches view on the sanctity of life..?? The old Wind Bag was no where to be seen. Now he jumps up draping himself in the Cross of St George….I think I’m going to be sick. But I’ll battle on and finish my post first. If this filthy old Heretic wants to do some good, get him to contact me, I’ll take him down the pub, point out some BNP and English Nationalist buffoons. He can then give them sex education lessons. “In a very real and meaningful way you put your OLD FELLOW…there….No, no, that’s the wrong, orifice, up a bit, sorry down a bit, I forgot you were behind. That’s it, now in about nine months Allah willing we will have a new bouncing Harry Hotspur” As for Her Majesty and her Archbishops….they were warned what would happen…on July 25th 1968, Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae…On the transmission of Human Life….. You can’t have your cake and eat it, women need to have enough babies, in stable families for the benefit of the nation. If we cant manage that then, we should shut up and let the population of Yemen in and they can run this green and pleasant land….for we obviously can’t. 48% of Yemen population under 15. 16% of Britons under 14……Says it all, youth is the future….if we are going to have one. But at these rates I doubt it.Jan 6th, 2010 at 12:57 pm"

    "Regarding JustineF’s fatuous comment that “they come to do the work we don’t do” well, we don’t do it at that price, ie immigrants keep the wages of native workers down. Also, the come-to-work argument doesn’t, well, work when you look at figure 2: “age standardised rates of long term disability or illness” and we find that Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants lead the way in drawing down these benefits. Seems like they might come to work initially, but thereafter they start to shirk!Jan 6th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    "This article is unbelievable, these people hold our Courts in Contempt and the Judge BOWS TO THEM: UNBELIEVABLE !!!! On Monday, the men were threatened with contempt of court by district judge Carolyn Mellanby as they would not stand as she entered the courtroom, as is convention out of respect. Eventually a compromise was reached where they would enter the court after her during the six-day trial. The case continues. Read more: "

    "If the the rate of asylum applications has come down it is because they now dont need to bother.on Jan 6th, 2010 at 2:29 pm"

    "Truly fantastic. It is the war of the soi disant liberals against the poor. They don’t give a dime that millions of working citizen are pushed even further into poverty because of huge pressure from mass immigration of unqualified work force. What they want is to have a cleaning lady at a cheaper price and to spend less on all kinds of less qualified jobs from which the livelihood of millions of families still depend. But then they’ll have the cleaning lady from some third world country and will feel ooohhh so liberal. Disgusting. And I must make the point again: these crappy liberals do not care that other people are going to be, literally, screwed and their lives and standard of living greatly affected by the massive influx of immigrants. It is not them who are going to be screwed; they are, in fact, going to get an economic advantage from it, whilst singing the old “oh how racist are these proletarians”-song.What a crappy thinking.Jan 6th, 2010 at 2:59 pm"

    "Another bit of reasoning for those who can think and count. Wherever immigration is kept in check (see Germany, Switzerland) less qualified jobs are proportionally *better paid*. This is a normal market mechanism as the prices for a relatively scarce workforce are going to go up. In turn, this will provide a higher motivation to work for the unemployed because the game (the difference in quality of life by having a job) starts to more frequently become worth the candle. The artificial cheapening of cheap work force through massive influx of immigrants is not only highly disruptive, but much less beneficial even in crude economic terms than widely assumed.An article in the Telegraph some years ago(good economy)stated that unemployment in the UK was around 5% among native Britons, 16% among natives from Nigeria and 91% among natives from Ethiopia.The reason, said the author, is that living on welfare is on average a much, much better deal for an Ethiopian than for a Nigerian and a better deal for the latter than for a Briton,accustomed to a higher standard for him and among his peers.Makes total sense. For an unskilled worker coming from an extremely poor country like Ethiopia, the possibility of having a roof, heating, food and something to spend without even having to work must be perceived as real,tangible,formerly unthinkable *wealth*. No motivation to go to work to only marginally better the standard of living but having to work hard, then. The more the society of provenance is affluent, though, the less this will be the case. This is the reason why I stress how economic homogeneity is very important in every consideration about transfer of skills and workforce.
    Another mistake that we make is to think that everyone thinks like us, work ethics and all that. This is utterly wrong.People from many countries of this world do not see anything bad in not working, if someone else pays for it. That’s just how it is and the refusal to see reality get one good notes in political correctness, but does not help in understading why certain things happen.Jan 6th, 2010 at 3:19 pm"

    Seems that people out there do feel strongly on the issue of immigration and population, but not on NN blog. Which is the real world?

  • Comment number 7.

    If this doubled barreled failed H bomb wasn't a faux challenge then its a few day fuel story for the Tory. But me feels it will only serve to back up Brown. Was it a trick or did they really mean it ?

    Labour have to do radical stuff to make a mark. This could be the start of some creative moves with smoke and mirrors. Nothing can be taken as being real from now on from that lot - what ever side.

  • Comment number 8.

    #6; "People from many countries of this world do not see anything bad in not working, if someone else pays for it."

    Should this sentence not begin "Rich people..."?

    Please clarify the "many countries".

    Does "not working" refer to the perception of work in this country, Europe, Middle East etc.?

    Little Englanders effervescing about Little England's work ethic?

    Have you seen how many schools, factories, offices, trains, buses, you name it, are shut in UK today after a bit of snow?

    Hard working? Puleeez!

  • Comment number 9.

    So ... The H-H Bomb appears not to have gone off (?)

    Wimpish Cabinet Members or just protecting their future options?

    In reality there is no one in the party who’s up to the job apart from the incumbent.

    Harmon .... Too myopic, something that may cost the Party dear in the next four to five months.

    Johnson .... Too good at being a back-room jostler, can’t stand the heat.

    Balls .... Not serious enough and can’t appreciate that smiling isn’t always the solution.

    Milli D .... Tries to hold too many options open at once believing that, like those that buy scratch cards, sooner or later his moment must come.

    Milli Ed .... Sunk his own sailing boat by denying that UK population is ‘an issue’ ! And besides would he ever get out of the shadow?

    The barrel maker’s daughter ..... Please, let’s keep this serious!

    Oh, and Yes!

    It’s questionable whether two new planets have been discover at opposite ends of the Galaxy .... millions of light years apart.

    Apparently they have been named .....

    BBC News and Channel 4 News !!!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    #7; It is only now members of the Labour party fully realize how short they sold the red flag in return for power in 97.

    Blair has done as much damage to Labour as Thatcher eventually wrought on the Conservatives.

    It will take real change, not just a leadership putsch, to give Labour any chance at the election.

    Cameron needs to flesh out real change as touted by himself, but it seems increasingly likely that the Conservatives, fighting the election with a Blair clone at their head, will fall short of a clear victory.

    Hung Parliament.

  • Comment number 11.


    I had convinced myself that both Milibands now had a white flash in that black hair - at the temple. Yet when Limited Ed was being confronted today, I could see NO SIGN OF WHITE. I have not been able to check Miliband D - he seems invisible.

    While on the colour theme: What IS the colourant that makes Hain orange? I went looking on the web - zilch. he was shining like a Christmas tree bauble at PMQs. Is it genetic - spray booth - ingested molecule or what?
    Does he know? I think we should be told.

  • Comment number 12.

    Perhaps as an indication of just how bad local authority management has become totally inefficient is the news that our local parish council has been offered cash back to employ a local lengthsman.

    For example, Lancashire County Council send a team to cut the grass strips between the main road and pavements, whilst Ribble Valley BC send a team to cut the rest of the public grass. This must cost a fortune yet the parish council is unlikely to find enough work for one man on his own full time on an annual basis.

    Even back in the 1960s when we had two full time men and a mini-depot ( was in the six cow shippon section of our barn ) where they kept at least 8 tons of rock salt for manually spreading on ice spots, the main pavements were cleared of snow and gritted when required. They also swept up all the leaves in autumn, but in summer the workload was smaller so they would go out on LCC road resurfacing projects. Just so long as you could swing a shovel all day but for the less fit, jobs like operating the stop-go boards on roadworks, far more efficient at keeping the traffic moving than today's temporary traffic lights. With the stop-go boards it was also easy to do a rolling road disruption, now tarmac is laid in short stops with a " bed end every " 200 yards. It is also advisable not to lay tarmac in the rain, or when its freezing but they will insist on doing it. The end result is shoddy and it doesn't last as long before it needs doing again, total false economy. Those on road surfacing went on to be standby gritting teams in winter, now its often some part time bloke ( or woman ) out of the offices.

    Perhaps a classic example of what can happen is the plight of the hamlet of Twiston during the recent cold snap. The snow originally fell on the Thursday,( 17th dec ) followed by minus 10 and then a heavy snowfall on the following Monday. The main road remained open throughout this period ( now bus route ) but the spur which connects the " low road" up the big end of Pendle hill had only been gritted as far as ( and including ) the little used Martin Top branch, where all the people lived was left untouched until late Wednesday afternoon. According to my local councilor his phone was red hot, the official LCC excuse was that said road was not included in its satellite map so all the drivers ignored it. Anyone with local knowledge would have known that the route through Twiston was the priority all the time. I suspect that the real reason was that it could not be fitted into a one way trip without having to go over previous gritting technically idle.

    Anyway it all started going down hill in the 1980s, the fleet of Ford 13 ton gross carry 8 tons of salt in winter or shraff in summer ( for tar spay and chipping ) resurfacing were replaced by 3.5 tonne Transits. It was hilarious, they even had to tip off collecting the minimum 1.5 ton mix of tarmac at Horrocksford quarry. We made a fortune getting paid for 10 tons when they only wanted 3 or 4 to finish the job, often there was plenty left, did the drive at the back of my house for free. Anyway all said trucks could be fitted with a plough and even if their wasn't an IPO gritter to go on the back there was sometimes a hole at the front of the box with a spinner beneath where a bloke could shovel to whilst mobile. H&S would freak out but you could never fit a plough on a transit pickup, the small wheels on a modern 7.5 tonner are also of little use in snow, although an improvement on the Transits.

    Once upon a time I used to build gritters, our particular selling point was the actual spreading technology, the bodies were not that brilliant. As usual in the UK the best all round manufacturer of gritters ( Atkinson ) had gone bust first, and the company I worked for got took over and closed by a competitor. The technology got excessive to a point where it was uneconomical, interestingly enough some London boroughs had the best idea fitting a basic gritter to an old withdrawn dustbin wagon, others got ex-army 4 by 4 Bedfords. Anyway following today's purpose built gritters it would appear that the technology is now much more basic than in the late 1980s.

    As I complete this anecdote Twiston remains ungritted since last Wednesday despite further light snow and fairly heavy this Tuesday. The Corporate Nazi's in the office at LCC apparently refuse to grit said two mile stretch of road due to having to concentrate on bus routes and lack of salt. This is despite the fact that said route is the only alternative over the big end of Pendle if the main route gets blocked for some reason.

  • Comment number 13.

    #5 from previous page

    And you were right, Brightyangthing. An excellent prediction!

    In his diary, Iain Dale says that earlier on he heard rumours about Mandy pulling out of appearing on the programme tonight but apparently it has now been confirmed, to my great annoyance, that he will after all put in an appearance. There are not many politicians who make me cringe as much as he does, apart perhaps from the moustachoed guy who used to be mates with Sadam Hussein. Can't remember his name, however, at the moment.


  • Comment number 14.

    Going back to my thing about real and direct. As a way of explanation, I only meant a specific aspect

  • Comment number 15.

    I wish a journalist would come forward with a full blown article englithning the UK about the connivance between the unsavoury communist elements in the Police and the Security Forces with Gordon and Mandy.

  • Comment number 16.

    Ref. Brown, Hoon Hewitt,

    Its a set up. Hoon and Hewitt, both busted flushes anyway, will step down at the next election and be rewarded for their sacrifice today. The Mandelson, Campbell, Balls inspired plan has succeeded. The Labour party is shown to be united around Brown and no-one in the press has seen the real purpose.

  • Comment number 17.

    Dear Sarah,
    If you have the dubious pleasure to be the first one at the BBC t interview Olafsson, I hope you are aware of the following:
    He is a politician who failed to reach the top, as such. He became the Finance Minister in a coalition government, which was the pinnacle of his political carrier, but he never became the leader of the political party he had eventually chosen to represent.
    He left politics, to try and become elected for the politically neutral position, which is the Presidential Figurehead of the Icelandic Republic. He is the only President who has been dishonest enough to treat that position as a political one.
    Being widowed, he remarried -to one of the wealthiest women in the world.
    He acted as cheerleader/Important International Figurehead on countless occasions, at the request of those same risk-addicted, reckless individual entrepreneurs who are responsible for the crippling volume of the Icelandic systemic bank failure, which is the backdrop for the present political/social unrest in Iceland. The situation he has chosen to utilize as a favorable spotlight for himself, at the Icelandic peoples' risk.

    Do not be any more respectful with him than you would with a football hooligan.

  • Comment number 18.

    Olafur Ragnar Grimsson 1 : 0 Jeremy Paxman

    Democracy can be a very difficult word to say...even Mandelson had to cough it out re. the attempted coup!

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    #6 Ah they are some very interesting comments you have found Indi. I read ones like that all the time. The trouble is here I feel is perhaps some of the younger bloggers don't know how we were, we used to have space and time for each other, now it's a damn rat race. We are becoming a third world, but of course if you come from one even this place must be paradise. My one glimmer of hope is the over 600,000 people who object to the muslims marching in Wootton Bassett. Perhaps one day the indigenous people will wake up, and find they're someone else!

    Don't you get very very depressed? I do.

  • Comment number 21.


    What are they made of, Kryptonite?

    I live in Newbury where a phenomenal volume of concrete was once poured to construct the Greenham Common runway. It's not there now. STRUCTURES are reversible daily, POLLUTION takes a 'little longer'. During the war, the country had defensive steel and concrete in diverse places. What remains is hardly obtrusive. . .

  • Comment number 22.

    Hey Indi, at least the Telegraph is prepared to comment.....

    Pity the government and the Beeb don't! ; )

  • Comment number 23.

    #8 Little Englanders effervescing about Little England's work ethic?

    Do you really hate the english that much kashi?

    Have you seen how many schools, factories, offices, trains, buses, you name it, are shut in UK today after a bit of snow? Hard working? Puleeez!

    And this snowfall happens on average once every twenty years, are you suggesting we should be fully equiped for arctic winter conditions all the time? It would cost millions that we haven't got!

    If we're so awful, you know what you can do! Emigrate!

  • Comment number 24.


    I am pondering the mooted march - and rocket launchers sited in schools. Both incite fraught retaliation. Perhaps it was situations like these that Jesus (Son of God, founder of Christianity - established faith of UK) had in mind, when he said to turn the other cheek?

    What a shock the Muslims would get if we began to BEHAVE like Christians instead of just holding a brief service, in Jesus' name, before kicking the proverbial out of the towel-heads (their ox, ass, manservant, maidservant and infrastructure)!

    Which is worse, the extremist abuser of god's word, or the hypocritical lip-server? 'Mote and Beam' time again folks. How soon it comes round!

  • Comment number 25.

    To think Iceland's President's actions risk its future membership of the E.U. is delusional.

    The Commies in Brussels will have jumped for joy and 'high-fived' at the news that another country wanted to join their club (note: I don't refer to 'our club'). They'll bend whatever rules they need to make it happen. I note that the BBC has broadcast criticism of what E.U. membership will bring to Iceland - a sure sign E.U. membership is 'in the bag'. If the Icelandic people were thought to be wavering, the BBC would have been in full ''pro-membership' propaganda' mode.

    Of course, Iceland won't be a Net contributor to Brussels' coffers for quite a while, that won't be a problem as we will provide the extra cash. You needn't worry about the money that others will stump up. Hasn't Cameron promised extra funding in return for repatriating our stolen sovereignty?

  • Comment number 26.

    Jeremy's interview with Hoon was a classic :o) and exposed his failed rebellion. Hoon completely avoided answering any questions posed by Jeremy and tried wriggling his way out of a corner, but didn't succeed. However, the real reason for Hoon's rebellion was uncovered by Jeremy when he asked whether he would have taken such action if he had received the post of European Foreign Affairs :p Sheer brilliance!

    Outstanding interview with the Icelandic PM too. Did he really think he could get away with trying to put off paying their county's debt? Grief.

    Very interesting report by Peter Marshall - if Al-Megrahi was not responsible for the deaths of the passengers on the Pan Am flight, who was?

  • Comment number 27.

  • Comment number 28.

    HHHmmm the Hoon Hewitt debacle certainly pushed this into the long grass! Probably a deliberate act.

    Why won't the government and opposition talk about this? Do they really want to see the rise of the BNP?

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.


    About 5-years ago, MoD plans to fit ALL Type-45's, the new aircraft carriers AND ALL OTHER Royal Navy surface combatants with the sensors and communications equipment required for Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) were abruptly cancelled- due to govt-dictated cost saving measures:

    17_10-2000 Janes' article re CEC roll out for Royal Navy-

    Last month Janes reported that a decision on whether RN surface combatants- including Type-45's- will be made early in 2010:

    "UK to decide on (Cooperative Engagement Capability) CEC for Royal Navy next year..."-

    Shouldn't this wait until after the Strategic Defence Review has been completed??

    How can the new Type-45 Destroyers be expected to provide anti airborne threat defences for most of the Royal Navy and civilian ships involved in future conflicts- AS IS THEIR GOVT ADVERTISED ROLE- if Type-45's (and the RN's other surface combatants/airborne assets) are not equipped with the communications and sensors equipment required for CEC??

    CEC is vital for warships to share theatre data- especially important when threats such as supersonic sea skimming anti ship cruise missiles (ASCM's) and aircraft- may be approaching from 'over the horizon' (farther out than 20 miles) flying low, and thus not detectable by a Type-45 until 'no longer over the horizon' (less than 20 miles out) and less than 1 minute away...

    If Type-45's can not detect- and take actions to deal with- airborne threats until they are closer than 20-miles out, their reaction time is very dangerously limited and ships in their squadron that are farther away than 4 or 5 miles (in the direction of the incoming threat) are, in effect, sitting ducks to foes with a modicum of common sense and only moderately up-to-date weapons…

    It would be an unheard of and suicidal strategy for RN squadrons involved in a conflict situation to have all of the squadron's vessels remaining within 4 miles of each other...

    Considering that the advertised purpose of Type-45's is to protect other RN vessels from airborne attack- without CEC this task becomes an absurd assignment...

    Possibly the most egregiously dangerous and short sighted Labour Govt cost-cutting strategy: Type-45s are not being fitted at commissioning with the sensors and communication equipment required for 'cooperative Engagement Capability' (CEC)

    ... rendering these urgently required warships close to useless in any conflict involving a foe possessing moderately up-to-date weapons...

    Type-45's- with their PAAMS anti airborne threat missile system- coupled with yet-to-be-funded 'Cooperative Engagement Capability' (CEC) sensors & communication equipment (that Type-45 architects & planners intended for instalation)- are tasked by the MoD to act as air defence for the bulk of the Royal Navy's surface combatants and any civilian vessels involved in future conflicts...

    Without CEC, Type-45's will be hard pressed to defend themselves against airborne attacks and would be unable to perform any functional AAW defensive role for other surface combatants- and accompanying civilian vessels- if adversaries have only moderately up-to-date weapons...

    UK probes Sea Viper missile test failures:

    - What targets were used? (IE sub sonic or supersonic; high altitude or sea skimming?)
    -------------------- :

    "...March 20/07: Orbital Sciences Corp. in Chandler, AZ received a $9.2 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the procurement of one (1) GQM-163A ‘Coyote’ Supersonic Sea Skimming Target (SSST) Vehicle, support equipment, spare parts, technical data, and technical assistance for the government of France under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The GQM-163A will support the validation of a French weapons system – exactly which system was not specified....

    - Were the Sea Vipers used Aster 15's or Aster 30's?

    - How does the UK PAAMS experience contrast with France & Italy's with their (EMPAR radar-based) PAAMS systems?

    - Are the differences between the UK and France/Italy's radars potential causative factors in missile test failures?

    Now that France's DCNS is actively marketing the 'VERSATILE' sylver A70 missile launcher- for use with Aster 15's & 30's and with land attack cruise missiles- and considering that the A70 is to be fitted to France's (& apparently to Italy's) under construction FREMM and Horizon Frigates:

    - could the much smaller, NOT-VERSATILE sylver A50 missile launchers that the UK's Type-45 Destroyers are having fitted be causative factors in the recent missile test failures?


    This despite the well-known-in-the-late-1990's (& today) egregious & increasing threat presented to surface vessels by supersonic sea skimming anti ship cruise missiles (ASCM's) such as the Russian SS-N-27 'sizzler'...


    ".... A number of protective measures such as side armour and armoured bulkheads proposed by industrial bid teams have been deleted from the design in order to comply with cost limitations...."

    Catapults are necessary for Aircraft Carriers to be able to embark, launch & recover a variety of the most versatile & capable types of fixed-wing aircraft, such as Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) types:

    E-2D Hawkeye: The (U.S.) Navy’s New AWACS-

    The RN's new carriers will be restricted to Harrier type (short/vertical take off & land ) fixed-wing aircraft & helicopters- that can not duplicate even remotely the function of modern, fixed-wing AWACS... :

    "... Money has also been saved in side armour protection, though Knight insists this was a strategic rather than a budgetary issue.

    "'The CVF’s first line of defence is the frigates and the new Type 45 destroyers around us,' he adds. 'Our only self-defence is close-in weapons systems and small guns.

    "Instead, what you have on the ship is 36 of the most lethal aircraft* ever made.'..."

    * aircraft whose designed-capabilities DO NOT include protecting warships from incoming anti-ship missiles...


    The US, Italy, France and even Japan fit and are retrofitting their carriers with technologically up-to-date AAW weapons- for the UK to not be doing the same for its existing** and planned carriers is gross negligence....

    ** Illustrious and Ark Royal's obsolescent Sea Dart AAW weapons were removed in the late 1990's but, despite plenty of existing, highly capable AAW weapons systems existing then that could easily have been fitted to Lusty and Ark Royal- no replacement system was installed- to save money... :

    "... These (US Navy Nimitz class supercarriers) were completed with Kevlar armour over their vital areas and have improved hull protection arrangements..."

    "The Kevlar armour has been retrofitted to the earlier carriers, as have many of the advanced systems built into the newer ships..."

    "... The Hyuga... will carry an Aegis-type air defense system, with the U.S.-developed AN/SPY-1 multi-function radar; her principal "weapons" armament will be 64 advanced ESSM-type Sparrow missiles... "

    "... She will also be fitted with two (radar guided) 20-mm Phalanx (radar guided) "Gatling" guns for close-in defense against anti-ship missiles, and she will have six tubes for anti-submarine torpedoes...." -

    "... Hyuga is equipped with 16 Mk41 VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells (each cell carries and can launch 4 ESSM-type Sparrow missiles- rvl) for anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles and accommodates two 20mm Phalanx (radar guided) anti-missile cannon and two triple 12.75-inch torpedo mounts for self defense...."

    The new Type-45 Destroyers' missile system does not work yet,
    & these allegedly 'world beating' warships are being built without 80% of the basic, industry standard weapons & sensors that- in other 1st world countries' navy's- are mandatorily fitted to their new Destroyers & Frigates...

    Holland's De Zeven Provincien Frigates are roughly the same size as Type-45's and have been built/commissioned during the last 5-years.

    Unlike Type-45's, none of the 4 De Zeven Provinciens produced so far spent years at sea after construction without an operational Anti Air Warfare missile system. Similarly, De Zeven Provinciens did not experience missile test failures similar to that recently reported to be afflicting Type-45's missile system...

    Costs for De Zeven Provinciens' construction & fitting with suites of weapons, communications and defensive systems that make Type-45's capabilities look ridiculous- were reported as less than 1/2 a billion pounds each: (price of each- $500 million?)

    The new aircraft carriers won't be fitted with the sensors & communications equipment required for 'Co-operative Engagement Capability' (CEC).

    CEC is required for surface warships to protect themselves against the 'widely acknowledged within the MoD' significant threats posed by technologically current anti-ship cruise missiles & military aircraft...

    Without CEC, the UK's new aircraft carriers- similar to the under construction Type-45 Destroyers, which also won't be fitted with CEC- will be sitting ducks in any sort of conflict situation (one off or ongoing) involving adversaries with even moderately up-to-date weaponry & a modicum of common sense...

    Why doesn't Newsnight question the Labour govt false logic of their grossly under arming and under equipping the new aircraft carriers and Type-45 Destroyers and the imminent CEC decision?

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada


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