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Wednesday 24 March 2010

Sarah McDermott | 11:34 UK time, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

MORE DETAILS ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:

Tonight we will be analysing Chancellor Alistair Darling's last Budget before the general election.

Our Political editor Michael Crick has been examining the chancellor's statement and our Economics editor Paul Mason will be checking if the figures add up.

Jeremy will be joined by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne, his Conservative shadow Philip Hammond, and Vince Cable, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Meanwhile, Justin Rowlatt will be gauging reaction from people affected by the downturn in the key marginal of Brighton Pavilion for the next instalment of Pop-Up Politics.

And then the Newsnight political panel of Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman will be trying to make sense of it all.

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FROM 11:34

The chancellor will be making his final Budget statement before Britain goes to the polls at 1230 today.

Alistair Darling is under pressure to cut Britain's record deficit and has ruled out a pre-election giveaway.

Our Political and Economics editors will be analysing the chancellor's statement, while Justin Rowlatt will be gauging reaction from people affected by the downturn in the key marginal of Brighton Pavilion.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The chancellor will be making his final Budget statement before Britain goes to the polls at 1230 today.

    What!! They called an election! I didn't get invited to vote. Is this personal?

  • Comment number 2.

    HHhhmmm why all the excitement about this bogus budget. Shortly after the election in May, there will be another proper budget, and then we will really see the mess we're in, and how many cuts and tax rises there's actually going to be!

  • Comment number 3.

    In the HuffPost:
    'Leo Hindery, Jr.: 'Eleanor Roosevelt Tours Coal Mine' -- Obama Still Needs To

    I had the privilege of helping write the 2008 speech in which Candidate Obama told the United Steelworkers and the nation the many things that "Change Is," and while I believe he would give the same speech today, I now question whether we will ever see any meaningful follow-through. President Obama needs to feel in his core what Eleanor Roosevelt felt touring that coal mine in Ohio, and remember how to talk with angry, working-class people. '

    It made me think about the election, Britain and who would we send.

    Do we still have a traditional class system - I think not. I doubt that they do in the US either.

    We do still have inertia in social mobility and there are certainly big problems in housing and jobs for people on low incomes.

    But when you look at Labour who would they today send around a poor estate or industrial area in the fashion of a Roosevelt?

    Will Tony Blair be deployed in the election? I gather he is alleged to have some 73 properties and so would probably have looked down on Byers the Cabbie's "drinks lobbyists". So I don't see a natural empathy there. Mandelson prefers yachts and filthy rich people. Prescott is more into the Croquet crowd and Hull is hardly an advertisement for what Labour can do for those on low incomes theses days.

    I don't see Cameron as cutting it though he is genuine. Should he fail to hit the "open goal" in the election I assume that the rich kids would see to it that Boris became leader and I don't see him cutting it either.

    I vote Lib Dem but I don't see Clegg cutting it though he is also sincere.

    Vince cable would cut it but then really we need him to handle the economy.

    Meanwhile I would daresay there would be a few BNP types trying to look respectable and menacing at the same time and lobbing in the odd slogan driven by the evil cult-like party where the facts don't matter. Barnbrook references to non-existent murders - stimulated allegedly by dyslexia and church bells.

    But as they said of London - its a foreign city and they would get rid of banks and build "things" and sell the "things" around the world.

    Most peoples ten year olds could do better than that.

    As for Obama I think the Americans are being very, very hard on him as he has totally partisan opposition, two wars, a crash, he had a battle to get health care and they still don't have a public option, trouble in the Middle East and so on and so on.

    In this bizarre world could he do all of the right things and be dumped for a President Palin elected via the GOP/Fox/Tea Party/McCarthyite smearer's.

    Be afraid world, be very afraid.

  • Comment number 4.

    I suppose the far right posters on here will be ranting away about Jews and ethnic minorities and hinting at how National Socialism would be the way forward.

    Nobody need worry about budgets as they would tend to be five year plans.

    Of course they neglect to mention that Hitler himself was not very interested in economics and hardly ever went to a cabinet meeting.

    So long as the arrangement with the banks and manufacturers meant he had a war machine and could emulate the gay Frederick the Great (a passion for tall soldiers) and go to war with weaker neighbours he was happy.

    The Fuhrer-state meant that there was no ideological concern over the means of production as that was effectively just rhetoric.

    Its the same today when you look at the latter day Haw Haw's of the BNP who aren't interested in jobs and houses and social stabilty. Voting for them is like voting for would be mass murderers.

    Just an aggressive dripping of poison about ethnic minorities and "sniveling quangos" like the EHRC who make them comply with the law over there racial membership policies. The bogey man myth approach rather than facts.

    They can't even muster an adequate scientific basis for there alleged racial theories as there is no science to back them up.

    They even lie about the true nature of their party and whether they are National Socialists or not.

    It baffles me that they are so proud of their National Socialist roots that they declare that they "are not a Nazi party" but a "modern and progressive party".

    Meanwhile I welcome the fact that Prevent has been extended to cover not only the al Qaeda threat but the spate of far right would be bombers we have had over the years.

  • Comment number 5.

    #1
    ''What!! They called an election! I didn't get invited to vote. Is this personal?''

    Crikey and you accuse others of being narcissistic!

    Meanwhile... on topic..back on planet earth.. not a bad political stich up job this budget today.

    Gazing into my crystal ball and balancing out the budget, Samanthas baby, ongoing sleaze, lib dems relative isolation from all of that and Gordon Brown's persona I forsee.....

    The mother of all hung parliaments.

    7/4 at ladbrokes if any hedge fund manager out there is interested. Where else can you get a return like that?

    Oops sorry , I forgot, betting at ladbrokes involves more skill and the use of your own money and courage of your convictions and nobody pays you a bonus or a salary if you get it wrong.

    Silly me.



  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    it is amazing that two hours could be so rewarding, I thought it hilarious when I think of Labours record and I look at the debt mountain and how we are all in hock for a thousand years and yet to listen to these guys you would think that this is a 'blip' and Cameron got up he had me laughing out loud as his delivery was spot on and he went for the jug of NULAB and hit a few targets. The only speech of intellect was from Nick Clegg who delivered an honest appraisal of both front benches and although I am not his greatest fan Nick Clegg delivered the best speech of the day and the sad thing is it will be swallowed up by the main parties and their desire to diss each other...

  • Comment number 9.

    2. ecolizzy 'hmmm why all the excitement about this bogus budget. Shortly after the election in May, there will be another proper budget, and then we will really see the mess we're in, and how many cuts and tax rises there's actually going to be!'

    Exactly.

    Following on from my reply to you in yesterday's blog, what really matters is how the birth-rate is skewed within each generation (differntial fertility as a function of innate cognitive ability) and how this accumulates over time. It's not just the absolute number of births overall, but the tilt. This is the real political and economic heavy-weight issue in my view, and if this is not actively, positively, managed, nothing else will matter in the longer run, as infrastructure will not be sustainable. This is why so much is now being privatised. One can look to other countries which have let this run out of control to see the dire consequences, e.g. South Asian Muslim nations post Indian independence, or Afrcia. They can not build and sustain infrastructure. Singapore became aware of this issue in the 60s, passed all sorts of legislation and implemented policies to try to cope with it, but the Government was labelled fascist for even trying. The Chinese mainland now has control over it, which is why they will prevail, but Europe, sadly (and even Japan and South Korea which had Liberal-Democracy foisted upon them by the USA) probably will not. One can see the reasons all too clearly, even here in this blog. What people think and say is a just a class of behaviours, and in Liberal-Democracies one can not control people's behaviours (even if it's for their own 'good'), not because this is not technically possible, but because there are powerful anarchistic political/economic forces in place to prevent this. These forces (contingencies) are, alas, exploitative, and are poorly perceived by those exploited, in my view, as they misperceive them as 'freedom'.... :-(

  • Comment number 10.

    #3 Go1

    Mention BNP are evil in an early post -> Check! (tick box)

  • Comment number 11.

    #4 Go1

    Mention evil Hitler and National Socialism -> Check! (tick box)

  • Comment number 12.

    5. Jericoa #1 ''What!! They called an election! I didn't get invited to vote. Is this personal?''

    Crikey and you accuse others of being narcissistic!'

    Indeed, narcissistics tend to lack a sense of humour (it's that lack empathy thing), are sure that their idiosyncratic take on reality is 'down to earth' and right, and that those who don't agree with them are mere animals, lack souls etc (see recent Middle East events ;-).

    Now, oddly, behaviourists would agree that some of that's universally true, which is probably why people don't hear of Skinner and Quine so much these days (narcissists hate competition), but the humour thing amongst others tells them apart. ;-)

  • Comment number 13.

    #83

    Jauntycyclist

    It all sounds very suspect to me what stat is talking about at #89 regarding 'winning' a female. Mind boggles what he might be into.

    mim

  • Comment number 14.

    Jericoa

    Jeremy didn't seem too bored last night. In fact, I thought he was really on form!

    mim

  • Comment number 15.

    HOW OXYMORONIC THAT IN THIS WORLD-ENVIED PARLIAMENT, CONTEMPT RULES

    Government decrees that Mother's Milk shall be replaced by money - and more money, dispensed in the violated Mother of Parliaments, as honour, dignity and integrity are affronted, in style, by her inexorably corrupted members.

    I suppose we should expect, from recent events, there is not one MP who realises that until babies' get their mothers back, we will have no FOUNDATION on which to put right all the other stuff that has gone wrong.

    If ever we draw back, successfully, from this dark place, I shall press for a statue of Mandelson and Clarke, to encapsulate this age, and serve as a warning to the next.

  • Comment number 16.

    NO WAY JEREMY WAS BORED (#14)

    He wasn't 'there' enough to be bored. More absent than bored - I'd say.

  • Comment number 17.

    #91

    Statist

    There is nothing in what you write that I find interesting so there is no point in me bothering reacting to your posts unless I feel I have to express my disagreement to direct provocation or in defence of another blogger.

  • Comment number 18.

    #12

    One never knows with you, I felt I had to check. From my perspective everything you write could actually be an elaborate joke bourne out of an extraordinary sense of humour. Somehow that would make more sense to me.

    Your response merely confirms my worst fears :)





  • Comment number 19.

    #16 and mim

    Jeremy's 'abbot and costello' comment merely confirms to me he has actually gone beyond bored and is now actively experimenting with anarchy in a self propelled attempt to liven things up a bit to relieve the tedium of it all.

    Watch out for his mona lisa like smile when he does his next interview sans trousers (hidden beneath the desk of course).



  • Comment number 20.

    'Under a headline declaring "We Got Off Easy", Israel's mass circulation Yediot Ahronot newspaper wrote: "Whoever used forged British passports knew that he might have to pay the price. And the price set by the British yesterday was a clearance sale price."'

    Telegraph 24 March 2010

    Consequentially speaking: Miliband's rhetoric in Parliament yesterday was just theatre.

    Meanwhile, Israel goes ahead with more settlements (colonies) in East Jerusalem.

    If you don't approve, that's probably because you're an evil anti-Semite, probably doubt the Holocaust, and want Israel wiped off the map etc etc?

  • Comment number 21.

    @ Barrie #16 - were we watching the same show? I certainly did not see Jeremy being bored or absent last night. He was fab :o)

  • Comment number 22.

    Re: Budget
    Taxes UP
    Booze UP
    Tobacco UP
    :o(

  • Comment number 23.

    #18

    Jericoa

    Some of stat's thing is supposed to be a joke but only at the expense of others. Try and make a joke about him. He groans and he growls and goes into, what I would describe in rather mild words, unpleasant revenge.

    mim

  • Comment number 24.

    #19

    Jericoa

    Anarchy or natural urges?

    I've never seen Jeremy as an anarchist. Challenging?, yes. Not infrequently spontaneous?, yes. Great sense of humour when on form and without laughing at his own jokes?, yes. More often than not self-depricating, yes.

    I don't think I've ever heard him or have read anywhere, and I've read all his books and most articles, giving himself praise.

    For some reason I don't have a similar problem myself and often blabber about my ice-skating or dittying, etc, but I am also extremely eager to shower other people with praise whenever I feel they deserve it. And that happens quite a bit, including things that they may be doing better than me. Or how great they look, or whatever, without expecting a compliment in return.

    mim

  • Comment number 25.

    23. mimpromptu 'Some of stat's thing is supposed to be a joke but only at the expense of others. Try and make a joke about him. He groans and he growls and goes into, what I would describe in rather mild words, unpleasant revenge.'

    Remember those helpful exercises? Another one is to not seek out accomplices, as that just reinforces conspiratorial behaviour.

  • Comment number 26.

    13. mimpromptu 'It all sounds very suspect to me what stat is talking about at #89 regarding 'winning' a female. Mind boggles what he might be into.'

    I'd lose that mind if I were you. It doesn't seem to be doing you much good.

  • Comment number 27.

    NO SHOW? (#21)

    That must be my error 76. I watch for news, presented and analysed with gravitas. You are the one with the correct approach - you simply watch a 'show'.

  • Comment number 28.

    #25

    What exercises stat? I don't have a clue what you're talking about?

  • Comment number 29.

    28. mimpromptu 'What exercises stat? I don't have a clue what you're talking about?'

    Maybe it's genetic?

    Note: It helps to be inquiring when one doesn't know what someone is talking about. That requires one to do some investigating.

  • Comment number 30.

    So the government expelled an Israeli diplomat, but kept:

    Abu Qatada
    Farj Hassan al-Saadi
    Ismail Kamoka

    instead.
    Good here innit?

  • Comment number 31.

    Darling darling bog off I ain't paying your dozy taxes
    the motoring bike is up and running, next weak I'm of 2
    the chock fact ory in belgium to get my Baccy and fizzkey
    although been off the booze for a while now.

    Start again

    birdy num nums

  • Comment number 32.

    There should be a link to this blog on the homepage

  • Comment number 33.

    15. barriesingleton 'If ever we draw back, successfully, from this dark place, I shall press for a statue of Mandelson and Clarke, to encapsulate this age, and serve as a warning to the next.'

    Beavis and ButtHead might be more apt. :-(

  • Comment number 34.

    #28

    What kind of response is it to a straightforward question? What the hell has genetics to do with exercises? Or do you mean 'symbolically' and something to do with the part of the word, i.e. 'gen' or even stretching it further something to do with 'jeans', i.e. genes or vice versa?

  • Comment number 35.

    30. Mistress76uk 'So the government expelled an Israeli diplomat, but kept:

    Abu Qatada
    Farj Hassan al-Saadi
    Ismail Kamoka

    instead.
    Good here innit?'

    I note that you tend to see things a bit differently. Thre was a time when Jews were 'terrorists' and Muslims were Commonwealth citizens with a right of return you know.

  • Comment number 36.

    32. Hyperstar 'There should be a link to this blog on the homepage'

    Do you think they forgot?

  • Comment number 37.

    "Justin Rowlatt will be gauging reaction from people affected by the downturn in the key marginal of Brighton Pavilion"

    My previous post at #7 was removed for quoting too much data from the Green Party website. Instead I now suggest that potential voters check each party’s online manifestos for their published policies (as opposed to their ever-changing sound bites) for the partys'policies on items (such as control by EU and Migration) of most concern to the GBP.

    Caroline Lucas, Green Party candidate for Brighton Pavilion.
    "There is a demographic here that likes to think of Brighton as being ahead of the game – being more progressive."

    Having studied their online manifesto my opinion (as a Brighton voter) is that their policies are more a counsel of perfection than a charter for progressive action.

    The following site may also assist in deciding whether to vote tactically taking due account of the changes in favour and fortune that have occurred since the 2001 General Election:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1399623/Complete-list-of-General-Election-candidates.html

    In the marginal constituency of Brighton Pavilion the Greens may well overtake Lib-Dems and even win the seat, thus helping toward a hung parliament that may bring about much needed change in the Westminster style of ‘confrontation without any real differences’ between the 3 main parties.

    However the Green Party’s policies do not appear to show any concern about EU control and their web statements under 'Migration' rather increase concerns in this area that polls have shown to be high on the public’s list for change.

    In constituencies where voting for minor parties would be merely non-productive ‘protest’ votes, an alternative of voting Lib-Dem might be considered - not for their policies on Immigration (as reviewed on MigrationWatch website) but as a longer-term attempt to get the voting system changed (to Prop-Rep) so that minor parties can get a fair and democratic number of MPs to counter the complacency and apathy of NuLabour and BluLabour.

    I recommend having ready a list of Direct Questions which will require Direct Answers from doorstep canvassers in the lead-up to the general election.

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.





    9. At 2:36pm on 24 Mar 2010, Statist wrote:

    Goal !!!!

    They think it's all over ....

    It is now!



    Compare the three main parties to the three monkeys ....

    Which can't see?

    Which can't hear?

    Which can't talk?

    (Warning, it's a trick question ....)

    Answer:

    All three ....

    There's nowt so blind, deaf, dumb as those that choose to be!

  • Comment number 40.

    Thought for Budget Night: Is 'a far-right poster' something one finds on the wall in a Hedge-Fund Manager's or Investment Banker's place of work?

  • Comment number 41.

    DEFENCE-ISSUES BUDGET-FOCUS NEEDED

    PART 2:

    UK's NEW TYPE-45 DESTROYERS ENTERING SERVICE ONLY 20% COMPLETE DUE TO LABOUR's COST-SAVINGS STRATEGIES 1997-2010:

    Holland's De Zeven Provincien class of Frigates are roughly the same size as the UK's new- purportedly 'world beating'- Type-45 class of Destroyers.

    Similar to Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens have been built/commissioned during the last 7-years.

    Unlike Type-45's, none of the 4 De Zeven Provinciens completed so far, spent years at sea after construction without an operational Anti Air Warfare missile system....

    Similarly, De Zeven Provinciens have not experienced 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 & defensive systems that make Type-45's capabilities look ridiculous- were reported as less than 1/2 a billion pounds each:

    http://www.onwar.com/weapons/warships/boats/Netherlands_DeZevenProvincien.html

    http://www.netherlands-embassy.org/tromp/faq.htm

    http://www.amiinter.com/samples/netherlands/NL1301.html (price of each- $500 million?)

    http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/dezeven/

    De Zeven Provinciens are each fitted with an ultra modern (x band) Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) type (interrupted continuous wave illumination (ICWI)) radar (not dissimilar to the UK's Type-45's) but instead of being armed for anti air warfare (AAW) with Sea Viper (aka Aster 15 & Aster 30 ) missiles (as Type-45's are), the De Zeven Provinciens are armed for Anti Air Warfare (AAW) with the U.S. ESSM, SM-2 & SM-3 types of missiles & the Lockheed MK 41 VLS Strike missile launcher system...

    ESSMs & SM-2 missiles can be used against surface targets whereas Sea Vipers (aka Asters) can not...

    AND, unlike Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens are fitted with the communications & related equipment required for Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC);

    AND, unlike Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens are fitted with Close In Weapons Systems (CIWS's);

    AND, unlike Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens are fitted with a first rate sonar;

    AND, unlike Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens are fitted with torpedo tubes & the equipment required to launch torpedoes from-ship;

    AND, unlike Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens are fitted with Anti Surface Weapons- the US 'Harpoon' Anti Ship Cruise Missile;

    AND, unlike Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens are fitted with an infra red early warning system for detecting & tracking sea skimming Anti Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCM's);

    AND, unlike Type-45's, De Zeven Provinciens can be armed with (Tomahawk) Land-attack cruise missiles;

    AND De Zeven Provinciens are constructed to enable crew protection from chemical, biological & nuclear attacks whereas Type-45's are not....

    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/raytheons-standard-missile-naval-defense-family-updated-02919/ :

    "... SM-2 Block IIIA missiles have greater capability at even lower altitudes than previous SM-2 versions, a more powerful fragmentation warhead, & can use Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) to improve performance against supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles..."

    IF MODERN DESTROYERS & FRIGATES DON'T NEED "CLOSE IN WEAPONS SYSTEMS" (CIWS's), WHY ARE ALL 1st WORLD COUNTRIES- OTHER THAN THE UK- ARMING THEIR NEW SURFACE COMBATANTS WITH CIWS's??

    Type-45 Destroyers' peers such as the US's Burke class Destroyers, South Korea's KDX III's (Burke variant), Japan's Kongo & Atago classes of Destroyers (Burke Variants), Holland's De Zeven Provincien Frigates, Germany's F124 & F125 classes of Frigates, Spain's Alvaro de Bazan Frigates AND France/Italy's (&, very, very likely, their export customers') Horizon & FREMM classes of Frigates have had (or will have) 'Close In Weapons Systems' (CIWS's) fitted at construction completion &commissioning...

    Other than the UK's Type-45's, ALL of the above referenced countries' Destroyers and Frigates are having fitted:

    1) Two copies of the radar-guided 'Phalanx' machine gun-based CIWS (Burkes, Horizons, FREMMS, ATAGO's, KONGO's); or

    2) Two copies of the more capable, radar-guided 'Goalkeeper' machine gun-based CIWS (Holland's De Zeven Provinciens & S. Korea's KDX III's); or

    3) Two copies of the missile-based Raytheon RIM-116 rolling airframe missile (RAM) CIWS (Germany's F-124's and F-125's); or

    4) Two copies of the reportedly not as capable, radar guided FABA Meroka 2B machine gun-based CIWS (Spain's F-100 Alvaro de Bazans)...

    Several of the above countries are installing or have installed more than one model of CIWS to their Frigates/Destroyers...

    CIWS's are accepted by naval strategists and architects as vital for situations when a Destroyer or Frigate's main anti airborne threat weapons system, such as an AEGIS or in the UK's case, the PAAMS/Aster based system misses its targets or runs out of missiles.

    CIWS's are also recognized in ALL developed world countries' (with global footprints) naval planners' strategy doctrine as integral to ship self-defence from recently emerged types of threats such as fast-attack suicide boats and similar surface threats;

    CONTRADICTING ORIGINAL PLANS, TYPE-45's EMBARKED HELO's NOT 'WORLD BEATER' CAPABILITY TYPE

    Type-45's are not being fitted with the communications, night operations and landing hardware equipment that is required to embark the Merlin (EH 101) Helicopter. Consequently, only the vastly inferior Lynx helicopter will be embarkable on Type-45's for the foreseeable future.

    Apparently, Lynx's won't be deployable at night from Type-45's...

    TYPE-45's RECEIVING A DANGEROUSLY FUNCTIONALLY LIMITED SONAR:

    France and Italy's Horizon Frigates are receiving the Thales UMS 4110 CL sonar.

    The MoD wanted this set for Type-45's but were ruled out by Labour on costs grounds.

    As a result the Type-45's are receiving the vastly less capable EDO MFS-7000 sonar....

    Testimony at this link:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmselect/cmpubacc/136/1011503.htm

    ... shows that in 2001 there were indeed plans in within the MoD to commission new Type-45 Destroyers without any sonar fitted- in addition to their many other egregious lack of weapons, communications, damage control systems & capabilities' deficiencies...

    Testimony also shows how dangerously outmoded the STILL NOT REPLACED TODAY IN 2010 Sea Dart anti airborne threat system was in 2001...

    One would expect that members of the MoD that were aware of hugely serious and highly dangerous equipment capability shortfalls would have been testifying loudly for immediate rectification- not attempting to defend irresponsible govt funding and acquisition policies- by trying to double talk committee members and avoid admitting how dangerous the equipment capability shortfalls were...

    1)TYPE-45's WERE CONCEIVED AS MULTI-ROLE/MULTI-MISSION DESTROYERS- WHY HAS THIS CHANGED?

    According to the MoD in 2002 and after main gate approval, Type-45's were to be multi-role Destroyers with multi-mission capabilities (similar to the US Navy's Burkes, France & Italy's Horizons & FREMMS, S. Korea's KDX III's, Japan's Kongos & Atagos, Holland's De Zeven Provinciens, Australia's Hobarts and Anzacs, Germany's F124s & Spain's Alvaro de Bazans)...

    So,

    1) "why aren't the Type-45's rolling off of the assembly line being fitted with the weapons, communications, defensive and related equipment required to function as 'multi-mission/multi-role' Destroyers??"

    If cost is the answer from the MoD/govt, then:

    2) "is it reasonably sound and responsible logic for the govt to be directing and/or sanctioning the building and putting into service what are in reality only partially built warships??"

    3) "Would the army accept land fighting vehicles that- although fitted with engines and wheels upon delivery to the Army- were to have their guns and armour fitted at a later- NOT SPECIFIED- date??"

    4) "What would such a practice do to army service personnel morale, the country's reputation world-wide and its abilities to deter potential aggressors/defend itself in the future??"
    -------------------

    Labour have reduced the status of the UK's armed forces' and the funding of major military acquisition projects to the status of: 'we'll fund it only if it gets votes', and 'if building or buying incompetent/neutered equipment is a possibility- we'll do this... in order to save money in the short term...'

    As opposed to: 'we'll fund it at the level required to best serve the country's needs and defence'....


    _________________
    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 42.

    37. indignantindegene 'However the Green Party’s policies do not appear to show any concern about EU control and their web statements under 'Migration' rather increase concerns in this area that polls have shown to be high on the public’s list for change.'

    As I said to ecolizzy in a post on yesterday's blog (continued today), unless I'm very much mistaken, the problem doesn't lie with immigration per se but with what prompted immigration as a solution. Immigration is just a desperate non-solution to a much more critical problem, which is, I fear, inherent to Liberal-Democracy itself. It's this which has to be dealt with, but my guess is that most of us won't face it, so we'll keep being distracted by the attempted solution, rather than the true cause of our problems, which I think I've explicated ad nauseam elsewhere, along with the only solution. :-(

  • Comment number 43.

    Perhaps Panda deferred the 3p increase in road fuel duty ( only 1p in April ) in order to fiddle the inflation statistics which could have come out by May 6th. Even Nick Clegg managed to squeak that rises in fuel duty were bad for the rural areas the Lib-Demmics attempt to target. What a pity nobody realised this fact over 15 years ago, perhaps we would still have had much of our manufacturing industry left in the north of the UK.

    As for the stamp duty cut its yet another desperate attempt to inflate the property market, when what is needed for Britain to become competitive as a place to live and do business in a global economy is a reduction of average house prices by at least a third, preferably half. Increasing stamp duty on properties worth over a million was a good move in my book, and it would appear that property speculators will no longer be able to lucratively rent out mansions to large ( perhaps immigrant ? ) families on the back of housing benefit.

    At least speaking personally, Justin Rowlatt blew whatever credibility he ever had with the " prove climate change theory in you kitchen " experiment. This weeks alleged " meet the people to find out their opinions " slot has been just as pointless. Large corporate shopping centers are hardly likely the place to find your average cost conscious thinking British person. It might have been fair enough in the middle of the winter cold snap but its been relatively mild more recently. Now it would appear that he is going to " green city ", hardly the place to get an accurate reaction to things like road fuel tax increases, or the proposed 2 bn " green bank " ?

    It all adds up to yet more Ken Clarke inspired false economic growth, threats from the stock market parasites about far higher interest rates ring hollow when you consider that the only thing propping up the FTSE at the moment is virtually free borrowing. Its a commodities speculator paradise at the moment, bond traders are hardly likely to threaten their best buddies nice little false economic growth earner. Sooner or later the BoE has to defend the falling value of the pound by fighting fire with fire and raise interest rates back up to somewhere in the region of at least 5%

  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

    Intrigued by Mimpromptu's references to the design tastes of past world 'dictators' by Peter York, I had a look and thought I'd share the product description, and just one review of said work with interested NN bloggers:

    First, the product description:

    'A special edition of Hello magazine as it might be published in Hell - a Through the Keyhole from the seventh circle of Dante's Inferno.' Michael Bracewell, Frieze 'Superbly arch... York is on vintage form in Dictators' Homes'

    And one of the two reviews:

    'I would advise against buying both Dictator's Homes and Dictator's style. Despite the different titles, they share the same text and photographs. It is almost as if the authors and publishers are bunch of greedy crooks. The set made a poor Christmas present.'

    Somehow, I think Stalin, Hitler etc may have had people like Peter York very much in mind when they were planning for available work in their rehabilitative labour camps.

    I respectfully submit that anyone who takes seriously nonsense like this from Peter York, really does need rehabilitation, not that I expect it to ever work.

    Does anyone else have any problem grasping precisely why this nation may have been going downhill for some time now? It happened in Germany in the 1920s too, and very probably for the same reasons.

  • Comment number 46.

    @3 the gang ...

    "As for Obama I think the Americans are being very, very hard on him as he has totally partisan opposition, two wars, a crash, he had a battle to get health care and they still don't have a public option, trouble in the Middle East and so on and so on.

    In this bizarre world could he do all of the right things and be dumped for a President Palin elected via the GOP/Fox/Tea Party/McCarthyite smearer's".

    ------

    Very good point.

    The problem now for all politicians is that as information has become
    more immediate and accessible to everyone around the world people seem to think because they see an 'idea' mentioned on a blog, web site or Twitter
    it should be implemented by the end of the following week.

    Can you imagine anyone in the UK trying to do their job if everything they said or proposed was instantly viewable on Twitter and the net.

    The expectation on all politicians now is unrealistic.

    ---------------

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    ..Under a headline declaring "We Got Off Easy", Israel's mass circulation Yediot Ahronot newspaper wrote: "Whoever used forged British passports knew that he might have to pay the price. And the price set by the British yesterday was a clearance sale price."

    Officials added that Israel had received assurances that the diplomat asked to leave could be replaced within six weeks, once the general election was over.

    Following a series of scandals involving Mossad and British interests in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher officially ejected the Israeli spy agency, an action that was to last 10 years.....

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7513480/Israel-brushes-off-Mossad-agents-expulsion-from-Britain.html

    so its the usual two fingers to the uk from Millibands friends? if milliband was to examine Cicero's treatise on friendship on what basis could he call them friends of the uk?

  • Comment number 49.


    The Chancellor has very few options considering that his government contributed to the disasterous fiscal collapse; though they would never admit it. Promises, promises, promises...just like Education, education, education and Tough on Crime....again all promises; just rhetoric and little action; certainly little action that made any sensible difference to how the UK works. I think they should all look in the mirror and admit that they; not the voters; have made a hell of a mess of the UK economy; wasting billions of pounds; pocketing taxpayer's money...rememeber the expenses scandal that won't go away and the icing on the cake: Afghanistan, costing the taxpayer billions and what for? He has nowhere to go; they have borrowed to the hilt; the world looks on and trusts them no longer it is reported and they; unbelievably think that the taxpayer will vote for them again?

  • Comment number 50.

    So he is going to help small businesses; it he? well here are a few facts about his government and small businesses: I spoke to a dealer who travels the UK collecting bankrupt industrial machines due to no business and economic deline due to those fatcat Bankers. The proprietor told me that a Nigerian buyer visits him approximately every six months and one day he asked the buyer "How can you Nigerians afford to come to the UK and buy surplus; bankrupt unused machinery?" his reply: "Because you Prime Minister gave us £15,000,000 of your Taxpayer's money so that we could come here to buy up your machines"...This is how New Labour destroy small businesses. Finally, should you own two small workshops and have to demolish one to avoid NDR, then the Valuation Office; the Stasi, will increase the NDR on the remaining workshop whether you can afford to pay it or not; This is how New Labour destory businesses. I will never vote for this lot of incompetents ever again.

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    Memo to Byrne - NHS - try trimming the management.

    Conservatives - do they know what anyone thinks beyond the M25?

    Cable just sunk his party.


  • Comment number 53.

    Blimey! if this bloke got his hands dirty...the world would come to an end!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_York

  • Comment number 54.




    Pop up Politics ....

    Still having problems, aren’t we!

    Initially it looked as though Nn was under attack by an 'agenda-rised' stroke 'motivated' sic group, then we get a couple of minutes of presenter waffle quickly followed by a mash-up of pleb opinion.

    Total time 5 minutes ------- at a push!

    Then to crown it all ....

    Ten minutes of the Politics Panel!

    Maybe you should re-title it ‘Put Down (Plebiscite) Politics!’



    Hopefully Mr Mason’s forthcoming report on Monday will show considerably less fear of the GBP than ‘Pop up Politics’ displays!

  • Comment number 55.

    #45

    just goes to show what a nasty little person you are, stat

  • Comment number 56.

    It looks like the President of the USA and his Vice get on just fine:

    http://www.buzztab.com/politics/joe-biden-f-bomb-a-blasphemy/

    I don't think he would have whispered what he had if they didn't.

    mim

  • Comment number 57.

    Statist keep postin!

  • Comment number 58.

    Outstanding Jeremy tonight - particularly by exposing Byrne/Hammond/Cable as all proposing further/deeper cuts. When pressed, none of them could answer how they would do it, or how much they would cut.......

    Loved the trio of Danny/Olly/Peter :o)
    :p poor Olly was getting teased by all.

  • Comment number 59.

    53. DebtJuggler - Most people won't see any of this - it's too depressing, and the sad reality is that, first and foremost, this is just an entertainment portal. The daily onscreen Newsnight link during broadcast now directs viewers not to this blog, but to Twitter, and many will boldly assert, with confidence, that what they don't understand immediately can't be worth taking too seriously, especially if it's counter-intuitive.

    Now, if only they thought about that, and their reactions, just a little more than they do, they might begin to see their way out of the mess that they've been digging for themselves, instead of just reporting on it....

  • Comment number 60.

    Peter York seemed so kind the other night that I gave him a kiss on the cheek. I hope he doesn't mind me saying so here.

    Plus, I'm happy that he is talked about here. That might even make some people buy his book. He gives brief summaries of the despots' lives and deaths not to be envied, what with lynching, public execution or being hung upside down, etc. And then there are illustrations showing more often than not really bad taste and greed of the disgraced dictators, with some of them having pretended to be acting in the name of the poor working class.

    mim

  • Comment number 61.

    Its hard to disagree with Bob Cesca HuffPost on the violence, threats and extremism thrown up by conservative elements in the GOP/Fox/Tea party conglomerate.

    "The far-right is out of its mind with talk of violence and armed insurrection. There's no way to shove it all back into its crazy bottle. But what can and should be done at this point is for conservative leaders to stop inciting the extremism and, instead, to help marginalize the crazies. The only way to slow down this tide of right-wing terrorism is to strip it of its legitimacy -- legitimacy it's deriving from leaders like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and John Boehner."

    Thank God we have no Sarah Palin!

    We do have Nick Griffin of the BNP but most people can see through the very thin veneer of respectability and he is a different kettle of fish.

    It all gets given away when for instance he comments on the victims of a gay pub bombing as "disgusting creatures" and gets uptight about the Prevent anti-terrorist strategy being fairly expanded to far right as we have had so many wannabe nail bombers and such like in recent years.

    On a merging of these topics I don't think he ever condemned Von Bruun who murdered a security guard at a US Holocaust memorial and was an American Friend of the BNP.

    Even on this very page we used to have a whacko poster jaded_jean whose views on the Holocaust and Hitler and National Socialism were very similar to the Von Bruun obsession with a "Jewish hegemony".

    But as ever there is no pointing out that they are always a tad light on facts. Bizarre statistics that won't make any court or scientific journal and so on. Rune dice probably.

    Like their demi-god hero Hitler they will spit hate but never substantiate it with fact.

    But though we should remain vigilant there is little sign that there is any appetite for the madness and evil that that monster stirred up.

  • Comment number 62.

    #45 statist

    "Somehow, I think Stalin, Hitler etc may have had people like Peter York very much in mind when they were planning for available work in their rehabilitative labour camps.

    I respectfully submit that anyone who takes seriously nonsense like this from Peter York, really does need rehabilitation, not that I expect it to ever work.

    Does anyone else have any problem grasping precisely why this nation may have been going downhill for some time now? It happened in Germany in the 1920s too, and very probably for the same reasons."

    You are typically quite cowardly for the far right.

    You refer to "rehabilitation" when you know millions died in the Holocaust. You will say it was "made up to put people off statism" but then also "that what was done" was because Jews were "an internal economic and political threat".

    You are too afraid to spell out that you admire Hitler and National Socialism and always skirt around the topic.

    But I suppose that given that you favour greater attention in the media to the BNP - who claim they "are not a Nazi Party" - you have to go along with whatever fiction is the dish of the day.

    I asume you also don't recommend those books and programmes that pick up on the mother->potty training->Geli Raubal psychological links that many think explain the psychological defects that brought ruin and rape and a split nation to Germany and roughly seventy million dead to Europe.

    Did you get om well with animals in your teens?

  • Comment number 63.

  • Comment number 64.

    Ad: #63 - verbal illustration

    RAF Tornados successfully squeezed out from the British space
    Unfriendly Russian Tupolev-160 bomber spying planes.
    It’s always important to be on one’s guard
    Against one’s enemies, the nasties or just plainly mad.

    mim

  • Comment number 65.

  • Comment number 66.

    #62

    In fact, Gango, Stat, being an opportunist and a leech attaching himself to those in power, has very strong links with Peter Mandelson /made jusr about of similar ilk/ and Gordon Brown, deep down very nasty people. It's a real shame that the public are not aware what abuse they are capable of.

    mim

  • Comment number 67.

    Dear darling darling how much of the dozy taxpayers redeese
    are you giving 2 terrorists this year. It was 130 mill last year, oh how they must laugh
    darling darling you are an idiot. It's not your. Fault being an idiot


    If the cap fits put a sock inint iniit

  • Comment number 68.

    Make up wearing Berlusconi with hair implants and after plastic surgery addresses a female politician:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/7512162/Silvio-Berlusconi-claims-opponents-looks-must-ruin-her-day.html

  • Comment number 69.

    #67

    Brilliant, dAllan169!

    mim

  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    58. Mistress76uk 'particularly by exposing Byrne/Hammond/Cable as all proposing further/deeper cuts. When pressed, none of them could answer how they would do it, or how much they would cut.......'

    Do you understand why?

    Do you understand what it was that will necessitate cuts?

  • Comment number 72.

    60 mimpromptu 'with some of them having pretended to be acting in the name of the poor working class.'

    In a socialist state, the term 'worker' refers to any citizen who does not make his or her living out of behaviours such as financial speculation or capital (which were crimes). That is, it referred to doctors, dentists, university professors, lawyers, ministers of state, as well as factory workers etc who would all have been classed as 'workers' (being poor was a nonsense). Furthermore, the words 'Work Makes You Free' was a positive slogan in that it suggested what might rehabilitate gamblers and fraudsters. Think of Bernie Madoff etc.

    Do you appreciate why some people today might invest heavily in making such political systems look unattractive, and how others help them?

  • Comment number 73.

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

  • Comment number 74.

    Observation: The group most critical group of woolly thinking/talking is engineers. These are predominantly males (always male-brained). This is also the group which builds and makes things work.

    This sector of society (industry/manufacturing) has gone into serious decline (at least since Thatcher). The cost to the economy has been devastating.

    Related observation: What does the NN 'Politics Panel' talk about? I can never remember, even 5 minutes after they have gone off screen. Can anyone else remember? Is it a natural filter? It's most odd.

  • Comment number 75.

    #70, 73 Moderators can you tell me what is suppose to be defamatory about my second post when what Ive said has been posted here before in different forms and can be found else where online - Telegraph, the Governments own information online. And in court documents made public.

    I can understand part of the first post.

    People - the general public have suffered very badly as a result of risk based regulation and the failures to the public still go on. Is it not right that we should bring this out to warn people.

  • Comment number 76.

    'But Mr Zakai, 53, whose parents emigrated from Iraq and who speaks fluent Arabic, befriended Mr Tarabin in the late 1960s when they were teenagers in Beersheva. Later they served together in the Israeli army as mechanical engineers.'

    Just in case anyone missed it back in post 12.

    Sometimes (although far more often than is imagined here, alas) life's injustices are so stark that people can't accept them for what they are.

  • Comment number 77.

    THE SINCERITY OF THE WESTMINSTER POLITICIAN

    A clip of Tony was played on TV recently - the one where he says: "I will not let you down." The degree to which HIS OWN UTTERANCE moved him, was plain to see. There is a message there.

    Blair went on to ditch his constituents mid-term, and head for the money-hills.

    Simply by observing the Westminster rituals and listening to Westminster Rhetoric, it is clear they are espoused by all, equally. Brown, Cameron, Clegg et al, are only differentiated by style and skill - not underlying principles (or lack of).

    Blair was an extreme practitioner of the art of falsehood, envied, emulated and espoused by Westminster's finest. While this ethos endures, we will suffer the consequences.

  • Comment number 78.

    Cuts: Here's a little something a blogger on Peston's Picks drew to my attention yesterday.... On Budget Day, it was stated that this department (Mr Mandelson's) was being cutting by £300,000,000....

    Incidentally, it wouldn't go amiss to look into all the IT white elephants, as effective use of ICT requires capable staff. GIGO. See population/demographic change and HRA/FOIA as weapons to decimate the Public Sector.

  • Comment number 79.

    77. barriesingleton 'Blair was an extreme practitioner of the art of falsehood, envied, emulated and espoused by Westminster's finest. While this ethos endures, we will suffer the consequences.'

    I'm not clear what the point is of picking on individuals in this way, especially if one recognises, as you evdiently do, that they are incorrigible? Is it a form of socially acceptable bullying? Agaisn, if so, what is the point if it is an inherited trait? Or is it an attempt at social deterrence e.g. sde-selection? The problem there is that some types will be positively selected for just these 'useful' traits surely?

    Picking on individuals doesn't seem to work in this (patently corrupt) system. The problem, surely, is systemic?

    Is this focus on individuals just a distraction? Has any criticism, however constructive, benign or benevolent, in this blog, ever worked on those of similar ilk? It's question I frequently ask ;-)

  • Comment number 80.

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

  • Comment number 81.

    'When he took over the Department of Trade and Industry in 1989 he asked, “What is the DTI for? I’ve got bugger all to do, and thousands of staff to help me do it.”

    This was Nicholas Ridley, cited in Monbiot linked below.

    In this head-spinning one from Monbiot a year ago, one line is especially worth thinking about next time you go to your supermarket:

    'In the United States, supermarkets often dictate the contents of the magazines they sell'

    Think about supply and demand, who's the customer; who's the prey? Can you see propaganda portals in your supermarket? Note the Dispatches remarks on food labelling this week, and who allegedly said what to whom (and who outright denied it)?

    The following, also from the article has long been the game (see beginning of the article on the DTI in 1989 - but of its modern incarnation, the BERR, Monbiot writes:

    'In the strategic plan it released last month, BERR announced that it wants the government to “match … the influence it exercises in the economy to the strategic needs of business.”(18) It also wants to second even more people from the private sector into government(19), which is already infested with people whose public duties conflict with their commercial interests.'

  • Comment number 82.

    #77

    Singie

    It looks like Stat may be beginning to get scared of being found out and dealt with! (^_^)

    mim

  • Comment number 83.

    What we're observing, ever more so in society at large, but in microcosm within this blog (as representative of social trends), is the failure of education for reasons which I've outlined, and the inability of many to benefit from those who are educable.

    How we deal with this growing problem, both at the population, and microcosm, level, is a bellwether of our collective future. The problem is that ineducable people generally don't see how (i.e. in their behaviours) they are ineducable. Despite all the evidence, they don't like being told the truth, as it isn't socially desirable, in their eyes. They are like children. They will say whatever they think will make them likeable, regardless of whether or not it's true. That just isn't how truly educable people behave. What does this say about our liberal education and political system?

  • Comment number 84.

    A bit on the sensitve side auntie eh when I can b bothered I shall find an other y
    it's coming out weather you like tit or not.

  • Comment number 85.

    Well done to Jeremy Paxman last night who challenged members from all the main 3 parties. The man who looked the most hapless was Liam Byrne particularly when he was asked how he would reduce sickness amongst staff in the NHS (I gather from notayesmanseconomics web blog that £555 million of savings have been announced from this)!

    It just got better when Liam Byrne was asked what the defence budget would be in 2011/12 and he waffled and obfuscated. This is very poor because we are effectively at war. It is also strange for a man who appears to be something of a control freak in his demands for coffee and soup!

  • Comment number 86.

    82. mimpromptu 'It looks like Stat may be beginning to get scared of being found out and dealt with!'

    You're not doing those exercises are you? You should try you know. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.

    On the other hand, this is prima facie evidence that CBT doesn't work, perhaps because those who could benefit won't accept that there's anything wrong with them if it's prima facie evidence of imperfection...

    None of us are perfect, and all educable people know that.

  • Comment number 87.

    85. Francesca Jones 'Well done to Jeremy Paxman last night who challenged members from all the main 3 parties. The man who looked the most hapless was Liam Byrne particularly when he was asked how he would reduce sickness amongst staff in the NHS'

    But he isn't responsible for the NHS (as he explained)! You have to understand who is responsible for what in Government to ask rational questions. Just because they can not answer questions doesn't make them stupid, quite the contrary in fact! If Ministers made public announcements on behalf of departments for which they are not responsible, that would be irresponsible Government would it not?

  • Comment number 88.

    DEFENCE-ISSUES BUDGET-FOCUS NEEDED IN UK NEWS-MEDIA

    WHY DOESN'T ONE OF THE UK's MAJOR INVESTIGATIVE NEWS-MEDIA OUTLETS- SUCH AS THE BBC- embark a reporter or three on several non-UK aircraft carriers, such as carriers of the US, France, Italy, Brazil, Japan and India navy's- AND interview either their commanding officer(s) or senior Weapons Officers onboard each vessel (and/or naval military tactician's)- and ask:


    1) "why are their respective vessels fitted with anti airborne threat missile systems?"; and

    2) "what are the dangers posed to such warships by modern anti-ship cruise missiles (such as the widely marketed SS-N-27 'sizzler' and its clones) as well as moderately up-to-date and the newest aircraft?"

    On the same show, ask the UK MoD and/or govt officials:

    1) "why don't the UK's current carriers have any anti airborne threat missile systems?";

    2) "Why were the Sea Dart anti airborne threat missile systems not replaced with up-to-date systems when these systems were removed from the RN's carriers in the late 1990's- a time when the existence and highly lethal capabilities of the then new SS-N-27 were well known among the MoD and senior govt officials?"

    3) "does not having anti airborne threat missile systems put the RN's carriers, their service personnel and the UK's interests generally- at high risk?"

    On the same show, interview the designers of the UK's planned new 'big deck' aircraft carriers and ask:

    1) "why are the UK's new aircraft carriers being designed without anti airborne threat missile systems and the radars required to operate these weapons?"

    2) "considering that anti airborne threat missile systems are integral to aircraft carriers belonging to ALL other countries' navies world-wide, why isn't the UK govt allowing the UK's new carriers to be fitted with these weapons and the (costly) radars required to operate them?"

    3) "why are the UK's new carriers being designed without aircraft-launch catapults?"

    4) "why are the UK's new carriers being designed WITHOUT ARMOUR and WITHOUT ARMOURED BULKHEADS?"

    - Cut away to a US Nimitz or Improved Nimitz class class aircraft carrier and ask its commanding officer or similar qualified person:

    1a) "why do ALL of the US Navy's in-service 'big deck' Nimitz and Improved Nimitz class aircraft carriers as well as the LHA and LHD classes of ‘medium sized aircraft carriers’ have armour and armoured bulkheads?" and

    1b) WHY ARE THESE VESSELS FITTED COMPREHENSIVELY WITH ANTI AIRBORNE THREAT MISSILE SYSTEMS & THE ADVANCED RADARS + COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS REQUIRED TO OPERATE THEM?"

    - http://www.military-today.com/navy/improved_nimitz_class.htm -

    2) "why are the US's newest 'big deck' carriers- such as the recently commissioned G Bush and the undergoing-design "Gerald Ford” class- built with extensive amounts of armour and fitted with armoured bulkheads and/or being designed to be fitted extensively with armour and with armoured bulkheads?"

    3) "why are the US's newest 'big deck' carriers- such as the recently commissioned G Bush and the undergoing design Gerald Ford class built with and/or designed to be fitted with anti airborne threat missile systems and the advanced radars required to operate these systems?"

    4) The same questions could be put to persons serving on, overseeing and/or involved in the design of the US Navy's 10 'medium sized' (LHA and LHD) aircraft carriers... (each about twice as big as the UK's Invincible class carriers (HMS Illustrious & HMS Ark Royal)) such as the USS Makin Island:

    - http://www.navy.mil/local/lhd8/ -

    - http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&ct=4&tid=400 -

    - http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/man/uswpns/navy/amphibiousassault/lhd1Wasp.html -

    - http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/man/uswpns/navy/amphibiousassault/lha1tarawa.html -

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/lhx.htm

    ... and the above questions could be put to designers of the US Navy's Makin Island successor class of ‘medium sized aircraft carriers’, due to enter service in 2014 or thereabouts...


    CONTINUED


    ______________
    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 89.

    consultants = the govt has no nation building plan.

    talking of elephants the romans brought elephants across the channel to conquer the british tribes.

    last time i had real somerset cider they only sold it in half pints.

  • Comment number 90.

    88. MrRoderickLouis Wouldn't your material be more usefully posted on Mark Urban's blog? There's a more obvious link to it from the main NN page too.

  • Comment number 91.

    DEFENCE-ISSUES BUDGET-FOCUS NEEDED IN UK NEWS-MEDIA

    PART 2:

    WHY DOESN'T ONE OF THE UK's MAJOR INVESTIGATIVE NEWS-MEDIA OUTLETS- SUCH AS THE BBC- embark a reporter or three on several non-UK aircraft carriers, such as carriers of the US, France, Italy, Brazil, Japan and India navy's- AND interview either their commanding officer(s) or senior Weapons Officers onboard each vessel (and/or naval military tactician's)- and ask:

    1)
    Why are all of the US Navy's front line surface combatants- such as aircraft carriers, Amphibious Assault ships, Destroyers (and even many attack subs)- fitted with the sensors and communications equipment required for Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC)?"

    2) "Why aren't any of the UK's surface combatants fitted with the sensors and communications equipment required for Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC)?"

    3) "Why, in 2004/2005 did Labour 'guillotine' previous commitments to fund the fitting of ALL of the UK's surface combatants AND new vessels- such as the planned aircraft carriers and Type-45 Destroyers- with the sensors and communications equipment required for Cooperative Engagement Capability (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 (or any under-attack ship) cannot 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...

    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/cec-coooperative-enagagement-for-fleet-defense-updated-03120/ -

    "The Cruise Missile Challenge: Designing a Defense Against Asymmetric Threats"' 2007:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    "... The optimal sensor platform for cruise missile detection, therefore, will be air-based. By looking down on the Earth, elevated sensors can spot a cruise missile from many angles, unlike ground-based (and sea surface platform-based) radars which may only see the nose.

    "Even more importantly, air-based sensors can see over any obstructing terrain (such as high waves) that might otherwise be used to conceal a cruise missile’s flight path. An air-based sensor platform can also survey a wider area than a ground system, since it can see farther over the Earth’s horizon than is possible from ground-level surveillance platforms.

    "... the U.S. Navy's E-2D Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft are tasked with:

    "1) detecting and tracking airborne threats at the greatest possible distances, AND

    "2) with directing combat aircraft and anti-air (missile & radar guided machine-gun- rvl) batteries to deal with these air threats...


    "The great advantage of... AEW aircraft is that they are already capable against (anti-ship) cruise missiles, an ability that only grows with time and upgrades...."


    The E-2D Hawkeye is not operable from the UK's current and its planned new 'big deck' aircraft carriers as all ship-deployed E-2D Hawkeye aircraft require launch catapults....

    The UK's current carriers don't have launch catapults and- in a dangerously short-sighted Labour govt money saving scheme- the planned new 'big deck' aircraft carriers are not being built with aircraft-launch catapults...

    http://www.janes.com/articles/International-Defence-Review-2004/US-fuses-inputs-for-cruise-missile-defense.html -

    http://www.janes.com/articles/International-Defence-Review-2003/Proposals-requested-for-CEC-Block-2.html -

    http://www.janes.com/defence/naval_forces/news/jdw/jdw001017_1_n.shtml

    http://www.janes.com/news/defence/naval/jdw/jdw091201_1_n.shtml

    Possibly the most egregiously dangerous and short sighted Labour Govt cost-cutting strategy of the last 5-years: upon build-completion & commissioning, Type-45 Destroyers were to not be fitted with the sensors and communications 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...

    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...

    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...

    4) How can the new Type-45 Destroyers be expected to provide anti airborne threat defences for most of the Royal Navy's vessels as well as 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 such as the planned 'big deck' aircraft carriers- are not equipped with the communications and sensors equipment required for CEC??

    Only six '1/4 equipped/fitted out' Type-45's are to be built, instead of Labour's commitment in the late 1990's to fund the construction of 12 'fully-equipped’ Type-45's...

    Out of 6 Type-45's, only 3 or 4 can reasonably be expected to be operational and out of refit/repairs/upgrades status on any given day...

    1)
    "Can 3 or 4 Type 45 Destroyers protect the entire UK/its interests and/or all of the RN's surface vessels and civilian vessels involved in future wars?"

    2) "Why aren't the UK's existing AND planned new surface combatants- IE aircraft carriers, Type 22 and 23 Frigates as well as Type-42 Destroyers- being expeditedly fitted AND/OR designed to be fiited with CEC?"



    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 92.

    Statist (comment 90):

    Mr Urban does not have the seniority within the BBC to 'self-assign' and to direct relatively significant BBC finances towards the type of resource-intensive, Defence-issues programme my comment proposed...


    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver BC, Canada

  • Comment number 93.

    89. jauntycyclist 'consultants = the govt has no nation building plan.'

    Have you heard of NUTS? Think RDAs. Think Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Sweden, Finland...

    Think anarchism.

 

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