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Wings Over Scotland

Today’s news in numbers

Posted on July 04, 2014 by

Later this morning the Queen will launch a vessel named after herself at the Rosyth naval dockyards. Earlier, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, appeared on the BBC News channel dripping in gold braid and medals to revel in the delivery of his shiny new toy, or at least the hull of it.

(Rather crassly Sir George claimed that it was being given the name of not just the current monarch but “both our Queen Elizabeths”, even though Scotland has only ever had one Queen Elizabeth and the ship itself tactfully avoids adding a “II” on the end.)

In what was an all-round virtuoso display of foot-shooting, the esteemed Admiral was also keen to point out just how few jobs would be supported by HMS Big Grey Floating Car Park – which won’t actually carry any fighter jets until 2020 – noting that “this ship only has 600 people aboard… that is a fraction of previous vessels of this size”.

And that got us to thinking.

The cost of the carrier so far has been approximately £3.1bn. It’s not known what will happen to the workforce at Rosyth when the work is finished, but it seems unlikely that the 800 jobs at the dockyard dependent on military contracts will all be retained.

(The ship’s home base will be Portsmouth and any maintenance carried out at Rosyth in future would require only a fraction of those, with the Fife base already having been downgraded last year and rumours persisting that planning permission has already been granted to demolish some of its facilities and rebuild them as industrial units.)

Nevertheless, let’s generously assume that half could be saved. Added to the 600 crew onboard that gives us a neat total of 1000 jobs. Which means that each and every job supported by the carrier has cost the nation £3.1 million.

That’s enough to pay someone the average UK wage for just under 117 years.

The day’s other big political news of relevance to Scotland is the UK government’s pledge (announced at a poorly-attended rally in Perth yesterday and conditional on a No vote) to spend £500m on infrastructure projects in Glasgow.

It’s claimed that the sum – which is roughly twice Scotland’s share of the cost of HMS Queen Elizabeth – will generate 28,000 jobs. That’s a bargain at just £17,857 per job, or roughly 0.6% of the cost of each one supported by the aircraftless carrier.

However, the headline £500m figure which appears in all of today’s newspapers is somewhat misleading, as the money is to be spread over 20 years (and in any event subject to a “review” after five years), and nobody appears to have identified where this substantial new cash injection is coming from.

Or at least, not explicitly. Figures released this April suggested that the current UK government’s planned cuts to the welfare budget (which Labour has promised to slash even further if elected in 2015), will cost Glasgow approximately £270 million a year – or roughly ten times the annual spending pledged by David Cameron yesterday.

So let’s just recap:

Cost of one job on HMS Queen Elizabeth: £3.1 million
Cost of one job in Glasgow from infrastructure spending: £17,857
Number of jobs that could be created for the cost of one job on HMS QE: 174
Money being taken out of Glasgow per year: £270m
Money being put back in per year: £25m
Net loss to Glasgow: £245m

Naturally, the No campaign is aglow with this avalanche of feelgood stories.


But what seems to have actually happened is that the Westminster government has just announced plans to rob Glasgow of £270 million a year (plus another £1.4bn from the rest of Scotland) and give less than 10% of it back while expecting everyone to be grateful, and meanwhile wasting vast sums on creating a small handful of the world’s most expensive jobs when spending the money on something other than pointless grandstanding with military hardware would produce close to 200 times as many.

(The carrier, even in half a decade’s time when it may or may not actually have some military capability other than as a gigantic battering ram, serves no practical purpose in terms of the nation’s defence. It exists, as Admiral Zambellas noted, solely to project the UK’s force elsewhere in the world, ie meddle in the affairs of other countries where we have no legitimate business.)

We must admit, we’ve heard more compelling cases for the Union.

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    172 to “Today’s news in numbers”

    1. heedtracker says:

      Its a giant waste of time and tax payers money.

    2. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Just as well this farce has some identifiable facts and figures, otherwise no-one would believe a single word of it – we’re in Spike Milligan territory.

    3. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      “But what seems to have actually happened is that the UK government has just announced plans to rob Glasgow of £270 million a year (plus another £1.4bn from the rest of Scotland) and give just £25m of it back”

      Yes but is actually more devious than that.

      They have robbed Scotland and recycled a part of it to Glasgow, bypassing Holyrood.

      They are going to starve Holyrood and lard up the rotten boroughs.

    4. Steve Bowers says:

      Brilliant Rev, off to share.

    5. Capella says:

      A beribboned buffoon as Tony Hancock once observed.

    6. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Re the Carriers, the US has just grounded the entire fleet of the F35s, this time for an engine problem.

      HMS Jonah.

    7. Macart says:

      Do they have any feet left to shoot off?

      Wondering what they’re going to do with the thing for the next five years minus aircraft? That parking lot idea of yours Rev might actually come in handy. They might recoup some of the cash at least or pay for the cup holders in their non existent aircraft. Some lateral thought required there.

      Suggestions on a postcard ? MOD. 😀

    8. Richard Lucas says:

      It seems that these ships would last for precisely 12 minutes if ever used for their intended purpose:

    9. mogabee says:

      And exactly how much will it cost to protect said carrier from attack by “enemies” in far distant lands? It’ll become a massive target and you can hardly miss it!

      The whole thing makes absolutely no sense from any perspective.

    10. Colin says:

      HMS QE, is the QE for quantative easing, which is where the money for it came from?

    11. Muscleguy says:


      When the increasingly fractious weather or a well aimed coronal mass ejection from our local ball of fusion energy knocks out bits of the electrical infrastructure these vessels not very full of vassals can anchor offshore and power small coastal towns.

      Of course we could build vessels to fulfil this role for very much cheaper, but they could be used thus.

      I’m just waiting for the moment they realise they have got their sums wrong and it dings the Forth bridges damaging its superstructure and causing transport chaos.

    12. Jim Marshall says:

      They should not go near the Persian Gulf with this. Just imagine…British carrier surrenders to Iranian gunboat…crew sent home with presents…sell their story to tabloid newspapers.

    13. Clootie says:

      I’m sick of the BT/MSM mob trying to mislead by headlines. Gazzilions coming your way if you vote NO.

      They announce a “Big” number which is pennies per head when analysed.

      They go for “Divide & Rule” – money for Glasgow.

      The only up side is that they must be getting really rattled now – more powers, more money PROMISES but keep that in focus it is just PROMISES.

    14. handclapping says:

      As I understand it they can only send orders to it by Twitter until after it has passed the bridges and they can put the antennae on the top

    15. geeo says:

      Brilliant analysis as usual.
      Look how easy it is for something to seem ok but actually is a massive slap on the face.

      As for the carrier, i am sure it will be a terrifying sight for all the enemies of democracy to watch as this obscenity sails into an ocean near them with a few dozen chaps shouting ‘chocks away’ and running around the deck with outstretched arms making ‘naryplane noises !

      What a farce.

    16. frazer allan whyte says:

      I must admit to sharing Macart’s curiosity as to what purpose an aircraft carrier sans aircraft could possibly have. Could Wings maybe run a competition? I nominate it as a giant floating skateboard park. It would attract skateboarders from all over the world and as it flounders magnificiently useless from port to port to Portsmouth all the coastal taxpayers of the UK would benefit from the serial boost to their tourism economies. “Wheels Over Water”.

    17. Grouse Beater says:

      I tried to work on the fugures last night but fatigued got the better of me. I knew Glasgow had been robbed but couldn’t understand why the leader of the council welcomed the theives back again.

      Thanks, Stuart.

      Will memorise for possible ammunition later.

    18. Tattie-bogle says:

      Somalian pirates could use it as a base of operations

    19. Richard Lucas says:

      “And exactly how much will it cost to protect said carrier from attack by “enemies” in far distant lands? It’ll become a massive target and you can hardly miss it!”

      The article I refer to tells us it is impossible, at any cost, to protect these two immense floating coffins.

    20. Gfaetheblock says:

      Would the ship building costs not also include costs for raw materials and components, and need to take into account the production, procurement and transportation thereof? Seems an overly simplistic calculation has been made here, although I am no expert on shipbuilding, i suspect someone on the site is

    21. Grouse Beater says:

      By the way, and germaine to the topic:

      You have to assume many viewers seeing that masterpiece of vanity on TV will consider it an obscene waste of money.

      I cannot believe sane people will leap out of their seats and give three cheers for the Union.

    22. Muscleguy says:

      One point Rev, and sorry for this, but the only dry dock big enough to take these vessels is the one they being built in at Rosyth. So even after they are built and regardless of the referendum result they will have to come to Rosyth for maintenance that requires a dry dock. Considering the recent propensity for her majesty’s commanders to ground their charges or hit charted rocks this should provide quite some, intermittent, employment. Probably more than the 400 in your estimate.

      In terms of Rosyth dockyard jobs there’s also the thorny issue of those rusting nuclear sub hulks awaiting the removal of their radioactive components. If HMG ever manage to persuade some community to host a nuclear waste repository. Those subs are going to be an interesting subject for the indy negotiations.

    23. Coupled with the news from the U.S that all F35 airplanes have been grounded indefinitely following engine fires. This of course is after the previous about turn by the co-alition Government when after cancelling the S.T.O.L F35B and switching to the more conventional F35C, changed their mind, at the cost of over £250 million to us, the taxpayers, and went back to the original plane ordered by the previous Labour administration. Neither of them could run a menage. Better together. No thanks.

    24. Helena Brown says:

      Suggestion for the Aircraft carrier, we could use it as a floating prison,or school, somebody suggested moving the House of Commons and selling the land.
      Her Grace could use it as her yacht, take the whole lot of them out into the Atlantic and lose them, only a suggestion.
      WE could put all the rotten hulks lying in Rosyth on it and take them down to London? Then we could at least get free of them.

    25. bookie from hell says:

      the yacht will be out of date by the time the planes arrive

    26. Apologies to Bugger (the panda). You were first with the news of the plane groundings.

    27. Jim Bo says:

      “And it’s dry in Scotland”-
      Ohh for a flock of gulls to have shat all over his finery at that precise moment.

    28. bookie from hell says:

      jim sillars

      hospital ship

    29. Seasick Dave says:

      Does anyone on here have any idea how many Royal Naval warships are actually defending our shores at a given point in time, as opposed to say cruising the Caribbean or hovering around the Gulf?

      Do we actually have a defence force?

    30. r whittington says:

      Anyone else finding it difficult to get their head around why the First Minister is at a nameing Ceremony for a British Royal Navy aircraft carrier? Spin spin spin 😉

    31. aldo_macb says:

      This is an excellent post by the Rev.

    32. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Alex Beveridge

      Your’s was the better more complete post, mine just the flash news.

    33. alexicon says:

      Sorry for going O/T so early.

      The Daily Record is trying to raise the spectre of Scottish nationalist bombers with a nasty unionist headline in today’s comic.


    34. Grouse Beater says:

      Dick wonders: Anyone else finding it difficult to get their head around why the First Minister is at a nameing Ceremony for a British Royal Navy aircraft carrier?

      For the same reason the odd troll is tolerated on this site – we don’t categorise anything ‘British’ as foreign, certainly not when our taxes helped pay for it.

    35. handclapping says:

      So £15,000,000 for the 600,000 inhabitants of Glasgow or £25 per napper to stop them voting Yes. Obviously they think not very much is needed to turn Weegies into a parcel of rogues, especially as its not even money but just the promise of money. At least the first parcel people got money they could bite.

      Anyhoo, nothing venture nothing win; Hey Davey, Kirkcaldy is like to vote Yes and the High Street badly needs doing. 47,000 at £25 per nob is only £1,175,000 so cough up or we’ll all vote for Al-IqSammin and throw snowballs at your carrier when it passes.

    36. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      bookie from hell

      I suggested that a couple of years ago and Sillars has picked it up.

      I suggested stationing it at Simonstown as a half way house to Asis and the Caribbean. Simionstown was a RN base and with a skeleton maintenance crew, equipped with helicopters it could be crewed in about 48 hours following any major disaster.

      Oor Jim also knows how much that will all cost. He paints with a broad brush,

    37. Grouse Beater says:

      The Daily Record is trying to raise the spectre of Scottish nationalist bombers

      The drunk who allegedly staggered into the office?

      The letter in his pocket with a £10 note and a free night at the local YMCA was a clue.

    38. yerkitbreeks says:

      She is Elizabeth Queen of Scots, so we haven’t even a first Queen Elizabeth.

    39. Muscleguy says:


      Still assuming they have got ALL the calculations right, including the tide and the flow of the Forth. Also the steering has to work flawlessly . . .

      There’s the offshore oil terminal in the middle of the Forth just downstream of the bridges remember. After all it won’t be waterjet powered so can’t do a crash stop like the new South African frigates.

      I know they can wiggle the props and the rudders etc in dry dock but seawater is nasty stuff. Fingers crossed though as Scotland will be blamed if any of this comes to pass. You can bet that.

    40. Nation Libre says:

      You could add the £50 million per year it costs the Scottish Gov to mitigate for the Bedroom Tax, £1 billion over 20 years. You may also consider the £2 Billion additional tax taken from the oil industry in ONE YEAR

    41. starlaw says:

      I believe the navy still have one swordfish aircraft I saw it at Leuchars a couple of years ago . this aircraft could easy be deployed on HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH as it does not need any catapults or arrestor wires and is armed with one torpedo and a double barrelled Vickers machine gun this would project UK ‘CLOUT’ until F35C gets airborne

    42. goldenayr says:

      Lean it up against a mountain and we could advertise it as the most expensive ski jump in the world when we host the winter Olympics.

    43. Jack Murphy says:

      This morning a naval expert on Radio4 Today programme said that when/if the carrier goes into combat a significant flotilla of Royal Navy surface vessels and submarines will be required to defend it—-thus leaving the UK OK at high risk of attack at home.
      Most of the UK’s surface vessels will be defending the carrier!

    44. Tattie-bogle says:

      I have been saying for weeks how long it would take for a string of links as dynamite story to appear. The Dark Arts have begun

    45. r whittington says:

      He looks like hes really enjoying himself. Not uncomfortable at all…..

    46. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Is that funny man with scrambled egg all over his dinner suit, Admiral Zambellas, one of they furriners?

    47. Graham says:

      I’ve just received these secret tapes from today’s Rosyte Saga.

      J Nochtie: Mr Cameron, Prime Minister, like yourself I have been parachuted in to lend the Independence Referendum some much needed metropolitan gravitas, so seriously lacking up here. So, Mr Cameron, Prime Minister, welcome to Scotland and to this great occasion of the floating of the aircraftless carrier which will enable the UK to continue to punch above its weight and project our power and democracy throughout the benighted world. However, and this is very important, Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, there are a few voices up here questioning the cost of this great Brabazon of a vessel, indeed, and I wont bore you with the details Mr Cameron, Prime Minister, one blogger has calculated the cost of each job created is some 3.1 million pounds. Prime minister, Mr Cameron, would you care to comment?
      DC: No Thanks.
      JN: Well, Prime Minister, can I put this to you, Mr Cameron, and this is very important, Prime Minister, yesterday you announced a huge investment in Glasgow, but again, Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, and this is the crux, you are at the same time taking away millions more in welfare cuts. Can you explain this?
      DC: No Thanks
      JN: Will you be debating with the First Minister while you are up here?
      DC: No Thanks.
      JN: Mr Cameron, Prime Minister, many thanks for your time.
      DC: No Thanks to you Jim.

    48. goldenayr says:


      I thought they were going to use the catapult tae fire big chukkies at the enemy?

      Bit expensive firing multimillion pound aircraft.

    49. Juan Pablo Del Roomigrant says:

      This monster will, eventually, end up a prison ship.

      Then after much outrage, independent Scotland will buy it and float it on the River Clyde.

      She will have found her hame.

      Then fit her as a new dance hall, maybe rename her Independence.

    50. Macart says:


      “I’m just waiting for the moment they realise they have got their sums wrong and it dings the Forth bridges damaging its superstructure and causing transport chaos.”

      It is a big ol barge. 😀 LOL

      Visiting my dad in the Jubilee when they moved the sections out for Rosyth. Rolling past his bedroom window was like the opening shot of Star Wars.

    51. goldenayr says:

      Juan Pablo Del Roomigrant

      Well it sure ain’t goin tae be called “Dignity”.

    52. handclapping says:

      @Juan etc etc
      Hoi, Fife needs a replacement for Jackie O’s

    53. r whittington says:

      Is Mr Salmond going to do a speech?

    54. a2 says:

      He’s easily astonished if it comes as a surprise the queen would be coming to “launch” the navy’s biggest ship.

      That’s her job hasn’t he ever seen the pathe news?

    55. Tattie-bogle says:

      guantanamo betty the new rendition ship

    56. Ken500 says:

      It disnae look quite finished. One plane.

      Unemployment Portsmouth 4%
      Unemployment Govan 15%

      Norway builds 100+ ships a year. Oil supply boats in the North Sea are built in Norway.

      Get rid of Trident. Develop the Clyde and Oil fields in the West. Quids in.

    57. goldenayr says:

      Tattie-bogle says:
      “guantanamo betty”


    58. r whittington says:

      Is that a Union flag I see?

    59. r whittington says:

      Let me get my glasses…..

    60. Robert Kerr says:


      My understanding is that the 35M upgrade contract awarded to BAM-Nuttall didn’t include for deepening the Rosyth No 1 dry dock.

      There is sufficient clearance to float out the assembled carrier but once fully fitted out she cannot go back in.

      My understanding also is the clearance under the Forth Rail Bridge is marginal at best and consequently the use of Rosyth for maintenance and repair of these white elephants is extremely doubtful whatever the result of the referendum.

      Please advise. Thank you.

    61. Grouse Beater says:

      Python Army Officer Voice:

      Now look here, this topic has become very, very silly.

      We need an aircraft carrier to let the Scotties, Gypoes, and Pykies know who’s boss.

      England has a wonderful naval tradition. This carrier joins a magnificent line of great ships, like Spirit of Enterprise, Titanic, and the Mary Rose. And one million trees from Scotland created our naval ships at Trafalgar leaving those bare-bottomed cross-dressers nowhere to hide. So there!

      Move on to he next topic, please.

      This instant!

    62. Juan Pablo Del Roomigrant says:


      We’ll have a dance off.

    63. Gillie says:

      “both our Queen Elizabeths”,

      England expects that every man will do his duty, and George Zambellas has exceeded himself.

    64. r whittington says:

      Do you know I think it might be!

    65. Juan Pablo Del Roomigrant says:


      Dignity Regained the First of Many

    66. Dick Gaughan says:

      alexicon says:
      “The Daily Record is trying to raise the spectre of Scottish nationalist bombers with a nasty unionist headline in today’s comic.”

      Main objective being to get people accustomed to the notion that there is such a thing as a “Scottish Liberation Army”.

      Expect a few more of these softening up, high-profile manufactured events in coming weeks then a major incident somewhere like, say, Sauchiehall Street just before the referendum which will be used to justify any repressive actions on grounds of “national security”.

      Sign of desperation – “when all else fails, play the terrorist card.”

      We’re winning. Just need to keep the heid and keep on keeping on.

    67. r whittington says:

      Yes. It is. A Union flag on that big boat!! The one that’s about to be named. Does Mr Salmond know about this?

    68. cynicalHighlander says:

      The biggest pile of scrap painted grey as the clock ticks down ding Dong ding Dong…

    69. John Hamill says:

      Westminster have just ordered a bicycle friendly bridge over the Thames at a cost of £600m. We must be mugs.

    70. r whittington says:

      Theres another one!!

    71. Grouse Beater says:

      Dick says: A Union flag on the big boat!

      It’s the official naval flag, dumbass.

    72. muttley79 says:

      This story in the Daily Record was always going to come at some point. No doubt fed to the “Proud Scots” by the British intelligence services. Very predictable, particularly at a time when unionists keep calling the SNP and Yes, Nazis or fascists. I see George Galloway is the latest to do it, calling the SNP Nazis. The phantom menace of the SNLA is going to be reheated, targeted at gullible middle class Scots.

    73. Grouse Beater says:

      John: Westminster has ordered a bicycle friendly bridge over the Thames at a cost of £600m.

      How many bicycles could that buy? – adult ones, not three-wheelers.

    74. r whittington says:

      And another!!
      By God there everywhere!!!
      Do you people know about this????

    75. goldenayr says:

      Juan Pablo Del Roomigrant

      That’s a better name.

      If we did call it Dignity they’d have to play Deacon Blue music all night.

    76. Mosstrooper says:

      @r whit?

      Is that a squirrel’s dick I see?

    77. r whittington says:

      Grouse Beater …. no its DEFINATLY the Union Flag. Just had another big look at it. Dumbass! 🙂

    78. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      Dick – you are a dick.
      Of course there is a Union flag. We are still part of the UK – but not for long !
      Roll on Sept 19 th.

    79. Grouse Beater says:

      Mosstrooper: Is that a squirrel’s dick I see?

      Well, nuts to him!

    80. Grouse Beater says:

      Dick writes: no its DEFINATLY


    81. Murray McCallum says:

      Maybe they could berth the big grey boat in the Thames and charge tourists admittance on board? A bit like a floating millennium dome if you like.

      I’m sure the MODs and UK Treasury’s top brains are working on cunning plans.

    82. gordoz says:

      Aye here we go – record showing its true colours as part of the ‘Labour Loyal Trinity Mirror group’

      Surprised it took them this long to bring up the ‘Tartan Army’ (SNLA bollox).

      But it will be alright, I’m sure they will also have a splash for balance when it turns out to be a random drunk mouthing off and BT getting there usual distractions in.

      Oh; whatever happended to the DR story of the old guy YES supporter physically assaulted in the Street, seem to remember they didn’t cover that actual event; funny that.

    83. manandboy says:

      Apropos Admirals and aircraft carriers –

      “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

      attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto regarding the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by forces of Imperial Japan.

      Who could have foretold that David Cameron,

      would become the man whom history would choose

      to emulate Admiral Yamamoto,

      by attacking the (politically) sleeping Scots

      and filling them with a Referendum resolve.

    84. gordoz says:

      DEFINATLY ??

      Whitt ? There’s a dick in toon

    85. R whittington says:

      I’m having fun today!

    86. Grouse Beater says:

      whatever happended to the story of the old guy YES supporter physically assaulted?

      Listen, I got verbally beaten up by the principal of St Andrews University and that was never reported. All I said was, I thought the plebiscite guarantees Scotland real democracy. Sheesh.

    87. Cyber Raptor says:

      Thanks Rev, I do so love the taste of SLAB dinosaur in the morning.

    88. Grouse Beater says:

      Dick claims: I’m having fun today!

      Erm, no. You’re squandering another day of your life.

    89. Papadox says:

      I might be old fashioned but aircraft carriers require protection from other surface ships. UK has I believe at most, 19 fighting surface ships (total).

      The USA has 21 real aircraft carriers (Wikipedia) and hundreds of surface warships.

      The British establishment just an expensive joke.

    90. G. Campbell says:

      Lord God Almighty, protect this humungous national instrument of power from non-Brits. Vote No. Up Salmond. God save Queenie. Amen. Smash whisky. Play Superman theme.

    91. gordoz says:

      @ Grouse Beater

      Tell Dick theres a sale on at B&Q

    92. bjsalba says:

      And would these projects be run by London based firms by any chance, so that is where the juicy profits would accrue to? How much of the £500M would remain in Scotland. And given DWP skills at projects, how successful would they be?

      Do remember that in an Independent Scotland the projects (and the profits) would would all be in-house.

    93. G. Campbell says:

      Tug forelock. Token bagpipes. UNION FLAG MONEY SHOT!

    94. Grouse Beater says:

      Papadox: aircraft carriers require protection from other surface ships

      Yup. And vulnerable to, um, submarine attack. D’oh!

    95. Muscleguy says:

      Not to mention that these ships will have lower manning levels than equivalent vessels in other navies because of innovative automation of many functions that otherwise rely on human muscle power.

      The Americans are known to be highly interested in how these vessels perform in use. Nice of us to be their lab rats isn’t it?

    96. G. Campbell says:

      Play video of imaginary aircraft. Dark Night theme. Fap. Fap. Fap.

    97. The Rough Bounds says:

      whittington @ 12 midday.

      It’s not ‘there’ everywhere you tit; it’s ‘they’re’.

      Now bugger off and purchase a spelling book for the under fives.

    98. Grouse Beater says:

      Muscleguy says: The Americans are known to be highly interested in how these vessels perform in use

      The rumour is, soon as it proves it can float Cameron will sell it to the USA, who will then lease it back to our Jolly Jack Tars on a repair or replace basis.

      Even so, we’ll still need the bank balance of a Saudi prince to run the bloody thing.

    99. goldenayr says:

      gordoz says:
      @ Grouse Beater

      Tell Dick theres a sale on at B&Q

      Dick doesn’t have “taupe” curtains.

      He’s got union flag ones.

    100. Weedeochandorris says:

      I wish that Dick would go away.

    101. goldenayr says:

      Alex Bell doing a good job on “The Big Debate”.

    102. manandboy says:

      While we’re on the subject of stuff Scotland could well do without (Trident + Carriers)

      There is another.

      I refer to the Unionist Establishment here in Scotland,

      which acts as a fifth column for Westminster,

      and which at every opportunity undermines

      Scotland’s right to self-determination

      and to be an independent country.

      After Independence,

      and like the English Labour & Unionist Party in Scotland,

      the Scottish Establishment should be

      dismantled completely and permanently.

      New wine, new wineskins.

      Or for the tea-jennys –

      Fresh tea, new tea bags.


      Made in Scotland fae voters.

    103. Murray McCallum says:

      The MoD may be in discussions with the Swiss Navy to buy the big grey boat? This is the kind of well-educated thinking we can take for granted.

    104. Bob Sinclair says:

      Dick, youve been neglecting your @psflaps twitter trolling account. Move along now – nothing for you here.

    105. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Tell Dick that there is sale on at Woolworths

    106. Wee Folding Bike says:


      “How many bicycles could that buy? – adult ones, not three-wheelers.”

      Mine are usually around a grand. Last year it was £1300 but £300 of that was German lights. My tricycle was £2000 in 1995. It’s a two wheel drive George Longstaff.

    107. John Young says:

      I am a Yes but agree with this sentiment from a footie site:


      There is one thing that would have made me vote yes.

      If Alex Salmond had said.

      In an independent Scotland we will not allow the likes SKY to broadcast unless they pay a sponsorship to Scottish football that matches what they pay to English football.
      This would would be calculated by proportioning the relative size of the Scottish population in comparison to the rest of the UK.

      If Celtic can’t get into the EPL, then they must lobby for the termination of English football being shown in Scotland,unless the broadcasters gives us a fair share of the TV revenues.

    108. Sam Mitchell says:

      The Dutch Gov. hire some Swedish cruise ships… the type you see advertised for cruising the Rhine… and they pay towards a disabled person and one carer for a weeks cruise usually along the North Sea part of the Dutch coastline…. just think of the benefit that the amount of money wasted on this ship would have given the least able to enjoy something that tax payers have so heavily contributed to..

    109. Training Day says:

      @john young

      So the guy that wants to end Sky’s EPL dominance is voting No, which will ensure that Sky’s EPL dominance continues.

      What utter nonsense.

    110. ferncake says:

      I listened last night to the Rosyth workers declaring their ‘No’ intentions to the BBC’s Alan Little. They were like patients in a hospital bed, incapable of standing on their own two feet, seemingly content to be kept comatose by the nurse.

      ‘Keeping the jobs’ was the mantra, ignoring the fact that other than employment on behalf of the British military establishment there is virtually hee-haw in that part of Fife. But I doubt they ever pause to ponder that, and question just how abject has been the political performance of the likes of Gordon Brown; in that situation any job is a good one.

      Truly sad.

    111. Murray McCallum says:

      The big grey boat would be a perfect fit in the Swiss Navy. The Swiss have perfected military stealth technology at sea.

      I’m hoping to witness this first hand in a few months. “Lake” Geneva is the perfect base for quick launch anywhere in the world.

    112. gordoz says:

      Aw this is nice –
      FM posts picture of his Father meeting marine at carrier launch.

      “ProUnionist ?@ScotsUnionist ·2h
      @AlexSalmond Salmond your Dads a hero, your a National disgrace.”

      See they’re not bitter on anyway, just like the Press & TV keep hinting.

      What a lovely bunch of nice people the NO side are if you just give them a chance; they dont always say nasty Nazi based insults.

    113. Kev says:

      Apparently they need to wait to low tide to fit this monstrousity under the Forth Rail Bridge, but should it manage to negotiate that and head off to face smaller, weaker countries which it is designed to bomb, then it may not all go to plan – the US held a simulation a while back in which it faced a force of many small suicide speedboats swarming round a battlegroup – it resulted in them losing 16 warhsips and an aircraft carrier, in under 10 mins!!

    114. Helena Brown says:

      Training Day, could not agree with you more, what utter drivel. If football is that bleeding important, then you are bound to vote entirely against your own best interests. Get a grip.

    115. TJenny says:

      manandboy – on behalf of all TJennies in Scotland, I thank you for your vision. 🙂

    116. gordoz says:

      @Bugger (the Panda) – nice one

      Or Focus (fnar, fnar)

    117. Grouse Beater says:


      I enjoy the World Cup, my enjoyment muted knowing 8 workers have died so far building stadiums, and two more people died yesterday when a linking bridge collapsed, others injured.

    118. James Kay says:

      For John Young, 12.36

      Perhaps my understanding of how broadcasting works is faulty, but I do not think that AS could promise what is laid out in your prospectus.

      I think that some SKY channels are rebroadcast on terrestrial television from the original signal which comes via a satellite link. It might be possible to block these transmissions.

      Anyone, however, could subscribe to SKY and with the appropriate receiver, take in whichever SKY channels they had paid for. The Scottish Government would not, without drastic censorship imposition, be able to block much of this.

      If I am correct, then I hope you will reconsider your inclination to vote NO, because it is based on a demand that Holyrood could not impose.

    119. Clootie says:

      I have a solution. Offshore delays and accomodation. We put the carrier somewhere close to the Brent field (Covers dozens of installations). When we have fog in Aberdeen or the Shetlands we can shuttle onto the big grey bus and go back and forward.

      During major offshore maintenance programmes we could lease it out to companies as an accomodation barge – we pay 350,000 pounds a day+ for those.

      We should paint it white though!
      white elephant – A burdensome possession; creating more trouble than it is worth

    120. Derek M says:

      @John Young dont believe all the crap you read on pie and bovril mate its swarming with those pesky little britnat trolls if thats where you got this from lol

      What a piece of scrap metal if the fact i didnt have to pay for this getting built it would be real funny,what good is an aircraft carrier without aircraft ,oh look we built a big ship best in the world you know rule Britannia and all that old boy what,the last gasp effort by a dying imperialistic shower of clowns who think this will once again raise them up to be a Britain feared by those pesky foreigners.

    121. John Young says:

      James Kay, no worries I am working flat out for a Yes but was sad that on my football blog the reasons for some to cast their vote are so trivial and lacking in thought. I have already posted a response to his post.

    122. HandandShrimp says:

      I wonder if Jim Murphy will be at the launch. He gets awfully excited by aircraft carriers (they can’t touch for it, as Ken Dodd might very well say)

    123. hadrianswall says:

      Biased BBC misleading over £1bn coming to Glasgow. Have complained to them although I could probably write their reply.
      Presumebly as we are in the official campaign I could also complain to the Electoral Commission?

    124. Robert Peffers says:

      @handclapping says: 4 July, 2014 at 11:11 am

      “As I understand it they can only send orders to it by Twitter until after it has passed the bridges and they can put the antennae on the top”.

      Strange you should post that, handclapping. I was just sitting here reminiscing on my long service in HM Dockyard Rosyth. I spent some years in Yard Services in a wee workshop not more than 100 yds from the caisson gate of the dry dock that contains HMS QE.

      My first thoughts were that on what was then the Dockyard Parade Square at that location was where the World’s first carrier Steam Catapult was tested and developed in the 1950s.

      My next memories were from when I later worked in the Yards Radar Base and was the worker of choice sent out with the Pilot Cutter to climb the Radar Masts of Carriers and other larger ships so as to remove the higher antenna and lower them to allow passage under the bridges. I had no fear of heights and had the required technical skills.

      Believe me when perched at the top of a ships highest point the movements that make folks seasick at deck level are rather much amplified at mast top locations. It was great, though, for clearing the sinuses as the air was not only fresh up there but usually in a bit of a hurry.

      The things we do for a wee bit of extra wages such as danger money, height money, unsociable hours and so on.
      Mind you the view was, (ahem), breathtaking.

    125. James Kay says:

      John Young

      Sorry, a partial misunderstanding. I read your post as meaning that you, as well as the person you quote, were swayed to NO by the sentiment expressed.

      I hope you make a few converts on your footie site.

    126. BigRik says:

      Apparently 90 per cent of the ship was made in Britain, i guess the other 10 per cent must have been too, as we were all told the MOD dont deal with Johnny Foreigner.

    127. Grouse Beater says:

      BigRik: we’re told the MOD dont deal with Johnny Foreigner.

      You mean it doesn’t have a Japanese engine?
      There’s trouble ahead!

    128. TYRAN says:

      Sea Lord. LOL. Just a wet fart with a silly nickname.

    129. Robert Peffers says:

      @Muscleguy says: 4 July, 2014 at 11:15 am

      “In terms of Rosyth dockyard jobs there’s also the thorny issue of those rusting nuclear sub hulks awaiting the removal of their radioactive components.”

      Now there’s a though, Muscleguy. They could load the rusty hulks onto HMS QE and transport them to Portsmouth and give Pompey the boost of jobs cutting up and disposing of the radioactive bits.

      Perhaps in a series of caverns dug out of the White Cliffs. Perhaps the danger of illegal immigrants getting irradiated as they entered The United Kingdom bit of Great Britain would stop the Anglo Saxon bit of Great Britain, (themselves historically illegal immigrants), worrying about other illegal immigrants.

    130. Jimbo says:

      Sir George claimed that it was being given the name of not just the current monarch but “both our Queen Elizabeths”

      So this is an English ship then?

      In that case, why did Scotland have to bear some of the cost?

    131. Nana Smith says:

      The torygraph are saying Alec was booed at the silly ceremony and further down the article its mentioned that Cameron was also booed. Was Alec booed?

    132. Nobby Power says:

      Surely if there was a big enough crew on the thing, it would sit low enough in the river, to clear both bridges.

      Might nip along and volunteer to weight it down. Should be fun…

    133. Onwards says:

      Both politicians were booed apparently.

      It wouldn’t surprise me with AS, as half the workforce probably believe the hype they will all be out of a job after independence.
      The other half can probably see through the propaganda and booed David Cameron in return.

      Across the sea, small independent Norway has a stable shipyard sector, building various types of ships, mainly for offshore industry.

      And to put things in comparison, their £500 billion oil fund could buy 166 of these aircraft carriers at £3 billion each.

    134. dennis mclaughlin says:

      This country GB, is smelling more like a banana republic every day …
      mabye Argentina could take this White Elephant off the Navy’s hands for a few pesetas…

    135. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry I haven’t read the posts yet but just wanted to ask if anyone watched her nibs *ahem* name this latest version of the “Hunk of Junk.” Did she say:

      “I name this ship H.M.S. Me. May god bless all who sail in Me.”

    136. Bob Malcolm says:

      I think this ship is a total waste of public money, which could been spent elsewhere. We do not have the planes and if we decided to build them, that too would be a waste of public money. Hopefully Scotland will vote YES and our troops will not be used in foreign wars in near future and Scottish tax players money wasted on this kind of show project will no longer be be the case.

    137. Liquid Lenny says:

      Dick Gaughan
      Yup and I believe they have extradited the fantasist Busby from Dublin for a showpiece trial which I presume will start at the same time as the Commonwealth games.

      That will give the Brits all the headlines they desire and you cant seen them missing the opportunity of getting up to some mischief.

      A lot of bother to go for somebody who ran away to Ireland as he was wanted for painting Brits go Home on the back of an army truck!!

    138. Nana Smith says:

      Severin Carrol tweeted

      Rosyth jobs secure according to Hammond the deal has already been signed.

    139. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Liquid Lenny

      but he was the missing link in the 9/11 twin towers bombing, yes?

    140. donald anderson says:

      Why has the Lizzie got a big red nose?

    141. Ross Petrie says:

      A good article here for anyone interested in the massive amount of wasted money on this boat, almost defies belief:

    142. Jim Galt says:

      Museum Pieces, the second one will be sold off even before she’s off the stocks

    143. You have to admit that the Queen’s selfies are pretty hard to top.

    144. galamcennalath says:

      Excellent analysis of the ongoing Union rip off!

      What a historical clanger! Did no one think to actually check the speech given the fact that this is Scotland?

    145. Andy says:

      Irrespective of the fact that these ships are a colossal waste of money, the idea that only 1,000 people get any economic benefit from their existence is breathtakingly ignorant.

    146. Tom Foyle says:

      Perhaps if Scottish innovation, invention, know-how and engineering skills hadn’t been drained away over the decades because of the appalling lack of investment from those pledged to protect those very qualities, this country would have its own flourishing aerospace industry with which to equip a potentially very powerful ship. But, because such behaviour has not only ruined Scottish manufacturing capability, stripping it of many of its most experienced individuals and teams, _and_ undermined and weakened ALL of its other self-sustaining enterprises, this unfortunate little vessel will have to put to sea with none of the air protection usually enjoyed by any other similar craft. If Scotland alone had been responsible for the design of the complete weapon system – ship, crew, aircraft and ancillary equipment – it would have completed sea trials already, with a full complement of extremely capable aircraft, and be ready to take its place in what remains of a once-great naval power. Ho-hum, such a shame.

    147. Lesley-Anne says:

      Talking of the new H.M.S. Me trying to get out from Rosyth under the Forth bridges. I seem to recall some years ago that there were serious concerns when H.M.S. Ark Royal was going into Rosyth for a re-fit. They were all praying that they got their figures right and hit low tide bang on otherwise there would have been a rather loud crashing noise as Ark Royal said hello to one of the bridges. 🙂

      I’m just wondering if these new soon, I assume, to be floating *ahem* “Hunks o’ Junk” are taller than the old Ark Royal is. I only ask because I reckon if they are then they’ll probably need to make sure that more than their aerials are lowered to ensure they get out from Rosyth. :0

      I wonder, will the “islands” bend inboard or outboard of the hull to get under the bridges? 😛

    148. Lesley-Anne says:


      News has just reached us that despite difficulties reported earlier in the week over engine problems the M.O.D. did actually manage to get two F35’s over to Rosyth in time to give an impromptu flight display. 😉

    149. Spa_town says:

      Planning permission is not secret. If you are unsure after looking at the Fife Planning Portal, phone them up and ask. Phone either planning or the press office. Should be no need for FOI planning consents are a matter of public record.
      If no joy, get a fife based winger to email their Cllrs.
      There shouldn’t be any secrecy if consent has been granted.

    150. Robert Kerr says:


      The problem is the Railway Bridge with only about a meter of clearance at low tide. Plenty room under the Road Bridge and the new one.

      Have a look at the photograph in the telegraph. The assembled empty hull is sitting on the dry dock floor, there is no water in the dock then. Note the hull painting. She shall never get back in again once fitted out. She draws 11 metres of water,

      Some investigative journalism required or an FOI request for a method statement of returning from sea to dry-dock would be interesting.

      There is much hidden from us regarding this whole charade.

    151. gus1940 says:

      Here’s a thought:-

      The proposal to add Cat and Trap to the carriers was dropped due to cost. One of the reasons for originally proposing that was to enable ageement with France to share the carriers which would then have to be able to operate the French Navalised Rafale.

      I presume said sharing agreement never came to anything.

      Given that it is rapidly becoming apparent that the F35 is a total lemon and the problems surrounding it are so great that even the existing introduction date could be wildly optimistic.

      Given the enormous ever escalating cost of the F35Bs could that money not be used to fit Cat & Trap to the carriers and produce a navalised version of the Typhoon. The French managed that with the Rafale and the 2 aircraft are very similar. Even if the Typhoon cannot be navalised there would be the option of buying navalised Rafales.

      I reckon the fitting of Cat & Trap and the provision of Navalised Typhoons or Rafales could be done at a lesser overall cost than what is currently being done, would enable vessel sharing with France and the resulting veesels would be far more effective and versatile.

      Of course if navalisation of the Typhoon was not possible our pet Little Englanders would be up in arms if we bought aircraft from France even if they could be built in The UK under license although there is a precedent with the AngloFrench Jaguar which produced a very successful aircraft.

    152. Lesley-Anne says:

      I’m just wondering Robert. If she draws 11 metres of water and as you rightly say she’ll never get back in that kind of raises one wee itsy bitsy teeny weeny question in my solitary brain.

      “How the hell does she get in the first place, or will she just be sailing up and down the Forth between the Forth Road Bridge and Grangemouth?” LOL

    153. horseboy says:

      @Tom Foyle

      Did you see/reply my last post on “Donkeys led by donkeys” 2July.

      re. Wings TShirt

    154. Lesley-Anne says:

      Anyone wondering about how BIG our *ahem* clout in the big bad world is then check this out.

      It just makes me overflow with amazing levels of pride…NOT to see that the great police force of the world, a.k.a. Great (broken) Britain is languishing down in 36th place!

    155. horseboy says:

      I studied naval architecture as part of my navy qualifications, a good few years ago.

      I’m not a Naval Architect but I recall fuel consumption(to overcome frictional resistance of the seawater) is directly proportional to ship length.

      In other words longer ships require proportionally larger fuel consumption, when under way. Logical

      In simple terms the longer the ship the more fuel consumed to drive the ship through the water. Its to do with larger underwater wetted surface area thus underwater resistance.

      Also ships fuel consumption is directly proportioinal to the speed SQUARED. As speed increases fuel consumption increases by the power of 2, or even to the power of 3.

      Seems like a ship designed by a committee, and constant political interference of UK Labour in the specifications.

      Changes cost money. Shipyards used to love unplanned unquoted changes, thats when shipyards made big money.

      What a expensive mess. Someone should be jailed.
      In the offshore world, its called a clusterfcuk.

      These Aircraft Carriers are white elephants, to expensive to fuel and to vulnerable to operate outside UK waters.

      They’ll end up as towed dumb barges, around south coast ports.

      Oil price increase, say doubling every 5years and related annual increasing Bunker fuel prices will make the Carriers uneconomic to operate.

      I’m going to put money on it, at Ladbrokes.

      ps. is there a Naval Architect out there

    156. Luigi says:

      If that horrendously expensive monstrosity damages the Forth Rail Bridge, there will be hell to pay.

    157. Lesley-Anne says:

      Don’t forget damages to cover the repair costs as well Luigi. 😛

    158. Grouse Beater says:

      Is the barge getting fitted out in Scotland or Portsmouth?

    159. Lesley-Anne says:

      I’d think it must be getting fitted out in Rosyth Grouse. If it isn’t then they will have an even worse problem than they already envisage trying to get it out from Rosyth under the Forth bridges. I’d imagine the more weight they can install on the ship the better the chance they might have in getting past the bridges. However they can not go too deep cause then they’ll hit the river bed. 😛

    160. Airdrieonian says:

      Don’t know why everyone’s complaining. It’s perfect for a Jaeger to pick up and hit a Kaiju in the pus!

    161. donald anderson says:

      Americans campaigning for Scottish Independence?
      NBC News

      Irish Independence owes and enduring debt to Scottish support?

    162. Krackerman says:

      There was a good article on the register about these two white elephants… well worth a read as it will no doubt be the core of scandals to rock Westminster over the next 10 years…

    163. DonUnder says:

      Forgive my ignorance on these matters but is it normal to have a ship launch ceremony years before the ship is actually due to be launched or are we seeing a bit of pro-Brit military fetishist propaganda in the run up to the referendum?

    164. Auld Rock says:

      I’m sure that you’ll all know that a carrier of this size only ever sails as part of a ‘Battle Group’. Carrier or carriers, a couple of missile missile cruisers as close escort, an inner ring of A/S and A/A destroyers/frigates, outer picket line usually comprising a couple of guided missile cruisers plus A/S and A/A destroyers and frigates there will also be at least one hunter killer nuclear submarine close be as well. So your grand total of 19 destroyers and frigates used up protecting one carrier – home defence NIL. OOPs sorry we can always nuke them with our four Trident subs.

      Let’s also not forget that without committing to the above carrier protection they twice over the last two years have had to send a destroyer/frigate to investigate when the Russians anchored up in the Moray Firth and thanks to Fox and Hammond we have no Maritime patrol aircraft. Incidentally poor little old Ireland has three Maritime patrol aircraft, seems that they’ve got their priorities right. I could go on but I guess that you get the picture.

      Auld Rock

    165. Ann says:


      I work for BAE Systems and Portsmouth is being geed up for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

    166. Grouse Beater says:

      Don Under asks: is it normal to have a ship launch ceremony years before the ship is actually due to be launched?

      Yes. It’s next floated and (usually) taken elsewhere to be fitted out. I’m waiting to see it’s fitted out in Scotland or Southampton.

    167. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just caught a brief glimpse of H.M.S. Me next to the Ark Royal. Now if the Ark Royal has problems getting under the bridges I really wonder how safe it will be for H.M.S. Me to sail under the bridges. 😉

      I know Robert mentioned earlier that this “Hunk o Junk” draws 11 Metres but to me what lies above the water is just as important. Even when there is low tide and assuming H.M.S. Me can still get her 11 Metre draught to move down the Forth will there be enough room under the bridges? For the sake of safety on the bridges I hope so. However for absolutely comedy gold I secretly hope the “Hunk o Junk” is too tall! 😛

      Just found the height information on this “Hink o Junk.” She is apparently 56 Metres from keel to masthead.

    168. Lesley-Anne says:

      Now maybe I’m just trying to tempt fate here but I’ve found this site that appears to give the height of the Forth Railway bridge to sea level as 150 feet. Now this converts to around 45.72 metres. The “Hunk o Junk” is 56 metres keel to masthead. Take off the 11 metres draught leaves 45 Metres. This leaves 0.72 Metres. or 2.36 feet, room to squeeze through. I think watching this get under the Forth rail bridge could become a new hobby. 😛

    169. horseboy says:


      Great piece about our monster Aircraft Carriers, fiasco.

      Criminal waste of money, putting security of country at risk.

      In wartime, this incompetence would surely be capital offence.

      China’s 1st Emperor made it a capital offence to be incompetent.

      UK still operates under the Colonial system of government managed by House of Commons, and the House of Lords is a Medieval system of government. Both unfit for the Modern Age.

      Incompetence costs money and lives.

      Its YES and get rid.

    170. Auld Rock says:

      Just had a thought on clearance under ‘The Bridges’, has anybody thought about global warming and rising sea levels. Better get it out quick, LOL.

      Auld Rock

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