The Lady with The Crown *1: # Defence of the Realm?

I watched the documentary ‘The Coronation’ a few Sunday evenings back. It was a remarkable film from start to finish, with the first time ever that Her Majesty was filmed talking candidly about the ceremony, about the crowns, about her early life. I was truly fascinated by the sight and sounds of those ceremonies; and thought about the betrayals by ranks of politicians, down the decades of Elizabeth’s reign; betrayals to the point of treason, and I would like to discuss these traitors with the reader today, and over the coming days and weeks; beginning with Defence.

Princess Elizabeth left Heathrow for a duty visit to Kenya, and a short break with her husband. Her father, George 6th, worn out by his work, and stricken down by the lung cancer from all the cigarettes he smoked, died in his sleep. His daughter, used to being a Naval wife to Philip, and as a stand-in for her father, left England a Princess: and returned as a Queen, with all the weight of her Constitutional responsibilities landing on her slim shoulders like a pair of blacksmiths’ anvils; tied together with golden cords; reminding her of her duties every day of her life. Her task is to listen and to advise, both to the politicians who have screwed, bludgeoned and battered their way to the top of their Parties, and to the far more distant calls from a populace who believes that she may have the power to give some relief to their own personal dilemmas.

We were at peace, our Empire was in the long, bitter process of disbanding, and a young Queen had pledged to serve us all her days. But let us examine how SHE has been served, and just as many times badly served, by those same politicians. We are a seafaring nation. We trade within Europe, we trade with the wider World; but apart from the Channel Tunnel, everything arrives or departs by sea, primarily; and by air, to a much smaller degree. We had a Navy to be proud of in WW2, but the politicians and the alleged civil servants in the Ministry of Defence, who acknowledge that there are no votes in a Defence Force, have starved, shredded and emasculated our Navy. When Elizabeth 2nd sailed into the waters around Spithead on June 15th 1953 for the Coronation Review, our Naval Might was self-evident. From Motor Gunboats to Trawlers, Minesweepers to Frigates, Destroyers to Cruisers, Submarines and Aircraft Carriers, we had them all, in Spades! Apart from the Americans, we alone could project Sea Power across and around the world. Our Royal Navy was disciplined, educated in battle, and successful in those battles, we had men who had tasted blood, and were ready to sally forth to meet and vanquish any possible enemy.

The Cold War ended with the collapse of Communism and of Soviet Russia. We had, still, a formidable Army, furnished with all the accoutrements of modern armoured warfare, we had a Navy which could still pack a punch, despite its diminished Peace-time size, we had an Air Force which could deliver a nuclear weapon, and a fighter element which could swagger with the best. Most importantly, we had the men who marched, and were prepared to fight, the men who crewed the destroyers, frigates and submarines, the carriers which supported some of the best aircraft in the world, and the pilots and support staff who flew and maintained both bombers and fighters. But then the Politicians got involved, and the accountants at the Treasury thought up this new tactic named ‘the Peace Dividend’; figuring out how much could be saved if we didn’t have all these nasty warlike things, and ‘hard’ people who threatened, and practiced, to kill other people: and how, now that the threat was gone, we really didn’t need much of, well, anything which might go ‘bang’ or even worse, actually destroy someone who was threatening us.

When the Russians shoved a small Squadron up through the English Channel earlier this month, we could find just one twenty-five-year-old frigate, H.M.S. Westminster; to convoy two modern Russian vessels, a frigate and a corvette, through the English Channel. Not much is being said about the dire straits of the Type 45 ‘Daring’ destroyer fleet, each costing out around £1 Billion (thats £1,000,000.00) each. Seems as though BAe Systems, the Royal Navy’s ONLY private shipbuilder, made a little boo-boo when designing the propulsion systems, with an intercooler which is about half the size it should have been. As this means that the ships turbines cannot get the cooling they need if the water turns a shade ‘WARM’; the six Destroyers, all six Multi-Billion poundsworth, are sitting tied up to the Portsmouth docks while shore parties try to figure out how to slice a hole in the side of the ship, to get the old bit out, and a new bit in. As the old ‘A Team’ saying goes; ‘I love it when a plan comes together!’

Our nuclear attack submarines, built up at Barrow-in-Furness, aren’t coping much better, with accidents before they’ve been wet for more than three hours. The Submariners run a ‘Commanders Course’ which is called ‘The Perisher’ which is designed to find the good guys, and let the rest go astray in submarine terms; and one fine day, one unfortunate candidate was in charge of the newest Nuke, HMS Ambush which has, in terms the Royal Navy trumpeted abroad; ‘World-Class Sensor capabilities’. He was cruising submerged whilst approaching the Straits of Gibraltar, and, presumably utilising these ‘World-Class Sensor capabilities’ to check if there was any surface traffic around; decided to surface the boat (subs are always called ‘boats’; its a Navy thing). He forgot to use the second periscope, the ‘Learners’ were grouped around the first one; and bent his brand new multi-million-pound submarine by hitting a large merchant ship. OOOPs! As its not an easy job to repair a bent submarine, that particular ‘boat’ will be out-of-service for about nine-eleven months; if they are lucky!

We have so few coastal patrol vessels we cannot stop one hundredth of the vessels smuggling asylum seekers, bogus or otherwise, and if we had them, we probably couldn’t crew and man them. We have two Aircraft Carriers, one commissioned and ready for sea, the other nearing completion. There’s only one problem, we haven’t got any jets to fly off them, at least we won’t have any for at least two more years, but thats alright; after all, if the 65,000 ton behemoth did wish to sail in harm’s way, there are no destroyers to provide protection; because they’re all tied up in Portsmouth, and the submarine? That’s being fixed; ready shortly! The carriers are fitted with a sweep take-off bow, to accommodate the hugely-expensive and problem-prone F-35 VSTOL variant fighter/bomber. They were originally to have catapult capability, but the ding-wits at the MOD, aided (if that is the correct term) by Labour and Tory politicians, changed everything, at a huge cost; so we can only fly off VSTOL jets, or helicopters. Wonderful!

From this: in that afore-mentioned Spithead Review..……………….to this: in a mere 64 years!

X-posted from

Let the People Decide!

There is a scene in a ‘The West Wing’ episode,  an episode dealing with the Death Penalty in America; which has always struck me as demonstrating the simple truth about America: which is that The People speak, and have spoken, and the Law in America usually gets it right!

When watching or examining American television series or films, one has to remember that most of the scripts and writers, most of the production and direction personnel; and of course many of the actors: are all from the liberal side of the aisle. So when an imaginary Democrat President is seen struggling with the very idea of the Federal Government carrying out the wishes of a jury and a Judge, and is preparing to execute a criminal for his heinous crimes, Americans are in fact being lectured; if not actually hectored with an almost messianic zeal: by some pretty sophisticated people.

The President is seen as he attempts to find any legal excuse, any possibility that he can stop the execution, and (because Martin Sheen is a pretty good actor, and a deeply-committed liberal into the bargain) is visibly challenged by his inability to halt a duly legal process. He wants to stop that death, because he does not believe in Capital Punishment: but fails because the Law is, as he finally accepts, against him!

America’s history has revolved around guns, weapons; for the entire time it has existed, both as a British Colony, and after the War of Independence, as a Sovereign State. The very founders, men who had taken up, and urged others to take up; arms against a Foreign King whose Governing decrees stated no understanding of the Colonial mindset, nor of arguments against what the Colonials thought to be unjust decrees from London: were both shrewd, and understanding of their fellow men. They understood above all that America was still a dangerous country to live in; a large land with few defensible borders; and if a military presence threatened those borders, there could be a fatal delay before an Army, or a Militia, could be formed, trained and sent forth to battle the invaders. So they determined that citizens should be able to hold their own weapons at home, and if called upon, to do some rudimentary training, and thus they would be able to present a reasonably well-trained force to fight against an invading army. The need for such armed civilians, trained and ready to defend their own has diminished; with the rise of both the American Military, and the establishment of a regular States and local Police forces across that giant land. But, and it is still a huge “But”, it would be a very, very foolish set of politicians, and even more foolish Judges; to attempt to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment ‘Right to Bear Arms’.

The Las Vegas massacre occurred on October 1st, 2017;  and it happened because some guy seemingly went loco, hauled a small armoury of semi-automatic rifles of varying manufacture; along with a huge amount of bullets, and a significant number of large-capacity magazines. He also brought an number of ‘bump-stock’ fittings, which; through manipulation of the rifle’s mechanism: alters the semi-automatic rifle to be a fully-fledged automatic machine-gun, similar to military equipment. Because he dies from a self-inflicted wound, after firing some eleven hundred rounds from his 32nd floor eyrie into the crowds who were attending a music event; no-one knows his motives: but he left 58 dead, and 851 injured.

Five months after the shooting, it is only now that we see and hear of the first moves to regulate and ban the ‘bump-stock’ fittings which produced the awesome firepower which poured down from that tall hotel, to ‘regulate’; even with so-called ‘grandfather’ clauses which will require all those in possession of these items to hand them in for either destruction or safe storage. President Trump has indicated that he has instructed the Attorney General to commence the regulatory process, to remove even the possibility that such awesome firepower never be loosed in the hands of a madman, ever again. But the Florida students who are protesting so vigorously that all semi-automatics be banned should learn and face reality: the People want to be armed, for self-defence, for personal protection; for whatever reason under the sun. Trump might get a longer period for mental health checks, he will certainly get a helping hand for those who are banned from holding guns to be better identified; but as for anything else? Forget it!

It isn’t just the N.R.A. who lobbies and protests so vigorously; it is ‘We; the People’ who have spoken, and the American People, under the Law and the Constitution, must be the final arbiters!


A Safe place; for both News and Opinion.

There’s a new News Site launching today, or so I am informed.

They say:- 

 “We have no political affiliation, we only wish to speak about the issues facing the world today. We do not associate with the alt-right or the alt-left. Our intention is to always report honestly and welcome debate from all sides. Challenging views we may not agree with is fundamental in a free and open society.”

Fair enough, let the barrels roll, and the balls fall where they will.

Lets see if can turn over a few rotting logs!