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Bloke down the pub

From my understanding of the UK’s deterrent , the Prime Minister does not give a direct order to fire cf the US President, so when Corbyn says he wouldn’t push the nuclear button he may, inadvertently be telling the truth.


the instructions are in a letter given to the Submarine commander detailing the response in the event of an attack on the UK. The contents of these letters are never revealed so we will never know ultimately what the instructions of Thatcher, Major, Blair, Cameron or Johnson ever were or will be.


True though Dennis Healy did reveal that Jim Callaghan had written instructions not to fire as if the UK had been destroyed by a nuclear attack then deterrence had failed and nothing would be gained by firing back


Not firing back sets a terrible precedent that it is acceptable to “first-strike” a nation and get away with it or even dirty bomb multiple cities (by terrorists etc.) and not suffer the consequences. Nuke disarmament is akin to leaving your front door unlocked and hoping that everyone will give up on burglary.


I think Bloke down the pub may be mixing up two different situations. Normally communication is possible, and the sub follows orders that would ultimately come from the PM, via the normal command channels, as to whether to fire a nuclear weapon. The ‘letters of last resort’ are for when the UK and the command chain have been put out of action, eg by a nuclear strike, and can no longer communicate with the sub – then the commander of the sub can get the letters out of his safe and see what he is intstructed to do.

Bloke down the pub

All the replies are correct but the point I was trying to make was that the Captain of a Trident boat does not rely on a code coming from the Dear Leader, so Jeremy can say he’d never push the button but that wouldn’t necessarily make any difference.


But the captain does rely on a command from the Prime Minister.
Either directly, through the normal command channels, or “from-beyond-the-grave” through the ‘Letters of Last Resort’.


Technically that’s true in a post attack scenario where government is wiped out and no one in authority can instruct the subs. But whilst government is intact, then the Prime Minister does give the attack order, likely from the Pindar emergency bunker at Whitehall, then relayed via secure comms at Northwood to the sub on patrol at that time.


Trident is useless. This has been said time and time again. It has no place in the 21 century. it is 1950s technology that either needs skipping (which will cost a bomb) or renewing. The existing trident technology would not get off the ground and is likely to be intercepted before it hits anything is it was eve launched. that is the reality. The are a million better ways to spend the 100 bn cost per year of Trident !


Dean’s a moron and doesn’t understand the concept of a deterrent. Bless…


Apoplectix, your comment is perfectly positioned. Indeed . . Bless…

There have been 4 “in-service” American designed SLBMs. We all know the names, UGM-27 was indeed a product of the late 50s but I need not bore everyone with a history lesson leading up to UGM-133. UGM-133 is sooooo totally not 1950s technology in anyway. “Would not get of the ground” . . . dean, surely you mean water ?

Anyway, I have often pondered re-introducing nukes to the RAF, a pattern similar to the French with their ASMP. I could “with my arm being twisted” concede to adopt such a system at the expense of a 4th SSBN. You would have to twist pretty hard though he he.


The perennial problem with putting nukes on planes hasn’t changed since the 1950’s. In that their storage and base locations are well known, therefore making them easy targets from conventional attack or by special forces sabotage. The other issue is range. Quite simply a Vanguard or Dreadnought armed with Trident D5 has the reach to pin point any location on the planet. With an aircraft you have to plan on how to deliver the “cruise missile” to the target by using air to air tanking. But perhaps more critically is the requirement to have the approval of other Nations to allow the nuclear armed aircraft/cruise missile to overfly their country.

The continual at sea deterrence (CASD) is simply the most secure and guaranteed means of enabling the country to have the means of responding to a nuclear first strike by any other Nation. The Trident II D5 missile, is also one of the most. if not the most reliable missile system. The inclusion of multiple interdependently target-able re-entry vehicles that re-enter the atmosphere at speeds greater than Mach 15 ensures they are much more difficult to counter. But also the inclusion of active decoys complete with jammers, further increases the chances that the weapons will reach the target. Having the boat operate in the Northern Atlantic or in the Arctic Sea guarantees that the majority of Northern and Western Russia are under its umbrella. It will also allow it to have the reach to target sites in Eastern Russian and parts of China. As the boat is continually moving makes it much more difficult to track and having a Trafalgar or Astute nearby means any threats can be dealt with.


Dean do you realise trident is one of the best ICBM systems in the world as well as being one of the most reliable systems. It also highly unlikely trident would be intercept and when it’s MRVs enter the atmosphere they are going Mach 13-14 which means they are almost impossible to intercept with current weapons and near future weapons. So your argument is ineffective and badly researched.


Don’t forget the ECM, ECCM and Decoys in the MIRV package. If we were nuking Moscow, then S-400s 500s etc. are a problem. But, if we are nuking Moscow, then the entire world is at war and there would be more than Trident IIs on the playing field.

Will O

I doubt the S-400 would offer much defence against Trident, besides, the Russians have the A-135 for that. Is it such a ‘problem’ anyway that they’ve taken measures to defend their citizens? Do you really wish them irradiated & burned?

A problem for us in the UK, is that we have failed to similarly protect our own.
A problem is unlike Russia, the UK still has no BMD.
A problem is, Russia can stop short of nuclear escalation, and still threaten our major cities & ports with cruise from Oscars & Yasens, with the UK is failing to make sufficient effort to protect against those either.


£100bn per year for Trident Dean…. pmsl….another dumb and ignorant socialist, just the way they want them to be. Its £100bn over the projected 40 year lifetime, so £2.5bn a year….. (Learn, read, absorb and understand before you spout rubbish.)

Bloke down the pub

In the context of Brexit, one defence issue that has been getting some coverage is to what extent the MOD and UK defence industry are being tied into EU policy despite leaving the EU.

grumpy ex matelot

We will have a parliamentary opt-out from any EU military/PESCO action. A request from the EU for military support will now have to go through the PM and parliament for approval or otherwise.


It always did, we have always had a choice whether to involve ourselves in any EU military activity


I have to disagree with your conclusion, look into the past and you see the Tories pretend to be the only party for defence but unfortunately their actions prove otherwise. They’re as bad as any other party for cutting defence spending. The forces are made up of mainly working class people (although most don’t appear to recognise this) and the Labour party would attempt to server this group of people far better (you cant disagree with this if you take the last 10 years into consideration) I’m afraid the ridiculous “red under the bed” mentality still exist in this county, The UK has never had and will never have a Communist government, whereas we’ve had right wing ones and if BJ gets in you’ll see thatcher on steroids. And no that that doesn’t mean the MOD will get more money. Remember the Labour leadership has to do the Labour members biding and for the large part the members support the UK forces. If you’re earning 80K + go ahead vote Tory you selfish b*****’s if not vote Labour.


Don’t be ridiculous.

The left is everywhere, whilst the right are either leftists who other leftists disagree with whilst trying to out left each other, or just centrists who can see Marxism and Communism for what it is, and expect people to work for living if they are able to do so.

It doesn’t matter what the Tories have done in the past, when every other party in Parliament bar the DUP is lining up to break up the UK or feed us up to globalist EU, and the leader of HM Opposition is an anti-Semite who has spent his entire political career fighting against his own country, in the name of the most repressive, oppressive and murderous political ideology the world has ever seen, with hundreds of millions of deaths attributed to it.

Were that not bad enough, he is a saint compared to the shadow Chancellor, who is a self-proclaimed Stalinist, with a long and proud track record of publicly inciting violence against his political opponents. A man who told the crowd at Glastonbury, he was thrilled when the last financial crisis hit, and was hoping for worse to come, and was disappointed when it didn’t, so he couldn’t have his revolution.

Both these guys hold up Venezuela as a glittering example of what can be achieved. So if you really want to see what they have planned for us, look into that.

So – all normal people can do (i.e. those who see no sport in politics), and actually care about this country, in any general election, is to vote for the party that will do the least harm. It is as simple as that. Presently, like it or loathe it, that is the Tories, and only the Tories.

Which is by no means an endorsement, far from it, just pragmatism.


£80k + per year paying more tax to pay for all your free puppies and chocolate rain on weekends includes:

All GP,s
All hospital Dr’s at Registrar level and above
Most Senior Nurses
Most Hospital management staff

Nice job of ‘soaking the rich’ !

Watch the further collapse of the NHS as a result of this ignorant and moronic policy.


Politicians priorities for the defence budget are;

1) Creation of jobs in the defence industrial base even when designing and/or building kit in the UK costs more and/or delivers inferior equipment e.g. Nimrod AEW, Nimrod MR4, Chinook Mk3 etc.
2) Maintaining civilian jobs in the defence sector hence the inexorable rise in the ratio of civil servants to military personnel e.g. delaying closures of RAF stations in marginal constituencies to avoid civilian job losses
3) Building political alliances e.g. buying the more expensive Sylver VLS because it was European rather than the cheaper and more flexible Mk41 for the Type 45.
4) Defending the country.

It’s the reason why the defence spend per serviceman in the UK is far higher than in other European and first world countries (after normalising the numbers to remove the nuclear deterrent) but that isn’t proportionately reflected in personnel numbers or equipment numbers/quality.

Captain Nemo

There’s nothing in it really is there, the defence budget is just an insurance premium they dislike paying, the forces have no friends at party level, only amongst individual members.
The 2% is effectively carved in stone, that’s kind of a plus in that you know broadly what you have to work with and there’s nothing more that can be crammed into MOD’s responsibility, MOD just have to finally get their head around that fact and identify a sustainable force structure, quietly moving towards it themselves without inviting political interference, without expectation and optimistically without error.


Yep, pretty much exactly what they need to do. The only thing I’d add is that they need to do this while still complaining bitterly that they don’t have enough money, every 4-years or so, so that they get a little cash hit every election time!


Forgive me if this has been done already, but it would be very interesting to see an article on your site reviewing options for moving the nuclear deterrent. I’m very aware that this would be a crippling cost, but with Scotland being very anti-UK it almost seems a matter of when not if? I saw a BBC article on it some years back. Wales was in the running at Milford Haven, but they too might leave one day, so England it has to be. Portland is deep water and although not Navy anymore, I’m sure that could be corrected. Portland has abandoned quarries, and a vast section of MOD restricted land. With the reduced arsenal of warheads and missiles, it wouldnt need to be as big as Coulport. Thoughts? Is there a geographical deep water navy expert who could write an in depth article?


Ohhh thanks hugely, I’ll have a read ?


It’s always better to be prepared but I’m not convinced its worth spending time planning (or even thinking about) for this, a Nuclear free Scotland is more of a political aspiration to be used as a bargaining chip rather than a policy that will turn into a reality.


Let’s hope so, reading that article would leave us without a deterrent. A shame the comments were closed, would have liked to have read the responses. Last report I saw had SNP at 40% and Scotland remaining in the UK 51%. I guess this election will be a big indicator of direction of travel in Scotland.


I remain fairly convinced that in the actual, as opposed to theoretical, event of Scottish Independence whatever is being said now in manifestos and campaign ads will go out the window when the government of a newly independent Scotland realise they have a cash flow issue (this is not the same as a wealth issue, but it’s important for paying the bills for things like salaries for police and nurses, and getting approval for loans for things like new schools and roads). Leasing, long or medium term, bases back to the rest of the UK is low hanging fruit, which they will jump at, they then get their income stream and the rest of the UK will not be paying too much for the privilege either as they are the only possible tenant. It will sort itself out and it will sort itself out as realpolitik and won’t resemble what anyone’s press releases, manifestos and/or election ads are saying here, now, today.

John C

If Scotland were to leave the UK wouldn’t there be funds released to offset, say, the cost of moving the nuclear deterrent south?


In the last 10 years of tory rule, i have only seen things get worse. Have we forgotten of army, navy and air force redundancies already ? I would rather put my trust in someone that says it as it is. Putting your trust in bojo is like asking a turkey to approve Christmas by promising you will only have a nut roast.


I accept that Cameron and May had questionable directives, but I do feel that a new leader brings an entirely new outlook. I have a very optimistic view of Boris.


Ask a friend in the DUP just how much faith you should put in his words. The publics reaction at the two debates has shown at people as a whole have no trust in him to tell the truth, unless it was convenient for him to do so.


I guess the polls going from 41% to 45% after the debates was a good indicator.


In 2017, the DUP had the most honest pro-defence manifesto commitment of all the parties. They basically said, we know it’s a mess but we won’t do anything about it until the economy improves. They had their share of power and did nothing about it, just as they had promised. And they were the best.


If labour got a different leader then I would vote for them, the conservatives have destroyed the UK millitary and cut it to bits! If labour and a new leader would keep to 2% + gdp and won’t make any cuts I would vote for them, I’m sick of the NHS always getting attention and billions upon billions of extra cash whilst the millitarys struggling! We need our millitray just as much or maybe more so.


its not worth risking the tory party getting in just because you don’t like the leader of labour, i don’t agree with all corbyn’s politics but you will get a man of his word and remember Labour policies are created by the membership.


Hes a man of his word yes. But his word is pro Iran, pro Hamas, pro IRA, and anti UK, especially anti armed forces.
If you think he and his thugs wont get their way once in office I have a bridge to sell you. No better by far to get Boris and have Labour realise the comrade Corbyn is unelectable.


No you wont, not at all. You will get a C team Government, with people in charge of the various departments who are promoted way past their capabilities. Oh and a Chanceller who still uses the first hear student economic package and ideas. You will get morons, simple as that pal. Oh and the membership, if my memory serves me well, was opened up nice and cheap, to get Corbyn squared away as leader and therefore the membership now consists of those groups and idiots who would never have had a chance of power, to include Communists, marxists, anarchists etc etc the list goes on. He is the very worst of a bad bunch.


Seriously, you think a Marxist Anti-Semite, is a “man of his word”? We all know he is fervently anti-Eu having voted against it in every parliamentary debate prior to the Referendum and their are countless videos of him ranting against the ‘capitalist club’.
But because Momentum are pro-EU he disappeared during the 2016 Referendum and now wants to be ‘neutral’.
Man of principle my ass!


Luckily then Boris is the man of principle you are looking war. Im not trying to compare their record, but Churchill before WW2 was seen as a flip flopper with few principles. Churchills very first speech in parliament in 1901 was in opposition to his own parties proposal to increase the Army to 6 Corps


But wasn’t that because he was more pro-Navy at the time. I seem to remember he was concerned that a new Corps would mean cancellation of new line of cruisers the Navy wanted. One of his speeches, which by today’s standards would probably be judged as racist went along way to ensure the Army didn’t get the extra Corps. The thoughts were that two Army Corps was sufficient to police the Empire.

David Graham

Mr Corbyn sees Karl Marx as his hero. The same Mr Marx was a founding father of communism. Mr McDonnel is on record as stating he wishes to see the fall of the capitalist system. Get Corbyn in Number 10 and McDonnel in Number 11 and you will have, de facto, a communist government. The minute that happens, well before a new administration is formed, there will be a flight of capital from the UK of a kind never seen before.

I worked in Lithuania shortly after it became independent, and saw first had the drab reality of the communist legacy in Klaipeda and Vilnius. There may be some who wish to take the UK down that road, but recovering from that could takes many years.


“if Labour got a different leader”… You do realise that the party is now controlled by Momentum, a Marxist organisation. Jeremy is actually the friendly face of Momentum, those behind him like McDonnell are even more hard-core and ruthless.


While I broadly agree with what’s been said in the article about the majority of the parties, a couple of comments on the Conservatives’ manifesto:
Veterans’ affairs and defence get a grand total of 11 bulleted action points between them, tucked away on pages 52 and 53 (out of 63).
There’s a whole lot of wording about focussing on x and adapting to threats from y and standing against z. None of it really amounts to anything that isn’t already recognised and part of government policy.
Their promised increase of the defence budget by 0.5% above inflation every year of the new parliament is something that has actually been happening since 2017, it’s not new. It also doesn’t really compare to the ~25% cut in the budget since 2010 and is completely uncosted in their associated budgetary document.
They promise to “maintain the Trident nuclear deterrent”, but that’s all they say. Not maintain CASD, not committed to Dreadnought. So, in a way, they’re more evasive about the issue than both the LibDems and Labour; for all we know they intend to go with extending the lives of only 3 of the Vanguards, and scrapping Dreadnought.
They say they will support British industry via projects such as T31 and Boxer, but they aren’t saying how they’re going to do that any more than they are already, and both Labour and the Lib Dems would be all over this too, seeing as it brings jobs and investment.
I frankly feel it’s rather empty words / a bit of heart warming patriotism for them; I don’t think it will translate into any great positive change for the armed forces unfortunately, or at least not if it conflicts with looking after their mates in the financial sector. I’m not a Labourite either, but not a fan of the current look of the Tories at all. Do also bear in mind that the Tories have presided over fairly sustained reductions in the defence budget over the last 50 years, as have Labour.


But is this not also down to the continual cycle of boom and bust economics that the parties have presided over when in power. I must admit the last 10 years have been tough on not just the military but the whole country. However, I see how quickly people forget how badly we were in debt in this period, then blame the then Government on how bad things were. The austerity measures were a necessary evil to turn around the Nation’s financial situation and we are only in the last couple of years seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.


It’s true that we are experiencing just another round of boom and bust, however most of what I’ve read says that this has been one of the worst/longest.
As far as the crisis itself goes, we did have high debt as an absolute number, yes. but as a percentage of GDP, it wasn’t bad at all. The deficit had only occurred in 2007, and the Tories had approved of all financial planning made by Labour up until the crash in 2008. Their main area of divergence was that the Tories wanted to further reduce regulation on the banking sector, to make them more competitive. It is widely held by pretty much every economist that carrying some debt (again, as measured against % of GDP) isn’t a problem for a country in the same way that it is for a person, and even a small deficit isn’t a problem for a small amount of time. The UK’s situation in 2007 wasn’t unhealthy, it only became so because the country’s GDP fell in the crash, causing both the debt and deficit to be higher by % of GDP. Most of the reports I’ve read (not newspapers, official ones from financial institutions say that the shock of the crash was well handled by Labour and the Bank of England, and the economy began to recover going into the 2010 election cycle.
Both Labour and the Tories both had plans for austerity policies in their budgets at this point, the only difference was that the Labour plan was to stabilise the economy a bit through continued spending, gradually decrease that over time to bring the deficit down (this is the historically accepted way of doing things, even conservatives did this in previous decades, and is exactly what the US successfully did after 2008). The Tories wanted to do this quicker (about twice as fast, when comparing the two plans), primarily by cutting public spending as quickly as possible, but most economists view this as an ideological decision rather than an economics-based one. They went ahead with this, and then ended up having to drastically slow the process down because the economy stopped recovering and almost went into a double-dip recession instead. All this to say, I agree that the accounts had to be balanced, but so did Labour. All the talk of austerity and a financial emergency was politics; the intended end result between Labour and the conservatives was almost identical, it’s just that doing it the Tories’ way has disproportionally hit the poorest 20%, somehow removed inheritance tax and kept the higher rate of income tax unchanged (even though approximately 15% of the austerity policy was/is through increase in taxes), and removed the (pre-2008) plan to restructure the UK economy away from the financial sector and towards industry a bit from consideration.
For the record, I don’t agree with the current har-left Labour; I’m a centrist, I just don’t like the Tories’ overly simplistic approach to equating national debt to personal debt, glossing over the deficit completely, and pretending that immediate and hard austerity was the only way out of the problem we were in after the crash (when the consensus among economists is that it certainly wasn’t), rather than just the ideological policy of the moment (not even historical conservative behaviour).


I believe Boris Johnson wants a strong military and is willing to reverse many of the cuts the Navy has sustained. In order to
put through his policies he needs a strong majority in parliament. Hopefully that will happen on election day. Corbyn is
another left wing boob who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the treasury.


The £1.8 trillion national debt has not gone away. The bankers thought the answer to the 2007-9 debt problem, was a decade of vastly more debt through QE.
Yet, our politicians, in all parties, are offering new spending goodies every day. I doubt if many will be delivered, regardless of the result of 12 Dec.

In the know?

As a public affairs professional, I thought it might be helpful to mention that any good lobbyist will tell you partisan politics rarely helps you achieve your goals. And if it does, it is very unlikely the decisions will be sustainable, i.e. last a change in government or even a reshuffle within a government. The obvious political biases/allegiances in this piece do nothing to help achieve the aims of this website. Indeed they weaken them. Lasting change in the UK political system comes from political concensus. Attacking and patronising those you dislike (much like this article) does not achieve that. Pretending to be party politically neutral when you clearly aren’t never ends well in the long run. I think this piece (and others I’ve seen on this website) demonstrate the amateur nature of this campaign. Amateurism is fine if you want to feel like your achieving for the Royal Navy. But not so helpful if you actually want to achieve for RN. That said, I do enjoy the behind the scene posts on this website. Even if I find the advocacy ones a tad lacking.

Supportive Bloke

I am afraid I agree.

It would have been better as a dry list of “things they have supported” and then include IRA etc in that.

Likewise the manifesto pledges – dry bullet point lists. Put an star on things that cause security issues.

The comments section is quite capable of the commentary as we can see……

TBH I think the article is so bad (sorry I really do) it does the site and the cause, which I fully support, a massive disservice.

The quality of what is posted on here is generally very good and the articles informative without giving too much away.


I disagree.

This site is apolitical. It certainly is not partisan as it clearly shows there are no parties of defence.

You attack the article as patronising and offensive, but do not refute anything said therein, which is very telling.

You seem to take the view that talking about politics is indulging in politics – it is not. Least of all not in this case anyway.

Furthermore, to condescendingly attack this site for being of an ‘amateur nature’, which comically overlooks the fact that it is what it is, and indeed claims to be – as in merely a group concerned with the status and future of the RN, nothing more, nothing less.

Captain Nemo

Um, are you arguing with yourself? Some sort of mental exercise?


I am a big fan of this website and the independant articles it usually produces although in the case of this article I am simply disgusted that this was allowed to be posted on an ‘independant’ and ‘politically neutral’ website. Very disappointed with this and whilst I understand there are plenty of reasons for people not to like Corbyn straight out accusing him of being a ‘communist and terrorist sympathiser’ as well as a threat to UK national security is a damned disgrace how on earth can anyone consider this an independant source any longer as I sure can’t.


Except he is all those things. Just because you are in denial doesnt change facts.


If you support the man, then support the man, that is your right.

Just don’t pretend he is anything other than he is, it is not like he tries to cover these things up now is it?

Attacking this site for calmly mentioning the obvious is a weak argument that does you no credit at all.

What are they meant to do, gloss over everything in an act of voluntary self-cencorship, or just be calm and honest as they are?

Will O

Come off it Bill, Corbyn has sided with just about every anti-British militant group going & is best buddies with proto-Nazi Iran.
Even this week, in the midst of an election, he’s offered to host a Hamas & Muslim Brotherhood affiliated group at Downing Street. He’s personally & voluntarily attended & spoken at Hezbollah rallies to express his support & sympathy with their cause, so how can he be described as anything other than a terrorist sympathiser?

Either he’s a terrorist sympathiser, or he’s too stupid to work out those he’s supporting & sympathising with are terrorists. I don’t know which of the two is worse.


Have you forgotten where the 911 hijackers came from? Iranian government isnt my sort government , but its the US/UK supported Iraqi governments police who are shooting people down in their streets. Its the UK supported Saudis who are involved in neighbour Yemens civil war , The UK speaks out against Russian takeover in Crimea yet does nothing about the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus for 40 yrs. You cant just say , UK is on the Good side.
Its easy to forget , if in your own neighborhood you are ‘at war’ with the people next door, you can recall their every fault , however your extended family may be worse but its glossed over. Its because you are wanting harmony with one , but not the other.


People in streets protesting Iranian interference and not forgetting the hundred of Iranians murdered recently by the Islamist regime supported by Corbyn?

Will O

Sorry Duker but Iran started the war in Yemen, had it’s mucky fingerprints all over 9/11, sheltered AQ & Bin Laden directly afterwards, & also bears responsibility for the second Gulf War which followed (as the false info on WMD was planted by an Iranian double agent).

Iran is overwhelmingly behind the shootings in Iraq, not the UK/US. The Quds force as a whole there is led by their Ambassador, an IRGC Brigadier by the name of Iraj Mazjedi,
There’s obviously been shamefully many incidents of shootings there, but for instance, man directly responsible for snipers shooting civilians from rooftops in Baghdad is Abu Zainab al-Lami, he’s head of security for a militia/mercenary group called the Hashid. They’re predominantly Shia & are backed by Iran.
The Iraqi General behind the massacre three days ago in Nassiriya of 29 people, is Jamil Shummary, same General who directly enabled another of Iran’s puppet militias Muqtadā al-Ṣadr’s ‘Mahdi Army’ to conduct a massacre of 52 people in 2013.

I don’t see the relevance of Crimea or Northern Cypress. I don’t know why, but you seem to be trying to deflect in all different directions. I stand by all I said before. None of the multiple points & topics you’ve raised contradicts it.


Where on earth did you get “Iran sheltered AQ & Bin Laden” from? The Saudis and Iranians hate each other over religious differences which have lasted hundreds of years. Iran actually helped the US by allowing overflights and transit by rescue helicopters to retrieve trapped coalition forces. . Do you honestly think the US would NOT have invaded Iran if it believed for one second that Iran was helping AQ and Bin Laden?
The reason the West have problems today is the nut job in Witless House who hated Obama so much he had to destroy the nuclear treaty. The problems in Iran are a direct result of US sanctions which the nutter in chief imposed because he hates Islam because they rejected his hotels and casinos
Note for a geography lesson. Pakistan which was where AQ was sheltered is NOT Iran!
The only thing they do agree on is how to treat women.

Will O

Iran & AQ made a deal, AQ leaves Iran alone & vice versa. Iran offered support for AQ if it focused it’s attacks on the west.

I’m not sure at what point the US knew, I do believe Obama’s administration gave Iran a free pass pretty much across the board to get his JCPOA over the line. Anything that stood in the way got buried.

Trump is unfortunately right, that Iran failed to honour the JCPOA. Their Arak reactor, just one example, was never rendered beyond use as they’d claimed. It’s too small to be of use for power generation, it’s no use for things like medical isotopes, it’s only purpose is nukes. It is, literally, Chernobyl in miniature, it’s 1/6 the size but fuel assemblies etc are the same design. Iran alarmingly plans to run it hotter.

Bin Laden went to Pakistan afterwards. As I said, Iran sheltered him directly after 9/11.

To quote; ‘Osama bin Laden, family members, and fighters fled to Iran. That was prearranged. It was set up ahead of time. And he stayed there for something like about nine years late 2001 until sometime during 2010, and that’s when he finally moved to Pakistan.’


What absolute Conspiracy Crapola!
Would you like to buy Nelson’s Column?
I have a great deal to offer!

Will O

Conspiracy crapola? …based on sworn testimony in a US Court, of three former Iranian intelligence officers (though I grant you, they’re not known for their truthfulness) which a Federal Judge upheld in his ruling.

Jeff if you believe the POTUS is a ‘nutjob’, who ‘hates Islam’ then look to your own conspiracy crapola.
Your views, I suggest are a little too colored by your own prejudices to be truly objective.

It’s up to each of us to do our own due diligence to rationally establish the most likely truth.

I would suggest though that Federal Courts & Federal Judges do tend to be quite diligent? Sufficiently diligent for us not to simply dismiss their rulings simply because they conflict with our own preformed beliefs?

Claire Lopez was an Expert Witness in the case for goodness sake, testified under Oath, I don’t know how much stronger a source needs to be for you to consider it credible.


Some of the right wing trash written here is truly banal. Britain was created by the Scots and it will end with our departure, Scotland will be a small European republic, nothing to be frightened of by that. As for Trident, send that to Sunderland or Hull, that can be their Brexit dividend.


Funny I thought Britain was made by the English after we bought land North of the border after the failed Scottish state bankrupted itself with the Darian Scheme.


Scotland would have been bankrupted again during the GFC by its banks and economic growth limited under harsh Euro currency rules and no English subsidies. No bargaining power to get a ‘soft’ border either. The referendum exit polls showed something like 30% SNP supporters favoring leave. Thus the renewed stamping of feet over Independence by the SNP to stop their Leave supporters changing vote – even a 10-15% drop could mean many seats changing hands.


In 1981 at the launch of Ark Royal on Tyneside, Tory Defence Secretary John Nott announced it would be fitted out on Tyneside. Days later he was announcing in the Commons that it was going to be mothballed. Cameron’s volte-face on the same ship took a little longer, but the Tories can’t be trusted to keep their word.

We all know that the Tories are not spending over 2% of GDP on defence as they claim, rather that’s defence-related spending. Unless they are planning to draft Chelsea Pensioners and war widows to make up the numbers of active service personnel, pension spending doesn’t contribute to actual defence. Julian Lewis, the Tory chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee estimates core spending is down to 1.8%, including next year’s one-off bonus.

As long as the Tories are happy to increase the number of items of “defence-related” spend in the defence calculations to pad out the numbers, they are no better than the Lib Dems. The fourth Dreadnought won’t be started during the next parliament anyway, that’s a red herring. As spending is based on GDP, Tory vs Lib Dem depends on whether you think Brexit is good or bad for the economy.


HMS Ark Royal was on the sale list with intentions it would have gone to Australia, and many frigates and destroyers would have been sold or scrapped as well reducing the escort force to 50, the then “irreducible” total. If the Argies had waited 6 more months Operation Corporate would have been impossible and the Falklands would be the Malvinas. The current escort force is 19 ships and this will probably reduce if the new vessels are not built fast enough.


I must admit i had a small chuckle to myself that Gavin Williamson had been sacked for ‘leaking’ I stand by my childish behaviour


Well, I fully expect to be shot down in flames for daring to put my head above the parapet, but anyway… I was introduced to the Royal Navy when my grandma took me to Leith to have a trip round HMS Tiger. I nearly joined as an eighteen year old but finally and happily moved in another direction. I’m very fond of the navy and enjoy reading the articles on this site which for the most part are excellent.
Sadly with this blatant take on the election, the usual bashing of Scotland re independence and many of the rabid and offhand remarks about how we can incinerate Moscow pronounced with glee…I’ve had enough.
I’m sure my lack of engagement on this site in the future will not bother the creator of it a jot, however, I wonder how many others, even if a minority feel the same.
Okay lads, all you frothing at the mouth British nationalists can have a field day ripping into my post. Enjoy!

Captain Nemo

There’s an impressive amount of bait left unattended in comments. Disciplined crew.

Kevin Hastie

As members of this site will be aware, the essential ethos of NATO is that if one member state is attacked then it qualifies as an attack on all members. Accordingly there is an obligation to respond militarily in a “all for one, one for all” fashion. However, when Argentina invaded the Falklands, not one member offered assistance (militarily). Indeed, only one commonwealth nation offered assistance; New Zealand, who put RNZN ships at our disposal. The RN took up the offer and put a couple on RN patrol duties, thus freeing up RN vessels to fight. The point of all this is that when the RNZN celebrated its` 75th anniversary and various nations sent ships no New Zealand to honour this, the RN was unable to send one ship. We did not have any to spare. This utterly shameful situation was the result of decimation of the RN under a Tory government….more particularly Cameron. You would think the Conservatives would be the natural ally of the RN, but historically it has sunk more ships than the Kreigsmarine!


Either your copy of the NATO Treaty is broken, or your map of the Atlantic is. An attack on one is an attack on all only if the attack takes place in Europe or North America, there is no obligation for any NATO member or members to help if someone is attacked outside of Europe or North America, and the Falkland Islands are in neither.

As to the Commonwealth, it is not an alliance and never will be, not while two of its members are pointing nuclear, conventional and asymmetric weapons at each other and using two of the three on a semi regular basis (that would be India and Pakistan). I also suspect you would be rather unpleasantly surprised to find out just how few members of the Commonwealth have any interest in fighting in any of Britain’s wars for her again, that lack of interest is one of the reasons (and I must stress here that there are other, more local, reasons as well, lest it be used to derail my overall point) why the 5 Powers agreement – for example – is worded the way it is, in a generally passive, all about “consultation” way instead of an “offer assistance” kind of way.

Kevin Hastie

Your suspicion is wide of the mark; of course I dont expect Commonwealth members to fight our wars. The point is that New Zealand DID offer assistance EVEN THOUGH it was under no obligation to do so, and yet the UK was unable to send a ship to celebrate the RNZN 75th anniversary as a consequence of Camerons depletion of the RN. I happen to think that is a shameful situation…..don`t you?


Yes and no. On one hand it would be good for there to be: 1. Enough money to have the ships and the people to crew them; 2. The ships; 3. The crews… but there isn’t enough and thats the reality of the situation (the blame for this is an entirely different question and again somewhat complex), so yes, it would be better if thats not the situation. However, on the no side of the coin: it is the situation and under those circumstances I’m quite glad that temptation to cancel something important IOT send a ship to the opposite side of the world on a flag waving trip to a country that doesn’t really need it was resisted.


That is funny since the US pushed for NATO forces to be used in Iraq which is definitely not in Europe and is not part of the UK which the Falklands are. As to not being able to send a ship to NZ because there was none to send, that should be sign that the Tories have decimated the RN to an unacceptable level. Even worse force levels are likely to drop even further since replacement vessels will not be commissioned fast enough to replace old ones despite having service lives twice as long as originally intended. BTW the UK did send a brass band to NZ so all was not lost then.


Iraq or Afghanistan? They did push (successfully) for NATO to take over the Afghanistan mission but I don’t recall hearing about them pushing for a NATO role in Iraq. Regardless, “pushing” by some form of diplomatic dealing for a NATO role in something is not the same thing as invoking the terms of the alliance. Mongolia joined the NATO mission in Afghanistan and good luck finding their signature on the NATO treaty.


This election is a choice of two cretins. Vote for Boris the lesser cretin.


The “lesser” cretin who will break up the UK by removing Northern Ireland and Scotland from the Union?


I think you are confusing Boris and Comrade “Second Referendum, the IRA have a Nobel cause” Corbyn.


Corbyn won the Nobel Prize? Nuh. Boris will certainly be popular with the IRA if Northern Ireland leave which is certainly a distinct possibility. Boris might then win the Nobel peace prize as the IRA will throw away their guns and be very happy. I can just see Boris waving a piece of paper in the air “Peace in our time”! Comrade Boris (Putin useful idiot No 2), seems to be doing an awfully good job breaking up the UK and Putin is grinning like a cat that got at the cream.
Let us just say PM candidate selection for BOTH parties is a disaster and leave it at that.
Look on the bright side that if N Ireland and Scotland do leave there will be massive new job opportunities in new shipbuilding and refitting companies in England and Wales (assuming they don’t leave as well) , and a boost of the economy wherever the Government choose to move the naval facilities currently at Gareloch and Rosyth which would probably follow.

Kevin Cocker

Your prejudice against Corbyn is showing a huge amount of ignorance about the man his politics and the Labour Party, indeed it could be construed as campaigning against the Labour Party especially the claim Corbyn would mot pass security vetting, as someone who has passed such vetting I can confirm so would Corbyn, does he provide uncompromising criticism yes is he a traitor far from it, you have to look within the ranks of the Tory party for that….or have you forgot all those spies we actually caught, and if you really want to be naughty you did mention how the Tories virtually wiped out alot of the UK defence projects in 2010 with little or no financial benefit to the country’s debt problem…didn’t Cameron go to Oxford.

Arthur Benyon

Don’t underestimate what Corbyn would do if he came to power. His manifesto is frightening: massive state takeovers of vast swathes of industry, the expropriation of the assets of private schools, seized Soviet-style without compensation and redistributed. This is state-sponsored robbery on an industrial scale.

Make no mistake about it, Corbyn is not a slightly-further-left-than-usual leader of the Labour party. He is a Communist, pure and simple, and his government would be Communist. There has never been a party leader more unfit to be prime minister.

He won’t even sing the national anthem, as we saw at the Battle of Britain 75th anniversary service at St. Pauls in 2015. How can a man who lacks such basic loyalty to his own country possibly be worthy of leading it (even if he hadn’t been siding with the nation’s enemies all his life)?

I understand the US, Israel, and Australia have already said they would no longer be willing to share intelligence with the UK if Corbyn becomes prime minister.

Let’s pray that the unthinkable doesn’t become reality on Thursday!


The one party forgotten here, the one that will fight for fishing rights and a stronger armed forces, is being ignored: The Brexit Party!

Afon LLedr

“Had it not been for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance wisely locking the MoD into a contract too costly to break,
the QEC aircraft carriers would also have been axed in 2010”.
And which party “wisely” locked the MOD into the contract?
And which party executed “the badly botched defence review of 2010”?
It’s a fallacy that the Conservatives would ever invest in anything.
There sole goal is to reduce tax to the bare minimum,
and hopefully, to let their own fund-raisers pay no tax at all.
If lost, or in any doubt, just ask a Policeman.


I am not sure why we have not begun the withdrawal from scotland. Bring everything south now because once the scots go or are booted then the royal navy is in big bother.