I remember BBC News somewhat lacking in its coverage of QE’s arrival in Portsmouth a few months back and annoyingly they seem to have repeated that today. Although they covered it, it seemed to only focus on the price tag attached to her and even then the reports were often full of incorrect facts (the no aircraft line being frequently stated). That combined with the One Show featuring that so called “expert” last night made it disappointing coverage and I expected better tbh. I’ve just seen Alistair Bunkell’s Sky News report on the event and it’s certainly better put together. Bunkall mentions the 13 UK jets we already have as being part of an intitial order of 48 and deals with the no planes myth early. He gives the price tag - and of course any correspondent is right in doing this - it’s an important fact, but I think he mentioned it in the correct context. With the BBC it felt like; “oh look at this waste of £3billion it could be better spent, here look at this report on the NHS”, Bunkall looks at the wider picture. The wider picture being that this is a large amount of money in a defence budget that has been squeezed by the treasury, it need not be a balancing act if the forces were correctly funded in relation to what they’re expected to do. He even managed to interview Gavin Williamson who stated that he would fight for more money and even got a chance to speak to Dr. Julian Lewis who did not mince his words when laying the blame at the feet of the Treasury and even went further in saying that UK needed to aim for 3% GDP spending on defence.
By now I know we all realise that a serious increase in defence spending is incredibly unlikely but I’m glad that Sky has given airtime to the dire state of the budget and has helped in putting the issue of needing more money further into the public eye as its definitely a topic that goes unspoken of when compared to other budgets. Sorry to give a review too but I just felt the BBC really let the RN and the UK Armed Forces down today