National Flagship for Britain

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
Ron5
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by Ron5 »

A few thoughts on the yacht:

The MoD doesn't have a 16 billion black hole, that's way out of date.

The Defense budget may well be paying for it but there's nothing to say the budget can't be upped by 200m to cover the acquisition costs. The money could be diverted from the trade & overseas development budgets. PoC.

Boris has been the best friend to UK defense and the UK military since the second world war. I don't understand folks here that have an interest in UK defense are so willing to crap all over him.

The ship being described as a Boris vanity project is just about the most British thing I've heard. How on earth does it pander to his vanity? Are the hospitals he's building vanity projects too? Reeks of the stupid shit that was talked about UK government owned jets for flying VIPs around the world.

Basing a yacht on the type 31 must be about the most moronic idea I have ever read on this forum. And that's saying a lot.

The design shown in the official pictures, is truly awful. the UK is home to some of the world's best yacht designers and the government has come up with that. Yuk.

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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by RichardIC »

Oh dear Ron
Ron5 wrote:The Defense budget may well be paying for it but there's nothing to say the budget can't be upped by 200m to cover the acquisition costs. The money could be diverted from the trade & overseas development budgets. PoC.
And there's nothing to say it can't. Quite simply it won't be a defence resource so the defence budget shouldn't be paying for it.
Ron5 wrote:Boris has been the best friend to UK defense and the UK military since the second world war. I don't understand folks here that have an interest in UK defense are so willing to crap all over him.
You're quite right, defence has done well out of Johnson. In that respect he's been a useful idiot, but he's still first a foremost an idiot. You'd let him buy you a pint but you wouldn't ever rely on him in a crisis. He's been good for defence for purely superficial reasons - he thinks it will make him popular with his core vote for a fleeting moment. But it's all flim flam and ephemera. There's no deep seated commitment.
Ron5 wrote:The ship being described as a Boris vanity project is just about the most British thing I've heard. How on earth does it pander to his vanity? Are the hospitals he's building vanity projects too? Reeks of the stupid shit that was talked about UK government owned jets for flying VIPs around the world.
It's being described as a vanity project because it's a vanity project. That's what he does - garden bridge; Boris island; bridges to Ireland. And he's not building hospitals. The hospitals he claims he's building were already being built. In one case the "new hospital" was a temporary mobile ward.

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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by Caribbean »

RichardIC wrote:The hospitals he claims he's building were already being built
Hardly - the initial cash was to provide money to start the design and planning process for hospitals not expected to start construction before 2025. They may have been at "concept" stage, but they were not funded. It takes a long time to get a new hospital built. Our new local hospital was "in planning" for 8 years plus and "in construction" for three or more years. It's also built on the site of one of the old hospitals (Mrs C used to work there), but is definitely a NEW hospital - what used to be the old hospital is now the car park and access road. It also involved the construction of a major road improvement scheme to provide better access to the hospital from the A26 (now, if they also improve the rest of the A26 down to the coast to the same standard, they should be able to significantly reduce the number of RTA's that it has to handle each year). The end result was that we replaced two smaller hospitals, both with significant access problems, with a single larger and better-equipped hospital with much better access. Presumably you would see this as the "evil Tories closing a hospital", rather than "local residents getting far better hospital facilities".

The six that have been upgraded, that you allude to, were upgraded under an older plan. There is also a new plan for an additional 20 to be upgraded on top of the 40 new ones mentioned.

Apologies for going off topic
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

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Caribbean wrote:Presumably you would see this as the "evil Tories closing a hospital", rather than "local residents getting far better hospital facilities".
Apologies for remaining off topic, but you asked. What the country needs is fewer, bigger, better hospitals and specialist surgical centres that don't include Emergency Departments. And more people being treated in the community.

Defiance
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

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Ron5 wrote: Boris has been the best friend to UK defense and the UK military since the second world war. I don't understand folks here that have an interest in UK defense are so willing to crap all over him.
Just because he does some things right doesn't mean we need to fellaciate him whenever he has an idea

Ron5
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

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RichardIC wrote:And there's nothing to say it can't. Quite simply it won't be a defence resource so the defence budget shouldn't be paying for it.
And that's what the defense chiefs will be saying and they'll win the argument. It would be plain daft to have any other agency than the MoD procure the ship. However bad they are, they're streets ahead of every other department. But they won't foot the acquisition bill.
RichardIC wrote:You're quite right, defence has done well out of Johnson. In that respect he's been a useful idiot, but he's still first a foremost an idiot. You'd let him buy you a pint but you wouldn't ever rely on him in a crisis. He's been good for defence for purely superficial reasons - he thinks it will make him popular with his core vote for a fleeting moment. But it's all flim flam and ephemera. There's no deep seated commitment.
That's just a stream of personal abuse reflecting your opinion. Singularly fact free.
RichardIC wrote:It's being described as a vanity project because it's a vanity project. That's what he does - garden bridge; Boris island; bridges to Ireland. And he's not building hospitals. The hospitals he claims he's building were already being built. In one case the "new hospital" was a temporary mobile ward.
Still don't understand how vanity plays into it. How does ordering a ship reflect on him personally? Do we all love Brown and Blair for ordering the carriers? Do we love Trump for ordering a new Air Force 1?
Defiance wrote:Just because he does some things right doesn't mean we need to fellaciate him whenever he has an idea
Didn't say that you had to perform a sex act on him, just show some respect rather than repeating the loonie left mantras.

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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

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Ron5 wrote:That's just a stream of personal abuse reflecting your opinion. Singularly fact free.
I'm entitled, I pay taxes here. And it is based on more than a little observation.

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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by SW1 »

The phrase is play the ball not the man. If we resort to personal abuse then it’s because you have lost the argument.

The problem with this idea is what exactly is this ship for and does it really justify spending the money. Can a floating trade centre really be justified I don’t think so, we have missions around the work and grey war canoes preform the cocktail party function on port visits. VVIPs don’t float round the world anymore and haven’t since the 50s they fly in and fly out. I don’t think having a boat for signing the deal really adds much.

Defiance
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by Defiance »

Ron5 wrote: Didn't say that you had to perform a sex act on him, just show some respect rather than repeating the loonie left mantras.
The fact I broadly agree with the Government in a few areas doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't call them out in others. I don't ignore decisions I don't like just because he's 'my guy', and he is, because I did vote Conservative (and always have done).

jedibeeftrix
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by jedibeeftrix »

I do question the value of a 'royal yacht' in this billionaire era where there are dozens of alabaster and smoked-glass behemoths roaming the seas, each larger that most counties frigates (and likely more expensive).

That said, i see no reason why it couldn't be an excellent venue for trade and diplomacy, and more than 'wipe-its-face' in terms of the capital and revenue costs.

If that is the case - that it is a net positive on a par with any other equivalent investment - then a decision to proceed is purely thematic:
i.e. does a multi-use Trade and Diplomacy / Disaster Relief and Casualty Receiving / ISR and Emergency Command Post ship project the image of the UK that HMG wants to project?

Arguably, with the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper, as well as the DIT push for a more seagoing free-trading role, then a new 'royal' yacht is a perfectly acceptable idea.

But i'd like to see HMG evidence their confidence that a seaborne venue for trade and diplomacy is indeed a net positive...?

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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by RichardIC »

jedibeeftrix wrote:Arguably, with the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper, as well as the DIT push for a more seagoing free-trading role, then a new 'royal' yacht is a perfectly acceptable idea.
Yet both documents, published three months ago and years in the making, completely failed to mention Boris's boat. So it wasn't part of defence planning then but it is now - talk about making it up as you go along.
jedibeeftrix wrote:But i'd like to see HMG evidence their confidence that a seaborne venue for trade and diplomacy is indeed a net positive...?
Exactly. If this is about boosting business, where's the business case?

I watched part of Defence Select Committee yesterday, and Ben Wallace gave a reasonably assured performance overall, but visibly squirmed when cross-examined on this. He did at one point try to justify it on the basis that it could make a useful training vessel.

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Tempest414
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by Tempest414 »

RichardIC wrote: that don't include Emergency Departments. And more people being treated in the community.
Just to be clear are you saying A&E should not be in hospitals if so where would you put them?

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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by RichardIC »

Tempest414 wrote:Just to be clear are you saying A&E should not be in hospitals if so where would you put them?
Way off topic, but OK.

No, of course emergency departments should be in hospitals. But not every hospital should have an A&E. The Royal College of Surgeons are calling for dedicated surgery hubs that don't admit patients on an emergency basis.

The reason is if you have an emergency department you simply can't control who comes in through the front door. That means when you have a surge in demand (pandemic anyone?) all your planned operations, so-called electives, get cancelled. That is why waiting times for anything that is a non life-threatening emergency are now through the roof. And electives aren't minor or trivial operations - it's stuff that's profoundly life changing.

Specialist hospitals already exist but we need more. Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt in Shropshire specialises in orthopaedics and has just started work on a new centre for armed forces veterans. No A&E - hardly ever cancels operations.

https://www.rjah.nhs.uk/About-Us/News/S ... -vete.aspx

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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by RichardIC »

Latest exclusive from the Sunday Times on HMS Shitshow: The Prince of Wales (the person, not the ship) wants nothing to do with it. Nor does William.

Sorry don't have a link.

But if the monarch wants nothing to do with it, the heir wants nothing to do with it and their heir wants nothing to do with it, it really does make the "HMS" bit seem crass.

serge750
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by serge750 »

Just a showboat for the Politicians then.......

Scimitar54
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by Scimitar54 »

HMGS then? :mrgreen:

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Poiuytrewq
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Utter madness!

How on earth can it be justified to raid the Defense budget to pay for a floating palace to sign trade deals?

Worse still RN is going to have to find the cash to cover the annual running costs. BONKERS!


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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

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Poiuytrewq wrote:How on earth can it be justified to raid the Defense budget to pay for a floating palace to sign trade deals?

Worse still RN is going to have to find the cash to cover the annual running costs. BONKERS!
If there was a business case that properly laid out how and when the "trade ship" was going to generate income for the nation there may be a case, especially if MoD, as the main contributor to the cost, was offered some prospect of reimbursement.

But there doesn't seem to be one.
What we do know is that a business case should always precede a procurement exercise – and so the fact that a government department may then handle the procurement exercise does not mean that the business case is then created.

That would be to put the dinghy before the boat.

Business cases precede procurement exercises – and should determine whether there is a procurement exercise or not.

The reasonable suspicion of anyone following this daft exercise is that there is no business case – and that this prestige procurement was announced without any preliminary thought whatsoever.
https://davidallengreen.com/2021/06/is- ... -flagship/

SD67
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by SD67 »

I've gotta say I agree with Ron here.

Let's assume the money, worst case, does come out of defence. So what. It's about the same cost as one Voyager being permanently equipped for VIP purposes. Defence assets do get used in some pretty non-fighty activities these days. Hurricane relief, narcotics interception, flying VIPs around the world. I can't think of another department remotely equipped to own and operate it. Imagine the Home Office getting hold of it - they'd be ferrying refugees to Dover!

The way I see it the ship will be a mobile embassy. Sovereign territory that we can deploy in pursuit of national objectives. And yes the MOD does already provide security for British embassies. I certainly wouldn't want sensitive political or trade negotiations being conducted in some downtown hotel in the far east no doubt completely bugged and every word being relayed to Beijing.

SD67
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by SD67 »

RichardIC wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:How on earth can it be justified to raid the Defense budget to pay for a floating palace to sign trade deals?

Worse still RN is going to have to find the cash to cover the annual running costs. BONKERS!
If there was a business case that properly laid out how and when the "trade ship" was going to generate income for the nation there may be a case, especially if MoD, as the main contributor to the cost, was offered some prospect of reimbursement.

But there doesn't seem to be one.
What we do know is that a business case should always precede a procurement exercise – and so the fact that a government department may then handle the procurement exercise does not mean that the business case is then created.

That would be to put the dinghy before the boat.

Business cases precede procurement exercises – and should determine whether there is a procurement exercise or not.

The reasonable suspicion of anyone following this daft exercise is that there is no business case – and that this prestige procurement was announced without any preliminary thought whatsoever.
https://davidallengreen.com/2021/06/is- ... -flagship/
I'm sure there'll be a business case - Treasury will insist on it. 5 billion worth of commercial contracts were signed aboard Britannia in her last 20 years of service, it's not difficult to make the numbers work

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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Poiuytrewq wrote:Utter madness!

How on earth can it be justified to raid the Defense budget to pay for a floating palace to sign trade deals?
If MOD is paying and manning for it, MOD/RN must have their "say" on the ship design, for sure, because they are the sponsor.

Make it much more HADR and Hospital ship like, with some section/region built deluxe for party role. Then, it can be used for dual/triple use.
- at-sea embassy and pavilion for industries,
- can be changed into HADR asset within a few days notice when needed, and
- will be used as a hospital ship or casualty ship in war time.
Then, RN will not need Argus replacement on its casualty ship role.

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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by SW1 »

SD67 wrote:5 billion worth of commercial contracts were signed aboard Britannia in her last 20 years of service, it's not difficult to make the numbers work
Were they signed because of Britannia or would they have been signed anyway but Britannia was convenient backdrop.

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RichardIC
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by RichardIC »

SD67 wrote:I'm sure there'll be a business case - Treasury will insist on it. 5 billion worth of commercial contracts were signed aboard Britannia in her last 20 years of service, it's not difficult to make the numbers work
What SW1 said is of course directly relevant. If a contract's is signed in a conference centre, does the conference centre take all the credit? And of course Britannia had the cache of being a Royal Yacht. This will not be a Royal Yacht.

And if it's not difficult to make the numbers work, where are the numbers?

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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by Pseudo »

RichardIC wrote:
SD67 wrote:I'm sure there'll be a business case - Treasury will insist on it. 5 billion worth of commercial contracts were signed aboard Britannia in her last 20 years of service, it's not difficult to make the numbers work
What SW1 said is of course directly relevant. If a contract's is signed in a conference centre, does the conference centre take all the credit? And of course Britannia had the cache of being a Royal Yacht. This will not be a Royal Yacht.

And if it's not difficult to make the numbers work, where are the numbers?
I suppose that one way to judge it would be whether there'd been a significant drop in the UK's deal making ability since Britannia was retired in 1997.

RunningStrong
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Re: National Flagship for Britain

Post by RunningStrong »

SD67 wrote: I'm sure there'll be a business case - Treasury will insist on it. 5 billion worth of commercial contracts were signed aboard Britannia in her last 20 years of service, it's not difficult to make the numbers work
Where's the evidence those trade deals couldn't have been signed in a nice hotel?
Caribbean wrote:
RichardIC wrote:The hospitals he claims he's building were already being built
Hardly - the initial cash was to provide money to start the design and planning process for hospitals not expected to start construction before 2025. They may have been at "concept" stage, but they were not funded.
It would be great to actually stick to facts. Boris hasn't promised any more money to build them, they are still planning phase.

https://fullfact.org/health/six-hospitals-not-forty/

"In its latest announcement the government has committed the money to upgrade six hospitals by 2025. Up to 38 other hospitals have received money to plan for building work between 2025 and 2030, but not to actually begin any work."

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