Wednesday 25 April 2018

KevinMyers: There's Asia. And there's Aphasia - two islands, one disease. Aphasian once again!

Kevin Myers

IT gets better and better: the lunatic dance of these two islands around the bonfire of inanities called hubris is becoming more synchronised by the day.

No sooner do we discover that poor bloody Ireland might be facing a bill of €14bn to plug the hole in our finances than the British declare that they cannot proceed with their multi-billion aircraft-carrier programme, including the F35B combat aircraft, as planned. Instead, they have embarked upon a policy which is almost impossible to understand and, insofar as it is open to any analysis whatsoever, will cost them probably as much as our bank bail-out.

Okay: so they've got more money than us. But they've also got more problems, one of which was not even referred to by David Cameron in the House of Commons, or in the subsequent media comment. He's almost certainly going to change the British order for the aircraft for the carriers from the vertical take-off F35B to the conventional F35. But the British signed a legally-binding contract for the joint-development of the F35B, perhaps the most expensive and certainly the most ludicrous combat aircraft in history. The manufacturers are American. Merely because the British are not going to buy the aircraft doesn't mean they're not going to be saddled with the continuing development costs. (Has Cameron ever done business with US lawyers?) In other words, a black hole, mirroring (if black holes can be mirrored) our own Anglo Irish, at the bottom of which, nothing. Okay, no one will remember these words when the final decision to cancel is taken but I'm telling you now, the British carriers will never ever go to sea.

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