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UK to scrap £4.1 billion new spy planes 27, January 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in UK.
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As a part of the UK Government’s cost cutting, £4.1 billion worth of brand new spy planes are to be destroyed and sold for scrap.

The Nimrod MRA4 reconnaissance aircraft were designed to patrol the Atlantic searching for submarines. However, one expert notes that the electronics in the planes [once again, I note that these are literally brand new plane] are

already out of date. You wouldn’t put them in last year’s Playstation


The Ministry of Defence says that it will save £2 billion in operation costs by axing the Nimrods. It would not be cost effective, they note, to mothball the planes as not only would this cost a fortune but they would be yet further out of date when they returned.

Couldn’t we sell them, I hear you ask. Nope.

the most expensive aircraft ever made for the RAF [the Nimrod] has almost no commercial value.


So scrap metal it is.

As much as I blamed Cameron for this seemingly absurd decision, it actually appears to be the right thing to do. What we need to do now, however, is find out which genius at the MoD ordered these planes and shoot him.

Are there any nuts and bolts from 100,000lb (45,000kg) of hardware that can be salvaged, re-used, or sold on?

…the BBC reporter asks finally.

“Not a great deal, I’m afraid…there’s nothing there of value bar scrap aluminium.”


In defence of the US Government 27, January 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
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While I am most certainly not in receipt of any US Government cash nor am I American or do I usually agree with the folk in the White House that much I feel compelled to offer a quick defence of said Government.

Seasoned commentators, old hands, angry bloggers, erudite analysts et al does not really believe that much that the US Government says. They know and understand that the Government diplomatically says what its says to tow the Party line and to play the long-term game of international politics. They realise that the US Government stresses democracy and other such goods but everyone is aware that this kind of stuff must be said as a kind of rhetorical cover as, for one thing, the US is based on notions of freedom. In reality, everyone is aware that the game of real politik takes place and relations are based on power, not on nice, friendly, whimsical notions of freedom and self-determination.

I’d say that the majority of mainstream commentators and blogging heads would agree with the above statement.

However, in recent weeks there has been a false outcry based on the assumption that the US actually means what it says. This is gross hypocrisy. Those who know perfectly well and have written numerous times in the past on the gap between rhetoric and reality in US policy suddenly become amazed in bouts of mock outrage that the US is not living up to its ideals and staunchly supporting protesters around the Arab world.

What do these people expect the US to say? After a day’s protesting: ‘we want Mubarak out’? This false surprised mockery really grates with me. No one is surprised that the US is trying to be noncommittal over Egypt’s future. Of course the White House spokesman would not be drawn on any ‘guarantees’ towards Mubarak!

Pretending otherwise strikes me as an immature stunt for a cheap shot and a false sense of outrage.