While I'm on the subject of defence, I note that we are running short of attack submarines. PA reports:
The Royal Navy faces a shortage of attack submarines as a result of decisions taken in the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Whitehall spending watchdog has warned.Now, call me a simpleton if you must, but the last time I can recall a submarine doing anything useful was during the Falklands conflict, almost thirty years ago. In the present day, I wonder which country are our attack submarines intended to attack? From whom are they defending us? (France is not the correct answer.) Oh, and our subs do seem to keep bumping into things.
The National Audit Office said delays to the new Astute class would leave the Navy without sufficient submarines for operations over part of the next decade while adding £200 million to the cost of the programme.
I appreciate that we have to give the Royal Navy toys to play with, and I accept that they might possibly come in useful some day. But the government should perhaps think about its priorities for public spending ...