The Curmudgeon


Saturday, October 23, 2010


In an unstable world, and in a country that looks set to become even uglier than thirteen years of New Labour made it, there is surely some reassurance to be gained from the exuberant Britishness of the Skye submarine incident. Having finally got a specimen of the overdue and overspent Astute-class U-boat under water, the Royal Navy has contrived to run it aground during an exercise in vaguely familiar waters off the coast of Scotland. The vessel, which cost twelve hundred million pounds, is itself named Astute, presumably because the Ministry for War and the Colonies tends to be run by people of the calibre of Geoff Hoon, Adam Ingram and Liam Fox; the submarine is intended as a means of dropping special forces discreetly ashore, and is equipped with lots of nice new toys for sneaking and eavesdropping purposes - all in entirely legitimate defence of the realm, of course.

Aside from the name, which for sheer delightful incongruity rivals the reynardish surname of the present vole-brained Secretary of State, the best thing about the accident was the manner of the submarine's rescue. It was towed out of trouble by tugs, which are kept in place in order to respond to emergencies and whose services the Government is accordingly planning to dispense with at the earliest possible opportunity. In the early eighties, a similar concern for penny-pinching by the sainted Thatcher led to the Argentine invasion of the Falklands, and thence to the Churchillian posturing that led to her second and third election victories and subsequent canonisation as a proto-Blairite. An uncharitable observer might be open to a conspiracy theory, were there any grounds for suspicion that Daveybloke's cuddlies had the faintest idea what Scotland is.


  • At 1:12 pm , Blogger Consider Everything said...

    Some things leak themselves...

  • At 2:48 pm , Anonymous The Judge said...

    Given that this new and splendidly worthwhile vessel will no doubt see most use in support of the god-given mission of The Most Moral Empire In Human History (TM), perhaps we should give its name the American pronunciation.

    "HMS Ass-toot" seems pleasingly fitting in the circumstances.

  • At 3:16 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    I wonder what the other boats in this class will be called. HMS Fairly Bright? HMS Must Try Harder? HMS Not Too Brainy But Jolly Good at Rugger?

  • At 4:51 pm , Anonymous The Judge said...

    HMS Never Fulfilled His Early Promise?

  • At 8:09 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    HMS Austerity because I have a perverse love of irony.


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