The Curmudgeon


Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Jolly Big Boat

Since comments are free and facts sacred, Britain's leading liberal newspaper has put out a thousand-word puff piece about how jolly big the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier is going to be. The carrier, which is called HMS Queen Elizabeth and is jolly big, is almost three hundred metres long, which makes it slightly smaller than the Americans' biggest aircraft carrier, the island of Great Britain. The Queen Elizabeth's diminutively-surnamed captain, Simon Petitt, believes that being jolly big is an important thing in a ship, because there is a lot of symbolism in modern warfare, and the Queen Elizabeth will be "massively visible" and thus all the more effective, rather like the Twin Towers. Petitt cited Nelson at Cadiz and the battleships of the early twentieth century, which did so much to shorten the First World War at Jutland and the Dardanelles. It is unclear whether Petitt believes the army should send its troops into battle wearing bright red coats, as happened in days of yore; but perhaps mere troops are not jolly big enough for such radical innovations.

The Queen Elizabeth will have nine hunded computer terminals, some of which may be working by the time the ship launches in six, seven or possibly more years' time. The Queen Elizabeth will be able to generate enough electricity to power five and a half thousand more homes than the Government plans to build in order to house those space-guzzling proles who have been displaced by the bedroom tax. The Queen Elizabeth is so jolly big that its propellers weigh thirty-three tonnes each, and its construction has helped to provide employment for ten thousand people; but in compensation the ship, which is jolly big, has been automated to an unprecedented degree. "Our old ships were people-heavy to make them safe," shrugged Petitt, dismissing this peculiar prehistoric motivation. Among other things, the moving of missiles and other instruments of wog chastisement from the armoury to the aircraft will be the responsibility of a machine, with the potential for human error being reduced to the chance that the fins might be stuck on the wrong way round.

The aircraft themselves may possibly be ready by the time the carrier puts to sea, although successive governments have had trouble making up their minds. Originally the idea was for the carrier to carry the "carrier" version of the F-35 fighter, presumably because the clue was in the inverted commas. Now, however, the carrier will carry a different version, apparently because it is "less capable" so that post-Werritty defence ministers are not unduly intimidated. It is also possible that, at a later date, the ship may be equipped to carry drones, just in case some people remain undeterred by how jolly big it really is.


  • At 10:44 pm , Blogger David OBrien said...

    Oh my god, the quotes from the captain are hilarious. Is he basically saying that the ship, all 300 metres of it, might not actually work when it's finished? I just hope no one invents, say, laser guided anti ship missiles because that's one hell of a target!


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