A New Royal Yacht

A tear was in Her Majesty’s eye when the Britannia was decomissioned back in 1997. Prince Charles clearly likes the idea of a new Royal Yacht for himself his mother. And being apolitical as he is, he’s been lobying the government for it. Thank goodness for Michael Gove and David Willets supported by the Daily Mail to put this vital issue on the agenda. The Diamond Jubilee – only the second one in world history – should be remembered more than the Olympic Games in 2012. A new royal yacht is clearly the best way to do this.

Today, 22 January 2012, the Observer is running the story about how this bid for a new yacht was orchestrated. No co-incidence, it seems, that this was raised at this time. There are many issues. Even if there are no tax receipts used to fund this ship, the list of backers suggests that we should have a little concern. The focus on the educational value, is a case in point. Primarily, goes the argument, the ship will be a training vessel for underprivileged young people to learn a seafaring and develop teamworking skills. That is why, no doubt, Pearson Education, owners of Edexcel, the skilled company that sets impossible exam questions for 16 year old students and briefs teachers on exam content, is a big supporter. (Why have public qualifications been privatised?)  The Queen’s representative in Hampshire [does she need a representative in Hampshire?] Rear Admiral David Bawtree, also a director of Visor Consultants, a private security firm, is the man behind the project called FSB21. Not forgetting also that Tony Blair, the man who decommissioned Britannia, now regrets the decision. He’s got a bob or two, these days.

Notwithstanding all of that, fine, if they want another Royal Yacht, go ahead. Amongst that lot, there is enough money for sure. But why not just be honest, it is a floating hotel for the elite. The spin is nauseating. And please make sure that you have enough to maintain it. So often, taxpayers are left with the bill.


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