Friday 30 December 2011


Isn't British democracy wonderful?

It's not bad enough that we have an unelected head of state, an upper house mish mash of  aristocrats, English bishops, failed politicians, old politicians and creeps, a lower house which can command a huge majority on 30% of the vote and which is whipped into shape by enforcers, but worse, it is revealed today, under the 30 year rule, that a presidential style prime minister can walk over the cabinet with no repercussions...well, except that her decisions can cost us all billions.

The cabinet was against the purchase of Trident's first version--C4.  But in a secret deal with Jimmy Carter, the then president of the United States, the purchase went ahead anyway, because Mrs Thatcher wanted it. She was told that a debate was necessary because two-thirds of the party and two thirds of the Cabinet were against the purchase of Trident, but she was disinclined to bother much about debate.

The original cost was to be £5 billion. A lot of money now, but very much more in the late 70s. 

However the cost was doubled when Ronnie Reagan was elected and decided to go for the Bells and Whistles version of Trident. The British system had to work in concert with the American's, and so the cost became £10 billion.

Failure to buy the system would have left France as the only nuclear power in Europe, and Mrs Thatcher's dislike and mistrust of the French wouldn't allow her to tolerate them having something that England didn't. Entitlement to a seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council would also have been impossible without nuclear weaponry, and that Mrs Thatcher could not contemplate. Her status as a world leader would have been diminished and she would have been excluded from the most secret of talks with the American president.

So taking advice from Cabinet Secretary, Robert Armstrong in the form of a hand-written top secret note, that going it alone had precedents (Harold Macmillan had done the same thing over Polaris, and Harold Wilson over Chevaline), she decided to ignore the wishes of her Cabinet and do what she wanted.

And so the billions were spent and we have been lumbered with this useless supposedly "independent" deterrent (that we have to have permission from America to use) in Scotland. Effectively, it is extra nuclear capacity for America that the idiot Brits pay for and house in return for a seat at the top table.

On balance though, Mrs Thatcher did buy an ironing board for herself at a cost of £19! (damned expensive ironing board in 1979), and sent back bedding and crockery which had been ordered on her behalf for Downing Street, saying that she would provide her own. So it wasn't all bad. [By contrast Mr Cameron spent £30,000 in his first year, doing up the flat above the office.]


  1. £19 was a weeks wages. She should have got it off ebay ( called exchange and mart at the time)
    She was also secretly talking to the IRA despite being resolute in public that she would never do deals with terrorists and didn't mind if the hunger strike killed them all.

  2. tris

    you say

    'a lower house which can command a huge majority on 30% of the vote'

    and yet the snp win on a very very low turnout and you said they had a chance to vote if people didn't hard luck.

  3. "Failure to buy the system would have left France as the only nuclear power in Europe"

    What about the Russians? They were in Europe at that time, in fact, I believe that had most of Europe at that time.
    All kidding aside it was ridiculous that we extended 'lease-lend' until way into the 90s and now the UK government is going to spend even more. £78 billion I believe, in buying more weapons that we will never use while our troops are getting killed because we won't supply them with the equipment that they need to do their job properly. It's a disgrace!

  4. LOL Yeah, Monty. I should imagine that she didn't spend a lot of time ironing anyway. That was just for show. Denis probably had to do it.

    Aye, she was talking to terrorists all the time she said she would never talk to terrorists. Of course they got almost everything they wanted. She really couldn't afford people dying so publicly, I suppose.

  5. Mrs Thatcher did buy an ironing board for herself at a cost of £19!

    Should have concertinaed short with sharp blades on her elegant stretched neck just after her forst election.

    Might have saved a lot of trouble and expense.

  6. Niko:

    In the election past, SNP received 1,779,336 votes. The other 23 parties got 2,100,937 votes among them.

    The nearest opposition got 1,154,020 votes, which is 625,316 fewer.

    Someone more arithmetically minded can do the percentage, but that sure as hell isn't 30%, somewhere nearer 45%. This got them 53.5% of the seats.

    Blair's last victory scored him 35.2% of the vote for a majority of 160 over all other parties: in fact 62% of the seats.

    People who don't vote can't moan no matter what party wins or indeed what policies they they pursue. Of course they have the right to use their MPs, and they have the right to the same service as anyone else. But I've always said that if they are down the pub moaning, or in a supermarket queue moaning, I'm not in the least but interested in hearing their moans if they couldn't tear their arses away from the telly on voting night.

  7. Sorry if my last post offended Niko but, I just feel moved to register my feelings.

    Have a great Hogmanay and a Happy New Year to you all, especially Niko.

    Niko is a Tory but, he is our wee secret Tory.

    However, Retsina is toxic.

  8. Ha ha Gedguy. Yes, part of the USSR was in Europe, and of course you're right, they controlled a large swathe of the countries around them: Poland, E Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and to a lesser extent Romania. [There were much less cordial relations with Yugoslavia, and very discordant relations with Albania.]

    So Europe, or a big part of it, did have a bomb.

    But it wouldn't have been quite so much at Mr Reagan's disposal, don't you think? LOL

    I agree with your second and serious point. It's such a waste of our money. We are told that if we want to be secure we must have it. So, I guess that means that Germany, Norway, Spain, Italy, Holland, Denmark... are all in imminent danger?

    Of course they are not. As usual the Brits are still fighting the last war. Terror is now the threat. maybe we should resurrect Mrs Thatcher so that she could "not" talk to them.

    Then we could save the vast number of billions of pounds that we don't have and will have to borrow/print in order to buy the weapons which will sit gathering dust until they too are scrapped.

    I wish these politicians would grow out of playing at soldiers and pass on to the next stage in their development.

    I'm sure worrying about acne, and whether or not your hair looks right are much less expensive.

  9. Ah Wolfie. I take it you didn't care too much for her...

    But at least you said she had an elegant neck.

    She was supposed to be very alluring; Mitterrand found her so. I'm not so sure Khol did. he famously made an excuse to get away from her hectoring, by citing an important meeting ... She saw him a couple of hours later in a restaurant... No meeting at all!

  10. Niko a Tory, you say.... Oh dear.

    Hey, thanks for your good wishes. The same to you!