In 2006, when there was a serious debate as to whether the UK’s should renew its Trident nuclear submarines, one of the most common arguments made against renewal was simply the anachronism of the supposed deterrent. In an age of terrorism and “asymmetrical warfare”, what was the point of retaining a weapon which was only capable of being used against a state?
It appears that no-one told Lords Coe or Moynihan, whose plans for the protection of the Olympics games comprise not merely the £284 million payday for G4S, but also the deployment of 13,500 ground troops, several typhoon jets, and two assault warships (HMS Ocean, and HMS Bulwark).
Even poor Trenton Oldfield, the Van der Lubbe of the Occupy movement (“If you are a taxi driver can you take the passenger the slowest possible and most expensive route?”) has been dragged into this.
Lord Moynihan was on Radio 5 on Sunday, talking up the threat of disruption to the Olympics and the need therefore for the present plans: “It just takes, and is likely to be, one idiot. It’s not likely to be a well-orchestrated campaign through Twitter or websites. It is likely to be someone similar to the idiot yesterday who causes major disruption. That is why all the security measures need to be put in place to minimise the chance of that happening.”
Now Colin Moynihan, despite the millions in taxpayers’ money he has been paid since the London bid as Chairman of the British Olympic Association is notoriously not the smartest even within the set of 50-something former career Tories. So, in case one of his advisers should stumble across this blog, I’ll go through this as simply as I can:
- It’s true isn’t it that HMS Ocean is an amphibious attack vessel?
- That means, it was built to attack and occupy land overseas, wasn’t it?
- It is the largest boat in the British Navy, isn’t it?
- Given its actual military capabilities HMS Ocean couldn’t have stopped Trenton Oldfield, could it?
- And if it couldn’t have stopped Trenton Oldfield; it’s not going to be much use in stopping “one idiot” in the summer, is it?