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I notice they haven't even released information of how much they got for the sale of our Nuclear souls !

Pig ignorance seems to go completely over their heads like an ICBM !

Nice time to be signing I owe you five farthings said the bells of St Martin's..........

If you don't know the words or are not allowed to sign, then just hum the tune !

do you think this might blow up in there face boom boom

Funny how nobody complained in November 2005 when the government sold the Royal Ordnance factory which made the conventional explosive components for our nuclear deterrents, and moved production to France.

These assemblies are as essential to bomb construction as the nuclear component - and in some ways more complex. With the transfer of the production, we lost any independent nuclear capability and are now entirely reliant on the French, with absolutely no control over the process.

It seems that our concerns are very selective!

Both the sale and the way it was carried out show just how Nulabour yet again sidelines Parliament.
This is, in my opinion , a massive issue. Let's see if we make anything of it. I expect the invisible Liam Fox to be leading the attack. Will he?

Can we have clarity of message on this one? Keep it simple and stupid!

1) This is the wrong time to sell off assets and real estate as the prices are falling.
2) This would be on a par with Brown selling off the counttry's gold at rock bottom.
3) It's not in our security interests to lose control of our ICBMs.
4) Under us, it wouldn't happen.

196 MPs to repeat ad nauseum = job done.

I live relatively near there, and I know several people employed there. This is highly worrying.

The fact that our own government now has no say in the production of our weapons is deplorable. Every other nation apart from Britain has that - but not us.

As Howarth said, I am not anti-American, but we are now little more than storing a group of US missiles & warheads (and their production) that we have the ability to fire. But there is nothing else British about it. Could the Conservatives reverse this?


As for selling parts of the defence estate - fine, but not big assets like these. Sell small satellite airfields, unused barracks, obsolete training areas. But not weapons facilities, or any large RAF stations. The Conservatives must find a better way of saving the defence budget.

Gerald Howarth seems more animated about the fact that Parliament wasn't told. I know Parliament is important, but by going down "I'm a high-and-mighty-parliamentarian-and-I-should-be-told-everything" route is the same bungle we made on the Damian Green affair. The public doesn't give a stuff about the constitution, otherwise we'd have fought the last election on saving the House of Lords and won by a landslide.

People are worried for their jobs, their homes and their families' futures. Therefore:

- This sell off is wrong because it won't raise value for money. Any fool can see land and real estate has lost value. Everyone apart from Gordon Brown that is. Remember he has form and sold our gold at the bottom of the market (1/3 of its current price)

- It's irresponsible for us to have to rely on another country to let us have control of our missiles. It could cost us more in the long run.

- If we were in power, we wouldn't do it and would save money by cutting non-essential government work and by having a pay freeze for senior public sector workers, starting with MPs.

Remember, KISS.

Like a few others who contribute to this blog, I am frequently dismayed by the political priorities shown by the volume of replies from so many of the contributors.
Critical issues about control over our own defence policies, or those of energy security or environmental issues, such as EU waste disposal and emissions targets (and penalties) tend to generate a minimal response, in comparison to, say, the Damian Green affair, or examples of Labour local government corruption, or individual instances of injustice or discontent.

Perhaps, Tim, it would be useful if you could occasionally publish a graph of those topics which most or least interest your contributors. I suspect that defence issues (however vital and important) would feature near the bottom end of this scale. This is understandable, since, in peacetime, for most people this only becomes important if there appears to be a direct and imminent threat to their own safety, or they have relatives in the armed forces. Our present Government, on the other hand, has used perceived threats to national security to ignore or defer investment in conventional defence budgets, in favour of the cheaper option of introducing new (and potentially draconian) powers to restrict civil liberties.

In this respect have we, as Conservative (or would be Conservative) contributors got our own priorities wrong, and become distracted by details and political tactics rather than trying to define, or even trying to re-discover basic Conservative principles ?

Britain for Sale

- apply: 10 Downing Street

David, you're right. I have been in the armed forces and believe Labour's treatment of them is disgusting. I've had my personal details lost by the MoD and have the apology letter to prove it. I don't want a database state. I don't want the constitution dismantling.

Unfortunately, most of the public don't care about the things they should care about. In order for us to make a difference on these issues, we first have to WIN.

Winning means fighting dirty, being cynical and taking on issues outside the comfort zone. I'm afraid the fact that Labour can still get 35% in some polls shows that there is still a sizeable proportion of the public are just plain old thick. Therefore, explaining our policies in words of one syllable would be helpful, along with not putting Gerald Howarth on the news in a tweed jacket to do it.

Perhaps the rationale for the heavy-handed approach to Damien Greene now becomes apparent.
Interesting questions abound.
BERR didn't leak, or did it?
Are this and the sale of Qinetiq linked in anyway? What is the rationale behind outsourcing defence manufacturing and production?
Does this mean Lord Butler's "sofa Government" is back with a vengeance?
There is something duplicitous about the way this has happened.
The proposed sale of the Royal Mint is of particular interest. I await goggle-eyed for the first stories behaviour most foul.

It's not strategy,it's not tactics it's not a plan (cunning or otherwise)it's not a response... or even a vaguely coherent set of ideas AND ITS CERTAINLY NOT A PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION.

The current Conservative front bench doesn't have the intellectual ,moral or economic energy to light a sixty Watt bulb

Very,very occasionally it awakes from its torpor and wheezes into life for a few days.Then its back to sleep/directorships/expenses fiddles/foreign fact finding holidays etc etc etc

It is without any scintilla of a doubt the worst I have ever seen in my (long)life.

I and hundreds of thousands of people who care about our once wonderful country and its democracy and see what the ink stained evil soul of McTwat and his minions are doing to it are on the verge of utter despair

Where are the ideas?

Where is the leadership?

Where is the vision?

Where is the ambition?

Where is the willpower?

I look from face to face on the current Tory front bench scanning for any sign of resolve,of courage, of energy but see only its utter want and the faces of petulant arrogant complacency certain only that Buggins turn will deliver them power but without any idea of what to do with it

God deliver us fitting leadership for a once great country that could yet be great again

Colonel Madd (both sorrowful and sober this night)

Copied across from Guido. As a staunch loyalist I have to struggle to defend this attack.

This should be a massive story.

The first, overriding, priority of a national government is its defence. If a state can't defend itself then it is unlikely to remain an independant state for long - and its government is rendered irrelvant.

Do we need an independant nuclear ability?

If so then 'we' need control end to end - and that is fine.

If we don't then why are we even retaining people to manage what we have left?

This must be one the most moronic acts of this NuLabour nightmare. we all know that the Labour bb are all CND nuts but giving any last grasp of our ND to a private company is disgraceful.

We are now the only country in the World with a DND (dependent nuclear deterant), even Israel has full control!!!

The Labour PR machine has been in full effect, dumpimg the story on Christmas weekend and because of this Fox should be up in arms highlighting the fact and to be quite frank DC should be furious, maybe demanding a recall of parliment to call the f*ckwits to account.

Independence needs to be restored as soon as we regain power, our armed force that have done so much for this country, have never faulted and have made the greatest sacrafice again and again deserve a better budget, the best equipment and better leadership than this bunch of socialist morons with a delusional megalomainiac that holds our armed forces in contempt, at the helm.

I never knew they *did* sell the Royal Ordnance Factory. I guess there's just more political mileage in this one because there's an anti-American angle to it.

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