What do you call an aircraft carrier with no aircraft? HMS Queen Elizabeth.

20 October 2010, 1611 EDT

The London School of Economics runs a blog on British politics to which I contribute occasionally; this week I’ve posted on the British Government’s defence review, and I thought I’d share this with the Duck readership. A little bit of context: the new British government is simultaneously engaging in developing a National Security Strategy, while conducting a Comprehensive Spending Review and a Defence Review. The previous government made a number of rather bizarre defence procurement decisions without much sense of how they would be paid for so there is a problem here not entirely of the present government’s making. The majority Conservative Party in the governmental coalition is traditionally in favour of a strong defence, and in particular wishes to replace the existing Trident submarines – Britain’s nuclear deterrent – when they become obsolete. The Liberal Democrats, minority party in the coalition are less gung-ho generally and want an alternative to a submarine based deterrent.  Liam Fox, the Conservative Defence Secretary is on the right-wing of the party, and stood for the leadership against the current Prime Minister, David Cameron.  Cameron and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, are rather more firmly based in the 21st century and I suspect are less pro-defence spending than Fox, but the latter has out-manoeuvred them in the short term at least… now read on!