Tuesday, 15 April 2014

He would say that wouldn't he/First Sea Lord opens his gub.

Where I work, change management is a big topic. They're always banging on about it and using ever more patronising methods to deliver training on the gnarly subject. Sometimes one can be forgiven for thinking, they think, we're all really fucking stupid (I swear to under-line just how much so.)

I think Unionists could do with some training or counselling in the same area, they don't do change very well. 

This was the chosen vehicle for delivering change management training where I work, read some of the reviews for a flavour of how shit it was.
So we come to First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC DL (please see here for caveats around people with letters & words before or after their name given to them by the Queen and/or British Establishment.) The letters he has after his name are Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. Not Bath as in the place, but 'the Bath' - make of that what you will. Whether it is a bath or the place called Bath, he's a Knight Commander of it - its safe to say - he owns a bath, the bath or Bath... or something...

The Distinguished Service Cross he got while in command of HMS Chatham during Operation palliser off Sierra Leone. The Type 22 Frigate Chatham was involved in evacuating British, EU and common wealth nationals during the civil war in Sierra Leone. 

The DL stands for Deputy Lieutenant which has something to do with imaginary lieutenancies, to be honest, the Wikipedia entry isn't clear. The award is so old fashioned and pointless its not worth looking further into. I don't know why George got it, I imagine it'll be something to do with knowing a Lord Lieutenant because they're responsible for doling them out.

George Zambellas

Before I go any further, it is not my intention to disparage George Zambellas or anything he has achieved, I merely aim to point out that all he has achieved has been at the hearth of the British State, he's spent his entire working life in service of it - he's hardly likely to say anything that would do it down.

I also quite like his uniform.

So why are you reading (if you still are reading) about George Zambellas? Because he's the most recent person to stick his head above the parapet - or should I say bulwark - in the independence debate.

He said - and bare in mind the BBC often change articles once the more unsubtle parts of a message are implanted...
"I believe very strongly that, for a premier league navy, respected around the world, with a big responsibility, for us to be divided would be less efficient for both the UK and Scotland. 
"The nature of our military construct, infrastructure, basing, people, equipment and the families who support a hard-pressed navy, all of those add up to a construct which doesn't bear dividing its efficiency, and my job is to provide the navy as efficiently as I can. 
"The way we do business means that if you try to pull some threads out of the rope it's much less efficient, and that applies particularly to the navy because it's so hard-pressed."

Eh, don't you mean pull some threads out of the 'sheet' George? (Actually, I think that's just in sailing - never mind...)

"The UK is deeply respected for its maritime contribution to Nato, with its maritime deterrent through its ships and submarines and marines, and that whole piece is part of Nato's contribution to security.
"Taking that apart would give us a much weaker result. The two components would not add up to the sum of the whole."
Here's the thing though.

Asking someone like George Zambellas what he thinks about Scottish Independence and the obvious effects it would have on the rUK is a bit like asking Phillip Clarke (CEO of Tesco PLC) what he thinks about supermarket provision in the UK and expecting him to say ASDA does it much better.

He just wouldn't, Phillip Clarke knows about Tesco, he's paid by Tesco and probably has an excellent pension and great share options - with Tesco.

George Zambellas is in the same boat (ha ha.) He's made his career in the Royal Navy and advanced to the top position. He's hardly likely to say: 
"Actually, do you know? It'll be fine, I'm not worried about the decapitation of the UK's already very limited ability to provide an adequate Royal Navy. Being able to project force on a global scale was over-rated anyway and lets be honest; Trident missiles and the subs required to carry them & aircraft carriers with all the shield vessels they require are all a bit OTT.
We should really wind our necks in a bit and live within our means, mind our own business a bit more, look after our elderly & infirm - lift all those kids out of poverty - that sort of thing."
No, he wouldn't say that at all would he.

In the same article Col Stuart Crawford who used to be an army officer said:
"Scotland would be more than capable of running its own armed forces should the country become independent.
"We shouldn't imagine that those armed forces would be a microcosm of the UK's armed forces - not just 10% of the UK inventory if you like.
"It would be something much more modest with a different focus."
Stuart Crawford advised the SNP in the past and is a supporter of independence so we could apply the same logic to his words as we did to George's. But - and this is where the 'Terms of the Independence Debate'* kick in - who, according to real world rules is being more reasonable? George Zambellas who thinks Britannia can still rules the waves or Stuart who thinks a Scottish Navy with a more regional focus would suffice?

Meanwhile, we're told by the usual sources that Scotland couldn't afford a Navy. For example here, an article by plain John McAnally who by the end turns out to be Vice Admiral John McAnally, a former commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies tells us... Actually I won't bother, the 'article' is riddled with the usual scares & misrepresentations that have already been debunked countless times, don't click on it: its total nonsense.

The point is, the Royal Navy as it stands cannot defend British territorial water. When the Russian Navy twice came within 30 miles of the Scottish coast, the Royal Navy had nothing in Scottish waters, it had to send a ship from Portsmouth - it took 24 hours to arrive - by which time Russian sailors had had their tea on shore and were back tucked up in their hammocks - I have no idea if they use hammocks, I like to think they do, where's the harm?

The Admiral Kuznetsov dropped anchor in the Moray Firth in December 2013, its 100% hammock-equipped you know...

Currently the Royal Navy is so busy trying to project power on a global scale (at the behest of Westminster) they aren't able to provide adequate security for the British Isles. Something's got to give, the UK as it is now cannot afford to do all it used to do, with the best will in the world First Sea Lord Admiral George Zambellas isn't being realistic.

As you would expect, George's 'intervention' comes at the same time Phillip Hammond (Secretary of Defence) is visiting Scotland, ostensibly to tell us all how crap we are (again.) I should say at this time, the link I provided to what George Zambellas said at the top of this page is now the same as the link in this paragraph to what Hammond is saying - in the time its taken to write this, the BBC has already changed the article.

I think all we need to know about what Hammond said in the changed article can be encapsulated in this quote:
"The combination of our scale, our critical mass and our reputation allows us to punch above our weight in security terms and enables diplomacy that is second to none."
Blah blah blah, YAWN. I don't think we need say anything more, we all have a pretty good idea what Westminster means when it talks about punching above its weight.

It means people at home have to make sacrifices when they don't need to.

* The Terms of the Independence Debate: These are special rules set out solely for the independence referendum debate. For example; questions that have been answered countless times can still be called 'unanswered', when although both the Yes and No Campaigns have the same information - the things the No side say are factual but the things the Yes side say are assertions and where those who support the union are fluffy & cuddly but those who support the no side are vicious cybernats engaged in a violent, abusive campaign of terror (probably) - usually from a bedroom in their parent's home.


  1. It all comes down, as usual, to punching above our weight and having clout.

    Punching above your weight of course, is really rather like having a fur coat and no drawers.

    Having clout, is something that seems to exist only in the minds of Better Together and the British establishment.

    Is Mr Putin at this moment worrying himself about a phone call from mr Cameron...? I think not.

    I doubt if he is that worried bout mr Obama, but, at least Obama COULD do something if he wanted to...

    Cameron couldn't.

  2. Aye.

    GB no longer has the clout it used to, what we have is a country desperately clinging on to the vestiges of empire by its finger nails, its actually a wee bit embarrassing at this stage.

    Putin can pretty much do what he likes, the West doesn't even (if it ever truly did) have the moral high ground any more. That would have been important if Obama/Cameron wanted to sell action against Russia to the people here. Blair didn't ask for it, Cameron wouldn't get away with it now.

    Its a cognitive dissonance with unionists, they cannot understand the notion of not being bothered about being on the world stage & having clout - its possible they'll never understand either.

    And its why people in the UK will continue to get poorer as the state spends ever more of our money propping itself up.

  3. Pa

    I just don't care what these people have say anymore as it's just not important. You would think that Bitter Together would have learned by now that we are all bored with the fear.

    It is also insulting that they actually think we will be swayed by yet another member of the establishment, someone who will lose everything that we are too wee too poor and too cowardly to look after ourselves.

    It's all the British stiff up lip shit that I can't abide anymore, Britain is not great. It is a small little insignificant island that thinks it's great for all the wrong reasons.

    I can't wait until we get on the world and put all this rubbish behind us. I also hate his uniform, it's disgusting and shows how much they are still in the dark ages.


  4. As you say Bruce.

    These days, its safe to say, if a rep from Westminster opens his or her mouth its going to be a lot of rubbish. Its getting quite predictable.

    Especially if the rep is dressed up like that, old fashioned, out-dated and no longer fit for the modern world.


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?