Britain’s National Anthem urges “Britannia Rule The Waves”, a sentiment that rose to fulfillment in the Victorian era with the global primacy of the Royal Navy. Margaret Thatcher’s ‘return to Victorian values’ did not include maintaining sea power and cuts by her government, and those that followed, have threatened to turn the Senior Service into the Senile Service.
More cuts are expected to be recommended in an upcoming Defence Review. Already, many Royal Navy sailors see themselves as a brown water – coastal – navy.
It isn’t a matter of projecting national power and prestige, the cuts threaten the prime function of any navy: to protect its nation’s commerce.
In an unprecedented move, Britain’s First Sea Lord, Sir Mark Stanhope, has stood up to warn against the browning of Britain’s blue water fleet.
MAC’s UK correspondent William Redmond has the story:
Crown copyright MOD/2010.