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Friday 16 September 2016

Sun Royal Yacht Story BUSTED

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Always on the lookout for stories to bolster their post-referendum claim that everything in the national garden will be rosy if Britain leaves the EU, the Murdoch doggies at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have brought forth another steaming and not at all fresh pile of bovine by-product today as their alleged “Westminster Correspondent”, the odious Master Harry Cole, has falsely claimed the Royal Yacht Britannia is on its way back.
Dickhead means dickhead

BREXIT MEANS BRITANNIA Tories want Royal Yacht to rule the waves again and drum up post-Brexit trade as a floating embassy … Boris Johnson investigating idea of using Britannia as a symbol of how great Britain is all around the world” proclaims the headline erroneously. So what does Master Cole have to back up this claim?

The Queen’s private yacht was decommissioned in 1997, but now senior Tories want to bring it back as a floating Embassy to drum up post-Brexit trade around the world”. And which “senior Tories” would those be? “Conservative MP Jake Berry … is calling a debate in Parliament on the issue next month, and has already presented his plans to the Foreign Secretary”. A back bencher. Just the one back bencher.

But do go on. “FCO sources have confirmed that they are looking into it, and a friend of Mr Johnson told The Sun: ‘Boris is certainly intrigued by the idea Jake has floated … Britannia is a great symbol of global Britain’”. What kind of “friend of Mr Johnson” might that be, Master Cole? A “friend” who met him a few times at Spectator magazine bashes, perhaps? A “friend” who used to contribute to the Speccy? Like, er, Master Cole himself.

There is more: “Pals of the Foreign Secretary say they are currently looking at the plans ‘in more detail’ and conducting a feasibility study”. Pals plural? So both Berry and Cole this time. “The Royal Yacht would be relaunched through private donations with no cost to the taxpayer, under the proposed plans”. Like Bozza’s last “at no cost to the taxpayer” boast, the London cycle hire scheme, that wasn’t, and still isn’t.

We can be certain this is crap as Master Cole adds “If it is not possible to recommission the old vessel - which sailed more than a million miles - contingency plans would see the Queen gifted a new yacht”, then admitting the last such suggestion “would have cost £60 million … At the time £10 million was pledged by wealthy Canadian financiers and an unnamed £5m private donation”. So £45 million from taxpayers. “No cost” my arse.

In any case, all that is certain is that “MPs will debate the ‘reintroduction of the Royal Yacht Britannia for the purpose of international trade’ on Tuesday 11 October”. And then it will be forgotten about, as will Master Cole’s latest pack of lies, a worthy successor to all the other packs of lies he has been peddling via the pages of the Sun.

The Royal Yacht Britannia is not on the way back, Bozza isn’t backing it, there are scores of more cost-effective ways of drumming up trade, and all we have here is another example of Tony Gallagher’s weak hand on the Sun editorial tiller, the desperation to put Brexit-friendly copy out there, and the pathological dishonesty of Master Cole.

[UPDATE1 17 September 1235 hours: the Telegraph has today promoted this wholly fictitious story to front page lead. Under the heading "Bring back Britannia to rule waves after Brexit", readers are spun the same rubbish peddled yesterday by Master Cole, but this time claimed jointly by Ben Riley-Smith and Christopher "No" Hope, both of whom should hang their heads in shame - if they had any.
Cole has as a result joyfully informed his Twitter followers "Full steam ahead ... today's Sun is tomorrow's Telegraph", although even he may have been taken aback at the Tel's behaviour.
Let me put this directly: the appearance of the Royal yacht claim on the Tel's front page is not proof that there was any truth, or indeed merit, in Master Cole's rubbish from yesterday, but instead demonstrates how desperate the Tel is for stories, with so many journalists having been sent down the road of late in an ultimately doomed attempt to shore up profits.

Running this story is supposed to appeal to Telegraph readers' susceptibilities. It will instead only show them that their faith in this particular brand is sadly misplaced.

Master Cole's story is still a pack of lies, and the much-heralded debate on Britannia next month will see the end of what the Tel is preposterously calling its "campaign". That is all]

[UPDATE2 19 September 1540 hours: to demonstrate that Zelo Street called this one correctly at the outset, a 10 Downing Street spokesman has now put the lid on the ridiculous idea of recommissioning Britannia: "The ambition is to be a global leader on free trade. There are a number of ways we can go about doing that, but the recommissioning of the Britannia is not on the agenda for that".

This means that, as I said, Master Cole was pitching another pack of lies, and the Telegraph was so desperate that it picked up the "story" and turned it into a "campaign".

You read it correctly right here. Never forget who tells you the right tale]


Anonymous said...

I have no objection to the Head of State having a designated yacht, airplane or other means of transport. After all, the (temporary) Head represents us whether we like the individual or not.

What concerns me is that our Head of State isn't elected......

Arnold said...

A new one could be paid for from the £350million a week freed up by Brexit. Oh, wait a minute....

Arnold said...

And from the Mail.
"Mr Berry added: ‘In her latter years Britannia is estimated to have brought in £3 billion of commercial trade deals between 1991 and 1995.
‘During those profitable years, she hosted business figures from across the globe for ‘sea days’ — on board trade talks.’"
But they would have to have been trade deals between the EU and another country.

Rupert Murdoch said...

Where's my Knighthood?

Yacht's Gove gotta do with it said...

Michael Gove suggested a new Royal Yacht for the Queen in 2012 with himself righting the for'ard*. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16574257

* Terrible pun on Oiky writing the foreword to the King James Bible. I'll get me coat.

Anonymous said...

Latest update - the idea is a non starter - by PM May.

Disappointed it has been described by some as 'languishing' in Edinburgh. Far from it, it makes millions a year for the city and I for one thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

Anonymous said...

Telegraph have run ANOTHER story today, which I'm sure uses something May said at some time on a subject not in any way related to the matter to somehow say she thinks it is a jolly good idea.