Western Morning News: "The Navy Has Held Plymouth Back"

Right... In the same way British Steel held back Corby presumably. Are they really saying they'd have enjoyed the bracing "sink or swim" opportunities provided by the overnight closure of the dockyard? Just think of all of those thousands of janner dockies who could be multimillionire internet start-up entrepreneurs if it wasn't for the nasty MOD/DML giving them full union rights and a 20 minute working day....
Loved the fact he used an example of a motor factory not getting built . . . in the 1950's.

Might as well have added a cautionary note on sidling up to the Germans as they bombed us once, donchaknow.

Actually, he has a point regarding redundant military land being retained for a lot longer than is possibly necessary, but I suspect that the reality is not that the MoD is hanging onto it for sentimental reasons and more to do with no one coming forward and saying they want it. But it does further the Tory mantra of two-legs-good-four-legs-baaaaad when it comes to privatisation of everything, just a shame he spoilt it with his irrelevant example.


War Hero
By comparison of course, Chatham & Rosyth are each now a throbbing Metropolis since the mob pulled-out.

And Greenham Common? Yep, it's all fields since the US military pulled-out.
Oliver Colvile: I represent Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport. Over the years, the Navy has been the dead hand, stopping any other activity taking place in Devonport. Ford, for example, was keen to come to Plymouth, but did not because the Navy stopped it. We need an organisation, such as the one being proposed, to ensure that the Navy is not preventing things from happening and to develop a proper and better-paid skills base. We need to ensure that one organisation is not dominant. We need a series of companies that can actually deliver some of what is proposed.

Mr Jones: The hon. Gentleman makes a strange comment. I have spent a lot of time in his great city and I know the great contribution that it makes to the defence of this country, but it is a bit harsh to call the Navy a “dead hand”, given the innovation and the change that it has gone through both in his constituency and elsewhere. He may be trying to curry favour with the Army by making such comments—I am sure that that will work—but they are not helpful. If I were him, I would be concerned about ensuring that, either in the Bill or the contract, local skills will remain. If that is not secured, the GoCo may take the MOD’s policy into account, but the MOD will have no levers to ensure that it does so in practice. Those who have been involved in defence for several years will know—as will the hon. Gentleman, from the work he does with SMEs—that SMEs need the loudest voice, because some quite rightly complain that they get crowded out by the primes when bidding for contracts or trying to innovate. If I were the hon. Gentleman, I would not just accept that his constituency will become a nirvana of regeneration; I would want some assurance that the MOD will ensure that the GoCo protects and takes account of SMEs. I accept that competition will be an issue, but it is important that this country maintains certain sovereign capabilities, such as those in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Barrow and Furness. I would not want to see those skills lost in Barrow or anywhere else.
We touched this morning on the awarding of contracts and the GoCo. We are basically privatising our system of defence procurement. Quite rightly, defence contracts have been exempt from European procurement rules and one could argue—[Interruption. ] I welcome the hon. Member for Canterbury. He asks whether I am still speaking. Yes, I am, and I am sure he will read my contribution in Hansard with great joy.
My bold.

Illuminating. And a sudden respect for Mr Jones for taking him to task and introducing the possible reason behind the comment. As the old Scots saying goes, found oot!

I note that Mr Colvile made his first of only two contributions at column 161, the quote above being the second. I am sure his electorate will be delighted in the value he places on one of the major employers of his constituency and how hard he has been working for his constituents. Lunch, anyone?


Bang goes my vote for the Colvile in the next election. He's blown it. Idiot.

I suggest other Service voters in Plymouth may feel the same as I.


What would Plymouth have without the RN? A serious uplift in unemployment and consanguineous relationships that's what, and it's not like Guzz needs more of either.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
This chap must be a bit thick not to realise that if the only worked example he can produce is sixty years stale, his argument looks a bit thin. Dolt.

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