by Jason Moore

The Royal Navy is trying to get closer to the British public and spends a considerable amount of time and energy on public relations. However, when it comes to naming ships, they score an own goal. The U.S. Navy has a destroyer called Winston Churchill in honour of the war-time Prime Minister. The Royal Navy doesn´t. The new fleet of destroyers all have rather war-like names but will not strike a chord with the British public who would prefer to have a ship named after the town or city where they live. Instead of Daring why not London or Manchester or Glasgow. The Navy´s newest ship is called Duncan! And it doesn´t stop there. The Navy´s newest submarine is called Astute. A good name but surely Winston Churchill or Nelson would be more appropriate. The Navy´s biggest ship is called Ocean, what about HMS Great Britain? Now I know that tradition plays a key role but in these hard times the Royal Navy must realise that to protect the fleet from yet more sweeping defence cuts it has to have the general on board. Changing their names to reflect cities, towns and people of note is probably a good way forward. If it works for the Americans, then it should work for the British! Towns and cities would obviously take pride in their warships and the crews who serve on them. Perhaps one of the new aircraft carriers could be named after Churchill, after all he has recently been named Britain´s greatest Briton and it would be a real tribute.