What’s the point of having access to a special private plane if you can’t jazz it up? Well now you can, for the low, low price of one million pounds.
Not content with the boring old grey paint job that the RAF Voyager is currently sporting, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman has announced the plane will be decked out in the red, white, and blue of the Union Jack, which doesn’t sound at all tacky, and tax payers will be footing the £900,000 bill. The royal family also uses the same plane, so presumably her majesty is too busy ushering Prince Andrew back into the palace dungeons to pay any attention to such frivolities.
“The RAF Voyager used by the royal family and the PM is currently in Cambridgeshire for pre-planned repainting. This will mean that the plane can better represent the UK around the world with national branding, which will be in line with many other leaders’ planes.”
The plane will still be keeping up with its other duties, which involves refuelling military jets, so if you see garish streak in the sky, you’ll know what’s up. The PM’s spokesman is adamant that the new design will “promote the UK around the world without compromising the plane’s vital military role”. If there’s one thing we know about great British military tradition, it’s that style comes over substance. Why wear any kind of camo when you can strut about in a bright red coat? As some measure of compromise, the plane is going to be white with a blue stripe, with the Union Jack emblazoned on the tail fin, according to one source. Sound familiar?
Image credit: British Airways
So now when the royal family or Prime Minister are soaring through the sky, or the plane is being used in a military capacity, everyone will be able to see it coming. An additional cost could come from the PM buying more time with the aircraft now that it’s going to be more appealing to him. In fact, the new design may very well have been his idea, with The Guardian highlighting his comments on the RAF Voyager during his stint as foreign secretary:
“What I will say about the Voyager, I think it’s great, but it seems to be very difficult to get hold of. And also, why does it have to be grey?”
Well that’s two birds with one tasteless stone. Andy Netherwood, a defence analyst, chimed in, saying:
“The paint scheme gives away the fact that No 10 is re-purposing an aircraft acquired to provide defence. If Johnson wants a VIP jet fine, but make the argument and pay for it.”
The man can’t even find the money for a hairbrush; on what planet is he going to fork out for a private plane? The decision has gone down like a military plane being shot down from the sky because of its shiny new colour-scheme, with MPs calling it out for being a colossal waste of money it is. Labour’s Louise Haigh said:
“When families across the country are worried about their jobs, health and the education of their children, they will rightly question the government’s priorities when they are spending almost £1m redecorating a plane.”
Unsurprisingly, culture secretary, Oliver Dowden is toeing the party line because he’s yet to locate his own bollocks, and said that £900,000 is perfectly reasonable to spend on the makeover:
“We have always spent money on promoting the UK around the world. I see this with creative industries, and we really are a creative industries superpower, and we should be promoting that. I think the work on the Voyager is part of that promotion.”
The United Kingdom isn’t a seasonal trend that everyone’s going to forget about in a few weeks. And slapping the Union Jack onto the dual-purpose plane is at best tacky, and at worst, compromising its very purpose because now every bugger will be able to see the thing and figure out who’s on board. Perhaps the plan was to simply camouflage it as a commercial British Airways jet. Who knows. But I think we’re all pleased that in the midst of a pandemic that sees people being forced to go back to work despite the fact that nothing has changed because the economy can’t feasibly survive otherwise, the government is frittering cash away on promoting a plane that shouldn’t even be flying anywhere right now to promote anything. Money well spent! [The Guardian]
Feature image credit: Unsplash