… by aiding the Indians, as we must, we are effectively supporting them to achieve a nuclear independence that we cannot ourselves afford
We do not yet know whether Commander Andy Coles will face a court martial for his heroic exploits aboard HMS Astute, but some disciplinary procedure seems inevitable. The poor fellow will be frogmarched down a holystoned Admiralty corridor until he stands before a bench of grizzled sea-dogs, champing their pipes and gazing with pitiless gunmetal eyes as they spit out their staccato questions.
How the devil, they will want to know, did he manage to ground Astute (magnificently named, eh?) off the Isle of Skye, a stretch of water hardly unknown to the Royal Navy. “Coles,” they will growl, “you have held us up to ridicule. We have spent billions devising a state-of-the-art stealth submarine, and you have contrived to reveal its secrets to the Russians, the Chinese and to every dinghy of chortling rubberneckers that went out to look. What have you got to say for yourself, hey?”