The military jet used by Boris Johnson is being painted red, white and blue at a cost to the taxpayer of £900,000 and will be renamed Air-Farce One, according to a Number 10 insider.
The aircraft – an RAF Voyager, which is used primarily to refuel other aircraft mid-flight – was originally painted gun-metal grey, the standard for military jets.
But Johnson purportedly lamented the bland colour and requested the jet be repainted with the colours of the Union Jack flag in order to better convey a sense of national pride when he uses the aircraft for overseas trips.
Johnson also complained that the jet was ‘rarely available’, though this may be because it serves as a vital way to refuel other military planes in the air and is also used by the Queen for official state visits to foreign shores.
Johnson, who has long fancied himself Britain’s answer to Donald Trump, is believed to have said that the new colours will bring the aircraft up to date and similar to the private planes used by premiers in other countries.
But tax payers were outraged today to discover that the cost of the new design comes in at close to £1 million and argued that with a large percentage of the population struggling to make ends meet following the Coronavirus crisis, the expense is both frivolous and unnecessary.
Wasting money on personal follies has become a trademark of the current Conservative administration. During the Covid-19 crisis, even as Captain Tom Moore – a retired army veteran – was pushing himself to the limit to raise £20 million for the NHS, the Tories were throwing £10 million down the drain on a raft of virus tests that didn’t work.
The HS1 high speed rail link between Britain and France, established as a Tory pet-project in 2007, has so far saddled the tax payer with a whopping £4.8 billion debt, while costs for the even more controversial HS2 link between London and the North are now rising to £106 billion.
Meanwhile, Brexit – the prodigal baby of Tory policy – has cost the British tax payer close to £70 billion so far, with no end in sight to the mounting price tag which increases by approximately £1 billion every month.
The government even managed to haemorrhage money during the Coronavirus crisis, paying out nearly £3 million to risk-management multinational Deloitte. The government claim this company has been crucial in managing its Coronavirus response, but closer inspection reveals Deloitte have done little more than reduce the government’s accountability in what could prove to be the largest case for legal claims in recent British history.
Upwards of 40,000 British citizens have so far perished as a direct result of the Conservative party’s flawed and fumbled response to Coronavirus. Thanks to the lurking presence of Deloitte, the government are likely to remain immune to any charge of culpability.
The government today defended the costs of repainting ‘Air-Farce One’, saying the cheapest contractors were sourced in order to ensure value for money to the British taxpayer.
But British taxpayers, faced with a sky-rocketing cost of living, widespread unemployment, poverty on an epic scale, a looming ‘mother of all recessions’ and a Tory party who seem incapable of dealing with any of it, asked themselves what, if anything, are this government good for?
The Tories would argue that the answer will soon be streaking across British skies in the form of an RAF Voyager dressed in the gaudy colours of the sovereign nation. A nation brought to its knees by ineptitude, arrogance, lies and duplicity in colours representing not the culture of Britain but the nationalist separatism of Brexit.
Whether those on the ground looking up feel the same remains to be seen.