RICK JACKSON: The patriotism inspired by HMS Queen Elizabeth is wonderful

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Truly magnificent.

That was my thought as HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in Portsmouth Harbour for the first time yesterday.

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth Picture: PA

It was wonderful to see so many patriotic people turn out early in the morning across Portsmouth and Gosport to welcome her, like we have done for so many warships in the past.

We are a naval city and a proud one at that and this is what we do best.

It is only right she is based here.

Her stats are truly colossal. At almost 1,000 ft long she is the largest ship ever to enter the harbour. But more impressive is her massive 240 ft beam!

Our naval heritage is second-to-none and with one, soon-to-be two, super carriers on tap

She now ranks as the fourth largest class of aircraft carrier, behind the United States, China and Russia’s smokey old heap.

Not bad company when you consider the size of our nation to the others.

I simply do not agree with the idea she is an expensive ‘folly’ due to her current lack of aircraft.

She will boast the latest F35B short takeoff craft by the time she becomes operational in 2020.

She will be the most technologically-advanced warship afloat.

We are, after all, an island, depending on trade by sea.

We’ve had to get a reality check over what size of navy we really can afford, but I think these aircraft carriers send out an important message to the rest of the world.

You cannot compare a navy simply by how many ships they have.

The Russians have the most, but they are old rust buckets.

Analysts will tell you it’s how many brilliant ships a navy has that makes it powerful.

That puts our navy surprisingly high up the charts in terms of power.

In fact, we are regarded second behind the US by many.

Maybe it’s time we took a reality check. We still have an excellent navy, punching well above our weight in terms of our nations size.

Our naval heritage is second-to-none with one, soon-to-be-two, super carriers on tap.

These ships say to our friends, and possible enemies, that we mean business.


Iwas surprised by the name Wightlink have given their new car ferry, due next year.

The grand name Victoria of Wight was chosen by staff in a competition.

My money was on a continuation of the Wight naming policy with Wight Star a favourite.

This ship is vital for their future.

They have been plagued by very poor timekeeping, as three different design of ships cannot be loaded in the given turnaround times.

My hope is that St Cecilia and St Faith are retained alongside the new ship and St Clare.

That’s their best chance of running a reliable timetable in my mind.

I wish them well with it as they are certainly invested heavily in the business.


We’ve been enjoying Anne Robinson’s fascinating new series on BBC1 called Britain’s Relationship Secrets.

What’s the answer to the perfect relationship?

How we laughed at the couple who have been together for many years revealed they don’t actually live together.

His wife lives with their kids and he has his own ‘man cave’ house.

As I go to bed at 9pm and curse my wife when the light goes on at 11pm, then vice versa and I crash out of bed at 4.30am, we thought this was a great idea.

I could stay over at the weekend, but spend the week in my own camper van.

Anything to get out of having to watch EastEnders and having to unload the dishwasher everyday.