The shameful handling of the maritime surveillance aircraft Nimrod has wasted around £4billion of taxpayers' money and is the cause of the closure of the main maritime surveillance base at RAF Kinloss, although some insist the cancellation of production is money well wasted. Maybe so, but our coastlines need to be protected and without suitable aircraft the Westminster government has suddenly decided the safety of these islands is at risk.
With other countries now purchasing the Boeing P-8, the Westminster government is also thinking along these lines. But from which base would they fly? Liam Fox has already announced Kinloss is to be closed and he's been vocal about another base closing here, so it would appear the P-8, should they decided to go ahead, will operate from an English base.
Liam Fox is in no hurry to decided the future of the other two RAF bases in Scotland and says the decision will be made later this year, but rumour is rife here that the decision has been made to sell off RAF Leuchars. Of the two I'm in favour of Leuchars being sold because far less damage will be done to the local community. Of course the MoD isn't looking at these closures from a militarily strategic position but from one of financial gain.
To close RAF Lossiemouth would be the death warrant for an area of Scotland which, although very beautiful, isn't particularly accessible unless by private transport. It also wouldn't be an 'easy' sell because of its position.
Leuchars has it all, which means it has a rail station (something of a novelty in small towns), a good bus service is easily accessed. It's near enough to Scotland's central belt to me within easy commuting distance and also only a few miles from St Andrews, perhaps one of Scotland's most famous towns - certainly one of the busiest here in the east.
Back to the rumour mill. Last week it was said that Ryanair had been to check out the £27million new runway and other areas of the Leuchers base while those associated with Dundee airport have also been evident in the area. Dundee airport is small and therefore the size of aircraft it can accommodate is limited while Leuchars can easily accept a Boeing 737.
The idea of Leuchars becoming a commercial airport is good news for this part of Scotland and even better news for lovers of golf who year round visit the shrine of the Old Course.
However, isn't it time Mr Fox made a U-turn about Kinloss also? It's common knowledge that Kinloss is in the best position to provide maritime surveillance and with Scotland having a third of the UK's coastline it makes sense to fly the P-8s out of that base. Somehow I think a rethink about Kinloss's closure will be a step too far for Mr Fox and his cohorts. Few politicians view this country in the long-term and that's part of the reason they waste billions of our hard-earned cash.