Skip to content or view screen version

will faslane get a birthday cake from the base?

Scotland on Sunday | 12.05.2002 09:36 | Peace not War


Protesters won’t have their cake or eat it


DON’T let them eat cake. The man in charge of Britain’s Trident nuclear submarine base has cancelled plans to give protesters at the nearby peace camp a cake to celebrate the site’s 20th birthday.

Borley told Scotland on Sunday earlier this year he would give protesters a cake for the anniversary in June to demonstrate his acceptance of their right to protest.

But sources at the base say Commodore John Borley, the operational director of the Faslane base, has changed his mind about the offer.

It is understood his comments led to teasing from colleagues and was regarded in some quarters to have been an unwelcome departure from the Navy’s customary practice of not expressing a view on the presence of the peace camp.

One source at the base said: "There is no chance of the camp being sent a cake from the Faslane base. Commodore Borley has changed his mind."

A spokesman for the base also said a gift of a cake would be extremely unlikely.

"Commodore Borley is still of the view that he would like to mark the passing of the camp’s 20th birthday with a cake, but other priorities make it extremely unlikely that this will happen in practice."

The Faslane base is at the centre of rows over the Ministry of Defence’s plans to privatise engineering operations.

Staff at Faslane have already staged a one-day strike over the proposals, which would see Ministry of Defence employees at the base transfer to a private company, Babcock.

The spokesman said: "Commodore Borley is busy enough at the best of times but now faces the additional task of moving ahead with the complex issues associated with industrial partnering.

"His efforts are focused on the concerns of his own workforce and the birthday celebrations of the camp are a very minor issue in comparison."

Borley’s offer came as he said he was grateful for the opportunity the camp protests gave him to highlight the contribution made by the naval base to the Scottish economy.

He also said efforts by protesters to reach Trident-equipped submarines at the base helped the Navy test its security arrangements.

Pat Freeborn, a spokeswoman for the camp which celebrates its 20th birthday on June 12, said: "We are not going to let the fact he won’t give us a cake disrupt our karma. We’ll have a great party regardless of him.

"We understand he’s a busy man with all those weapons to look after. There’s no hard feelings."

Scotland on Sunday
- Homepage: