As people sent in their text messages on the fiasco I could not help but amend Sam Seabourn's passionate argument in The West Wing (Season 2: ep.2) In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part two of two.
Sam: Instead of buying these ships? Don't
buy these ships. Buy other ships. Better ships. That's my idea.
Mr Cameron: But Sam, we want these ships. This is as little as we've ever paid for a fleet.
Sam: Well, there's a reason why they don't cost a lot of money. They're 20-year old single hulled VLCCs that nobody wants. When they hit things, they will break. And they will hit things, because they don't have state of the art navigation systems. They don't have G3 tank gauging, or EM-5000 engine monitoring, the recommended staletronic, or electopneumotronic ballast.
I can't help feeling that with a little tweaking of the terminology this was a conversation I wish someone had had with the Canadians (though what the British MOD were thinking flogging them this rubbish is beyond me...)