Fail, Britannia

HMS Vanguard seen in this AP file photo from 2002.

HMS Vanguard seen in this AP file photo from 2002.

The Royal Navy ain’t what she used to be:

The British Royal Navy is searching for Able Seaman William McNeilly after he leaked an 18-page report called “The Secret Nuclear Threat.”

In the document, the submariner explained a wide range of insights relating to the UK’s submarine operations, reports The Independent. It covers everything from the mundane, such as food hygiene, to more worrying topics such as hydraulics failures that prevent submarines from launching missiles. In fact, he describes submarine floods during testing that would have killed if they’d happened at sea, and writes that he “learnt that HMS Vanguard is in the worst of the worst condition.”

Elsewhere, he claims that it’s“harder to get into most nightclubs” than into sensitive parts of the Faslane submarine base on the Clyde in Scotland. “I’ve gotten through a few times by just showing my pale white room key; looks nothing like a Green Area Pass,” he wrote.

Outrageous and intolerable, if true — and there’s little reason to doubt the seaman’s story, given the sorry state of the rest of the UK’s armed forces.

I’d also add that maintenance and security of a submarine armed with 16 Trident II nuclear-tipped missiles (with up to eight warheads each) is no laughing matter.