UK astronomers will lose access to two of the world’s finest telescopes in February, as administrators look to plug an Â£80m hole in their finances.
Observation programmes on the 8.1m telescopes of the Gemini organisation will end abruptly because Britain is cancelling its subscription.
This is a program that the UK has already invested Â£70m in.
On the other hand…
Estimated cost of operations in 2007â€“08
11. The Winter Supplementary Estimate estimates the additional costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007â€“08 as Â£1,315 million in resources and Â£604 million in capital. These are the net additional costs incurred as a consequence of the operations, not including the costs which would have been incurred regardless, such as wages and salaries.
This is from the Costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan: Winter Supplementary Estimate 2007â€“08 ((Like the
Bush Cheney admistration, HMG funds its wars through last-minute supplementary appropriations, rather than doing the honest thing and including the projected expenditures in the main Defence Budget.)) issued by the Commons Defence Committee in November.
In other words, in 2007-2008 the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Â£80m shortfall will be just 4.2% of the military expenses for Blair’s ridiculous poodling, or roughly the same as the price tag for two Apache helicopters.