Re: Genuine question
'Much talk was made when they were being laid down of doing joint-ops with France and working with allied forces. Without cats and traps we can engage in joint ops with precisely one ally - the USMC (and possibly Italy if they go ahead with their order).'
Joint-Ops doesn't mean the aircraft have to operate from the other countries carrier, in fact there's only about one instance of this happening when HMS VICTORIOUS operated alongside the USS SARATOGA in WW2 and the US fighters went to the RN ship and the RN bombers went to the US one. Taking off and landing on the other countries ship is only a minor part of it, you'd need to transfer all your engineering staff and equipment across as well which frankly isn't worth the hassle*. So joint ops in the sense of both carriers in the same task group, yes, in the sense of Aeronavale aircraft operating from the RN's decks on an enduring basis, some politician's pipe dream.
Re the US Greyhound, they're being phased out in favour of a specialised version of the Osprey, so they could happily drop stores off on an RN carrier. They can even carry more further which I found surprising.
*I'm not sure the regulations even allow you to use spare parts from another countries supply chain without a lot of paperwork.