Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Friday 8 October 2010

Defence Review-some thoughts

It looks like the Navy is going to be reduced, in terms of surface ships, to the smallest size  ever in the Strategic Defence Review. For some people this is not going far enough. Many in the Socialist Lemming Party want the UK to abandon its independent nuclear deterrent at a time when the danger of attack is at the
highest level for decades, so that benefit payments to the lazy and irresponsible can be maintained and waste and inefficiency allowed to run unchecked.

(It is not hard to understand why. This posturing by a discredited party serves to increase their vote even if it is not in the public interest; another reason why democracy, ultimately, fails the Nation. You see, the vote of a hard working, entrpreneurial millionaire counts one, exactly the same as a dissolute, irresponsible wastrel. The one creates wealth and in so doing serves the country as a whole whilst the other squanders other peoples wealth and serves himself alone. Can this be right?)

The Government has a prime duty to protect the people of the UK from peril, despite the posturing of the Labour Party, whether it is from a direct enemy or other threat. To my mind there is a case for keeping the costs of Trident seperate from the rest of the Defence budget. The UK may have lost its empire but UK interests still exist around the globe. If it's true that oil has been found in significant quantities in the Falklands, do we imagine that Argentina will stand by while the UK reaps all the benefits. Without a navy how can we protect our interests?
The Defense budget is small as it is, being a fraction of that allocated to the NHS and the Benefits departments, but without a good defence, the others will count for nought if we are ever attacked. The independent nuclear deterrent has kept the country safe during the 'cold war' days and continues to do so today when more and more countries, some not friendly, are acquiring the ultimate weapon.

Having a good defence has spin off benefits as well. We used to have a strong armaments industry, with Royal Ordnance Factories scattered across the country manufacturing the hardware, the guns, tanks and ammunition but they have been closed and the work given to overseas companies such as Oelikon. How
stupid is this? All that expertise lost; all those manufacturing jobs gone. And what do we do if our future enemy also manufactures all our ammunition and spare parts.

To be fair some of the problem lies with ex Tory Prime Minister, John Major who oversaw much of the Defence shrinkage with his dreadful 'Options for Change' policy which amongst other things shamefully did away with regiments that had been part of the UK Order of Battle for centuries.
If he wanted to save money, with the cold war over he should have withdrawn all our troops from Germany. I believe they are still there. Why?

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