It beggars belief (or would do, if we were not so inured to our leaders’ betrayal of Britain) that a self-styled “Conservative”-led Government is planning to cut our armed forces even further.
By any sane rationale, the most urgent task facing a responsible British government today should be to take radical measures to reverse the relentless decline in the scale of our armed forces after the devastation wrought by successive defence reviews in the past two decades.
Instead, a report by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) has suggested defence spending could be cut by a further 10 per cent during the next parliament. In practical terms that would mean the Regular Army, currently being reduced from 102,000 to a desperately inadequate 82,000, would lose a further 40 per cent of manpower and would amount to around 50,000. That would represent the British Army’s lowest strength in almost 250 years.
Yet Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, while claiming on the Andrew Marr Show that Dave did not want to “preside over any further cuts in our Armed Forces”, refused ten times to guarantee there will not be further reductions in military spending. He claimed a final decision would not be made until after the general election. Well, of course it won’t.
The Vichy Tories don’t want to tell the electorate they intend to dismantle what little remains of this nation’s defences and risk losing votes. All major policy decisions that are monstrously opposed to the national interest are nowadays postponed until after the voters have been conned. The government then claims a “mandate” for whatever it wants to do, often by consensus of all three legacy parties, and democracy is further subverted.
The current defence budget is £36bn or 2 per cent of GDP and Dave is exhorting other Nato members to commit that percentage to military spending, even though Britain’s budget is forecast to fall to 1.7 per cent of GDP by 2020. In contrast, the welfare budget, at a time of falling unemployment, is £110bn. The Tories refuse to guarantee the ring-fencing of defence spending after 2016, even though Britain’s overseas aid budget was increase by a whacking 30 per cent last year, stands at more than £12bn and has just been guaranteed by new legislation at 0.7 per cent of GDP.
This is insane. The British people would not grudge a reasonable foreign aid contribution if it were helping really poor people. Instead it has funded India’s space programme and other indefensible beneficiaries. A Department for International Development programme that was supposed to create 29,000 jobs in Sierra Leone by this year has created just 16. Meanwhile, our defences are in tatters; we do not even have an aircraft carrier in service, which makes many overseas operations impractical.
Yet when retired senior officers of the armed forces recently spoke out about Britain’s vulnerability, Dave rounded on them waspishly, accusing them of having books to sell. Someone should tell Cameron it is less reprehensible to market a book than to sell one’s country down the river.
The striking phenomenon of the past two decades has been that, as Britain has stripped away its military capability, it has engaged in ever more conflicts. These in turn have exposed us to increasing danger as the incompetents in Westminster, Brussels and Washington have systematically removed all the strongmen such as Saddam and Gaddafi who were keeping the jihadist genie in the bottle.
Normally when a nation engages in aggressive wars it expands its armed forces; but Britain has been throwing her weight about while going on a crash diet. There is clearly a hidden agenda, less hidden since Jean-Claude Juncker recently called for the creation of an EU army, on the hilarious grounds that “It would show Russia that we are serious when it comes to defending the values of the European Union.” What values? EU values are graft, freeloading, corruption, destruction of national sovereignties, caricature red tape bureaucracy and aggressive imposition of politically correct, anti-Christian inanities.
The emergence of a European Army would rock the Kremlin – with laughter. It was the Brussels idiots, always so keen to claim the EU has prevented European war since 1945, that provoked the Ukraine conflict. Now they want an army, to pursue further mischief. If the Belgian, French and Dutch components perform as well as they did in 1940, our security would be less than assured. But the political class would welcome a European Army, as it would afford a pretext for further UK defence cuts.
Behind this farce lurks potential tragedy. Without adequate security any country is at risk of annihilation, or at least humiliation. The political class has done this grave harm to Britain. For centuries traitors were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn who had done less material damage to this country than politicians today. Undermining the defence of the realm is treason. The stench of it is emanating from every aperture in the Palace of Westminster.