Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, Feb 4, 2010.
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Ridiculous and facile argument, given the paltry part defense spending plays in our national budget as it is.
Why must it be either/or when it comes to having:
A deployable military;
A decent domestic infrastructure?
In the Victorian era (ie the very height of UK as a world power) we had both, thank you very much.
Today? OK, it is true that our national our infra (education; transport; health services) cannot compete with France's. But guess what? The French military is as widely deployed as ours is.
If they can have their gateau and eat it so can we...what is needed is sound policy-making and a commitment to national services and yes, that means higher taxes. Which is what the French pay.
Bugger that. Only if we think that we intend to continue the ridiculous "follow the US to ever war going and if that doesn't work, start something ourselves" intent that the current HMG has had since they got in.
I'd far rather we relooked at what we actually wanted to do, stop thinking that we still have to take responsibility of the colonial offshoots we spawned in the last century and, frankly, for the next 10 years, get the country back on its feet internally rather than firing the fighting force all over the world (at vast expense) to solve someone else's problem.
What does he propose then?
United Kingdom Coastal Defence Force?
As i have said many times on here, the next 20-30 years will be filled with instability (Wars over Oil/Resources and water), it would be just like our politicians to run something down when we will need it most.
Will Correlli Barnet accept that he isn't really an economist, just an historian who writes impenetrably, interspersing apparently random conclusions with hod-loads of economic data?
Gents we don't have the money to be a World Class Power.
The Days of Empire are gone, long gone.
UK is only a tiny Island state, their is no more Empire to supply the troops even if we had the money.
We need to get rid of the Nuclear Option and the seat at the top table in UN.
Europe will take one seat and India or Japan the other.
Yes the Frog needs to give up it's seat.
"As i have said many times on here, the next 20-30 years will be filled with instability (Wars over Oil/Resources and water), it would be just like our politicians to run something down when we will need it most."
There will be instability world wide but why should UK be sorting them out ?
UK Gun for Hire !
Please tell me where the money is coming from for the Expansionist/Inclineist program.
From what some doom-mongers are saying, anyone would think that the UK has become a third world country instead of the 5th or 6th (depending on source) richest economy on earth. We may only have around a fifth of the USA's GDP but, proportionally, this should see our Armed Forces three times the size they are. All we are asking is that those we have are properly resourced.
Venice was and still a tiny, tiny state . . . . .
Britain was is still is a tiny, tiny state . . . . .
Switzerland's not too big . . . .
Japan, well, that's not very big . . . . .
It takes cute economic management to be a state that punches well above it's weight in the world. It's cute economic AND military managament that got the UK to be at the centre of the world's biggest empire - one that turned almost a half the world into English speakers.
The fact that we are not an economic powerhouse is because of a succession of bad Prime Ministers and parties who failed to take the necessary self-interested action that would gather the fruits of our kudos and influence in the world. Instead, we squandered the initiative after WW2. We sat on the coat-tails of the US for the most part, and even now, if Blair is to be taken as an example, we still suckle on their t!t.
The US got where it is today through self interest, and it's a state of mind we need to re-learn in the corridoors of power.
You missed out Rome. Mind you, what did they ever do for us?
Let's approach this question from the other direction. Can we afford not to be a world power? At present we're the world's 6th largest economy. We lead the world in terms of financial services. Our economy, like most other Western nations, is entirely dependent on the free movement of goods, people and capital in order to maintain our standards of living.
At the moment we're witnessing a somewhat self-fulfilling period of geopolitical shift. As the BRIC economies strengthen relative to Western developed economies (India and China in particular) we seem to accept that we have to make way for them and that our 15 minutes of fame is over.
That's all very well, but will those nations, as they become more powerful, leave in place our global interests, and a global political and economic framework that underpins our prosperity? Given China's actions in the last few years I'd argue not. I don't blame them- if we aren't prepared to stand up for ourselves why would they?
British declinism is a branch of a broader view that the West is in irreversible decline. The rise of China / India etc narrative has been given more force by the recession, Our decline is only inevitable if we let it happen, and if we don't defend our interests.
A good description of the man.
I had the misfortune to read 'Engage the Enemy More closely'. While the reporting of the naval engagements were actually well done and researched it soon developed into a tirade against Churchill. I came away with the impression that the author was a good historian, able to bring facts together, the problem was the political aspect. I suspect there is a very definite 'the Empire was evil, its supporters are evil' and a desire to see a full withdrawl from empire (apologising all the way) opinion held by the man. I suspect he may read The Guardian.
As somebody on here as already pointed out he has missed the point. We need our Armed Forces, we need them to have a global reach. Resources are becoming scarce. It is concivable we will have to fight for oil, water, Minerals or be able to defend sources of of such resource that we own already.
Having a awsome road and rail system is fine but you need to be able to run the trucks and trains with fuel and they need something to carry.
The world is more unstable now than it was during the Cold War and our military has been cut alarmingly. We need to be able to defend the UK's interests around the world. Not the Empire that once was but able to offer help to those former colonies that have actively helped us and remain with HRH as their Queen.
We are no longer a world power, there is no arguement about that. However self-defence is of little use if you cannot conduct offensive operations in some far flung corner of the world where our interests are threatened.
I remember this one: glass windows and central heating. Oh and a bloody great wall to keep the Jocks out
Instability means there WILL be conflicts over resources!
The Armed forces are also there to protect Britains interests oversea's, China is buying up half of Africa's resources, what will we do if they decide to use Military force to take over the rest?
We will not be sorting out the worlds problems like now, we will be involved in a free for all for whatever someone can get out of the earth.
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