Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, Apr 6, 2010.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    Is it time to call off our claim to the global 'top table'?

    Plenty of other countries seem to manage quite happily without seeking to 'punch above their weight'.

  2. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Thats because you are content to be a nobody, the reason you are a nobody.
  3. I think this one has been done to death elsewhere.
  4. It depends on exactly what we want to achieve as a nation.

    The height of Empire that we all look back on so fondly coincided with a period of grotesque inequality of both wealth and the opportunity to get wealth: if you were born the son of a farmer or mill-hand then - assuming you made it to adulthood at all - that's what you became. You died poor for no better reason than you were born poor, regardless of what talents you may or may not have had. Still, at least they got to look at* some nice statues and buildings, eh?

    *From the outside.
  5. true enough; but I think that was pretty much the same everywhere. The more history I read, the more I conclude that however rough and brutal life was here, we compared pretty well with a lot of other places: rights and social mobility weren't restricted through the legal system for example - eg black people in Birmingham, UK versus Birmingham, Alabama circa 1906 - and a whole lot later - google Condoleeza Rice, who grew up in the latter in the 50s.
  6. Indeed, the old 'task and budget' method... if you haven't defined the task then by definition you can't budget for it.
  7. I do think being at the top table has its benefits other than vanity - security, quality of life, standard of living, that sort of thing.
  8. We are a small, gnarly and generally rude nation with little manufacturing, a preference for spending with no obvious means of paying and who still persists in thinking it IS a great nation with a lot of wealth and the means to keep generating that wealth and with values that the rest of the world should adopt.

    These beliefs keep our politicians thinking that they should be major players on the world stage and ignore what their electors think and those electors needs and aspirations.

    It would be better if we started our charity work at home and once our house was in order we could then go forth and help others. Seeing Broon et al on that world stage, pontificating cr*p and actually believing that other nations take us seriously any more grips my sh1t.

    We should be more modest and quiet and accept that we are a small and relatively poor nation and get over it.

  9. If we as a nation wish to survive we must be able to sustain our trading access, and be able to negotiate abroad with authority.In many parts of the world this means we must be known to be able to protect our citizens and interests, with force if necessary.It is the currently perceived belief that the U.K. is so occupied in Afghanistan that it can not act elsewhere.We must reinforce our ability to project power where needed and do so independently if absolutely needed., if we are to survive let alone prosper.As resources become more and more finite and needs become necessities,so Nation states will be come increasingly sensitive and defensive of their supply and where essential their access to it.As an Island nation our dependence on trade from overseas has always been an evident strategic vulnerability.Effective Naval/Air power and Expeditionary Forces are not 'nice to have' but essential.
  10. Parts of that I agree with, others not.

    The fact is our economy, despite the past 13 years of meddling with our gold reserves gone and gripped by recession, is the 7th biggest in the world. No mean feat for an island nation of a mere 60 million!

    Also militarily we are relatively strong, with the ability to embark on international expeditionary operations, often off our own back (Sierra Leone for example). Also don't underestimate the power of having nuclear weapons on the world stage. This alone almost guarantees us as a guest on the top table!

    But, I agree with you about charity beginning at home. Gordon going to various conferences and pledging billions to feed Indians, or for Africans to build windmills for a greener future, impresses no one. It makes us look like mugs.
  11. Fair nuff Blondie, I agree that militarily we are a strong nation but perhaps stronger than we need to be for more than home defence and small, short duration 'Brush-fire wars on behalf of former dependancies ? A smaller regular and larger TA force might be a good solution ??

    As to the economy, I claim no great expertise but am alarmed at the level of debt we now carry. I think we need to look long and hard at how quickly we could reduce that for our kids sakes. Not going with Trident would be one possibility. After all, even if an Iranian terrorist set of a nuke in Central London, would we actually retaliate in kind and let one off on another country ? Nah, think not myself. Tactical nukes have a place but the big mother fokkers, I don't think so. Getting out of the EU would be another good move in my opinion. Anything you get less out of than you put in isn't smart thinking !!

    A total overhaul of the Welfare State would be good too. If you weren't born here and are thinking of coming here you need to know that this isn't a country where you get lots for doing nothing.

  12. "Calling it a day" as a global player while still maintaining significant Armed Forces to preserve our vital interests is more than possible, however given geography and budget constraints that would probably entail a singificant rebalancing of investment away from land capability and into the RN.

    Seapower has always been our traditional strength and the UK is simply too small to ever be a major player on land again - if we ever really were anyway. We should get back to what we are good at, roaming the high seas and robbing people blind.