Have you ever noticed how things that are intrinsically great, by virtue of their traditions, ethos and history, are gradually being stripped down to their bare bones and diluted? Like the Royal Green Jackets perhaps, and various other distinguished regiments and public institutions. The list goes on forever and is not confined to the army â whatâs happening to our once great universities and beloved NHS? Why is the heart and character being forcibly ripped away from so much of what made this country great? I think that the precious freedoms we enjoy in this great country are priceless, but perhaps we all take them for granted a little at times. I think itâs great that I can come on this site and we can rip each other to shreds, in true squaddie tradition, and not have to worry about government snoops or sensors knocking on our doors â yet. One day, for âsecurity reasonsâ we will be told, the harmless banter and piss taking will have to stop. Big Brother is watching you. Always. A quick word about Libertarianism: look on the UKIP website and you will see it is a philosophy that they have embraced wholeheartedly. How do you like the sound of this: A 10% flat tax for everyone regardless of earnings. An end to tax exemptions for the rich â itâs 10% for all simple as. An immediate end to all politically correct âbullshit diversity jobsâ such as the CRE. An efficient and well-run justice system and NHS â no PC agendas tolerated A well funded and highly respected Army and Police force. Consider that well over 50% of the tax you pay does not go to the NHS, Army, or other essential services â but to the kind of PC drivel that pollutes the Guardian jobs page on a Thursday afternoon. A final word on the simple wisdom of Ronald Reagan, who would NEVER have led us into the pit of quicksand and treacle that is the Middle East like a bull in a china shop: During the 1980s American students were taken hostage in Grenada. Reagan asked for his top Generals to come up with a rescue plan, taking into account worst-case scenarios. Reagan: How many helicopters do you need General, in your professional opinion? General: If things go bad Sir, I reckon 16 will be enough to get everyone out. Reagan: Double it â take 32, and thatâs an order. General: But why Sir, Iâve given you my honest assessment? Reagan: Because if the President had told you to double it 5yrs ago, when we failed to rescue the Tehran hostages, youâd be talking to Jimmy Carter now and not me â so double it and letâs play safe. What would Tony Blair have said? Letâs see if we can half it and put a positive spin on it. What would Bush have said? Letâs see if we can subcontract it to Halliburton. Celer et Audax A thinking Rifleman â always! Steven McLaughlin. Author of Squaddie â a soldierâs story.