Folks - in amongst some other stuff - http://conservativehome.blogs.com/centreright/2008/01/britain-is-in-r.html, a 'leading' Tory commentator on us:
Makes some sense - in my opinion, particularly the last clause.
In military decline. If the first duty of any government is the defence of The Realm, Im worried. Only today weve got the Commons Defence Committees analysis of overstretch and the loss of experienced servicemen from the ranks. Liam Fox has pointed out that defence expenditure hasnt been as low (as a percentage of national income) for seventy years. The consequence is that our equipment-starved troops are known as the borrowers by the Americans. Our soldiers are individually brave but their standing has been battered in recent times. The Navy 15 episode comes to mind. More serious has been our unwillingness to prevail in southern Iraq a huge contrast with the resilience of the Americans led by General Petraeus. And its not just about investment in hardware. Were weaker because we put too much defence in multilateral institutions like the United Nations for our security and we live in a media culture that is hostile to the sacrifices inherent in military conflict.