Monday 24th August
Is that it isn’t. It is not and never has been about our ability to protect the British Isles from an external threat, namely an invasion or attack by hostile forces. It is and always has been about our ability to attack (nowadays as part of an alliance) other, invariably weaker than ourselves countries. Once upon a long ago Brittania did indeed rule the waves, and a nasty despotic rule we enforced, ignoring international law and grabbing bigger and bigger chunks of land for our Empire. That resulted in poverty and slavery, and not a few rich families in England. But our Empire has gone; except for a few islands we cling on to, and Gibraltar, which is a running sore in our relations with Spain.
So what do we need a navy for, except to patrol our territorial waters? And why do we need fighter aircraft capable of flying thousands of miles and refuelling in mid-air? And why do we need a standing army equipped for both Desert and Artic warfare? And why, oh why, do we need to spend billions on nuclear weapons that if ever used would mean the end of civilization itself? The reason is because we have been bullied by America into supporting them and their ongoing attempts at World Domination. Our membership of Nato was, immediately after the war, a bulwark against the then perceived expansionist Soviet threat (even though they had been our allies in defeating Hitler). Well the war was over seventy years ago now and maybe we should be thinking about our Defence policy in a new way entirely. We should be trying to make the UN a true global peacemaker, with its’ own standing army, and get rid of the Security Council and its’ veto (which stops any real agreement or democracy). Our armed forces should be there to provide humanitarian aid both here and abroad and not to be senselessly bombing innocent people from the air as we are doing in Iraq and probably Syria too. We should not be training young men in how to kill people, and then incidentally kicking them back into society with very few other skills. This would mean upsetting an awful lot of vested interests, as the whole industrial military complex relies on constant war. But as we can see George Orwell was correct, and words like Defence mean exactly the opposite.