Pliny the Elder left the maxim "Si vis pacem, para bellum" to posterity. It is also credited to Tacitus and to several other writers. I first heard it from a Latin master at school and it is also the motto of the Royal Naval Gunnery School on Whale Island. It is an excellent maxim and one that several great nations have ignored to their detriment over the centuries since he uttered it. The last forty years in Britain it has been not just ignored, but actively campaigned against by such luminaries as the "Greenham Common Peace Camp" denizens, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Parliament and the Civil Service. From 1989 onwards the so-called "Peace Dividend" has seen the annual cut back of Defence spending in the UK so that we are now almost unable to send a Task Group to more than one theatre, the Fleet Air Arm has no fixed wing aircraft and the RAF is flying out dated aircraft and very few of them at that. As for the Army, well their Tanks and Armoured vehicles have been cut back to a bare minimum, the artillery is barely adequately equipped and don't ask about the stocks of ammunition.....
But, no problem, the MPs can spend twice the annual budget for salaries of fighting men and women on their plush new offices and the Civil Servants in the MOD can spend the price of a Type 45 Destroyer on refurbishing and refurnishing their very swish offices in Whitehall - but not on ensuring that a bunch of Chinook helicopters they bought 8 years ago are able to fly on operations. Nor can they find the money to properly arm and armour the Merlin Helicopters the Forces desperately need in Afghanistan. But they can reward themselves and witter on about "striking delicate balances with limited resources" while spending vast amounts on themselves and their needs and scrapping ships and entire regiments of troops to pay for it.
And Labour and Gordon Brown wonder why the public is so disillusioned with them and their grand Socialist Dream. Mind you, I doubt very much that the Conservatives would be much better and as for the LibDems ..... Let's just say CND and be done.
I suspect that the underlying problem, which, for all the hand wringing and wittering about the "tragic losses" of our troops, is that Labour and Socialists in general HATE anything disciplined or even resembling the military. Why? Simply because it represents everything they are not. It has a purpose, a structure and a strong identity. Socialism doesn't work, hasn't worked and has eroded our sense of identity and our concepts of liberty to the point that we will eventually, like the Roman citizens of 410 and 476 AD, have so lost all sense of our achievements and our identity that we will simply open the gates and welcome the invaders.
This country now spends less than any other European nation on its defence forces. Our once magnificent navy has been pared away to the point almost of being simply a coast defence unit. I doubt very much our new super carriers will ever be commissioned. Why? Again because Civil Service incompetence and Treasury duplicity has caused the costs to rise enormously and I am certain that very shortly the Navy will be told that if it wants the carriers it must give up even more ships and possibly the nuclear deterrent. That will leave this country dependent on the French Fleet for its defence. Yes, the rattling noise IS the remains of Nelson, Jervis, Pellew, Rodney and Hood rotating at pretty near light speed in their graves.
Today another soldier paid with his life for Mister Blair's Afghan adventure. Our Armed Forces are underfunded, over "managed" by incompetent Civil Servants, led by politicians who include a Defence Secretary who was a Communist Party member and quite possibly a KGB informer. His Cabinet colleagues include a man who under the laws passed by this government would be a terrorist, Greenham Common children, Che Guevarra admirers, Trotskyites, Stalin apologists and CND members. Not one has any military service and they are all on record as being against the military and desirous of unilateral disarmament.
In the mindset of these Socialist morons, the military is always "the enemy" and is almost always "Institutionally ...." Recently I listened with rising blood pressure as some young twit from the Student Union described the military as an expression of latent "fascism" - the sort of inane remark these stupid products of a biased and propagandised education system now routinely trot out ignoring the fact that their Workers Paradises almost always have vast military machines to keep their populations in line.
Our Defence Budget has hit the bottom of the pot. It is time to demand a rethink and a re-assignment of the funding that the Civil Service squanders so readily on every kind of stupid and wasteful project going as long as it employed ever more cloned morons. It is time we spent as much as the French or the Germans, Belgians and the Dutch on our Armed Forces. Each of these spends an average of 8% of GDP on their military to our paltry 6%.
Our young men and women in the Forces deserve a lot better, they deserve our support, our respect and the best equipment, ships, aircraft and weapons our money can buy. The Civil Service needs to have its wings clipped heavily and its power curtailed - and our MPs need to be kicked painfully until they do the decent thing by this country.
Saturday Seven Up
1 hour ago