A Good 200 Years While It Lasted .......

Fleet Air Arm Training, 2012

"To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day."  Winston Churchill

It’s a funny old world….. that’ll make the Army about 50% of the size it was when I joined. Now that our national defence has been recalibrated to take on the worst that some angry toddlers with wet paper bags can offer we're left to survey whats left. Whatever the airframe, munitions and orbat changes the one absolute certainty is that this review will result in more deaths. At best they’ll just be servicemen, at worst civilians too.

There is no mitigation here, if he’d waved a piece of paper in the air declaring, “Peace in our time,” it couldn’t be any less sincere.

Given that the spending review aims to pull back government spending to 2006 levels, I'm left trying to work out why defence is going back to levels last seen in the Thirties. For the Navy, thats probably the 1830's.

I’ve spent my adult life listening to declarations from Westminster of, “our brave boys; the best we have; the best in the world.” Well, thats simply not true any more. Despite the courage and fortitude of the individual, there simply aren't enough of them anymore.  Carriers are an absolute farce. Yes, with an Army of 160,000 and a Navy with 40 ships we might be able to leverage the carriers but 2 carriers…… sorry, make that 1 carrier sailing around, (with no aircraft), … well, where exactly and once they hit trouble, then what?

The plan is to rely on our allies? When exactly have they turned out to support us……. when? The only countries that turn out time after time are Canada, Australia and New Zealand. If anyone in Westminster is suggesting that anyone in Europe would risk lives and political capital to support the UK it would be a historical first.

The Americans? Here’s a newsflash… there’s no Cap Weinberger in Washington now.

The whole thing is a weapons grade clusterfvck, eerily reminiscent of of the last time the Tories knifed defence.. remember, we had medical services before then.

The truth is, from a macro perspective we have just massively downgraded ourselves and the outlook is decidedly bleak.

I wish I could live in the sanitised world that Cameron and his new fluffy friends inhabit. A modest kick off in NI, an escalation in Afghanistan and, oh lets see, the Straits of Hormuz mined and we’ll all be getting an invitation to join the party.

The NHS, education and The Mercs for African Dictators Fund are untouched though which is good I suppose if you're an African Dictator. The other two are, oddly enough, the two most in need of reform given that endless cash has been poured into them for no discernable improvement in results.

 
Average salary of a GP in Lincolnshire, (they're the guys who act as triage nurses when you go to see them before you get to the guys who actually know what they're doing); £160,000.