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Old 30th Apr 2017, 00:30   #41 (permalink)
 
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Further to my earlier comment, indeed the Tories are every bit as capable of making quite severe defence cuts, usually there is a practical rationale; Duncan Sandys and the all Missile Defence Force which amounted to nothing and left an air defence fighter force of five Lightning Squadrons and a Bloodhound Squadron. However, defence cuts have been on the agenda regardless of the economic situation with every Labour Government, I don't know if they've ever increased the actual order of Battle anywhere since 1964 but what is definitely of concern with Labour Governments is the number of times they have threatened, while in opposition and the present situation springs to mind, to abandon the Nuclear deterrent and apply significant cuts to defence spending generally. Their last manifesto stated they could not promise to maintain the 2% level of expenditure, the party is riddled with people who clearly hold military service and the entire concept in very low regard. There are sympathetic members as well. I don't know if the Tories have ever included privatising the NHS in their manifesto but Labour have certainly had radical changes to defence policy in theirs, including abandoning all nuclear strike capabilities and reductions in real terms in spending on conventional forces. A report in the Daily Mail today, however much everyone hold the Mail in contempt, the article showed a disgraceful publication available via 'supporters of Jeremy Corbyn' (described as an off shoot of Momentum, the booklets were on sale alongside join the Labour party leaflets at a festival organised by same) which quite subjectively equates service in HM Forces with murder and suicide through the use of grotesque cartoons and slogans.

FB
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 07:48   #42 (permalink)
 
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FB.
Whilst I am no Labour/Corbyn apologist just a couple of points.

The first year of Blair's Govt saw defence expenditure as a proportion of GDP rise from 2.3% to 2.5%. It averaged around the 2.3% mark until Cameron came to power and it now sits at 2% after he decided to include pensions and other misc costs in the figures which weren't included pre 2010.

The article in the DM refers to a satirical pamphlet written by Daniel Cullen (Not the RAF Pilot awarded the DFC). It was written during the Afghan conflict in conjunction with 'veterans for peace' to protest against that war. Proceeds were donated to military charities. I can only assume some members of momentum had some copies still or the DM was playing a bit fast and lose with the facts for political gain.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 14:04   #43 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Melchett01 View Post
What Chinny Crewman said.

The Tories talk the talk but regularly fail to walk the walk, preferring to take a business approach to Defence, leaving us with the absolute bare minimum to get the job done and with no redundancy when things change or go wrong. .
One only has to look at what they did with Military Housing to realise that their so called support is just another way to assist their donors make money.

MH could have been folded into a Housing Association and managed that way but no Politcal donations come that way.

Services are just seen as a photo opportunity for some MPs who will gladly commit them to some foreign war. Tell them how much they value their service, well that is until they come home with a broken body or mind and can be forgotten about.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 14:08   #44 (permalink)
 
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Everyone harping on about Corbyn being unelectable due to his stated position of not being able or willing to sanction the use of nuclear weapons.

if we have to use them then we have already lost - a pre-emptive strike opens us up for retaliation - massively so and if it is in retaliation.

are we honestly in a better position having them than not - i do not think we are anymore.

someone has to be first to give them up. Nukes are just the most cost effective way of creating a very big bang.

now that the targets are so hardened and need so much more force to remove them does anyone think realistically that they will be used?

lets give them up and be better neighbours in the world instead....
war is not glorious or great or noble, it is horrific.
better to not do it
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 14:23   #45 (permalink)
 
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lets give them up and be better neighbours in the world instead....
Cornish, are you related to Comrade Corbyn?
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 16:14   #46 (permalink)
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At least one good thing, the media is split with so much to cover, the 100 days,Ivanka, the General Election that it has quite pushed the council ones out of sight.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 17:02   #47 (permalink)
 
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If Ms May did want to engage the great unwashed on the topic of Defence, and potentially free up a bit of cash, she could start with the QE Carriers. Impressive they might be, but it's a classic case of "hollowing out" with a couple of high end assets and almost nothing in the rear. Let's be honest we've done without them for the last few years and not really missed them, unlike MPA which is a critical national asset that is most definitely required.

Like most other in anyway controversial topics though I feel sure her advisers have made sure she stays well away and carry's on talking about "stability" and "strong Britain", blah, blah, etc, etc
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 18:28   #48 (permalink)
 
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lets give them up and be better neighbours in the world instead....
war is not glorious or great or noble, it is horrific.
better to not do it
If only; but we can't un-invent anything from the knobkerry to nuclear.
As animals, my feeling is that we have wooden club brains but with fusion weapons in our hands. We are tribal creatures and are not given to acceptance of universal rule.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 18:30   #49 (permalink)
 
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the QE Carriers
Let's just hope we have the assets to put a screen around, under and over them!
Unless we can defend them there is no point in having them.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 22:37   #50 (permalink)
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I'm going to call this really early but I don't think the Government will return with anything even like what they think they will. It wont be 1983 again. I cant really quantify this. This is my now I think 8th or 9th GE, its very hard to call. Corbyn should be totally unelectable, but he still strikes a chord with a large section of the voting population including myself... he may return as PM, he really may. We are such a divided and fragmented island now, its very sad really but its 40 years in the making.
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Old 30th Apr 2017, 22:39   #51 (permalink)
 
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CC,

I dare say that Tony Blair did oversee a rise in spending on defence, he also presided over a farrago of military interventions, not all unjustified, but culminating in Iraq in 2003. When he took office in 1997, the RAF had 20 frontline Tactical Squadrons, when Labour lost in 2010, they had 12. The Army had dropped from 40 infantry battalions to about 34. The wars were supposed to have been funded direct from the treasury (Capital Spending).
Clearly the defence budget was inflated slightly to absorb this but by no means enough.

FB
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Old 1st May 2017, 08:53   #52 (permalink)
 
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"DM playing fast and loose with the facts for political gain.." Really chinny? So the hilarious limbless servicemen dolls on display at last Labour conference were made up by the Mail too?
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Old 1st May 2017, 09:30   #53 (permalink)
 
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cornish strormrider - like many before you, you entirely miss the point of nuclear deterrence. You are of course correct that once we have to use them, we have already lost, but the point is it is a potential enemy's belief that we will use them which prevents him using his own weapons. Throughout the Cold War, the prospect of mutually assured destruction kept the peace.

I want us to live in peace with our neighbours too, but there is an old saying - "good fences make good neighbours" and our nuclear fence should remain for that reason
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Old 1st May 2017, 09:48   #54 (permalink)
 
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I want us to live in peace with our neighbours too, but there is an old saying - "good fences make good neighbours" and our nuclear fence should remain for that reason

Why does Denmark not need and independent nuclear deterrent, yet we do? Do not understand it.....
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Old 1st May 2017, 10:05   #55 (permalink)
 
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Gents
I don't " miss the point of deterrence "
It is not needed
Our number of deployed warheads - do you seriously think a nation advanced enough to loft ICBM's at us isn't capable of tracking and eliminating our sole platform?

If a rogue nation or terrorist group attacked us with a dirty bomb or CBW and was successful are we going to turn their capital into a glowing glass puddle ??

Our independant nuclear deterrent is an anachronism from the past

We do not need it anymore
There are far far better ways if war has to be waged

Also - no I am not related to Jezza.

I have spent years reading and doing a lot of thinking, in that time I have come to realise that we are far better off ridding ourselves of these obscene weapons.

Fylingdales for example serves no strategic purpose for us - it merely tells us that it is incoming and we do not have the time to do anything about it

It helps America

Is PAX America all its cracked up to be? They have been involved in wars for just about every year since the end of World War Two - for what ?

It boils down to this - who do you trust in charge?

A decent principled man who is prepared to sit and negotiate with others or the lying, flip flopping harridan?

Let's try and move forward - not cling to weapons of the past.

Also

Would I gamble my only sons life if I was given the option to retain or dispose of these weapons ? Yes. I would.

Better to surrender and live than subject the world to a deliberate nuclear strike

Park all of the nuclear weapon issues for one moment

Work through all the other points - can you honestly tell me the Conservatives will do a better job given the last nine years as factual evidence. A million people needing food banks, wage freezes and an economy that has watched every one who chose a different path improve

Defence is important - clue - defence, not expeditions to a sandbox that realistically did not achieve much

What do we do about Syria and Daesh??

China??

Korea??

I know, let's do just what we did before - that keeps working so well doesn't it ?

How about we really look to deal properly with people and stop lining rich people's pockets by moving taxes to their bank accounts through various means
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Old 1st May 2017, 10:21   #56 (permalink)
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I think I tend to side with CS that it is virtually inconceivable that we would nuke, shall we say Tehran with millions of generally innocent people to chastise a few madmen?

Douglas Hurd eventually came to realise this long after retirement. Would we, if needs be, incinerate the capital of NK with the capital of SK almost within blast range and definitely within the fallout plume?

You need a nice little buffer zone like Poland, Belorussia, and a westerly wind for real deterrence.

A small nuclear CM might be the better way to deliver the bad news.
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Old 1st May 2017, 12:01   #57 (permalink)
 
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"DM playing fast and loose with the facts for political gain.." Really chinny? So the hilarious limbless servicemen dolls on display at last Labour conference were made up by the Mail too?
I didn't go to the last Labour conference Shot so I wouldn't know.
I did however see one of the pamphlets that FB and the DM were talking about back in 2013 when I returned from Afghanistan. I found it quite sad but also a powerful piece of anti-war propaganda hence I researched the author and background. This is why I remember it so well, I also remember very well that it wasn't reported in the DM or anywhere else back then.
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Old 1st May 2017, 15:55   #58 (permalink)
 
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CC,

I never lose my own personal capacity to be utterly bewildered, are you saying that the DM (I'm always prepared to accept they miss the meaning of intended satire, deliberately, just as many on the left can't take a joke at times) has got its report backside to the fore? If so I'll stand corrected but do you know, when I saw the pictures in the paper I didn't find them anything other than insidious, even before I read the supporting article. But I did think to myself, the DM will get a lampooning for this, someone somewhere will be able to take apart what they have written, on the face of it, however, it does appear like a genuinely subjective and up front denunciation of the entire concept of certainly the UK's Armed Forces. My question is how do Labour manage to get so tarnished with such controversial attacks on the entire concept of the military as an institution. Often they are forced, only just recently, to profess
an entirely different attitude toward National Security and Defence than the general image played out. But who can blame anyone for having doubts, when we read reports that Corbyn back during the Falklands described service personnel taking part in the liberation of the Falklands as unemployed men. How can you have a tag like that then try and paper over it by making a point of staying behind at the Cenotpah to shake ex-servicemens' hands like some retired Colonel. I just do not get it. Surely he is the beast he's portrayed as and he's simply trying to limit the damage in an area where he is not just weak but utterly at odds. I've no idea what kind of military posture we'd be left with after the gang of four (Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbot and Thornberry) have been at the helm for a year or two, or a term in office.
But I don't think it likely anyone could venture a remark like business as usual. Please don't tell me about how the Tories have made severe cuts in defence since 2010 and at times before. We know why, they've been struggling with an unmanageable still spiralling national debt and deficit. Corbyn reckons he can find 3,000,000,000 easily, for the NHS and all the good stuff! I imagine he'll get it from somewhere, now where do you think it'll come from?!

FB
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Old 1st May 2017, 16:51   #59 (permalink)
 
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FB.
As I said before I'm no Corbyn fan.
I don't know what the DMs motive is but the fact is the leaflet was written by an anti-war protester in 2013, he says himself that some will find his work offensive and much of it is. He claims no affiliation to the Labour party, when it was written Corbyn was a back bencher and Momentum didn't exist however the report and headline suggests that this is somehow linked to Corbyn. The DM didn't report it's existence then or at anytime in the last 4 years. If they find it that outrageous why wait until now before publishing? If they want to discredit Labour on defence then they could but that article is lazy journalism.
Regarding the second part of your post I agree Corbyn would be an awful PM because of many reasons but primarily I think it is because he is a committed pacifist and supporter of unilateral disarmament. I don't think that is compatible with being PM.
Should they get in they will do as the Tories have done since 2010 and they will strip the defence budget to ringfence favoured sectors.

Last edited by Chinny Crewman; 1st May 2017 at 17:28.
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Old 1st May 2017, 17:23   #60 (permalink)
 
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"...strip defence budget for favoured sectors" Yes, exactly.

"..as the Tories have done..." er, by that you mean pay for all the stuff ordered by Tony and Gordon but not paid for or budgeted?
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