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Defence under a Corbyn Government

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Defence under a Corbyn Government

Old 2nd Sep 2019, 11:25
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Defence under a Corbyn Government

I think I'm on the right forum here for this, but given the level of political turmoil at present and the now just in sight possibility of a Corbyn Government, just what do we imagine, in all seriousness, a Corbyn administration would approach the nation's defence and security arrangements? I'm curious to see what would actually happen given the man's Hinterland. I also note, with interest, how a lot of people support Corbyn openly without any seeming concern for this particular issue. An issue which I'd have thought was one of major concern and worthy of addressing by all.

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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 11:32
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I think there's more chance of Nigel F being elected PM than Corbyn.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 11:44
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Normally, I would say a Corbyn government is unimaginable but nothing in politics surprises me these days.

If BoJo loses the bap with tory remainer MPs and calls a snap election, there is a scenario of the pro-Brexit vote getting split and JC getting in via the back door, at the head of a 'remain/2nd ref' coalition. Unlikely but, dear help us, entirely possible.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 11:47
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You needn't bother with the replacement for our Vanguard class submarines-he's already said he'd never use the weapons system. Should save a few quid.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 11:49
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
I also note, with interest, how a lot of people support Corbyn openly without any seeming concern for this particular issue.
Because they are not concerned with it.
From the people I know who support Corbyn, they are all to a person also anti-establishment, anti-services, and all bar one, pro-republic & anti-monarchy.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 12:08
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I blame Harold Wilson.
It was his Labour government which started closing all our bases 'East of Suez' and successive Labour governments continued his policy of reducing our defences.
Nobody seems to remember that GW1 wasn't the first time Kuwait had been threatened by Iraq; it happened first in the early '60s and we conducted our successful campaign there without the USA and others because we still had the capability (in spite of Duncan Sandys)..
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 12:09
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Don't worry. That nice Mr. Putin will look after us.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 12:16
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IF Corbyn ever got in which I doubt, it was seen with the cross party talks he is seen to be a liability, so much so that even with their worst fears of Brexit looming they wouldn't have him running a caretaker Government, that speaks volumes. labours only chance would be to ditch him and elect someone like Benn in charge.
It would be a disastrous day for the Military, I could see the independant deterrent being binned, the forces cut back, future programmes chopped and current ones scaled back and all those serving in operations around the world pulled back to the UK.

Myself, I would probably take early retirement and retire onto benefits as one would probably be rich on his give aways to the unemployed.


..

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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 12:38
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From the outside, Corbyn appears to be much more interested in domestic issues that international ones, so one would expect his defense policies to reflect that.
Logically that would suggest a greater emphasis on the tactical navy, rather than the more force projection oriented carrier navy.
Doubt he would want to spend heavily to modernize the nuclear deterrent force either.
His stance on European force integration remains to be determined.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 12:54
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
I blame Harold Wilson.
It was his Labour government which started closing all our bases 'East of Suez' and successive Labour governments continued his policy of reducing our defences.
Nobody seems to remember that GW1 wasn't the first time Kuwait had been threatened by Iraq; it happened first in the early '60s and we conducted our successful campaign there without the USA and others because we still had the capability (in spite of Duncan Sandys)..
chevvron,

"..and successive CONSERVATIVE Governments continued his policy..." There, fixed it for you.

I think you'll find that the policy of reducing the size of the British defence establishment was firmly and decisively started by the Conservative Government in 1957.

It was only a few months ago, in a public address, that Corbyn stated, unequivocally, that "this Government has left the UK armed forces in a desperate state and they need more men, ships and aircraft." Not sure that I have heard anything so clear from Johnson. Not sure that I would believe either.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 12:59
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I'm sure I read somewhere that it's under Conservative Governments that Defence gets cut and that Labour tend to be more neutral or increase spending. I could be wrong.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 13:29
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
chevvron,

"..and successive CONSERVATIVE Governments continued his policy..." There, fixed it for you.

I think you'll find that the policy of reducing the size of the British defence establishment was firmly and decisively started by the Conservative Government in 1957.

It was only a few months ago, in a public address, that Corbyn stated, unequivocally, that "this Government has left the UK armed forces in a desperate state and they need more men, ships and aircraft." Not sure that I have heard anything so clear from Johnson. Not sure that I would believe either.
This I don't doubt pr00ne (that he said it) indeed I've heard a few comments from the Labour Party about the Tories cutting Armed Forces, I suppose all in my life time have done so. I was born in 1960, Sandys anti-RAF cull was still to reach its final swing of the axe. Next came Peter Thorneycroft, I believe, as Defence Secretary, he dragged his heals on TSR2 but pursued the then large Carrier project, about 120 Phantoms were to be bought for the Navy. Then we got a Labour government, Harold Wilson with Denis Healey at Defence. TSR2 was cancelled with the plan to buy F-111s instead, numbers uncertain. They were offered a good deal from the USA. As always, however, the Labour government had a massive public spending programme to pursue as well, to shore this up, the Chancellor de-valued the pound to help exports. It didn't help imports and so the F-111 became a casualty and aided by the previous CDS, one Lord Mountbatten, the Buccaneer mk 2 was accepted, this had already been ruled out by the air staff as not affording the same survivability and long range reach as either of the other two. Also, Wilson set about, against protests, the end of East of Suez policy.

Next came Heath, his government stayed the execution of the Ark Royal, it along with Eagle, Victorious and Hermes was to have gone under Labour's East of Suez which included, as a result a drastic drop in the number of F-4s for the Navy, the few they had were to go to the RAF. But Ark Royal carried on under Heath's government. Next came Wilson again, and again extra money for public services was the priority, defence was to be pruned to help pay for this. Hence this time, the cull of Air Support Command and the removal of units in Cyprus. In 1977 a Labour Defence Study Group, rather like the ERG, only in regards to Defence, published their recommendations to Callaghan, that the Tornado should be scrapped entirely and the BAOR be reduced from 55,000 to 30,000.

Then Thatcher, carried out significant cuts to the RAF and Navy, the effects hadn't taken place in time to affect the Falklands deployment. John Nott resigned as Defence Secretary. Meanwhile, the promise to unilaterally disarm the UK nuclear arsenal strategic and tactical were clear from the Labour opposition along with further defence cuts. The Thatcher government, however, did make good on some points, they bought additional F-4s to replace the Squadron deployed to the Falklands permanently. They pressed ahead with further Invincible Class cruiser carriers and were looking to order an additional 40 Tornados on top of the 385 being delivered, tha was in early 1989.

The rest is largely history, the Tories cut defence through Options for Change and Front Line First. Blair got into that many overseas rucks one might have thought Labour at the time would have significantly increased defence spending to some substantial level. Instead, units of the RAF in particular were disbanded, Jaguar Force etc, to balance out the cost of the overseas operations. More to protect public avarice again. Next credit crunch, austerity and Liam Fox MD, apologising, as a Tory MP, for presiding over the deep cuts to come.

2015, the Tories in office have indicated a willingness to consolidate and stop any further cuts, but they continue here and there, Scampton, Linton-on-Ouse? I suspect Corbyn only criticises the Government over Defence to confuse people who look to his passed history,, he will conduct a root and branch SDSR on arrival in office. Whatever he says now will be dismissed by the findings of a Corbyn government SDSR.

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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 13:42
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Paragraphs please, FB. My eyes hurt just looking at that.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 13:53
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
Paragraphs please, FB. My eyes hurt just looking at that.
Have scan now Mil-26Man!

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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 14:20
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The issue maybe isn't whether a Corbyn government would make defence cuts - more that he wouldn't want use our forces. He prefers to engage in 'dialogue'.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 14:51
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Corbyn and Defence are two words that do not naturally fit together. As others have mentioned he and other commie friends (McDonnell) will be laying down in front of Comrade Putin and other "so-called" friends of Labour like Hezbollah and its Iranian paymasters.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 14:54
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Originally Posted by Parson View Post
The issue maybe isn't whether a Corbyn government would make defence cuts - more that he wouldn't want use our forces. He prefers to engage in 'dialogue'.
Makes him sound like a communist; yes I know he never joined but that doesn't stop him being one at heart.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 15:11
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It would undoubtedly be an interesting dynamic when the intelligence community didn’t trust the PM - as I think would happen. Without opening up a detailed discussion, the question of national security, our place in the world and the UK’s ongoing association with the Five Eyes partnership would to my mind be at risk under a Corbyn administration. And given that all our recent operations have been conducted in an international / alliance context, that is a big issue.

Not that I would expect Corbyn or his acolytes to worry about that. They would probably be quite happy to sideline the entire intelligence and security architecture, citing an anti-democratic agenda.

And beyond our military partnerships and alliances how does all that translate? A lack of ‘Understanding’ (see JDP 4 https://assets.publishing.service.go...ing_jdp_04.pdf), some pretty questionable statecraft and a general mess in terms of our entire approach.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 16:38
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The first priority of any government is defence of the realm. I don't think that is Corbyn's first priority.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 16:44
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Originally Posted by Melchett01 View Post
It would undoubtedly be an interesting dynamic when the intelligence community didn’t trust the PM - as I think would happen. Without opening up a detailed discussion, the question of national security, our place in the world and the UK’s ongoing association with the Five Eyes partnership would to my mind be at risk under a Corbyn administration. And given that all our recent operations have been conducted in an international / alliance context, that is a big issue.

Not that I would expect Corbyn or his acolytes to worry about that. They would probably be quite happy to sideline the entire intelligence and security architecture, citing an anti-democratic agenda.

And beyond our military partnerships and alliances how does all that translate? A lack of ‘Understanding’ (see JDP 4 https://assets.publishing.service.go...ing_jdp_04.pdf), some pretty questionable statecraft and a general mess in terms of our entire approach.
That seems sort of a replay of the US situation with Trump. He came into office facing exactly those issues.
In his case, it has taken him most of his first term just to get to a marginal situation, even though as C in C and Chief Executive, he has much more freedom than
a British PM.
So I'd expect a Corbyn administration to be deliberately boring. Just as Corbyn, an excellent tactician, has thus far been able to deflect or overcome numerous efforts to sideline him in politics, I'd expect the same in defense and intelligence.
Indeed, most likely he would start with a dollop of sugar and a dash of kindness for the Services, just to take the wind out of the sails of his more rabid opponents.
That would buy him time to come to grips with the reality of restoring a shrunken resource base and of re balancing the country's global commitments.
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