Monday, August 23

Defence Cuts

On Sunday two excellent articles were published in the Sunday newspapers on the vital issue of the UK's defence, or rather the reduction of it. Both The Sunday Times and the Sunday Express published large pieces on the issue which the Mori poll published in The Daily Telegraph stated is the policy issue to most concern the public.

Thirty eight percent of those polled by Mori believe that defence and foreign affairs tops the list of subjects that are of concern. The NHS is now down from sixty percent a year ago to thirty four percent. 'Europe' is down to under ten per cent.

On an unofficial army web site known as the 'Army Roomer Service' a soldier left a satirical posting translating New Labour's Orwellian language on the defence ''review''. The definition of ''flexible was smaller, ''agile'' as ''really very very small'' and ''Britains global reach'' as the ''distance that the USAF is prepared to fly HM forces''.

Clearly the way forward is for UKIP to 'major' on the defence issue, take 'ownership' of the subject - the Tories will be unable to react because of past policy, New Labour can only dig a bigger trench, Lib Dems will only make vague statements on the issue. The merger and abolition of traditional regiments, the reduction of the Royal Navy's escort ships to only 25 frigates and destroyers, UK air power is being reduced to levels previously considered unimaginable, these are emotional issues. As Field Marshal Viscount Slim, once commented ''People are Governed by their emotions....''.

The question the voting public are now asking is: Why are our armed services being so severely reduced ? A question that can be added is there a connection with the plans for an EU defence force ? The emotional response is obvious.

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