Vir Cantium

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Category Archives: Defence

There is an Alternative to Defence Cuts – It’s Called Free Trade

It saddens me that I should write blog posts that criticise a Conservative government. Fortunately we have a Lib Dem-led coalition government, so my loyalties are left conveniently intact, to a point.

Today sees the P45s being prepared for 2,000 service personnel getting the chop as part of the cuts. Not that I’m against cuts in the defence budget per se; there is an army sitting in Whitehall that could do with probably a many more Orders of the Boot but, putting it bluntly, there is a case for special pleading for defence.

Defence is an issue that is set apart from most of the other ‘cuts’ when it comes to views within the conservative movement. From a classical liberal perspective, for example, defence is one of the few core duties of government that only the state can practically provide. It is one of the few cuts that the left-wing marchers and breast-beaters remain strangely silent about, when they are otherwise so vocal about schools’n’ospitals.

Toby shows concern for his brother.

The West Wing's Toby Zielger: "free trade stops wars"

Sure, Labour have piped up and opposed the cuts, and as usual have offered no alternative. In most cases conservatives would affirm that there is no alternative to the cuts, if you want to avoid credit downgrading or the short-termist solution of even more taxes. However, unlike so many other areas defence is one where many conservatives can offer up an alternative which the Left would not wish to contemplate – overseas aid.

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Room 101 Awaits Prince Harry

So Prince Harry is to receive further re-education equality training after the recent three year-old “Paki” incident.

I assume the Army thinks it must do this to assuage the widespread rage among the general public at Harry’s comments. Sorry … that should have read “the salaried rage among the professional equalities industry, republicans and left-leaning media”.

The Army just doesn’t seem to get it. They have, by all knowledgeable and unbiased accounts, a dire shortage of quality equipment, rations, time off, and so on, yet they can find the personnel, money and time to give equalities training? A few years back, it would have been a grimly amusing parody, today it seems it’s reality.

The lions are once again being let down by the most senior donkeys.

Rough Men Stand Ready to Do Violence …

… so that people like actor Rupert Everett can denigrate them using the luxury of the freedom that they and their predecessors have given us.

I somehow missed the original piece in the Sunday Telegraph, and it’s only Everett’s weasily “apology” that drew my attention to the ridiculous remarks.

According to Everett soldiers are

“… always whining about the dangers of being killed. Oh my God, they are such wimps now!

“… The whole point of being in the Army is going to war and getting yourself blown up. That and p—ing on prisoners.”

On the suggestion that soldiers are motivated by a sense of duty:

“No, you do it because you are a nasty, jammy —t and you want to p— on everyone. That’s what drew you to the Army and that’s what they pay you for. They pay you to tie up prisoners and attach electrodes to their nipples and testicles and p— on them.”

Whatever the “apology”, he has clearly revealed that he is of the sort of base opinion that comes from too long spent inside the liberal left bubble, where the contempt for those who give the orders is extended to those who carry them out. Of course, some will compare that to the “Nuremburg defence” – which would be about right, if you are the sort who compares Blair and Bush (neither of whom, I would admit, are without sin) to Hitler and genuinely believes it.

Next thing you know, he’ll be coming out with some uber-luvvie claptrap about how tough is the life of a thespian.

Oh, here it is …

So he was never curious about testing his courage on the battlefield? “You can do that on stage.” Without bullets? “Oh, but there are! Critics can kill.” Hardly the same. “It is the same! Exactly the same!”

The greatest irony, though, was in one sentence earlier in the interview, when Everett says:

“Now what do you get in the Army? Bad helmets and Basra. Your guns don’t work and everyone hates you when you come back.”

And where do you think that contempt for the armed forces comes from? Could it be the sort of idiots who think it’s fair game to attack the rough men under whose protection we sleep peaceably in our beds?

Honour The Covenant

To the Hilton for the Royal British Legion fringe event, entitled “Honour the Covenant”. Sometimes a fringe event is rated according simply to the speakers featured, or the quality of the food and drink.

However with the Legion’s event, I did feel uncomfortable taking advantage fo the free drink or food, thinking that any spare funds should go towards the care of those who have earned it the hardest way. So, with just a mere orange juice in hand (there will be a larger than usual donation from the Reddin household next month), I joined the audience to hear about the disgraceful situation that results in, as Bernard Jenkin summarised excellently, those who have been prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the nation having to fight the state for their care.

In most other areas I would be arguing for a shift to the private sector, to reduce the burden on the taxpayer and bring about a smaller state, yadda, yadda, yadda. Yet one central role of the state must remain the defence of the realm – and that must include the care of those who are responsible in the most tangible way for that defence. Not a penny should be spared for those who were ready to stake their lives for this country and our freedom.

It was not inappropriate that we were in the same room which had hosted, two nights before, a reception by the Free Society protesting the infringement of our freedoms in the seemingly minor yet symbolic fields of smoking and drinking. Now we were hearing about those who have risked everything to win and preserve those freedoms and more.