Mr David Cameron
Defence of the Realm
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See also:Cleaning the (Political) Augean Stables
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When we can bring ourselves to think about it, we can perhaps agree that over-crowding is uncomfortable for the individuals who form the crowd. By and large, we are a selfish, querulous, quarrelsome species who all-too-often prefer hot-blooded unreasoning conflict to quietly contemplative mutual resolution of disagreements. Because we are naturally undisciplined, we need discipline to be imposed upon us — as in the home and the school. But when we leave home and school, we require some form of polity that will keep our self-expression within reasonable non-destructive bounds, and it seems to me that the form of polity currently in vogue in the United Kingdom is not up to the task.
The spendthrift democracy of the self-centred and the self-interested has brought the country to a state of gross economic insufficiency. An artificially "fortunate" generation, of whom I admit to being a member, has elected a succession of governments whose own self-interest makes it mandatory for them to pander to our addiction to pleasure and aversion to pain. The result is a financially bankrupt state whose government dare not impose the drastic disciplines necessary to keep us collectively and cost-effectively viable for fear of their being voted out of office. The privileged votes of three adult generations have heaped a heavy burden of debt on our children, grandchildren, and their unborn successors. Is it any wonder that many of our young people are unhappy, demoralised, and undisciplined?
There is good reason to suppose that the good people of Britain are becoming more than a little tired of seeing too much of their hard-earned income taken from them and thrown away on foreign dictatorships whose peoples must sooner or later learn that their well-being is their own responsibility. British politicians must learn to respect the right of the peoples of other countries to exercise that responsibility free from external influence by threat or bribery. If Mr Cameron is to gain the high office to which he aspires, he must do so by virtue of the votes of people who are exclusively British.
Yesterday, the same David Cameron was reported as saying that his first priority was the preservation of the National Health Service. I wonder what his "first priority" will be next week or the week after. The unpleasant fact that Mr Cameron and his acolytes must sooner or later accept is that drastic reductions in wasteful expenditure must be made at home if our unborn children are to be spared the task of making good the depredations on their birthright permitted by their all-too-complacent parents and grandparents. I therefore offer some suggestions that a truly "right-wing" government would be wise to adopt as a national policy for the next decade — if, indeed, global catastrophe is not to impose its own tyranny upon us before that time is up.
That implies discontinuation of Family Allowances from a date no later than nine months after the next General Election. Couples of any description who cannot afford to bring up their own children shouldn't have any. This would be a useful first step in implementing a programme of population reduction. If phasing out the National Health Service seems too drastic, useful steps should include trimming it to exclude all forms of fertility treatment and artificial prolongation of life in irreparable bodies, recognising that the compassionate work of loving carers all too often merely prolongs the death agony of individuals whose mortal bodies no longer serve their immortal souls.
State provision of "public" services paid for by taxes which bear no meaningful relation to the cost of provision should also be phased out. Health and education services should be provided by healers and educators in exchange for fees which their customers should be happy to pay. Personal welfare should be a matter for adult persons to arrange for themselves through whatever services would naturally appear spontaneously in response to demand.
Organisation from the bottom up (as suggested in, e.g., A Democratic Recipe) would require many fewer, but much more trustworthy, politicians — not for the provision of services by the State but for oversight of a system of laws to maintain public order and ensure acceptable standards of probity in the private provision of essential services in a free market.
Old-fashioned "charity" could then resume its natural place in enabling human beings to demonstrate their loving care for the weak, needy, and helpless in ways appropriate to their circumstances.
Is Brown really so psychologically stupid as not to realise that sending British soldiers to bully the native people of Iran, Afghanistan, or anywhere else merely heats the furnace of hatred of the United Kingdom in which the links in any such chain are forged? I know that if my country were occupied by a foreign army, I would be wholeheartedly ready to kill and maim as many of the invaders as possible.
The UK should immediately and unilaterally adopt a policy of strict neutrality. Instead of fighting terrorism afar off where every man's and woman's heart and mind (if not always hand and mouth) are against them, our forces should be concentrated on defending the genuine interests of British subjects. This would make it unnecessary to spend large sums on armaments of little use for national defence. It would entail leaving the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which has long outlived its defensive usefulness and become an agency of political bullying. Afghanistan is a very long way from the North Atlantic.
Since the armed services were brought under one unified Ministry of "Defence", membership of NATO has involved the country in too many wars, none of which has had any legitimate claim to being defensive — unlike the action to repel the invasion of the Falkland Islands. A political solution should be sought to obviate any recurrence of that particular tragedy.
Aircraft carriers and their attendant escorts are essentially offensive weapons of little use for defensive operations in home waters, and are themselves hostages to fortune on the oceans of a satellite-surveyed planet. Trident submarines are retaliatory weapons whose use in anger would merely accentuate whatever catastrophe had already taken place. Both systems are too costly for a small debt-ridden country to maintain merely for the aggrandisement of politicians wishing to keep a British seat on the UN Security Council.
The Defence budget should therefore be restricted to maintaining the efficient, well-equipped land and sea forces required to discourage piracy, repel unwelcome invaders, and suppress home-grown terrorists whose numbers would diminish as cessation of military adventures overseas deprived them of motivation.
There has never been any sense in maintaining a separate air force: nobody lives for long in the air. Operational efficiency and economy would be best served by giving the Army and Navy direct command over their own air weapons.