Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Are the Tories guilty of endangering our national security through reckless defence cuts?
This former Royal Navy pilot and Falklands veteran thinks so - and so do I !
I never make claims to be super intelligent or to have contacts in the know when it comes to matters of national security, but even a rank amateur such as I can see the danger of the Conservative cuts to our defence budget.
It is worth remembering that defence cuts under the Thatcher government - ironically including the proposed scrapping of our useable aircraft carriers led directly to the Falklands conflict in 1982. The Argentineans decided to take the Falklands by force because they perceived we were weak due to the Conservatives slashing the defence budget - ladies and gentlemen - we have history repeating itself. This very day we hear a coalition of South American governments are joining with Argentina in a diplomatic attack on Britain over the Falklands. Don’t be surprised if the Argentineans’ make another grab for the Falklands once we are have no carrier deterrent to repel them.
And what about the insanity of scrapping the almost complete Nimrod project at Woodford? I understand the taxpayer has already spent £4.3 billion on this project with one aircraft delivered and another eleven ready to be delivered soon at an additional cost of £100 million. The whole project has now been axed, Woodford is to be closed - and undoubtedly turned into a housing development with the obligatory Tesco superstore to follow, and what for the workers? Like the British defence industry - the scrapheap waits for them! Where do we get the aircraft to fill the role of the scrapped Nimrod project? You guessed - we buy them from a foreign manufacturer!
Please, could someone please tell me why the annual £7.3bn year foreign aid budget is exempt from cuts whereas our already overstretched and under funded military is being attacked in this way?