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?

10 comments:

B.Entrulers said...

The land at Woodford will be classified as brownfield making planning permission for residential and other development a doodle. The sheer acreage and the upmarket nature of the area will command a massive premium.

Evercreech said...

Labour or Tory = national destruction. Only a revolution can save Britain now.

Labour posturing said...

We have Labour posturing to thank for this. Promising two new aircraft carriers three times larger than the ones we have now complete with new high-tech jets, yet with no conceivable plan for funding them. When Blur was strutting our troops into Iraq it must have felt good to him to tell other world leaders of our naval intentions.

Labour's mess, Conservative clearing up. But, I agree, the Falklands is a major issue of concern.

aluman2000 said...

conservative started it the last time that thay were in and labour finish the job and now we got the same shit in again ? so god help us

Donald Campbell said...

If they did invade again we have four Eurofighter Typhoons, a few refuelling and maritime patrol aircraft, one frigate and 500 soldiers. That's not going to deter the Argentine armed forces. There is also a Joint Rapid Reaction Force that responds to specific threats to the islands. It's extremely unlikely Argentina would invade as international opinion and sanctions would come down on them like a ton of bricks, but given the cutbacks we'd have a hell of a job on our hands to get the islands back if they did.

Anonymous said...

We could mine the waters around the islands if we knew they were going to invade and send a fleet of submarines to sink the invasion force on route?

Anonymous said...

TC, you mention the Nimrod programme. Yes this is an impressive aircraft, but it has been delivered years late and grossly over budget. Where was the project management when it was acutely needed, and why weren't the MOD kicking BAE very hard up the backside over the delays and cost inflation?

If this had been a commercial aircraft programme, the manufacturer would have been paying clients millions in penalties for late delivery.

Tameside Citizen said...

Hi Anon, I cannot argue with the points you make. I am also aware of the Bowman military radio system fiasco - £500million over budget, years late - and apparently useless. There is definitely something wrong with the way we do things in Britain but greater minds than I will have to solve the problem of how we resolve these issues while maintaining a viable home grown defence industry.

Are we really the same nation which shook the world when we introduced the Dreadnought design battleships which overnight rendered the warships of all other navies immediately obsolete? Five hundred years earlier we did the same to all stringed weapons when we introduced the longbow, and what about the Spitfire, Mosquito etc? We used to do everything so right - now we seem to do everything wrong!

Anonymous said...

Hi TC, You make a number of very good points about our past glories with military equipment design. Woodford has a great pedigree in producing excellent warplanes, think of the Lancaster and Vulcan bombers.

Great designers and engineers like Camm, Chadwick, De Havilland and Mitchell would be thoroughly disgusted at the sorry state of affairs we have today.

Tameside Citizen said...

Yes indeed. I recall being able to view a Vulcan at Woodford from the ‘the cage’ at the top of a hill in Lyme Park - what an awesome sight it was.

Did you know there is a secret underground fuel pipeline between Woodford and Ringway (Manchester Airport)? It was laid during the cold war in case of an attack on one of the airfield’s. the idea being if one was taken out the other would still be operational.