Defence cuts; necessary and now…..
Tory Rascal takes Labour to task for future defence cuts. Although chaos reigns in Conservative economic policy I still find it hypocritical for a Conservative to take Labour to task on these grounds because it is clear that a Conservative government still maintains a deep-seated ideological committment to cutting the deficit.
However, that being said this is one area where cuts are necessary and should happen now. Rascal admits that these may not exactly be unpopular but wrongly blames ‘Labour’s wasteful record’ for decreasing public support. I prefer an alternative explanation namely that the public are not stupid and have seen through the lie that the route through the ‘War on Terror’ is to use conventional military means.
Looking at the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan they rightly judge them as failures. Although the media narrative says things are hunky-dory in Iraq now they clearly are not and occasionally news leaks out that confirms this. Turning their gaze to things like Trident they rightly conclude the possession of nuclear capability is a bigger danger than benefit. In short, defence cuts would be popular because they are right; its high-time the ballooning of the defence budget was ended.
In reality, in government, we have consistently got the ‘War on Terror’ spectacularly wrong. We have fought two costly and counter-productive wars and ploughed money into the defence budget taking it away from where it should be going towards improving and reducing the margin for error in intelligence gathering. It’s not as if any of our opponents would have done any better because both are happy to carry on fighting this war.
This is another area where a rediscovery of boldness of vision is needed; the public have seen with their own eyes the shortcomings of establishment approaches on this issue and are crying out for a fresh approach. A change of tack would be well received; once again there is a happy convergence between what is popular and right, all that is required is political courage.