Making our defence

Yesterday I defined some of our defence needs. Today we need to discuss how we carry this into effect.

Central to our defence against a major challenge lies our membership of NATO. NATO is our best protection against another world war. It was born of the experiences of the twentieth century where it took massive alliances to defeat a powerful common enemy on two occasions.

Those bitter experiences also taught us that the UK herself needs great resilience in technology and weapons production. The UK economy in both wars had to be transformed to divert massive amounts of production to the manufacture of warships and planes, weapons, ammunition, uniforms and the rest to maintain and supply mighty forces. As a major assault was made against our supply lines through submarine action, the point was reinforced that we needed to grow our own food and make our own tanks because imported ones might be sunk before arrival or would not be available from their old suppliers.

In the second world war the industrial achievement  was huge. Not only did the UK have good designs of its own for some planes and ships, but it was soon able to make large quantities to replace the heavy losses of the war of the Atlantic and the battle of Britain. We also worked very closely with the USA and needed supplies to cross a dangerous Atlantic.

Today we should review our domestic capability and improve plans to scale up output at home should peril ever face us again. If you wish to defend yourself you have to allow for the loss of some allied support and capability, and need to have under your own control the crucial components and sinews of war. It is no good relying on long supply lines and imported components or ammunition should with our allies we face again a major enemy. Such a review will offer offsets to the state deficit through more employee and business taxes on the extra domestic manufacture, and will help cut the balance of trade deficit as we reduce our imports.

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  1. JimS
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Today our enemies are already inside our walls. They control our universities, police forces, courts and government and they are about to complete their control of our armed forces, the ‘bulldog spirit’ no longer aligning with the Marxist Mantra of ‘Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Much truth in this. We supposedly elected a libertarian, rightly wing government and look what we are getting. Inverventionist, tax and red tape increasing, big state, climate alarmist, covid alarmist, socialist fools.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        With mad grand projets like HS2 and bikes, insulation, and cheap dinners on the NHS.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

          And who actually locked us in our houses, not making sure that food was available and sent sick people out of hospital.
          Reports are saying that withdrawal of healthcare/aka The Lockdown, killed 21,000.
          Yet still we are asked to celebrate the NHS.
          Pray tell of a good motive for removing the sick from hospital.

          • Gedd
            Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        I don’t think that you will find that many of today’s Conservatives claim to espouse any ideology, whatever you may infer about them.

        Trees are named according to their fruit.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Yes somebody spotted how good the army were at getting the Nightingale hospitals up and making the NHS look incapable. We can’t have that. Let’s level down. The army needs more diversity, H & S and bureaucracy rammed down its throat to make it as useless as other state run organisations.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      UK has external as well as internal threats.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Currently internal threats are greater.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Not just in our walls. they are running the show…..’Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, has written to the chain of command to ensure inclusivity is at the forefront of everything we do.’……not our defense but inclusivity , and we know where that ends up for we have seen it with our police , who have gone from a respected institution to one of derision and contempt.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Not forgetting the border farce are assisting Importing aliens who may wish us harm.
      I believe there is an active fifth column operating with connivance of some very senior players.
      A cleanout of the proverbial public bodies stables is long overdue.

      • Oldsalt
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg:
        Could it be those associated with and behind the Global Migration Pact? Apart from importing alien cultures some with not our best interest at heart.

        I read there was no mandate for it to be signed.

        It would appear no matter what the result of voting the system marches on regardless.

        So what is the point of voting?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      The Tories have a majority of eighty in Parliament.

      Please say who, beyond them, has more power to create the laws of this land?

      Your post, I’m sorry to say, seems to me to suggest an unhinged state of mind.

    • Stred
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The Green Marxists following UN agenda have the agreement of our ‘Conservative’ government to make the UK defenceless within 20 years, by which time 95% of our energy will come to land via under sea cables and pipelines on the sea bed and by gas and wood pellet shipping. All could be destroyed by submarine drones and missiles. The accepted plan is to build up to 15,000 offshore wind turbines and reform all of our gas imports into hydrogen. Computing and communication will depend on vulnerable satellites. The country could be freezing, dark and immobile within weeks.

  2. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    You are correct Government needs to get serious. Before we get to Defense Government needs to sort out its own purpose. Is it nanny knows best, or we trust you the people.

    To much pandering to letting the media set the agenda and constant focus on winning the next general election. Hence the constant flow of give a ways.

    Listening to the in depth news last night, a whole stream of egotist were rolled out saying the government needs to give this to that or the government needs to give more to stop this. All the while not mentioning the government has no money, they just take from the taxpayer. Government needs to get a grip and govern.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink


      Doesn’t what you say, tie in with what JimS says?

      The confusion lies in an inner battle of government trying to do what’s best for the country, but is surrounded by and pretty much controlled by the globalist Marxist types in all our institutions and civil service and I’ve no doubt Westminster.

      • jerry
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        @Sharon Jagger; “Doesn’t what you say [Ian], tie in with what JimS says?”

        No it doesn’t Sharon, both Ian’s and Jim’s comments are the typical knee-jerks of the right who fail to understands their own roll in what we have become, economic & industrial policy is not driven by the “Thought Police”, it’s driven by FX [1] and Stock markets, and of course their globalist customers/investors.

        [1] as our hosts second blog today demonstrates!

    Posted July 30, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    It must be a desolate and neutered experience being a backbench Tory MP knowing that the party you belong to is no longer a believer in a strong Defence force nor a believer in the fundamentals of NATO choosing instead to divert funds away from our forces towards politically motivated spending projects such as the socialist organisations NHS and education in a pathetic, insincere and desperate attempt to appear compassionate and concerned for the welfare of others

    Our guys come back from Afghanistan with their limbs missing and their state of mind crushed while Johnson, Corbyn and Starmer pander to Marxist organisations and their authoritarian agenda using race, religion and gender to crush our the freedoms of the majority population

    I read today on CW that the Scottish government is introducing laws to crush freedom of debate and destroying the most basic fundamental requirements of common law with a law in which denunciation is now treated as evidence of guilt. This is National Socialism and Soviet Communism for C21st. Chilling, disturbing and beyond contempt

    Both parties and that stain in Scotland are guilty of the most vicious attack on this nation’s people since Stalin and that other Socialist lunatic from Germany

    The voter is far too focused on economic issues. Once these filth parties achieve power the surreptitious introduction of oppressive laws is pushed through under the radar. How disgustingly sneaky is that

    We’re gonna need NATO and the US to protect us from British politicians not foreign enemies

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink


      But does it sell advertising in the media, create a sound-bite?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink


    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      The treatment of our forces back from predictably futile wars is despicable. The physical and mental casualty list is sickening. Yet we still seem to want to prosecute some soldiers whilst those who made the decisions are immune.

      Meanwhile back at the 4 star hotels the illegal immigrants are enjoying being a new Brit. Percent that will be deported maybe at best 10%.

  4. Nigl
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    All makes sense albeit you make it sound like ‘turning on a tap’ I guess lead in times etc make that not so easy. I presume you want to scale up our arms industries exporting production until we need it.

    My problem is that you call it defence but the reality is it just gives our politicians more toys to use as the worlds policeman. In the last ten years your interventions, still happening I understand have made our and the worlds lives more dangerous.

    If you hadn’t we wouldn’t need as much defence. Please, no more.

    • jerry
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      @Nigl; Lead times are a modern problem, how long did it take a USA ship yard to turn out each Liberty Ship, whilst the Mulberry harbour project went from concept to active harbours in less than 12 months, after the war industry carried on with the productivity lessons, but such a high productivity rates cost money and thus cuts profits…

  5. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Defense is to serious for this Government. We have multi billion pound warships stuck in harbor because of the cheap scape purchase of foreign power units that were not fit for purpose.

    We have aircraft carriers that are aircraft specific, close to theatre and close combat only, there fore limiting in capability. The cant patrol the seas and keep sea lanes safe – they don’t have the range.

    The main stay of army transport, the Land Rover. Is not a UK owned product and is not produced in the UK. Which just about sums up Government thinking.

    Save money on security so you can give people bikes through the already under strain NHS. Sound bites to sound on message with media agenda.

    We need to get back to a having a proper production capability for everything and a good starting point would be with a focus on defense production. Its this type of focus that causes a trickle down effect to every corner of UK production. This would then be a government causing growth, causing resilience, causing wealth. Tax take would rise and funding for other asperation would become available.

    At the moment this Government gives all the signs of wishing to dig a big hole which we cant climb out of, just to be on message with some silly metro liberal socialist that have no concept of the need to earn to fund.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The landrover was phased out many years ago, in fact the main transport in the UK for the military is arrangement with daily hire vans – the army call them the white fleet

    • forthurst
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      There is a problem with government which is also a problem with the Civil Service, namely the concept of the ‘generalist’ or someone with an Arts degree whose understanding of science is actually zilch being the man who should make the decisions. The antics of this government over Covid-19 are a case in point with the Arts graduates acting erratically and operating well outside their area of competence, whatever that is.

      Defence is first and foremost a matter of science and yet the Ministry of Defence demonstrates its lack of understanding by its belief that what may have been true 100 years ago is still true today: we are not a global power and the aircraft carrier does not reign supreme on the high seas. Would it take a tragedy like the one that occurred in the South China Sea 79 years ago to demonstrate how out of date and useless our defence strategists are?

      British Aerospace partly has its genesis in the convenience of the lazy and useless civil servants that occupy the MoD who wanted a one stop shop for defence rather than having to bother with multiple suppliers for different vehicles irrespective of whether such a configuration made industrial sense or ensured value for money.

  6. Nigl
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Ps re yesterday. People poo pooed my comment about 10 gig speeds in Germany. One said working from home 2 megs was satisfactory. The Germans have available 50 HD and 100 digital channels with an extensive back up content library. With negligible latency it also gives massive benefits to both the health and manufacturing industries. Not sure how much 3D printing you can download with 2 megs or conduct remote surgery.

    The future is in the German route not the natural history museum.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      The number of my employees who have told me their broadband stops them working from home efficiently is staggering.

      We hear all good things about how everyone is more productive from home and then I found out one employee had not had access to our fileserver as she had no broadband for two months. This is tolerable when homeworking is enforced but if the worker was doing it voluntarily (for their benefit) I would expect them to provide satisfactory infrastructure which we do not appear to have at present.

      • jerry
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        @NS; I’m not saying that your employee is such a person, but we need to be cautious when complaining that others do not have adequate broadband, far to many still buy on price alone…

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        You need new IT – either people or systems. I have written systems for a public sector organisation with 1500 users. On any one day two thirds work from home. All over the country with variable broadband speeds. None of them have any issues. Another customer was a plant company. The engineers wer using tuffbooks nearly 20 years ago to access workshop manuals and parts databases – and produce no sheets and invoices. IF you want a surgeon to conduct surgery remotely, you nose a wide bandwidth connection for him – not for the whole country.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted July 30, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Fair few technology created errors there.

        • jerry
          Posted July 30, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          @Mike Wilson; I think you will find you are now woefully behind the curve, the digital revolution appears to have past you by…

        • dixie
          Posted July 31, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Your last point is the key one, the actual needs of actual commerce, education, industry and medical services should be the driver for national infrastructure and not the desire for 20 concurrent big-brother-house channels.

    • Adam
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Your comment was more on topic than it may have appeared Nigl.

      Reach speed and delivery services are essential in power, even if 3D printing a weapon toward someone without one.

    • jerry
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      @Nigl; I nearly posted in your defence but as it was (still is) off topic and my comment was becoming over long…

      But I agree, the issues is not working from home using the SOHO computer as a terminal computer but the transfer of large files to & from the servers of a SOHO so that the files can then be working on within IT systems many now have in their own right at the SOHO.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Ultimate speed is not everything….many other variables come in to play.

      And if you had tried to use Vodafone broadband support & sales then you would probably feel sorry for the Germans 🙁

      • jerry
        Posted July 30, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice; You like others have missed the point here, that of the infrastructure, not how an ISP manage bandwidth usage.

        Yes for most people 10gbps is way over anything they might use but there will be some who are willing to pay to use the full bandwidth, and those people are increasing as bandwidth hungry industries move out from central locations and their dedicated tied and inverse multiplexed lines.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t miss any point.

          End point may be 10gbs but not 100% of connected users can use this simultaneously. As I said other factors come in to play.

          • jerry
            Posted July 31, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

            @Know-Dice; You are still trying to conflate infrastructure and ISP bandwidth management/usage, they are two septate considerations for the provider.

            Not sure what you think the data rate of fibre is if you think 10gbps is not available per customer when fibre can easily deal with data bandwidth in the terabytes per second range and has been shown capable of Petabit transmission – that is, from a single fibre.

  7. agricola
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    During WW2 the tardy arrival of the USA was an essential component in the defeat of Germany. Their production capacity, our war footing and inventiveness were essential in the defeat of a highly technically competent Germany, fortunately led by an insane Hitler. Were a similar threat to materialise the same would hold true.

    Before getting all rosy tinted I would point out that the aid we received came with a hefty bill that took many years to clear. Has anything changed for future conflicts under NATO. Asked because I see the cost going way beyond our 2% of GDP contribution.

    I do not see a future similar conflict staying conventional. The scale of the conflict would force it to go nuclear in at least one of the belligerants thinking. Because the perceived struggle is economic its initial stages will be cyber warfare which is a fact at present. Then I see it as before becoming a matter of economic superiority, followed by debilitating the opposing population without making the territory unlivable. Nuclear is the final option, but only if the above three stages fail, and only when you can accept that everyone loses.

    The small players are stuck with terrorism so we must be proactive against it and ever vigilant.

  8. Adam
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Spying on potential enemies reveals ways in which defence capability can be made fitter for purpose. Promoting peace reduces risk, yet malicious intent is often unpredictable and can emerge from even the most unexpected friendly source suddenly, irrationally or via random triggers.

    Knowing an enemy’s plans helps defence preparation, but limits protection to what is already active. As in chess, complexity can conceal what a long and apparently innocent strategy achieves.

    Planning defence from attacks by every conceivable means helps guide what we need to prepare, and defend. War games, planning to attack ourselves similarly assists our intelligence. Bigger bombs and faster aircraft can destroy more others. Our fuller needs include our own protection beyond the destruction of others, in peace.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      “Potential enemies”.

      Ah, yes. “Friends”, you mean, as in the case of the Germans and others in recent years.

  9. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    You’d think the lessons would have been learned from the PPE mess, trivial in comparison to not having industrial facilities to defend ourselves. Perversely this makes nuclear war more likely as it would be our only option.

  10. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    The consensus appears to be the government is freighted to govern in the interest of the country and the government is frightened of the people.

  11. Sharon Jagger
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Even locally, although our council has two Conservative MPs, the council is 2/3 Lib Dem. Recently, they have tried to sneak in road closures etc to make the area more cycle and pedestrian friendly. Our Conservative councillors have jumped on this and notified the residents of the borough. The council were due to implement without any consultation at all!

    The council were ‘just going to do it anyway, because they “wanted to”.

  12. jerry
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    “In the second world war [our] industrial achievement was huge.”

    Indeed but it was different back then, not only did we have the iron foundries etc, the whole gamut of industry, UK companies owned by British passport holders financed via the City of London during the war our manufacturing policy was driven by a Trade Union leader appointed by a (nominally) Tory war-time PM.

    Before we can have our own resilience in defence we need to be self reliant in manufacture and design, from raw materials to finished products, & have the capacity to build what ever we need. Travelling around any town of notable size in the postwar years you would have seen road signs indicating the way to “Industrial Estates”, today if such estates still exist you will see road signs showing the way to a ‘Business Park’ or ‘Enterprise Zone’ and you’ll be hard pushed to see any ‘factories’, just warehousing and offices….

  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    We should also remember that, though the Red Army defeated the Werhmacht in the East during WWII, they did so using much British materiel and equipment provided by convoys of the Merchant Navy. The impressive new Tom Hanks film “Greyhound” shows how difficult and dangerous this could be; there were never enough escort ships. Along with the Army, in recent years the Merchant Navy has been decimated.

    We must also make sure that our Home Front is secure – the Russians are challenging us in the Channel and by regularly flying nuclear armed bombers against the Typhoon quick reaction force based at RAF Lossiemouth.

    The Russians are the best chess players in the world. Their intelligence services play a long game and are past masters at identifying weakness in their adversaries and exploiting them; we must prevent this, with new legislation if necessary.

    Until Theresa May expelled numbers of their spies operating in the guise of diplomats in March 2018, they were operating with impunity here. They have deployed nerve gas in Salisbury in an attempt to assasinate one of our defectors – numerous other examples can be found in press archives over the past few years.

    The threats to the UK have shifted now that we have suppressed Dae’sh. Clearly, the emphasis should move to Russia and China. The Russians respect strength. The forthcoming Strategic Defence and Security Review should recognise this fact and deploy our limited resources accordingly.

    • Stred
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      The Russians are just game playing. Why on earth would they want to invade and run a small land area with social problems and incompetent crooks running the place?

  14. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The problem of replacing lost military assets when in a conflict is time and cost.

    If we were to be in a real conflict situation for any length of time, the rate of attrition would be faster than our ability to replace the losses.

    With so much high tech equipment in our planes and ships, the manufacturing time for each replacement is years, not days or weeks.

    Do we really need such high tech naval vessels for simple fishery/immigrant/infiltration protection, when very many more basic and faster vessels could be used.

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    NATO is fine as long as we can count on NATO allies…. But please lets review NATO to be sure it as a global organisation has not succumbed to the same corrupt malady that has affected the UN, IMF and many other internationals…

    Could we count on support from the EU in times of hostilities – I fear not despite our histories. It is most likely that the EU would be the pigeon that played the appeasement card.

    It is vital that the UK remain on top as far as war technology and production is concerned

  16. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    ‘NATO’ is fine as long as we can count on NATO allies…. But please lets review NATO to be sure it as a global organisation has not succumbed to the same corrupt malady that has affected the UN, IMF and many other internationals…

    Could we count on support from the EU in times of hostilities – I fear not despite our histories. It is most likely that the EU would be the pigeon that played the appeasement card.

    It is vital that the UK remain on top as far as war technology and production is concerned

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    NATO is far too big now, and now includes countries I would not want our forces to die defending, and which certainly would not help defend us if we were attacked.

    The idea was good with the original members, but now membership has been granted far too freely.

    So no I don’t believe in the current NATO.

    We should be a lot more realistic and self sufficient.

  18. Trev Ess
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    NATO is a guarntee that we tie our security to a group of increasingly unstable states against a alleged foe that has not done us any harm at all. Russia is not going to invade Europe, it doesn’t want all our problems as well as it’s own. We should stop provoking them, trade with them and disentangle ourselves from foreign alliances that cause far more problems than they solve.

    • Otto
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Trev for at least one sensible post here.

  19. Iain Moore
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    //Today we should review our domestic capability and improve plans to scale up output at home should peril ever face us again. //

    “Thales, as part of Babcock Team 31, has been selected to deliver the digital heart of the UK’s next generation frigates.”

    “Danish Navy’s Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate modified to meet Royal Navy requirements. It will be the first non-British-designed frigate or destroyer to be used by the Royal Navy in decades.”

    “Engineering giant Babcock International Group Plc has awarded the contact to build engines for the Royal Navy’s new £1.25billion frigate fleet to Rolls-Royce – but they will be made in Germany.”

    Lets just face it , our Governing classes just do not like to invest in our country, they have no long term interests for our country.

  20. Caterpillar
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Aside:- Migration Watch Briefing report pointing out that 600 million would fall in possible recruitment pool of Patel’s immigration policy.

    It needs a cap to increase competition and an increase in income threshold. Without these the policy will not lad to the UK getting the best people. Given Hancock and Sunak’s CV19 response there is going to be large unemployment anyway. There needs to be a cap and/or a large increase in the income threshold.

  21. miami.mode
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The common factor in all weapons manufacture is steel. A defence capability is negated if you dispense with or lack the means and ability to produce it.

  22. Tabulazero
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Your Global Britain is sounding more and more like North Korea when it comes to economic policy.

    Just one more step and soon you will announce a « 5 year plan to re-industrialise England ».

    Have your readers realized yet that promoting free trade amongst nation and stronger direct state intervention in the economy are pretty much mutually exclusive goals ?

    • Edward2
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Trade agreements can be settled with nations that have different levels of State involvement.

  23. glen cullen
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    From yesterdays blog I would suggest that China is an indirect economic threat to the UK and a direct hot war threat to the Far East region

    Therefore we need a posture a defence to reflect the implied threat

    Force projection
    Defence of the UK
    Defence of the realm
    Protection of international trade routes
    Police the world and the international laws
    Alliance with NATO
    Alliance with EU defence
    Alliance with USA
    Alliance with 5eyes
    Attack any threat

    Before we talk about shape, size and capability we need to understand our historic island defence stance and posture to international events (we once had a policy that our navy would be bigger than the rest of the worlds – it was a plan a posture)

  24. graham1946
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Defence? For all the money spent you can’t even keep us safe from a few rubber boats crossing the channel with unarmed illegal immigrants. Before anything else, the government needs to find a backbone.
    WW2 was eighty years ago and future wars will not be done like that. It needs careful thought not just spending on guns and bullets. We see China is quite capable of taking down the West with a virus, and daily big firms are being hacked. If war ever was done the traditional way, we’d be done for – more admirals than ships, aircraft carriers with no/unsuitable planes, army run down and when men come back from conflict just chucked on the streets in stead of being honoured and rewarded. No wonder youngsters don’t want to join up if they can get a job in civvy street. Our best bet is to stop interfering in the world and look to building our own technology rather than just relying on cheap prices with no knowledge of what it contains.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      BBC website – More than 200 migrants have crossed the English Channel in 20 boats according to the Home Office – a record number for a single day

      • graham1946
        Posted July 31, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        That is happening day after day. Nigel Farage has done research (is it true that. …Ed) 45,000 of them are being put up at UK expense, expected to be 4 billion (conservative estimate, made January 2020) over the next 10 years. One 4 star hotel alone has been taken over by the government through a private contract until at least the end of 2020 and no bookings or visits allowed. [ please name with source ed) I doubt this will get through moderation, but just in case I offer something you won’t see on the BBC or MSM.

        • graham1946
          Posted July 31, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Well Sir Ed, I’d rather take Mr.Farage’s research than anything put out by your government so, yes, I’d say it is true. Another 4 star hotel in Glasgow is solely for them as well. No doubt many will be coming out of the woodwork. Why is it all being hidden? What have the government got to hide? When will the shackles be taken off Priti? She went to France recently and we got a couple of boats towed back – nothing since. I did not name the hotel because I thought you’d block it. etc ed

          • graham1946
            Posted July 31, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            PS Ask Sajid Javid – its his constituency

    • Otto
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink


  25. formula57
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Although you may well be correct that “NATO is our best protection against another world war” it is not now the organization we joined in 1948 and its abuse of purpose by the Americans post the end of the Cold War is a source of worry. If only Bush the father had disbanded it when the Soviet Union fell.

    All the wars we joined to pull others’ chestnuts out of the fire would have better been avoided. In the last half century of so, only the Falklands stands out as being of our direct concern, waged to defend our interests and values. Participation in the others has been of doubtful if not dubious merit and we would do well to learn the lessons.

  26. BOF
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure Sir John, when you became a Conservative in favour of higher taxation? Surely, a much smaller state would be a better option.

    It is no good advocating more defence spending without first removing the fifth columnists from Government and your party. We will have to find a new properly conservative party to vote for before any of your sensible ideas can be put into practice.

    Reply I do not support higher taxes anD have often set out how to spend less in a number of areas.

    • BOF
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. My apologies, for misreading your very last sentence Sir John.

      • Otto
        Posted July 31, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply – “don’t support higher taxes” etc. but who takes notice of your views in Govt.? You may as well not be there.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 31, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          You support higher taxes Otto so why are you bothered?

  27. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Just keep the nuclear powered, nuclear armed subs patrolling the world and no-one will attack us. That’s all the defence we need.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Who’s to say there not patrolling right now

    • Otto
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Mike – yes that could be right but why would anyone want to attack us? For what reason? What would be the profit? A madman might but then our defence wouldn’t deter.

  28. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    We should remember that NATO is an alliance for mutual DEFENCE. It is not an implement of USA foreign policy, although America sometimes thinks of it that way. There is something that I have noticed; the more that a NATO member’s foreign policy diverges from American foreign policy, the less the contribution that it is prepared to make to defence expenditure. For example, Germany contributes less than the UK.

    The current American president is in the republican tradition (George W Bush was an aberration): he fights as few foreign wars as possible and prefers missiles to boots on the ground. This allows us to spend more on the defence of these islands and chalk it up as a contribution to NATO.

    Keeping Trump in the White House is in our interest unless he goes to war with China. I hope, though, that he is prepared to defend Japan.

  29. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Vast sums have been spent in the last couple of decades on big ticket and high tech items. That’s gone and we can’t get it back. We still don’t have sufficient carrier protection though. What use they will be remains to be seen, but they needs to be used and thus seen. They are no use in port.

    Government has neglected our coastal defences almost completely.

    We need a lot of low tech heavily conventionally armed fast intercepting craft, and they need to be out and about to be seen. We need to be seen to be acting assertively.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      We will in another week or so’s time, there will be armed patrol boats and a big scene on tv because by then all 6000 will be here and France can wash their hands of the problem until the next big build up at the Calais cul-de-sac – our government can’t be honest with us because we’ve signed up to all sorts of hidden agendas in UN agreements and EU agreements.

  30. glen cullen
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    What Defence

    I’ve just watched a video by Nigel Farage on FB reporting there are thousands of illegal immigrants in hotel & spa up and down the country to the tune of £4bn to the tax-payer…..if there’s any truth in this …well shame on this government

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      I wonder if they’re cleaning up for themselves and checked they keep the rooms, walkways and ensuites to a good standard or whether we’re laying on cleaning services to pick up and clean for them plus serve them meals they’re telling us they’re not satisfied with and £5 per day pocket money isn’t sufficient either.

  31. turboterrier
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Defence? What defence? Today it is reported that before 11am today two boats full of illegal immigrants have landed on our shores. How many billions is it costing us the taxpayers for this to continue

    Maybe we should visit history and get some of our very able to be assembled in operation rooms samaras used in 1940 to track incoming enemy planes. Give the dronestocover the south coast to identify the where and when. Notify the navy to intercept andturnthembeckbefore entering British waters Iam sure that there wodbeno shortages volunteers willing to play with real live drones to help protect our shores The situation as is cannot be allowed to continue . No more words just action required today. This government is losing any semblance of credibility if it had any in the first place. Today Mr Hancock said they will do everything in their power to protect us from Cobid 19 . How many kllegalsare carrying the virus?

    • turboterrier
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Sorry Sir John must stop using my phone instead of my pc. Thank you for accepting it.

  32. Everhopeful
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I see that John Lewis “might”use its defunct stores for affordable housing.
    So the ever-useful virus is making yet another green dream come true.
    High Streets into houses!
    The death of commerce.

    This was obviously the plan since not one finger has been lifted to save our shops.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      …and retail shop are only asling for a level playing field with online – remove business rates and parking charges, central govt could fund this to councils

  33. Everhopeful
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Actually,UK defence cuts might be needed to pay the hotel bills of some 48,000 illegal immigrants?

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      If the cost are true ie £4bn over 10yrs, thats a lot of boots on the ground

  34. Otto
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    ‘NATO is our best protection against another world war.’ Couldn’t Nato’s move up to Russia’s borders have started a world war?

    • Edward2
      Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      If NATO were to move up to these borders they are still inside their own borders.

      • jerry
        Posted July 31, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        @Edward2; Now try answering the question Otto actually asked!

        We all know that NATO has traditionally stationed its-self on the front line, ’twas all ways the case from its inception, or wasn’t the old East Germany in the Warsaw pact?! Otto on the pother hand was asking if that was the correct policy to continue after the fall of both the Warsaw pact and the USSR.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 31, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          Yes it is.

          • jerry
            Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Fine…but some reasoning might be nice.

            Would it also be OK if Russia entered a defence pact with say Morocco, or (dare I say) Syria, and positioned her military hardware and troops in such countries, what about Russian Federation missiles on Cuba?

            Test your own argument Eddie…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 31, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            What is this….some never ending quizz !

          • jerry
            Posted August 1, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; No, but had it been you would have just lost the $6m prize…

  35. glen cullen
    Posted July 30, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    We should learn from our own history – We go to war at least every 10 years

    The Second Anglo-Boer War, 1899–1902
    The First World War, 1914–1918
    The Russian Civil War, 1917–1922
    The Irish War of Independence, 1919–1921
    The Irish Civil War, 1922–1923
    The Second World War, 1939–1945
    The Korean War, 1950–1953
    The Kenya Emergency, 1952–1960
    The Suez Crisis, 1956
    The Malayan Emergency, 1948–1960
    The Aden Emergency, 1963–1967
    The Troubles, 1968–1998
    The Falklands War, 1982
    The Gulf War, 1990–1991
    The Bosnian War, 1992–1995
    The Kosovo War, 1998–1999
    The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–2013
    The War in Afghanistan, 2001–2014
    The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 1, 2020 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      Missed a lot there.

      We would be better being more like Switzerland.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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