Memo to an incoming Prime Minister Defending our country from harm is the first duty of government

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has alerted us to the need for stronger defences. The Ukrainian army has shown us how quickly they get through munitions and smart weapons in a real conflict, and have needed substantial parts of our stocks as we and other allies have supplied them. We will need to replace those as quickly as possible and increase our own stocks should another need arise.

The problems of getting things out of Ukraine by sea given the mines and other threats to shipping in the Black Sea should also remind us as an island nation that we need to have sufficient home capacity to produce weaponry at home should war create dangerous conditions for shipping in imports. Twice in the last century Germany sought to starve and blockade us out of supplies of many kinds by a submarine and aerial campaign against supply shipping. In the more recent NATO era we have come to a mutual dependence with allies in Europe and the USA which might be a vulnerability should war break out. The UK needs to secure the intellectual property to the weapons and munitions we use, and ensure we have some capacity in the UK to make and assemble. We need to be ready to scale up these activities in the event of serious war.

It is not good that the MOD is still considering reducing our troop numbers by more when we have additional NATO commitments to fulfil in Eastern Europe in this atmosphere of more tension with Russia. We need to get better at procurement. Too many programmes overrun in time and budget and produce too few weapons, ships or vehicles at too great a cost. We need to see the best can  be the enemy of the good, and frequent changes of design and capability after the contract has been entered are costly and breed delays.

Defence is a prime area for spending money better. Instead of debating what percentage of our GDP we should spend we need to ask what force capability we need and then go about finding the most efficient and effective way of supplying it.

161 Comments

  1. Mark B
    July 29, 2022

    Good morning.

    It was not just the two World Wars where the UK was economically blockaded, Napoleon tried this too by demanding that all European countries cease trading with us. President Macron has tried the same trick. It is not only the Russians who we have to have growing concerns.

    It is my belief that the main threats to the UK do not come from external countries like Russia who, let us remind ourselves, have not threatened to invade or blockade this country. The treats are domestic and come in many forms. Islamic terrorism, radical protest groups and outwardly and seemingly respectable organisations and individuals with both money and power to influence key political and administrative decision makers. I also consider the EU as a far more hostile threat to the UK and her interests as it is a direct competitor on the world stage and seeks through its onerous agreements and treaties to undermine the UK.

    As for weapon procurement may I direct our kind host to how the USA seeks to combat ever rising costs :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunn%E2%80%93McCurdy_Amendment

    If the UK had similar I believe that better cost control would be observed.

    1. Michelle
      July 29, 2022

      Your second paragraph hits the nail on the head.
      It is a dangerous world out there, but the political class have ensured it’s not as safe here as it once was or should be.
      They don’t like to hear it though.
      How long they can carry on pretending it will all just go away if they bring in new laws to stifle people openly talking about it is anyone’s guess.

      1. Mitchel
        July 29, 2022

        “have not threatened to invade or blockade this country.”Correct.The UK is an irrelevance to Russia but Russia is not an irrelevance to the UK because,being at the centre of a new trade and financial system,it will put the UK(and specifically London)based elite out of business.

        If you don’t understand what’s going on, a recent article by Asia Times’editor-at-large,Pepe Escobar, for the geopolitics website,thecradle.com,will fill you in:

        “In Eurasia,the war of economic corridors is in full swing.”15/7/22.

        Another interesting article I’ve just come across from SWP(German Institute for International & Security Affairs):”Eurasianism in Turkey”,22/3/22:

        “Turkey’s neo-Eurasianist ideologues describe themselves as “Kemalist Eurasianists”.They argue that Eurasianism calls for a cultural,military and commercial alliance with it’s neighbours,notably Russia,Iran and the Turkic countries of central Asia,and is hostile towards any type of pro-western policy in the Eurasian space.

        Turkish Islamists and Eurasianists believe that a post-western world is in the making.They argue that the unipolarity of the 1990s is over and that the west is essentially in an unstoppable decline-not least because of it’s degeneration in values.”

        President Erdogan is flying into Sochi next week for another meeting with Mr Putin.You may have read this week that at a football match between a Ukrainian and a Turkish club,the latter’s supporters were chanting Vladimir Putin!Vladimir Putin! at their opponents.

      2. Hope
        July 29, 2022

        Mark,

        Let us not forget the hostile acts of the EU in recent years. EU stopped vaccines and blockade of Jersey with threats to cut electricity. France also blocked lorries for food supply unless Johnson imposed more restrictions for covid. EU allows human trafficking across English Channel. Nutter Johnson currently helping EU with electric and gas!

        Russia is not a threat, Ukraine is none of our business. The West should have kept its word not to expanded east, not incorporate former USSR states and should have kept Ukraine neutral.

        How many times did Tory PMs ignore Putin speeches about the subject while hiding behind US skirt?

        What help did the UK get from EU NATO members with the invasion of the Falklands?
        JR also conveniently forgets the UK contribution for illegal regime change of Iraq and Libya!

        No wonder the country is in a mess with Tory thinking like this blog.

    2. Lifelogic
      July 29, 2022

      Indeed and to have good defences you need a sound economy to fund it and reliable on demand energy. Not vast over taxation and the deluded net zero religion. Hard to run warships, military jets, tanks, trucks and missiles on wind, solar and batteries. Hard to organise rapid recharging stations on a battlefield.

      1. Hope
        July 29, 2022

        How about May and the other treacherous MPs in your party and across the benches who sought to overthrow the will of the people and give our country to the EU?

        1. glen cullen
          July 29, 2022

          I know that this government and its civil service wanted and planned for a closer synergy and a level playing field with the EU…and I believe they’ve succeeded; it still doesn’t feel like we’ve left the EU

      2. Hope
        July 30, 2022

        The EU ridiculed Trump when he wanted all nations to pay their agreed subs for NATO and they ridiculed him when he chastised Germany for being reliant on Russian gas! Johnson and Trudeau smirking behind Trump’s back!

        Good to see the US judge ridicule Harry, Trudeau and Johnson over his Roe V Wade decision.

    3. Mickey Taking
      July 29, 2022

      ‘Russia who, let us remind ourselves, have not threatened to invade or blockade this country.’
      No – they threaten to lay us waste by nuclear weapons !
      Take your pick?

    4. Mark
      July 29, 2022

      Spokespeople for the Russian government have talked about nuclear destruction of the UK, which rather renders blockade or invasion moot. That, we hope, is bluster rather than a real threat, but with current instability it is hard to be sure. Nevertheless they have demonstrated their capabilities for cutting subsea cables which would hit our communications and our power supplies from offshore wind and interconnectors. One defence is not to have to rely on them.

    5. Iago
      July 29, 2022

      Mark B, it is wishful thinking to say that we face a threat of mere terrorism. Terrorism is a means to an end, what we are facing is conquest.

  2. DOM
    July 29, 2022

    A more powerful and destructive enemy is on our doorstep, it is Labour’s Socialist progressive State. Dismantle its powers before it destroys this country

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      July 29, 2022

      +1 And it operates via a real invasion on our beaches comprising thousands of young men of fighting age allowed here by the Tories to deliberately destabilise and weaken our nation and make it ungovernable in any conservative way.

      What else would 100,000 arriving in landing craft each year be described as in other times ???

      Disband the armed forces.

      All major parties have been shown to be unworthy of them.

      1. Hope
        July 29, 2022

        Cameron had diggers hiding behind screens while they chopped up brand new Nymrods aircraft! He sold jump jets to US for a £1 each while not having aircraft for the two new aircraft carriers!

        MoD are useless but get their lead from the socialist Tory party.

    2. a-tracy
      July 29, 2022

      It is powerful, and they want us to rely more on it, not less, which is very concerning. They can just stop a bus service for two weeks solid in an area with no train service or alternative other than single-trip taxis that charge a fortune, unlike Uber and other ride-share organisations.

      People talk about staff numbers in the NHS, but years ago, people would stay in hospital for two weeks and more to recover from big operations now, you are out within a few days to a week and left at home. When people had babies 30 years ago, you were in the hospital for a week, especially with your first child, now you can leave the same day or the next day even after major procedures like Caesareans. More and more operations are now keyhole and day surgeries. Nurses used to work five-day weeks now, they work 2 or 3 days, but longer shifts and are constantly tired and unproductive and complaining about these 12-hour working days, but it is often their choice.

      When people are waiting to leave the hospital, they often wait 3 -5 hours for an ambulance home are these ambulance services private companies paid on results and trips? If they are reconsider failing contracts and put them back out to tender.

      Many people resort to uncomfortably squeezing themselves into family cars because they give up sitting in uncomfortable areas, then there is waiting in a corridor for 3 hours for a prescription when the prescription chitty could be printed or just electronically sent to a local pharmacy the patient always uses near home or improve the pharmacy in the hospital itself, all these administrative, not medical delays clog up beds and nursing time, it is the first thing logistically I would sort out but why should anyone sort it out, they get more money to leave it just the way it is.

      1. Mickey Taking
        July 29, 2022

        ‘ Nurses used to work five-day weeks now, they work 2 or 3 days, but longer shifts and are constantly tired and unproductive and complaining about these 12-hour working days, but it is often their choice.’
        Under Hunt the Doctors refused to accept working on Saturdays and Sundays – after all we don’t get ill and need operations on idle mind-boggling expensive equipment.

        1. a-tracy
          July 29, 2022

          Actually it was Blair’s government that started it (Reid if I remember right) and the 2004 doctors contract when the doctors lost a paltry sum for giving up weekends and on-call emergency out of hour local care. It caused tremendous problems for A&E, the ambulance service, some areas tacked on a GP surgery onto A&E called walk in clinics but it still couldn’t cope and people had to travel miles with poorly children and the elderly so local GPs got paid a lot more to reintroduce reduced local care. So hospital doctors must have thought why should we be the only ones working weekend. The knock on effects have caused where we are at now, I warned they would have to train multiple more doctors and share out shifts more fairly.

        2. glen cullen
          July 29, 2022

          Just another thing our EU loving conservatives introduce…continental shift patterns

      2. Jasper
        July 29, 2022

        A Tracy I think we need you in charge of the NHS, that is so true about the wait for prescriptions! It’s ridiculous. I also agree that for some strange reason nothing will change.

    3. Lifelogic
      July 29, 2022

      Indeed but the Tories we largely following the same socialist, big state, tax, borrow, print and regulate to death agenda, rigged markets in healthcare (with a communist NHS), education, energy (producing the current huge problems), transport…

      1. Lifelogic
        July 29, 2022

        Excellent interview with Matt Ridley just now on Talk Radio Kevin O’Sulivan pointing several things including (correctly) that burning imported wood at Drax (young coal) costs about twice as much as burning coal and produces more CO2 per KWH generated too. The lunatics have taken over the UK asylum. Can we have Lord Ridley/Lilley numerate and rational types as Energy Minister & Health Minister too please.

  3. Wanderer
    July 29, 2022

    The ability to home produce weapons is doubtless important. But “defending our country from harm” needs to be explored first.

    For example, has being a NATO member achieved this over the past 10 years? The alliance has a momentum of its own. Its expansionary policies have predictably helped destabilise Eastern Europe.

    Is giving our weapons away to be used in Ukraine sensible? US foreign policy may be to grind Russia down and keep their own military industrial complex wealthy in the process, but why are we supporting them at vast expense?

    There’s also a wider point, what do we mean by “harm” and “our country”? We’re allowing foreigners in at an alarming rate. We’re becoming an increasingly authoritarian state that restricts the freedoms of its citizens. We’re following agendas set by global elites that are aimed at making life worse for most of us. I’d class that as “harmful to our country”…so who should our weapons be targeting?

    I think there are foreign and domestic policy issues that need to be addressed before we decide how to build up our armed forces as one element in the package needed to “defend ourselves from harm”.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      July 29, 2022

      The complete absence of diplomatic competence in the West has made this a far more dangerous situation than the cold war. We are truly in a Whoops Apocalypse ! phase.

      All we have done is prolonged the suffering in Ukraine, *caused* the invasion in the first place and wrecked that country.

    2. Christine
      July 29, 2022

      Can anyone name even one policy that this Government, or the few before, has introduced that has benefited the majority of people in this country? Even policies that they crowed about getting right i.e. managing the pandemic and getting vaccines into arms have turned into a disaster now the data has been released.

      They have reneged on manifesto promises by increasing taxes, dropping triple lock, increasing immigration, and failing to solve the migrant crisis. They complain about the ECHR and yet openly support signing the WHO treaty. Their net-zero ideas are not good for the environment nor are they good for the wealth of this country. My faith in this party is none existent and unless the next PM appoints a cabinet that delivers for the British people they won’t be getting my vote and I’ll actively campaign for the Reform Party. Enough is enough.

      1. glen cullen
        July 29, 2022

        They brought in a policy, that in ‘EIGHT’ years, we might have the option to fully control our own territorial waters & fisheries

    3. Pauline Baxter
      July 29, 2022

      Wanderer. I agree with you. Particularly your points about NATO following their own agenda, not interested in U.K.’s wellbeing.

      1. Pauline Baxter
        July 29, 2022

        Also Wanderer.
        There are two things the U.S.A. are still good at. Producing Armaments and producing pharmaceutical drugs.
        Makes one wonder doesn’t it, just who has controlled world affairs over the last few years.

  4. Nottingham Lad Himself
    July 29, 2022

    Yes, Sir John, what a magnificent success the European Union has been in turning historic foes of the UK into its closest allies – despite your best efforts – hasn’t it?

    Reply NATO and US leadership has remodelled European military alliances.EU foreign policy in Eastern Europe has been at times unhelpful

    1. Shirley M
      July 29, 2022

      NLH – you really need to take off those rose tinted specs where the EU is concerned. They are neither friend nor ally, as recent events prove. I imagine you feel their vindictiveness is justified, when our democracy was finally given a say over the EU and we said NO! We tolerated years of unwelcome EU government before we were given a voice. Maybe we should be the vindictive ones?

      1. Lifelogic
        July 29, 2022

        +1

        David Frost today in the Telegraph:- We must never surrender our right to drive freely
        Driving has allowed us to express ourselves and avert socialist planners. No wonder they want to kill it.

        EV cost about three times as much per mile as keeping you old ICE car (in depreciation and finance costs mainly) and EVs cause more not less CO2 than keeping you old car too. So why is government trying to ram them down out throats exactly like the duff, compact fluorescent lamps made redundant by LEDs? Hybrids are more sensible and practical than full EVs for most people too. They do not need huge, heavy, short lived £10k batteries to be mined and manufactured, just £1k ones to do just 30 city miles on.

        1. glen cullen
          July 29, 2022

          +11111111111111111

        2. Old salt
          July 30, 2022

          Lifrlogic
          So what do we do when the oil runs out in how many years?

          1. Lifelogic
            July 31, 2022

            Well we can manufacture artificial fuels from nuclear or fusion or from fracked gas/coal. Or by then we “might” get a decent leap in battery technology. They just need to be lighter, cheaper, store more energy, last longer and recharge more quickly. So quite a list.

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        July 29, 2022

        Well said Shirley. I think NLH lives on another planet. How many times does the EU threaten us and why? They certainly do not act in a friendly manner and I wish our leaders would stop referring to them as such.

      3. hefner
        July 29, 2022

        OK, fair enough, but what would you say as a French person if a $90 bn submarine contract with the Australians were suddenly to be cancelled with the exact role of the UK MoD and FCDO and the US not particularly clear in that decision taken by an Australian ´PM’ more likely to be influenced by the Brits than by the French, given Five Eyes and the like?

        1. Shirley M
          July 29, 2022

          It was self inflicted and fully justified, if the reports were accurate. Likewise, the UK would be fully justified in cancelling the WA and NIC. The EU, and especially France, are so stupid to treat good customers like the dirt on their shoes. That’s the best way I know of losing a valuable customer.

        2. Hope
          July 29, 2022

          Hef,
          I would say think Falkland invasion and your supply of weapons to the aggressor as NATO member and invader.

          I would add do the French have any sense of decency or conscience for those countries who were prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice to help save their wretched country.

    2. Richard1
      July 29, 2022

      France has been an ally since the Crimean War, and by treaty since 1904, and West Germany since 1945, both pre-dating the formation of the EU and it’s predecessor organisations.

      1. Shirley M
        July 29, 2022

        In name only, just like Brexit.

        1. glen cullen
          July 29, 2022

          brilliant

      2. Ian Wragg
        July 29, 2022

        France is a hostile nation despite what treaties have been signed.
        It goes back to Degaul and Micron is behaving like Napoleon.
        They cannot be relied on and as for germany they are far to close to Pootin.
        It’s a hostile world out there and a liebour government wouldn’t help.

      3. Mitchel
        July 30, 2022

        The Crimean war ended in recriminations between France and Britain,the former accusing us of not pulling our weight.Plus it led indirectly to the unification of Germany as France was keen to have Russia onside for it’s promotion of Italian unification and the removal of Austria’s substantial presence in Italy-Austria being soundly defeated, humiliated and permanently weakened by the subsequent war.

    3. Mickey Taking
      July 29, 2022

      The EU our closest allies? What planet do you live on? Step by step they are moving away from that ideal to become enemy not friend.

    4. ChrisS
      July 29, 2022

      The EU has done more harm than good in Europe, particulalry as far as Russia is concerned.

      The laughably-named “external Action Service” was set up and the hopeless Catherine Ashton was nominated by Gordon Brown to be its head, another person with zero foreign affairs experience.
      Brussels then used it blunder about trying to lure Eastern European countries, especially Ukraine, to join the club, raising alarm bells in Moscow.
      This causes political instability in Ukraine and was the ultimate cause of Putin’s two recent invasions. Failure to act over Crimea encouraged Putin to go further, causing the current crisis.

      Macron tried and failed to create a viable EU army with him at its head, of course. That was scuppered by the fact that Merkel was not even prepared to fund her own army properly, let alone a European one, and more recently, events.
      Countries like Finland and Sweden quickly realised what we have known all along : that our mutual security can only be guaranteed by NATO Membership. The EU is no more than a sideshow in defence issues.

      1. R.Grange
        July 29, 2022

        I’m sure you’re right, ChrisS, about the disastrous manoeuvres by the EU regarding Ukraine. But I’d like to point out that there have been two referendums in Crimea, in 1991 and 2014, about whether they should stay part of Ukraine or rejoin Russia. Each time the result was a massive preference for rejoining Russia. On this blog especially, I would have thought that respecting a referendum result would be considered the right thing to do. There was no call for us to ‘act’ on the matter.

    5. Nottingham Lad Himself
      July 29, 2022

      Putin says that his war is all about NATO.

      He says that whether Ukraine joined the European Union would be a matter for its people and no particular concern of his on the other hand.

      1. a-tracy
        July 29, 2022

        https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_111767.htm
        Fact: NATO has taken defensive and proportionate steps in response to a changed security environment. In response to Russia’s use of military force against its neighbours, Allies requested a greater NATO presence in the Baltic region.

        In 2016, we deployed four multinational battlegroups ─ or “enhanced forward presence” ─ to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In 2017, the battlegroups became fully operational. More than 4,500 troops from Europe and North America work closely together with home defence forces.

        NATO’s presence in the region is at the request of the host nations, and Allied forces uphold the highest standards of conduct, both on and off duty.

        As part of NATO Allies’ commitment to transparency, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania host Russian arms control inspectors. In Estonia, for instance, Russian inspectors recently conducted a Vienna Document Inspection, observing parts of exercise Spring Storm in May and June 2021.

        1. Philip P.
          July 30, 2022

          Fact: Poland and the Czech republic joined NATO in 1999, Bulgaria , Romania and the Baltic republics in 2004. What ‘threat’ from Russia were they responding to? None. These moves took NATO weapons closer to Russia’s borders: it was Russia that perceived a threat to its security.

      2. Shirley M
        July 29, 2022

        It’s because of aggressive invaders that countries join NATO. Standing alone, small countries cannot defend against a large aggressor.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          July 29, 2022

          Thanks for the trusim, Shirl.

      3. Mickey Taking
        July 29, 2022

        I fell about laughing Martin, did you, writing this nonsense?

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          July 29, 2022

          Have a chat with Hat Man below, eh?

      4. Hat man
        July 29, 2022

        Indeed so, lad. In which case we are wasting our time, and a vast amount of taxpayers’ money, getting involved in this at all.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          July 29, 2022

          Er, the UK is a founding NATO member…

          1. Hat man
            July 30, 2022

            But Ukraine isn’t a member, lad. So we’re involved in fighting for a non-member of NATO, OK?

  5. Bloke
    July 29, 2022

    Self defence is a fast moving target. Weapons burn money faster and miss. Allies risk change too. People, resources, information and money go missing. Creating what we need delivers control.

    We need better intelligence to be prepared. Then we can maintain peace for ourselves and better outcomes for others.

    Cost efficiency is important. Troop numbers may be too, depending on how outcomes are best achieved. The UK has a wasteful record of loose procurement, yet sometimes it is better to ‘waste’ on cancellation fees, receiving no weapons in return, solely to keep the change to better prepared.

    Targets of percentages and money matter to NATO, but our priority is dealing with the hostile target of their enemies.

    1. hefner
      July 29, 2022

      All these military expenses whether Ukraine-linked or for self-defence will be good for GDP. Whether this will improve the overall welfare of the population is another story.

  6. Sea_Warrior
    July 29, 2022

    ‘Instead of debating what percentage of our GDP we should spend we need to ask what force capability we need and then go about finding the most efficient and effective way of supplying it.’ A great ‘out’, Sir John. May I invite you to take a look at the pitifully small numbers of P-8A (Nimrod replacements) and E-7 (AWACS replacements) the MoD is planning to purchase. The P-8A line will be closing in the near future.
    And may I also invite you to look at how long the Israeli Golani brigade lasted on the Golan Heights in 1973. Without reserves, of both equipment and men, Israel would have been defeated.

  7. Pat
    July 29, 2022

    Good morning

    The UK’s inevitable defence of a European Union which refuses to fulfill either it’s NATO commitments or it’s duty to protect it’s own citizens must be accounted for and charged in full. Our defence commitment must be on the table as a negotiating tool with this often hostile bloc. The UK’s substantial efforts to support countries bordering the EU, should be part of this.

    Our continuing commitment to rehome those refugees displaced by war on the EUs flank must be paid from the UK overseas aid budget.

    1. Mickey Taking
      July 29, 2022

      We should make it clear we will not defend EU in future. Putin will smile.

    2. Diane
      July 29, 2022

      Pat – Your last paragraph, Overseas Aid, surely this must become the case. Reported today a recent survey by ONS shows only 37% of those refugees displaced by war ( EU flank ) reported they had sufficient money to support themselves & dependents for the next 3 months. The numbers granted sanctuary & already here is reported as around 104.000 with many more still to arrive, depending on visas, application decisions etc., There’s also reporting forthcoming now that the government’s contribution – thank you amount, applicable to the ‘Homes’ scheme is becoming inadequate for many of those hosting, which is understandable but also reported is the figure of 660 ‘households’ who have come here via the Ukraine routes have now been forced to register as homeless, very disturbing and all these people will need help on an ongoing basis. Adaptation of funding called for surely …

    3. hefner
      July 29, 2022

      ´Negotiating tool’: I think you’re a bit late: that’s exactly what the British delegation to the EU-UK talks tried to do starting with its invocation of Art.50 in March 2017.

      As for the UK’s ´ continuing commitment’, well, Poland has 1.2 m refugees, Germany 0.9 m, Czech Rep. 0.4 m, Italy 145k, Turkey 145k, Spain 129k, the UK 99.7k (statista.com, 22/07/2022 Number of refugees by selected countries).

      1. a-tracy
        July 29, 2022

        https://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk/oms/polish-migration-after-2004
        Poland has the space – Polish migration has been one of the largest movements in Britain’s post-war migration history. Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, and thus Polish people had a legal right to come and live and work in the UK, over 800,000 people have made the move from Poland to the UK. Poles have, however, also migrated across the rest of Europe – there are now significant Polish populations in Scandinavia and Southern Europe as well as Germany, France and Ireland.

        Merkel said Germany needs lots of people to move there her people held up banners saying they wanted migration as they had the room and work spaces to accommodate them. “Ireland’s depopulation remains interesting even if not unique. First and most importantly, the decline of Irish population from over eight million to just over four million made for a very different country.” It is now 5 million so still plenty of room with over 3 million to go.

  8. Donna
    July 29, 2022

    The British Establishment and Governments over the past 25 years (since Maggie was removed) has deliberately destroyed National Security on the altar of Globalisation and multiculturalism.

    Since they apparently find it impossible to stop an illegal slow-motion invasion over the channel by (mostly) unarmed young men; to detain them once they’re here, let alone remove them, the chances of them taking the necessary steps to defend these islands against a serious military attack are nil.

    They have learned nothing from the lessons of history.

    They have destroyed our energy resilience on the say-so of Green Zealots. Instead we’re to be made reliant on intermittent “renewable” energy. Our non-existent food security will be further eroded on the altar of re-wilding and banning artificial fertilisers (like Sri Lanka and The Netherlands). And the Armed Forces personnel will be further reduced – whilst they import a small army of men who may just possibly be foreign terrorists or criminals and who have no loyalty towards this country whatsoever …… other than the personal benefits being here will bring them courtesy of taxpayers.

    Defend this country? They haven’t a scooby-doo and they have even less intention of carrying it out.

    1. Philip P.
      July 29, 2022

      Agreed, Donna. The incoming government needs to make a SWOT analysis, taking a fresh look at where we are now. I would hope our host’s frequently expressed views on our strengths and opportunities will be listened to. As regards weaknesses and threats, it’s clear that globalisation has undermined our ability to produce what we need, and made us dependent on international supply chains, now looking fragile thanks to Covid lockdown effects and the repercussions of tensions created in Eastern Europe.

      Frankly, I don’t see how increased militarisation is going to solve these issues. When so much of what we consume comes from China, we will not maintain reliable supply lines by raising the military stakes in East Asia. Our essential imports of e.g. oil, pharmaceutical products, chemicals etc. are disrupted by current tensions in the world, caused partly by our involvement in military escalation. I don’t see how spending much more on weapons and munitions, i.e. more military escalation, is going to help the situation. The sensible thing for the incoming government to do will be to de-escalate these tensions. At the same time it needs to set up a long-term plan to increase this country’s self-sufficiency in food, industrial and consumer goods, and reliable energy.

    2. Cheshire Girl
      July 29, 2022

      100% agree,

    3. Shirley M
      July 29, 2022

      Agreed, Donna. There are an amazing number of people living in the UK that have no love for our country and some even profess hatred. I guess they are too lazy to move elsewhere, nowhere else will have them, or subconsciously they know the UK is best.

      1. Chas
        July 29, 2022

        I love our country but what I hate is the type of governments we are stuck with ‘ it’s either tweedle dee or tweedle dum as far as I can see – instead we should introduce proportional representation in the electoral system and abolish the House of Lords. We need a complete change in how we conduct our country’s affairs. Next am sick and tired of lies and old spin – there should be a price to pay for politicos who deliberately set out to lie to the people – lastly Liz Truss should stop talking about what we are going to do about Russia – if she wants to start the next war then I sincerely Hope she will be the first to sign up – what a dope

    4. Iago
      July 29, 2022

      Damning, appalling and absolutely correct.

    5. hefner
      July 29, 2022

      That’s a very peculiar take on the history of energy in the UK. When gas was found off-coast Yorkshire in 1965, it took 10 years to develop it as an energy to be distributed to consumers both as gas and electricity. For comparison, Norway created a sovereign wealth fund, now worth $1.2 tn, the UK did … nothing. Even worse, the UK nuclear energy (British Energy) that had been pioneered in the 50/60s was allowed to be privatised in 1996 and all its subsequent developments happened outside the UK, mainly in Canada and the USA. British Energy (as a company) collapsed in 2002 and the 15 UK plants came to be acquired by French EDF. In those days it had nothing to do with ‘Green zealots’, rather with politicians (in both parties, and unable to look farther than their own five-year mandate?)

      1. Mark
        July 30, 2022

        Norway has a tiny population, so the income from their oil and gas production far exceeded any reasonable government spending, creating a large investible surplus. The UK had an otherwise broken economy with trade deficits (we had to borrow from the IMF), which oil and gas income helped to fix when it became significant after the Iranian revolution drove up oil prices and incentivised more exploration and production. However, it was never enough to create a large investible surplus, but we did manage to reduce national debt not only in real but also in nominal terms in the later Thatcher years. The two situations are not comparable.

    6. Wanderer
      July 29, 2022

      +1. But how the heck do we kick them out?

  9. Michelle
    July 29, 2022

    What a damning indictment of our times that such basic common sense ideas, such as making sure you can produce what you need to defend and survive an attack, has to be spelt out.
    What’s the plan I wonder for when we’ve exhausted stocks in Ukraine? Buy from elsewhere at huge costs?

    I noted the MOD had the Pride rainbow on its Ukraine updates last month. There lies its priorities in line with every government department.

    On procurement a story my Brother told me probably accounts for some problems. He served the full term in the army and in his later years in service trained many men on various weaponry systems. On a train one day he struck up conversation with a man who told him he worked for MOD in procurement. Ten minutes into the conversation he realised this procurer of military equipment hadn’t got the first clue about anything military let alone weapons.
    The chap admitted he didn’t know one end of a gun from the other and thought it was very funny. Imagine a department stuffed to the gills with such, especially the top echelons.
    I have a vague recollection of huge sums being spent on equipment only to find the deal hadn’t included necessary elements to operate the equipment, resulting in a separate purchase having to be made at huge sums of money. Still I should imagine someone found it funny.

    My memo to the incoming PM would end with a warning that if you are thinking of extending this war think very carefully. We are no longer the people/nation we once were and the political class have done so much damage to us you’d not find many who would want to be sent to their deaths to keep you all in clover back here.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 29, 2022

      Michelle. I can identify with everything you say after my brother sadly died in service.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      July 29, 2022

      Very similar to the police with rainbows painted on their cars. What a joke.

      1. glen cullen
        July 29, 2022

        They shouldn’t be promoting one part of our community over another…its their job to support ALL communities equally

    3. turboterrier
      July 29, 2022

      Michelle
      Speaking about the military with two retired neighbours both full timed served with the Scots Guards as a RSM and the other a major who did service with Special Forces.
      The military equipment being sent a lot of it will have been taken off of the shelf having nearly reached its best by date and would be designated for training purposes or sold to smaller countries. Automatically replaced too ensure the best of the best was always available and went to our front line personnel. But yes it is still a cost to the taxpayer.
      My hobby horse at the moment is that on a nearby training area one can always find empty 9mm shell cases after an exercise.
      When asking one of the senior office staff how many bullets ar used on an exercise, was told at least 10K. They recover on average 2K. The sums are simple but take my word for it that relates to £224 of scrap brass trodden into he ground. Multiply that by number of training exercises with heavier ordnance involved the figures go up. Not expecting a 100% recovery but every little helps. 2 unemployed people could be tasked with lifting the empties and paid a minimum hourly rate with a bonus for increased recovery. The scrap price would pay their wages and leave a sum to cover costs. Just a thought

    4. Mitchel
      July 29, 2022

      Boris,stylish man that he is, must have been terribly disappointed not to have been invited to the Vogue fashion shoot amongst the wreckage of Ukraine.

      If you haven’t seen it,”beyond parady” doesn’t begin to describe it.I said on here months ago that Ukraine/Zelensky was this year’s BLM.

    5. oldwulf
      July 29, 2022

      @Michelle

      I read a press report that the head of a MoD quango received a £100k bonus last year. The quango has apparently been accused of wasting billions on botched procurement deals which include the £5.5bn Ajax armoured vehicle programme which was launched 12 years ago and has not produced a single deployable vehicle.

      1. glen cullen
        July 29, 2022

        Yeah but they probably got the bonus for hitting their net-zero and carbon footprint targets….they’re now considered strategic KPIs

    6. Mark B
      July 29, 2022

      Remember. We sent our troops to Afghanistan and Iraq without body armour and vehicles designed to resist mines and IED’s. Many lives were lost dues to these shortcomings.

  10. Richard1
    July 29, 2022

    There should be some very in depth and potentially public enquiry into what the hell the MoD does with all our money. We are repeatedly told we have the 4th or 5th highest defence budget in the world, but then we hear the army is at its smallest since before the Napoleonic wars (when the population was about 1/6 what it is now), the navy can do nothing other than escort the carriers into which all the resources were directed, which in turn only have (I think) 8 (Eight!) U.K. planes on them because the MoD went for some massively expensive option. The RAF has some minimal actual capability. And now of course we hear stocks are low because we’ve been sending some weapons and munitions to Ukraine.

    Is it incompetence? Corruption? Deliberate sabotage even? It’s really time to find out, expose the guilty people and change the processes.

    Then when we’ve done that let’s move on to the NHS where 5x the money is spent with similarly hopeless results.

    1. a-tracy
      July 29, 2022

      Richard1, do we send them new weapon stocks or unused weapons that have just been stored I thought it was the latter. Aren’t excursions such as Ukraine used as training for troops? To ensure that they are fight-ready if we were attacked and not just all theoretical. It truly saddens me that these land grabs are going on today, and women, children and homes blown to pieces I don’t understand why the rest of the world isn’t sending help in the same proportions as the UK has, after all, NLH, Bill etc on here tell us we’re an insignificant little country now.

      Technology has advanced so much, hasn’t it over the last 100 years, from drones to cyber warfare to surveillance systems, many industries have reduced the need for people on the ground and manned equipment. Isn’t that the area where a lot of spending has been directed into?
      When I returned to Luton airport, we had automatic passport recognition systems, and everyone got through very quickly, with just one man on the desk to deal with those who didn’t get through quickly because of the face recognition system. The only part of the system that got delayed was the human-led section of getting the suitcases quickly off the plane onto the carousel, bags came out, but the dates on the tags were from a flight two days before, there weren’t many suitcases just one little wheely truckload, but it took 1.5 hours, it wasn’t even busy, and a Turkey flight had already been waiting over two hours!

    2. Mickey Taking
      July 29, 2022

      It used to be that the 3 services, RAF, ARMY, NAVY competed against each other to secure the best funding in light of perceived role in Defence. With the advent of Joint Services, I would assume much of the biased rivalry which undoubtedly led to poor choices and value for money is a thing of the past? Wishful thinking?
      The Gordon Brown ‘build 2 carriers in Scotland’ but didn’t ensure the aircraft would be readily available to use it, and independent of supplier (what a farce) meant that we changed the American order a few times to meet service targets. Now we have a capability that suits USA, but does it suit us? Then we come to how they were designed and built, with various faults.
      The more advanced and capable the weapon, the more we are in the hands of USA to allow us to use.

      1. glen cullen
        July 29, 2022

        Like the story of our on BAC TSR2 (Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance Mach 2) jet….some say the best jet ever built

      2. Mark
        July 30, 2022

        It was I suppose in another era (before 9/11), but I recall passengers taking their baggage to and from the aircraft – only the actual loading and unloading was done by an airport employee – both at Rotterdam and Johannesburg for flights in smaller aircraft.

  11. Dave Andrews
    July 29, 2022

    If more soldiers are needed, you have to ask what is the objective to becoming one. You would hope it’s the task of defending your country, but then the soldiers are sent to political wars based on a foundation of lies. Like soldiers immemorial some of them get up to mischief, but even if they don’t they find themselves targeted by opportunistic lawyers with confected charges.
    Once they become veterans, the MOD can then do a good job of neglecting their physical and mental injuries.
    But who would want to defend the country? After all, if a foreign power took over our capital city, would anyone notice?

    1. Mike Wilson
      July 29, 2022

      After all, if a foreign power took over our capital city, would anyone notice?

      Oh boy. How true. I feel like a foreigner in my home town.

      1. glen cullen
        July 29, 2022

        I know the feeling

      2. Mickey Taking
        July 29, 2022

        Evidenced by a GP on here describing 90% of her day talking on the telephone to patients having poor or no English.

    2. SecretPeople
      July 29, 2022

      Great post, Dave. I hope our politicians will think about the points and questions you have raised.

    3. Hat man
      July 30, 2022

      Dave: It did. We didn’t.

  12. MPC
    July 29, 2022

    Those who wish us harm via terrorist attacks are made welcome by this government via the escort service for cross Channel dinghies.

    1. Cuibono
      July 29, 2022

      We can only conclude that they are more terrified of global agreements and pressure groups than they are of terrorist attacks.
      (Although we know that in such circumstances the PM flees, leaving the MPs shut in the House like fish in a barrel).
      RIP all those who have paid the ultimate price for this cowardice, hubris, greed or naivety.

    2. glen cullen
      July 29, 2022

      A single RAF F35B fighter jet at a cost of £140 million, cannot repeal a single illegal immigrant carrying a knife crossing the channel by small boat….even the RN with a flotilla of boats costing billions can’t repeal the invasion on our coast
      Defence of the realm my arse

      1. Mickey Taking
        July 29, 2022

        we cannot repel boarders approaching Dover – we have to hope they are not armed inavders in disguise.

    3. Wanderer
      July 29, 2022

      Yes MPC. I no longer support the RNLI. I don’t want to contribute to the taxi service. No chance I can say don’t use my taxes for that purpose, though.

  13. miami.mode
    July 29, 2022

    Guns are made from steel. Currently steel needs a certain grade of coal for its manufacturing process. We are awaiting planning permission for such a coal mine in Cumbria. If the planning is refused does the government intend buying the coal from Russia?

    1. Donna
      July 29, 2022

      They’ll probably choose to buy the steel from the other major threat to peace and security in the world ….. China.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        July 29, 2022

        Donna. Chinese steel is inferior to ours.

        1. glen cullen
          July 29, 2022

          On a government spreadsheet it doesn’t matter

    2. Cuibono
      July 29, 2022

      They think they are going to 3D print it…or “model” it maybe.
      Windmills might also come into the planning?
      Perhaps masks would help? (Getting desperate now!) 🤡
      Or two fingers pointed at the enemy…my little brother used a dolls’ hairdryer..”Bang! Bang! You’re dead!!”

    3. Cuibono
      July 29, 2022

      The MOD has been divesting itself of irreplaceable assets since the late 1980s.
      Here, hundreds of military houses, accommodation for soldiers, sold for peanuts.
      An entire garrison sold for ditto to be built over.
      They didn’t want an army any more. They gave away our national defence.
      Thought drones would serve!
      And now they incite war!

    4. glen cullen
      July 29, 2022

      We buy our uniforms from China…why not guns

      1. Dave Andrews
        July 29, 2022

        They’d fire a few times then break down, so you have to throw them away and buy some more.

        1. Mickey Taking
          July 29, 2022

          and finally having the instructions deciphered you’d realise they were made to only fire blanks.

    5. Lifelogic
      July 29, 2022

      Probably they are certainly that idiotic on their net zero religion even insanely burning wood imported on diesel ships and trucks at Drax when it costs double and produces more CO2 too (should that wrongly concern people)!

  14. Des
    July 29, 2022

    Protecting our country could first be done by not conspiring to provoke wars, expanding alliances to leave opponents little choice but to fight and then involving ourselves in those wars by supplying weapons and encouraging more conflict.
    Starting wars is the classic method failing governments distract and unite their serfs and that wrecking the world economy by lockdowns, green agendas and conflicts is the current plan but more people are realising what is going on every day. Backpedaling by guilty parties is already happening with the virus disaster, perhaps politicians should start distancing themselves from the war mongers and green warriors or the fallout could be awful for them.

    1. Cuibono
      July 29, 2022

      Hear blinking hear!!
      100%
      So brilliantly put.

      1. Cuibono
        July 29, 2022

        And war is also a very useful tool for fast forwarding an agenda.

    2. Alice
      July 29, 2022

      Exactly right!

      Why do the US and Russia think it’s a good idea to set up their weapons and training close to the other?

      The US didn’t like it when Russia set up in Cuba in 1962.

      Russia doesn’t like it when it’s the other way around with the US and Nato on their boundary. Including in Ukraine which the US supplied weapons and training since 2014.

      Would the US like Russia to set up over the border fence in Mexico?

      Would Britain like Russia to set up in Calais?

      Why doesn’t each side keep away from the other?

      1. a-tracy
        July 29, 2022

        Alice, “Would Britain like Russia to set up in Calais?” in your mind, how would the Russians do more damage to the UK than the French already do with their lack of policing of their coast, allowing large dinghies to float off with no checks on people in them and pass off their problems whilst taking British coin to defend the coast.

      2. Mickey Taking
        July 29, 2022

        maybe your memory is not so good, let me help. Russia was supplying Cuba with ICBMs – a nuclear weapons threat.
        Western nations have assisted Ukraine with foot soldier training, and basic weapons – defensive not attacking.
        Not quite the same issues!

        1. anon
          July 29, 2022

          US Jupiter MRBM’s in Turkey?

        2. Clough
          July 30, 2022

          Tanks, aircraft, Harpoon missiles and HIMARS, all recently supplied to Ukraine by NATO nations, are not ‘basic weapons’, MT.

      3. Mark
        July 30, 2022

        The Americans were setting up in Turkey in 1962. It shares borders with what were the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani SSRs – i.e. the then USSR.

  15. Cuibono
    July 29, 2022

    Does anyone have any idea what has happened to all the weapons we have given away?
    I mean…weapons are very valuable…fetch a high price one would imagine.

    1. glen cullen
      July 29, 2022

      Don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of landovers, armoured personal carriers and transport vehicles ….all sold off on the cheap

    2. Bill B.
      July 29, 2022

      Yes, Cuibono. The Russians have captured lots of them, especially Javelins. They say they’ve destroyed a lot of others, and apparently you can pick up some nice NATO-supplied weapons on the dark web, sold off by corrupt Ukrainian commanders. I believe the Americans are now keeping a very tight rein on their HIMARS systems, which is probably one reason why they’re starting to have an effect.

  16. Berkshire Alan
    July 29, 2022

    Yes £Millions spent on defence procurement but we cannot stop the infiltration of unknown number of unarmed people in dinghies entering our Country, so we ask the RNLI (Volunteers) to help out because politicians do not have a sensible plan, or the will to put a stop to it.
    Yes we need weapons, but we have little steel making or manufacturing capacity left in the UK.
    Yes you need enough men, women, equipment to defend our Country in time of need, so we reduce everything due to cost.
    How many people do we have who are trained and are in so called reserve ?
    The record of the Government’s purchasing requirements, no matter what they buy is absolutely dire, countless £millions wasted across all Departments.
    Let’s face it John, the DNA of the nation and many of our politicians has changed over the last 50 years, as have their priorities, most people and politicians say they are patriotic, but would they really put themselves in harms way on the front line if push come to shove, and we really needed to fight for our survival, rather like Ukraine is doing at the moment.

  17. Mike Wilson
    July 29, 2022

    Well, what a lot of vague statements. You can’t make weapons without steel and we barely have a steel industry. What about tyres? What does ‘have some capacity’ mean? In WW2 factories that made goods were changed to produce munitions. But your government has got rid of the factories. You embraced globalisation and turned us into a stupid ‘service economy’. You even stopped our own energy. You turned us into a nation of importers by allowing the country to be sold off.

  18. Fedupsoutherner
    July 29, 2022

    First and foremost when sending our young men to fight a war for whatever reason we should ensure they are supplied with the very best equipment our money can buy. We are a wealthy nation and it’s immoral to expect a man or woman to fight when not given the best to do so. This sadly has been the case in previous wars so perhaps when governments are sitting in their arm chairs at home or in the office they could bear this in mind. The war in the Falklands highlighted this problem.

    1. a-tracy
      July 29, 2022

      “We are a wealthy nation” you say, but there are lots of calls on this “wealth” as it is not evenly distributed. If you believe Martin Lewis who seems to be seen as something of an oracle at the moment – 2 days ago — Energy bills are expected to increase by 65 per cent – six months … Money Expert Martin Lewis warns of ‘cataclysmic’ energy crisis.Energy bills are expected to increase by 65 per cent – six months after the first rise of 54 per cent. Personally, I think Brits will be more worried about this than wars around the world.

      “14 million people are living in poverty in ours, the fifth richest country in the world” Jeremy Corbyn, 24 September 2019″the potential to redistribute the UK’s significant wealth more evenly.”

      Full Fact “The more relevant measure is average GDP per person. This still has drawbacks which we’ve discussed before, but it gives a clearer indication of how wealthy people are. On this measure, the UK is the 20th-or 27th-wealthiest country in the world. Another main measure is “absolute low income”, published by the government, which estimates 12.5 million people in poverty (once housing costs are accounted for) in 2017/18.”

      A measure known as “purchasing power parity” (PPP) aims to account for this. On the PPP measure, the UK is the ninth-richest country in the world.

      On the basis of GDP per capita, the UK is the 20th-richest country in the world (using market exchange rates), or the 27thth-richest using PPP.

      https://fullfact.org/economy/uk-sixth-or-ninth-richest-country/

    2. Dave Andrews
      July 29, 2022

      We’re a wealthy nation are we? Let’s pay off the national debt then and end all those interest payments.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        July 29, 2022

        We are always being told we are a wealthy nation.

  19. formula57
    July 29, 2022

    The incoming prime minister might be reminded the call “We need to get better at procurement” comes also from the Heath government era. It just never seems to happen!

  20. The Prangwizard
    July 29, 2022

    As is the case with other products our equipment and armaments must – not should – be made here. We must think long term and develop our own capability. Those who think buying from foreign sources must be replaced.

    And the obsession with high tech must be lowered down the list. Just look at the ridiculous cost of tbe Amerixan F35’s. We can only affotd a handful which in low numbers are an embarrassment and we are totally dependent on the USA.

    We must make simpler products in volume. They must be easier to repair by the users so spare parts must be avaliable immediately. If this is followed more personell can be trained more quickly, and we must have more of them.

  21. John Miller
    July 29, 2022

    In your writing you point out all the areas that need attention by the State, but this country has a millstone round its neck which soaks up public money like a malignant cancerous sponge.
    That strange socialist creation which occasionally needs our help, especially in times of its greatest need, by not using it.
    I refer of course to that inefficient behemoth we love and treasure, the finest health service in the world, the NHS.
    Only the Conservative Party will be able to restructure and reform this, at times, diabolical organsiation. The public are becoming dissatisfied with the medical care and the strange “progressive” notions that pervade it.The appointment of “diversity advisers” on salaries higher than MPs who, if they truly did their job. would instantly be sacked for racism. Ambulances who will only come out to transport a corpse or the dying victim of a heart attack. Ideas borrowed from the USA on identity. Crazy actions on COVID that did not accord with medical advice from other countries. The total lack of preparation for COVID, which everyone seemed happy to blame on politicians.
    There are so many things wrong with this country that the only ability that your new leader really needs is the ability to appoint an effective Cabinet and motivate each Minister to do their job.

  22. Christine
    July 29, 2022

    This Government urgently needs to review the country’s core industries and if necessary subsidise their continued survival. Food and energy security must be a top priority along with reducing the population to a sustainable level.

  23. Mickey Taking
    July 29, 2022

    BBC report.
    Hay bales in flames, manure dumped on highways, blockades at supermarket distribution centres and demonstrations on politicians’ doorsteps.
    Dutch farmers have been generating global headlines with protests described by Prime Minister Mark Rutte as “wilfully endangering others, damaging our infrastructure and threatening people who help with the clean-up”.
    This proud farming nation is under immense pressure to make radical changes to cut harmful emissions, and some farmers fear their livelihoods will be obliterated. “It’s in our blood, I want to do this, and if we have to adapt to new situations, I want to, but we have to be fair, it takes time – give me a chance,” says Geertjan Kloosterboer, a third-generation dairy farmer.
    We are standing in his recently built barn, surrounded by red and white cows, as his eldest son sweeps past us on a small digger. I ask if Geertjan sees a future for his children in farming.
    “I don’t know if that’s what they want. When we talk about farming it’s just stress. But I want them to have a choice, not for the government to make that choice for them.”
    Dutch government proposals for tackling nitrogen emissions indicate a radical 30% cut in livestock, a reduction in intensive farming and the conversion to sustainable “green farms”.
    As such, the relocation or buyout of farmers is almost inevitable, but forced buyouts are a scenario many hope to avoid.

    1. glen cullen
      July 29, 2022

      Utter Madness….what are these and our government doing….attacking their own people on the instructions of the UN

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      July 29, 2022

      Mickey. Notice how these riots and dissatisfaction wiyh the Dutch farmers isn’t highlighted on the BBC. It’s only GB News that has mentioned it abd they all agreen it’s nonsense but part of tge great reset. Insect burgers are the way forward courtesy of Bill Gates and the likes .

    3. rose
      July 29, 2022

      Isn’t it actually a land grab of 30% farmland by the government, for building to accommodate the new arrivals?

      1. Diane
        July 30, 2022

        rose: That is what I’ve heard from interviewed Dutch protestors’ commentary recently, claiming that the country’s seemingly sustainable regular reproduction rate means that the land is presumably needed for accommodation of newer arrivals, that seems to be how many are feeling.

  24. ukretired123
    July 29, 2022

    Where’s Spock when you need him?
    While some refer SJR to him for his cool, calm and wise advice in jest he is absolutely tailor made for this critical moment in the country’s history, ideally as chancellor.
    Sunak plotted in January before Russia invaded Ukraine in February and toppling the key western leader whilst the war was still raging is akin to sabotage.

    1. Ed M
      July 30, 2022

      SJR ought to befriend (/ befriend more) Boris cause Boris might be back as PM and SJR would compliment Boris perfectly as Chancellor. SJR financially-minded and logical, Boris more creative and better at PR / marketing.

  25. ChrisS
    July 29, 2022

    We can only hope that Ben Wallace has secured a promise from Liz Truss over an increase in defence expenditure in order to get his support.
    However, it was Wallace who presided over the decision to reduce the size of the army and not to build more surface ships. Of course, these might have been decisions forced upon him by Sunak.
    Wallace also appears to have recently turned down the request for a new defence review following the invasion of Ukraine. These are major worries.

  26. Bryan Harris
    July 29, 2022

    It’s not just the potential of war that HMG should save us from — They badly need to understand what sovereignty means.

    NO LONGER can we allow powers to be ceded to external bodies, international organisations or any sort of quango. That very much includes the UN which has failed the world all too often, and now wants US under its umbrella control.

    There is nothing wrong in theory with talking to global institutions, as long as treaties don’t tie us into some idiotic socialist plan, or it means we get to be ruled by the unelected.

    I want transparency of international deals, but most of all, I want to see an end to world domination by the likes of the WEF — We are certainly entitled to know which people are working for a foreign entity that has designs on our future.

  27. MWB
    July 29, 2022

    “Defending our country from harm is the first duty of government”
    Then stop the immigrant invasion.
    England is now a multicultural hell hole, courtesy of Labour/Conservative. BBC today in full flow, spewing out muticultural claptrap.

  28. Iago
    July 29, 2022

    I have wondered for some time, has there been any attempt to replace the weapons and munitions sent to the Ukraine, any at all?

  29. Ed M
    July 29, 2022

    My money’s now on Ms Truss to win.

    Sunak just comes across as too much of a Tory version of Tony Blair.

  30. Ed M
    July 29, 2022

    (Same mistake Cameron made – trying to copy Blair. My uncle who was die-hard, staunch Tory Conservative would nearly throw his whiskey bottle at the TV every time Cameron appeared on it … I think Cameron made him hot-under-the-collar even more than Labour and that’s saying something cause my uncle was rabidly anti Labour / socialist).

  31. XY
    July 29, 2022

    Rumours that Truss intends to appoint Coffey as Chancellor(!).

    The biggest problem the process gives to the country is that these positions are often horse-traded away for support in becoming PM or they are given to someone’s cronies.

    The major ministries of State need a better way of doing things, especially the role of Chancellor. I hear that the ERG are up in arms about this proposal and rightly so. They want your good self appointed – and again, rightly so.

    Please win the good fight here – the country desperately needs somene in that role who understands economics.

    1. ChrisS
      July 29, 2022

      My thoughts entirely.
      Your appointment as Chancellor would be vindication that age is no barrier to high office but that knowledge and skill can triumph when the chips are down.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      July 29, 2022

      We need Sir John. Why can’t our leaders be better with their choices?

  32. Original Richard
    July 29, 2022

    The biggest threat to the UK is internal from the communist fifth column in our Government, Parliament, Civil Service, MSM, judiciary, education. Institutions, charities and even in our corporates who support the UN/EU and even Russia/China.

    They are intent on destroying the country through uncontrolled immigration and Net Zero together with deliberately poor decision making and wasteful spending wherever possible.

    1. Original Richard
      July 29, 2022

      As an example take the BBC article today where they report Dr Friederike Otto of Imperial College London, who leads the World Weather Attribution group, saying about the recent heatwave :

      “If we want to keep this type of a heat a rare event, the UK must reach net zero very soon.”

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-62335975

      This is nonsense.

      Firstly the UK’s contribution to global CO2 emissions is just 1% so there is nothing to be gained by the UK zeroing its emissions. China’s per capita CO2 emissions are 30% higher than the UK and together with India are burning 5.6 billion tons of coal each year.

      Secondly, historical data shows here to be no correlation between CO2 levels and the planet’s temperature.

      The BBC are climate change deniers – they deny that the climate ever changed before anthropological CO2 emissions existed and now are denying that there can be any natural reasons for climate change.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        July 29, 2022

        We are doomed because no matter what barmy policies they bring in and no matter how terrible our lives are made with net zero no change to the climate will come about and so the religious nuts will demand more useless action.

        1. glen cullen
          July 29, 2022

          Why is it that the consensus here, on this forum, is the complete opposite to what is portrayed by the media….something doesn’t add up

      2. hefner
        July 29, 2022

        ´Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentration during the last deglaciation’ J.D. Shakun, P.V. Clark et al., 2012, Nature, 484, 49-54.

        OR, The type of science fiction you push forward has been debunked for more than 10 years. What about you doing a crash course on more recent science?

        As long as you take your ´reference’ from the BBC you’re bound to look superficially (mis)informed at best. I will not qualify the worst that can be thought.

  33. Ralph Corderoy
    July 29, 2022

    ‘Defending our country from harm is the first duty of government’

    We pay the Government to be the best at organised violence. That’s their fundamental role from which other requirements flow. I might be mugged by the ATM on occasion but on average it’s safe to walk the streets because the Government deploys sufficient violence. And there’s no use keeping crime at bay and growing prosperous if an invader can deploy more violence than the Government in defence of the nation of taxpayers.

    Once the Government controls the use of violence then other laws can be established, say for contracts or voting fraud, and the violence used to enforce them. As we moved into the industrial era, our assets became more grounded, e.g. a factory building, and we’re less able to up sticks and move to another government’s jurisdiction if the local Government decide to extort more… or else. Having an immovable asset is prone to extortion, whether it’s the knight demanding protection money for your field of crops, or factory workers staging a sit-in to stop replacements breaking the strike.

    Lord William Rees-Mogg and James Dale Davidson make this the crux of their book ‘The Sovereign Individual’ which argues the ability of governments to extort money from their immovable citizens will decline due to ‘microprocessor technology’. https://amzn.to/3x1aGp3

    Citizens will find it easier to work from anywhere, for a company anywhere, as technology moves more jobs from the assembly line to the keyboard. We’ve seen this with Work From Home and the many city-dwellers who have migrated to the Country with their comparatively large purchasing-power. Rees-Mogg and Davidson argue governments will have to compete on price and features to lure citizens into their area of violence. Fragmentation of existing nation states will occur as uncompetitive regions are set adrift.

    They also predict cryptography will give rise to a digital money which has no central point of control or issuance and has scarcity: an electronic gold. Bitcoin matches their prediction.

    It’s an interesting book, in part because it’s getting on a bit now and so one can weigh prediction against outcome.

  34. ukretired123
    July 29, 2022

    Interesting that Lavrov thinks Liz Truss is unfit to be in charge of the nuclear button unlike lunatic Vlad because she stared him out and saw right through their lies of not invading Ukraine just before it happened.
    Rishi is risky because he is even afraid of the hapless EU, never mind Russia.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      July 29, 2022

      Wives made a difference to Johnson and Harry. We won’t at least have that issue with Liz.

    2. Clough
      July 29, 2022

      Beginner Foreign Secretary Truss getting the better of a highly experienced professional diplomat? I don’t think so. She stared like a rabbit caught in headlights.

      1. ukretired123
        July 29, 2022

        Liz Truss got the better of Putin’s lapdog by mimicking and mirroring his deadly boss Putin who his mouth piece described as “Deaf and dumb” – exactly how both pretend to be human but are robotic and highly experienced in the dark arts.

  35. Iain gill
    July 29, 2022

    We cannot even produce our own PPE in times of crisis never mind weapons, so badly has our economy been manipulated away from manufacturing by our ruling class.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      July 30, 2022

      I seem to recall someone in the Commons – Javid, I think – stating that 80% of our PPE is now manufactured in the UK. If so, that’s a good performance. But I’d suggest that the NHS look to source the remainder here too – ideally, in the towns in need of ‘levelling up’.

  36. Bloke
    July 29, 2022

    The Normans invaded in 1066.
    Now Norman Wisdom is an effective weapon in the Conservative Leadership battle.
    The likeness is funny but damaging.

  37. Fedupsoutherner
    July 29, 2022

    Off topic. How many commentators do we need for the swimming competitions? The BBC have four tonight! Yes, four. How much is that costing the licence payer and is it really necessary?

  38. glen cullen
    July 29, 2022

    1. Determine what you want to defend
    (a) The Realm of the UK
    (b) The Realm of the UK and its overseas territories
    (c) The Realm of the UK and its overseas territories, and NATO
    (d) The Realm of the UK and its overseas territories, and NATO, and the UN
    (e) The Realm of the UK and its overseas territories, and NATO and the UN and the continent of Europe
    (f) The Realm of the UK and its overseas territories, and NATO and the UN and the continent of Europe and the high seas shipping lanes
    (g) The Realm of the UK and its overseas territories, and NATO and the UN and the continent of Europe and the high seas shipping lanes and the commonwealth
    (h) The Realm of the UK and its overseas territories, and NATO and the UN and the continent of Europe and the high seas shipping lanes and the commonwealth and the global

    2. Determine who your enemy is and the threat

    3. Determine what weapons, people, resources and funding you need to stop the enemy and threat

    4. Execute the plan

    Most people say we need more tank, more ship, higher spend against gdp etc….I’m not so sure we’ve really determined what we wanted to defend yet

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