My speech on Too many wars

Some years ago I was asked to speak to the local British Legion. Whilst praising them for the sacrifices our armed services have made, I chose to speak about how we could and should fight fewer  wars. We can learn from past wars which were not all well judged.

Last Friday I was asked to speak to local Conservatives about Defence at a lunch. I returned to the theme.

I made clear I do believe as we want peace we need to prepare for war. There are nasty enemies around who only respect force and think again if we deter.

I also made clear my admiration for the sacrifices of my parents generation to see off a major threat to our island home from Germany and to go on with the USA to liberate western Europe.  So too to our armed forces who evicted Argentina from the Falklands and helped free Kuwait.

The loss and sacrifice made in Afghanistan was great but it was undermined by the USA ‘s overhasty surrender of the base and airport that was a commitment and support for the domestic police and army of the Afghan state. Take it away and the Taliban swept to power undoing many of the reforms and improvements. The USA must too look back on Viet Nam with a heavy heart.

I have published the slides I made for the talk. These set out how  the  UK should build its strength. Wars depend not  just on armed service personnel but also on the ability of a country at war to feed its population and make its armaments and necessities of daily life. There is much more to be done to grow our own food , produce our own steel and timber, and fabricate our own weapons.


  1. mickc
    May 21, 2024

    The new site layout suffers from the faults of all such “improvements”; it either isn’t working properly or is too difficult for the normal customer to use.
    No wonder a complex system like Horizon was, in reality, total junk.

    1. Bloke
      May 21, 2024

      Opinions vary. Perhaps your equipment needs checking.

    2. formula57
      May 21, 2024

      @ mickc – there is a new site layout?

    3. Hope
      May 21, 2024

      Why was it necessary to go to war in Afghanistan? Russia lost there previously, what purpose or strategic benefit was it to the UK? Do not blame the US, whether joint or single venture the UK interest should always be first priority. US was not going to enter WWII, China’s invasion secured its entry. Wilson did not go to Vietnam.

      Why did Cameron advocate expanding EU to the Urals therefore expansion of EU into former USSR territory? Explain why as a taxpayer your govt. is wasting multiple billions in corrupt Ukraine when still buying coal, oil and gas from Russia. Your govt still not condemning China or weaning off its cheap coal fired power goods. Why? A few years ago Johnson told the nation to stop Russia bashing. When his career as PM was on the ropes Ukraine became important.

      1. Original Richard
        May 21, 2024

        Hope :


        1. Hope
          May 22, 2024

          Japan in WWII not China.

    4. Ian wragg
      May 21, 2024

      On the subject of self sufficientcy I see the boss of Unipet generation was bleating about the UK government not putting the infrastructure in place so they can build a new CCGT station with carbon capture. He admits it will cost 20% more to generate electricity but hey ho, it’s all passed on to households and businesses. Just another step in our ruinous road to not zero which will eventually bankrupt us.

    5. Ian wragg
      May 21, 2024

      Just for the record, today wind is generating 0.9gw and we are Importing 25% of our electricity

      We couldn’t even go to war with ourselves. The first target in any conflict will be the undersea cables and offshore windmills.

      1. Donna
        May 22, 2024

        Correct. The German friend (who has green tendencies) I was recently visiting sent me a link to a newspaper report yesterday that the UK is signing a contract for an electricity cable from Germany, so the intention is to import more and more expensive, foreign-generated electricity and make us more and more dependent on the goodwill of other nations! It will, I am told, be power generated by windmills in the north sea but when I asked what happens when the wind doesn’t blow, there was no response (natch).

  2. Mark B
    May 21, 2024

    Good morning.

    War, as always, should be the last resort. Sadly, with smart weapons and not so smart so called ‘leaders’ it seems to first card out of the pack.

    The only war this nation has fought over the last 100 odd years that I would say was just, would be the Falklands War. We never sought conflict despite the ongoing dispute between ourselves and Argentina. The result had far greater implications both here and in Argentina and many could argue for the better, especially for the Argentine people who, despite all the hardships to follow, knew they would no longer be murdered by the military Junta.

    All the other wars and conflicts we could, and in my opinion, should have avoided. Little was gained by fighting for plucky Belgium or Poland. Although it did make the USA the power it is today.

    1. Bloke
      May 21, 2024

      @Mark B
      Adolf Hitler was reported as admiring the UK without intention to invade us. Our act in defending Poland in response to his increasing aggressions changed that. Perhaps we might not have been at risk had we merely spectated. However, if someone is killing so many of your neighbours, should you not intervene to prevent so much harm to so many others, including eventually yourself?

      1. Mark B
        May 22, 2024

        We went to war to save Poland from a dictator, only to hand it over to another dictator, and a far worse one IMO, at the end. To great cost.

        What a waste of men and material.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        May 22, 2024

        International law says you can do that. Morality says you should.

    2. formula57
      May 21, 2024

      @ Mark B – many would see putting a stop to the evil that was the Nazi regime as a just war.

      If you mean it was a war the UK was not absolutely obliged to fight, you would do well to recall that at the time there could be no expectation that in due course Hitler would not do other than attempt to subjugate the UK.

    3. Hope
      May 21, 2024

      A noble cause and right cause for British people in British territory. US did not want to help or be seen to help. It wanted a settlement. US does not blindly follow UK into war.

    4. mickc
      May 21, 2024

      Mark B
      Wars are, or certainly should not be, fought for any reasons other than national defence or advantage…the Palmerstonian stance.
      In fact the Great War was not fought to protect Belgium but to prevent a very powerful Germany, with both a large army (no threat to Britain) and a large navy (very much a threat to Britain) from dominating Europe, particularly the Low Countries. Belgium was the excuse but the war was probably necessary, although very badly executed.
      The Second World War provided no advantage whatsoever to Britain. The Polish Guarantee was a fatuous exercise in bluff, duly called and lost.

      1. Mark B
        May 22, 2024

        Here is my theory on why we went to war with Germany in WWI.

        The French (our oldest adversary) realised that they were caught in a Anglo-Saxon vice. Britain with her powerful navy on one side, and Germany with her powerful army on the other. She had ‘European’ territorial disputes with Germany but none in with the UK. Those with the UK were elsewhere. She had to placate one and defend against the other. She chose Entente Cordiale which effectively removed the UK as a threat and, what is much better, coerced us to side with the French against the Germans. It was a diplomatic masterstroke.

        Today, post WWII, we see a world were the French have realised that the Entente Cordiale did not work and that it was Germany that needed buying off. Hence they, Germany and France, signed the Élysée Treaty.

        So in WW one and two we went to war to fight an enemy on the side of someone who would eventually betray us in the end.

        Again. More waste in men and material.

        1. Mitchel
          May 22, 2024

          That’s why France sought a formal alliance with Russia post the Franco-Prussian war.Heavy investment in Russian resource extraction also allowed France to offset the loss of Alsace-Lorraine in that war.

  3. agricola
    May 21, 2024

    I covered this in Wars in Europe on the 18th May. I note from today’s entry that you largely agree with me. I find it sad if not disquietening that the current so called Conservative Party in government through its actions takes more or less the opposite view. I find it dangerously remenisient of the 1930s and the build up to WW2 when Winston Churchill and Hugh Dowding were almost the only discenting voices. Winston vocally and Hugh by his actions and foresight.

    At the time, those warning of the forthcoming dangers only had a few discenting university voices and Oswald Mosely to deal witb. Today larger elements of the demonstrating disruptive population and a civil service smarting from their loss of EU power are proving a greater barrier to governance. An incoming government has much to do in clarifying who governs the UK. For sure the Isle of Man would be pushed to accommodate todays fifth column element.

    1. Peter
      May 21, 2024


      I agree with your post yesterday, which was very well made. Disasters are not about privatised v nationalised enterprises. They are about management failures at the top of organisations.

      As you correctly conclude, ultimately politicians, governments and civil servants at the very top are failing to avoid or address disasters.

    2. Lifelogic
      May 21, 2024

      Depressingly true.

      So Sunak apologises – unequivocally.

      So who came up with this great factor 8 plan? Let’s not make healthcare products here in the UK from freely donated UK blood donors (like myself at the time) but use blood bought from prisoners and drug addicts in the USA. Then mix all the donations together to ensure that even one infected donor can infect all the product doses produced? What could possibly go wrong?

      So Sunak says sorry for the criminal incompetence, cover up and lies of various government officials, civil servants and people in the NHS for the last 30+ years. Ken Clark rightly singled out in the report.

      So who will apologise (in say 30 years time) for the criminal negligence of giving new technology & largely untested met harm Covid vaccines, to people who never even needed them? This even had they been effective – the young and those who had had Covid already clearly did not need them. Also for the PM who absurdly and dishonestly assured us the covid vaccines are “unequivocally safe” and for Javid etc. who forced many NHS & Care workers to take them? Who will say sorry for the net harm lockdown and the suppression of the lab leak after gain of function reality?

      Who will say sorry for the total and evil insanity of net zero agenda in 30 years? If they actually carry this through it will kill hundreds of thousands.

      Both of these are probably at least 50 times more deadly, costly and evil than the blood scandal. Both are pushed by Sunak’s totally misdirected government and will also be followed by Starmer’s evil Labour government it see s. Or by whomever Labour replace him with once elected.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 21, 2024

        Rather a dire list of Heath Secretaries from Ken Clark in 1988 onwards. Bottomley, Dorrell, Dobson, Milburn, Burnham, Reid, Hunt, Hancock, Barkley, Coffey, Atkins… None did anything much to sort out the dire system that can never work. Honest whistle blowers still hugely persecuted.

        Clark it seems will be 84 in a few days, so perhaps too late to bother to remove his lordship? He does seem to have held the victims in total contempt, rather like “unequivocally safe” Sunak and the hundred of thousands of Covid Vaccine Victims now.

        What on earth is Ofcom on about in relation to GBnews. No one is force to watch it or pay for it so get lost Ofcom!

        1. Lifelogic
          May 21, 2024

          None on this list seems to have have any experience of working in healthcare, nor any medical qualifications. I suspect that most junior doctors, after a couple of years work, would be far better at the Health Minister Job and for about 25% of the ministerial salary. Atkins (a law graduate) absurdly and insultingly refers to junior doctors as “doctors under training”.

          Very large number leaving the NHS for overseas where salaries can be double, houses cheaper, conditions better, taxes lower and not so insulted by health ministers and NHS admin.

          Based on the 15,000 to 23,000 doctors estimated to have left the NHS prematurely in England between September 2022 and September 2023, the BMA estimates that the cost of replacing them and their expertise would be between £1.6bn and £2.4bn.

  4. DOM
    May 21, 2024

    Even John’s jumping on the warmongering bandwagon. Russia can’t even defeat the Ukrainian army. They’ve been at it for years now. Most of its forces are forced conscripts. The idea that Russia’s army could launch an attack on the NATO and the might of western nations through Europe is total BOLLOX

    Russia is a weak economy wholly dependent on oil and gas. The west could cripple its oil-gas supply infrastructure in both peacetime and in the event of war in no time at all. If that happened Russia would be absolutely neutered. Putin isn’t that stupid nor naive

    1. Peter Wood
      May 21, 2024

      Your analysis begs the question, then why do we (the USA) not do so, cripple Russia’s oil and gas, which would end both the Russia/Ukraine war and rid the world of Putin, for estimated little cost? It’d be the humanitarian and economic right thing to do.
      Do we just continue the drip-feed of barely sufficient weapons for as long as there are Ukrainians to fight? Poland, Sweden, Germany and others might have different views.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        May 22, 2024

        Because we can’t.

        When you name and apply flags to 12 new ‘countries’ created from breaking up the Russian Federation, that is provocative.

        We in England did not like the EU’s maps of Britain, refusing to acknowledge England as an entity.

    2. Philip P.
      May 21, 2024

      I agree with you, Dom, that Putin is neither stupid nor naive, and has no intention of launching an attack on the West. But I would take issue on a couple of points. Russia’s ‘weak economy’, as you call it, grew by 5.4% in Q1 this year. Britain, Germany and France could barely manage any GDP growth at all. You also need to check out the meaning of ‘conscripts’ versus reservists. Russia has millions of reservists previously trained in the basics who have been called back to the colours to fight Ukraine. It has also benefited from tens of thousands of volunteers. Russian conscripts aren’t needed to fight in Ukraine.

    3. Bloke
      May 21, 2024

      Being adequately prepared is taking care to avoid warmongering.

    4. Lifelogic
      May 21, 2024

      Well Russia it is growing rather better than the UK. This despite all the sanctions and this war. But then they do have cheap reliable energy, rather less government and taxes at around 21% of GDP – not 35% as in UK.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 21, 2024

        What has gone wrong with Trinity College Cambridge?

        Britain owes Caribbean nations more than £200 billion in slavery reparations Rev. Dr Michael Banner, the Dean of Trinity College Cambridge, has suggested. A theology graduate. This on top of appointing Dame Sally Davis as Master and after the university had that dire lefty Canadian Lawyer as Vice Chancellor of the University. At least he has gone. Trinity, the richest Camb. College, do have about £1.6 billion to put towards this sum!

        Also Trinity College to fully divest from fossil fuels by 2031. The divestment announcement includes a commitment from the College to net zero carbon emissions before 2050.

        Why do so many bonkers people get to the top of these institutions?

        1. Hope
          May 22, 2024

          Why do so many home grown spies come from Trinity College? Why do so many diplomats attend Trinity College? I would scrutinise the place or close it down. Russia worked our about hundred years ago a good place to target the under graduates, how come nothing of substance has been done? Perhaps it explains dire civil service, security service, politicians and Treasury.

          Certainly all PPE courses at Oxbridge have cost the taxpayer a fortune, a good reason in itself to stop the course.

          1. Mickey Taking
            May 22, 2024

            Middle to Upper class Students = (idealistic ) fools who never have to get hands dirty.

    5. Everhopeful
      May 21, 2024

      The bollox all helps with the agenda though.
      Frightened people go cold and hungry without a murmur when they believe the enemy is coming and their govt. will protect them.

    6. Ian B
      May 21, 2024

      @DOM – Russia is weak? Russian debt in 2024 reached $281.6 Bn Dollars – UK Debt in the same period £2,654.3 Bn( or $3,374.56 USD) . Rough calculation the Russian weakness is 1 – 10th of the UK’s, the UK has 10times the debt that Russia has

      The UK along with the EU, India, even Infosys & Unilever are amongst many all helping to finance/fund Russia’s campaign against the Ukraine.

      The UK has no ability to defend itself it neither has the man power, the resources, the defence industry(its been sold off). The UK cant even protect its borders. The Conservative Governments policy is to keep its fingers crossed that someone will come to its aid when the need arises.

      1. glen cullen
        May 21, 2024

        I’m surprised we’re not sending aid to russia ….to help the poor people, like we do with china & india & hamas

    7. graham1946
      May 21, 2024

      I agree and have said before that the great Russian Army which thought it could quell a smaller neighbour in three days found out just how poor their forces really are considering the amount of Russian wealth expended and the amount of aid from Iran and back door arms supplies from China. Ukraine has one arm tied behind its back in that it is not allowed to attack Russia outside Ukraine. Imagine the outcome of WW2 if we did not bomb the hell out of Germany but just waited from them to attack us. Modern Western weakness will be the death of us. However, rats will usually run away from a fight but get one cornered and they will attack. Putin is one such rat and a coward and a liar but he does have a last resort and nearing his end could be mad enough to use it. Russians have never been trustworthy, so negotiations are fatuous, they will never stick to their word.

      1. mickc
        May 22, 2024

        Russia never mustered enough troops to take Ukraine. The obvious intention is to take the Donbas, in which it has largely succeeded.

        1. graham1946
          May 22, 2024

          If so, then why start at the other end of the country? Soon got his backside kicked out of Kyiv. Putin miscalculated, simple as. He is like all despots, hears what his sycophants whisper in his ear and believes it all. Plenty of Putin fans on here as well who see nothing wrong with illegally invading another country as long as its Russia doing the invading.

      2. Mitchel
        May 22, 2024

        Here’s another gem – from Ben Hodges,Commander US Army Europe(2014-2018) and still apparently a NATO ‘mentor’,as reported in,15/3/2022:

        “Russia invades Ukraine:Russia lacks manpower and ammunition and will cease its war in 10 days.”

        He still gets invited to pontificate on the BBC and SKY to provide,ahem,analysis.

    8. Lynn Atkinson
      May 21, 2024

      I think the PM and I know Shapps has the same beliefs as you do. Johnson thinks Putin is to weak to press a button.
      So long as you are all right, we are fine.
      Can you explain the 4.7 million Ukrainian obituaries counted in the west – this is open source?

    9. Mitchel
      May 21, 2024

      You clearly know nothing about the Russian economy-how has it managed to defeat the toughest sanctions ever imposed?On 7 April,2022,those geniuses at the Atlantic Council excitedly told us:”Russia almost all of a sudden got Iran-style sanctions and surprise,surprise, the Russian economy collapsed in one day.The whole financial economy collapsed.”LOL!!!

      The editor of Business New Europe tweeted two weeks ago:”Weaponizing the dollar in the slugfest with Russia was probably one of the worst ideas Washington ever had.I think it’s becoming increasingly clear they will rue the day they made this decision.”You now have more than half of China’s crossborder trade denominated in yuan(vs zero in 2010) and US Treasuries dumped by the Chinese at a record rate.

      The new BRICS financial institutions will in due course eviscerate the City (which funds the Establishment)-for instance,the Russian ‘shadow fleet’ now comprises more than 800 ships and is no longer covered by the member organizations of the International Group of P & I Clubs and is therefore outside the oversight of the G7-another monopoly racket is being dismantled.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        May 22, 2024

        The west has broken itself economically. I doubt the USD will be the reserve currency by November. Biden is a President nobody will ever forget. So easy to tray 200 years of work by great men inching their way forward.

  5. Javelin
    May 21, 2024

    I predict 4 possible future processes where one of more may happen.

    1) Sectarian riots – the term is used broadly to describe actions from feudal migrants either between each other or aimed at the state.

    2) Democratic evolution – whereby political parties compete for pro or anti migrant laws in order to win elections under a first past the post system.

    3) EU Quorum – whereby right wing parties slowly build up, but keep their rhetoric quiet, until they get a majority in Europe then change the ECHR to be anti migrant.

    4) Balkanisation – whereby cities run by migrants discriminate against natives leading to Government’s becoming strongly anti migrant which then creates an escalating situation leading to civil war (e.g. Serbia/Kosovo Russia/Ukraine)

    1. Javelin
      May 21, 2024

      The most import insight I have had this year is to distinguish between society and culture.

      Culture means punk vs classical music. Catholic vs Protestant. It’s the kind of thing where people can rub along in optimistic circumstances.

      Society on the hand can be nomadic, tribal, feudal, industrial or global. Each of these are on different scales, last for centuries and naturally form different power structures.

      The west is currently an industrial society which has evolved through small changes to markets, science, laws, votes, and families. It has produced the highest standard of living ever. Concepts like telling the truth, keeping to an agreement, being fair, charity are taught to maintain cohesiveness and allow societal evolution to happen.

      A large number of people on the planet are still in feudal societies. Power structures are theocratic or military and are top down and based on city states. People are taught the religion or military laws to maintain disciple. Truth, fairness, charity don’t show up in the society or on the radar.

      Tribal societies are based around villages or towns where everybody knows each other. Discipline is maintained at the local level by a permanent family in power. Concepts like debts of your father, permission from elders are taught.

      So the key thing to understand is these societies are completely incompatible.

      We now live in a multi-society not just a multi-culture. Power and control run on fundamentally different assumptions. When power is gained by one group they will turn what is under their control into their own image. This then leads to balkanisation and abuse, which then leads to a clamp down, which may then lead to a civil conflict.

    2. Lifelogic
      May 21, 2024

      All very depressing.

    3. Berkshire Alan
      May 21, 2024

      Interesting that all four scenario’s you present are about immigration/people/population movement.
      On our recent cruise immigration was the top topic of every discussion around the dinner table, different guests around the table on every day, as we had freedom dining.
      Not a single person in the 19 days we were away, thought the present government/opposition, were serious about stopping, or even controlling it.
      Second most common topic was the state of the roads and pot holes, and the third the failure of the NHS management and administration.

  6. formula57
    May 21, 2024

    Military capability might by now be weak enough to deny adventurism so with luck wars of choice might be denied to those we elect. Since we cannot rely on their good sense to avoid unnecessary wars (recall per Gordon Brown we were in Afghanistan to make the streets at home safe!) that is welcome, clearly.

    Threats will be presented in new ways, including through psychological warfare and cyber attacks, and aimed at subjugation though procuring policy shifts rather than occupation. That is why permitting unknown agents from where it is unknown to steal the payroll data for the whole of our armed forces amounts to a betrayal of our well-being by those who permitted its occurrence.

    1. Sakara Gold
      May 21, 2024


      Rarely have I read such a load of rubbish on this otherwise excellent blog.

      Si vis pacem, para bellum, as Sir John says

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        May 22, 2024

        Oh I see total rubbish regularly, under your name.

  7. David Andrews
    May 21, 2024

    The last sentence of your Diary today – about the need to grow more food, produce more steel and timber, and fabricate our own weapons – is beyond relevant. It is essential. Yet government after government has and is undermining the capacity to do these things by stupid policies. Net Zero legislation and regulation is the most obvious example. How long will it take before NZ becomes the subject of yet another long running public enquiry into gross public sector mismanagement?

  8. Bloke
    May 21, 2024

    Very well done!

  9. Dave Andrews
    May 21, 2024

    The most likely war the UK will need to fight is a civil war, as migrant populations move to claim caliphates within inner cities, replacing British law with Sharia law, aided by the useful idiots of the loony left and hastened by the declared British escaping to the country.

  10. Peter
    May 21, 2024

    I think most – apart from maybe John Bolton – agree there are too many wars.

    However, wars and preparation for them come at huge expense to the nation. Military overstretch is the downfall of most of the Great Powers.

    We need to be selective about battles we undertake. National interest is a major issue. We are not the world’s policeman.

    Even in the days of Empire the policy was to let European nations fight amongst themselves and try to ensure a balance of power without going to war.

  11. Michelle
    May 21, 2024

    To carry out a successful war/defence of a nation you need a population that believes in itself, and knows what it is fighting for.
    Unfortunately, because of the deliberate and overwhelming changes made to this nation, many feel it is now a foreign land in itself.
    The distrust felt towards those in our Parliament and civil service doesn’t inspire people to take up arms at their say so either.
    As it stands we have armed forces whose main worry seems to be its ‘diversity’ and the rejection of its natural, past tried and tested backbone of recruits.

  12. Ian B
    May 21, 2024

    Sir John
    Your thoughts are what many of us are also thinking. I applaud your efforts to keep reminding us all, what sacrifices have been made by our previous generations to keep us safe.
    Thank you

  13. Everhopeful
    May 21, 2024

    War, like a Plague, makes a lot of money for some, devastates and impoverishes some and kills others.
    Both war and Plague are times when governments invoke tribalism and invent new and often ridiculous laws in order to make the population comply.
    War and Pest are also used to introduce hitherto unseen restrictions that are never fully lifted.
    The upper echelons of a country at war against whatever foe, feel pretty safe throughout ( they have full knowledge of all that is going on) and continue their lavish lifestyles whilst the lower classes face danger and death on an hourly basis.
    Empires, lives and stability are lost forever.

    Watching that series about Chester Zoo it is obvious that following leaders, fighting for territory etc. are all extremely primeval instincts.

  14. Tony+Hart
    May 21, 2024

    We desperately want peace in the World. Therefore, we need to ban all military spending and introduce an international police force to ensure this happens. The UN needs to push his plan forward as soon as possible. Talks must start asap. Neither the UK or USA have had internal military conflicts for decades; that should be the model for all other countries.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      May 22, 2024

      You propose one world Government. An international police force enforcing laws that have not be authorised by the population. No escape.
      That is precisely what this war in Ukraine is about, and thank God the Russians ALONE have defeated the globalist monsters of the west.

  15. Mike Wilson
    May 21, 2024

    The slides are difficult to read on a phone. I think we were painted as the saviours of Europe etc. No mention of the violence and bloodshed we unleashed on innocent people as we built an empire. Black Hole of Calcutta?

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    May 21, 2024

    The simplistic way to prevent wars is to have a better equipped, better retrained, larger defence than your potential attacker.

    Would Russia have invaded Ukraine if they had felt it was going to be this much of a slog? China has not moved against Taiwan. Russia has not moved against NATO. Nuclear powers have not gone to war with each other.

    The Jerry Springer rule applies – men size each other up decide who would win and don’t bother. Women go at it anyway, terrorists you can not guard against other than vigilance and intelligence.

  17. Ian B
    May 21, 2024

    Sir John
    Just to reiterate my interpretation of what you appear to be alluding too, cancelling food production, rewilding and punishing the farmer all in the name of the un-proven Net Zero laws that our competitor Nations don’t have forced on them, is ensuring the UK can’t survive.
    Selling off the UK’s defence capability to foreign governments (to their nationalized industries), to off-shore our production capability, then be forced o pay more to reimport/purchase the very same in the name of Net Zero and its UK Laws that our competitor Nations don’t have forced on them, is ensuring the UK can’t survive.
    At the same core is power generation of shoring its ownership or importing its replacement in the name of Net Zero and its UK Laws that our competitor Nations don’t have forced on them, is ensuring the UK can’t survive.
    Then in my view to add insult to the injury and damage being caused by spending what little money there is as if it’s going out of fashion with out a single iota of its control in place – some call this control of expenditure. Then to tax the very life out of everything that should be causing some sort of economy, deliberately to suppress the economy – all to hide mistakes or because of ineptitude or maybe just malicious destruction. Is not the powers that be working with and for the UK.
    As with all our/the Countries ills we have a Conservative Government fighting us. Without a vibrant, self-reliant resilient economy the money and the wealth required to face what ever is thrown at us isn’t there, it has been stolen from the People of the UK.
    It is the ‘economy stupid’ the economy creates a future not NetZero.

  18. Michael Saxton
    May 21, 2024

    I believe the US specifically and Europe generally will look back at the Ukraine war with considerable regret. This war based on outdated and flawed ideology generated within the US State Department after the collapse of the USSR has resulted in yet another US proxy war. Tragically the US State Department has failed to learn from the calamities of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Equally tragic is the willingness of Europe to support these egregious mistakes. I expect Gaza and the West Bank will be added to the list!

  19. glen cullen
    May 21, 2024

    Too many wars ? rather to many wars that haven’t been concluded because of UN ceasefire, designation of refugees and international political intervention

  20. Sakara Gold
    May 21, 2024

    Once again, the elderly pacifist Biden in the White House has again – personally – vetoed the use of American supplied weaponry against Russian troop and equipment concentrations in the border regions, from where Russia is launching cross-border attacks into Ukraine.

    Effectively, the message that Biden is sending to the war criminal Putin is “I am afraid of your threats to deploy “tactical” nuclear weapons, so you can carry on bombing Ukraine residential blocks, hospitals, energy infrasructure, bomb shelters, primary schools etc etc with impunity”

    Does Biden actually want to see Russia win this war? Does he prefer to see the killing of thousands more Ukraine civilians and Russia laying waste to more vast swathes of territory? Would Biden make decisions like that if it was Mexico attacking Texas?

    The war in UKraine demands a much more aggressive response from the leader of the free world if Ukraine is to hold back the Russian hordes – and then throw them back from whence thay came.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      May 22, 2024

      Biden’s message, as you proclaim it, to Putin is correct and with merit.

  21. Christine
    May 21, 2024

    My biggest worry is the Biden administration. They need a war to keep Trump out and enact their Great Reset. The US debt is now $35 trillion and growing fast. Countries like China and India are buying massive amounts of precious metals so they can dump the dollar.

  22. Javelin
    May 21, 2024

    The West had totally taken its eye off the ball and it’s Government is infested with enemy actors.

    This can be seen in the ICC, via a British KC called Khan, which issues an arrest warrant for the democratically elected leader of Israel who responds to an act of war by killing enemy soldiers.

    At the sane time it stands for a minute silence for the Butcher of Baghdad who is an unelected leader.

    We may not want war but the weak bring war upon themselves.

  23. Bryan Harris
    May 21, 2024

    I agree that we should be prepared for war – there are many reasons for this, including to stop us being bullied by a larger country or even our alleged friends close by. Our ability to fight should leave those who want to harm us with no doubt that any aggression by them would work badly against them.
    Another side to this is that by staying at the forefront of scientific research in many areas, we make ourselves more valuable as trading partners. We need to be industrious and able to produce more than what we need, but fundamentally we need to be able to protect what is ours. We need to show a willingness to do that.

    Politicians are another matter of course – we badly need people in power who are diplomats.

    To return to the point I made yesterday on the slides, there are many reasons for disputes and wars even, but all too often they are driven by vested interests and money. If we are to stop having wars then the war-machines have to be reorganised to serve the world, no longer to serve those that will profit.

    The Ukraine war could have been stopped many months ago without that vested interest, and with real diplomacy.

  24. Bert+Young
    May 21, 2024

    I agree that we have to do many things in order to survive and thrive . This stimulation can be helped and prioritised from leadership in civil and military sources . The top of our society has to produce results , if this is lacking stalemate arises .

  25. Iago
    May 21, 2024

    Cringing surrender is our rulers’ forte, thus making wars far more likely. Take a look at the UK Ambassador and others at the UN Security Council yesterday standing to honour the dead President of Iran with, insult to the peoples of the West, heads bowed.

  26. Lynn Atkinson
    May 21, 2024

    All agreed. The other critical factor is to ensure that the enemy does not have a foothold in our island. If a war were to start the last thing we need is an insurgency flare up within the country, attacking the infrastructure, population and much else, and thus creating a second front.

    We need to take advantage of being an island as our ancestors have done for 10,000 years.

    We also cannot have anybody in a position of power with split loyalties. Think of Diana Mitford. Imagine she had been the PM.

  27. iain gill
    May 21, 2024

    I see the new London double deckers are going to be built in China.

    Just destroy the final remnants of manufacturing in the UK, and replace it with imports from India and China, that’s green and sustainable isnt it 🙂

    The country is going to have to sell a lot of insurance and rock music to pay its way in the world with nothing but a public sector and service industries.

    1. glen cullen
      May 21, 2024

      ….but it will help achieve our net-zero targets ….think of our grand-chldrens future

  28. forthurst
    May 21, 2024

    Saddam Hussein walked into Kuwait because he thought he had been given the green light by the USA; this was actually a trick to give the US a casus belli to attack a country which had become too powerful for their major ally in the ME.
    We became involved in Afghanistan to drive the Russians out. However, we were no more welcome by the people than the Russians, especially when we decided to reform their culture to adhere more to Western mores. Ultimately we ended up defending Ashraf Ghani, the US placeman, whose control of the country was such that he was referred to as the Mayor of Kabul before he and we finally left in an indecent hurry like the USA in Vietnam.
    It is the duty of our government to protect our vital national interests. Much of the warmongering by the Tory party has been counter to our national interest, such as destroying Libya which had been blocking the transit of Sub-Saharans into Europe.
    Powerful forces within the state see the English Tommy as expendable within their global internationalist ambitions and they have no difficulty duping our politicians into using him as a mercenary in their cause; hence we assisted the Bolsheviks in destroying Germany and turning Eastern Europe into communist satellites having naively believed that Stalin would go back to Russia after the war.

  29. Ian B
    May 21, 2024

    The Country is being stifled and lacks earnings by being over-burdened by no control of expenditure.

    Then we get this advice from the IMF to the Chancellor “Raising taxes by another 1pc of GDP would help raise spending while stabilising debt, it said. “This could be achieved, for example, by raising additional revenue from higher carbon and road-usage taxation, broadening the VAT and inheritance tax bases, and reforming capital gains and property taxation (which could also allow a reduction in stamp duty),” the IMF said.

    The teachings of the Socialist Left, punish first review the consequences later.

    You get additional revenue by controlling expenditure and growing the economy so as to fund more growth. Removing money from the economy by raising taxes stifles does not at any stage help to raise spending, it reduces growth and creates a downward spiral, so more tax is then needed delaying and hindering the ability to earn even more. The Blind leading the blind.

    How can the Country get out of the ‘rut’ when nutters like this are allowed on to the World stage as if they are the Worlds financial policemen.

  30. Dave S
    May 21, 2024

    My response to

    “I do believe as we want peace we need to prepare for war. There are nasty enemies around who only respect force and think again if we deter.”

    is that in principle I agree but Switzerland has practised ‘armed neutrality’ for … 200 years or so. It didn’t even join the United Nations until quite late. Seeing the UN corruption, and which industrial lobbies have pretty well taken it over, maybe the Swiss are right to be fiercely non-aligned and relatively independent and we are wrong not to be.

    In terms of neutral country defence spending, they are: Ireland 0.2% of GDP; Switzerland and Austria both 0.8%. It looks rather attractive to me compared to 2.0% for NATO membership, *especially with the UK in a parlous economic state*.

  31. Lifelogic
    May 21, 2024

    “There is much more to be done to grow our own food , produce our own steel and timber, and fabricate our own weapons.”

    There certainly is step one abandon the insanity of net zero, halve the size of government stop paying people who can work not to do so.

  32. glen cullen
    May 21, 2024

    ‘Sunak the Dormant’ In his world everything is great but nothing changes

    Continued civil service scandals
    Continued high cost of living
    Continued high cost of fuel & energy
    Continued high immigration
    Continued high interest rates
    Continued payments to the EU, UN and Foreign Aid
    Continued loss of by-elections and poor polling
    No culling of quangos
    No leaving the ECHRs
    No review/change of the Supreme Court or the Lords
    No change in the tax book
    No policy change in Net-Zero or ZEV mandate (£15k per car for ‘not’ selling EVs)
    No flights to Rwanda
    Concede NI to the EU and may concede Gibraltar and the Falkland’s

    1. Ian B
      May 21, 2024

      @glen Cullen – +1

      1. Hope
        May 22, 2024

        Excellent summary. The NHS has again failed the nation at huge cost over the blood issue. Who will be held to account, will NHS have the money taken from the trusts who were responsible, Will Ken Clarke loose his title? Sunak says the victims will be paid…. Clearly this is not the answer or solution to stop another NHS scandal. It lost £30 billion over a failed computer system, £30 odd billion to test and trace and Osborne’s mate lost £11 million for a NHS app, his qualification for the app being Osborne’s mate, what could go wrong! Loads of money as Harry Enfield would say. Just keep shovelling NHS loads of money. Top quartile for funding bottom quartile for outcomes, hhmmmm I would think someone in govt. ought to have been having a word in the CEOs ear or sacking her and her useless quota board!

        1. glen cullen
          May 22, 2024

          I envisage another 10 year enquiry

          1. Mickey Taking
            May 22, 2024

            result? – ‘Lessons will be learned’.

  33. John McDonald
    May 21, 2024

    Sir John perhaps just you choice of words, but if your phrasing reflects the standard Political view/thinking over the past 200 years, or so, it is not surprising we get involved in too many wars. Which are mostly not about defending the country but motivated by commercial or Political motives, and for leaders to look good.
    The peace loving, but realistic person, would say we must always be prepared to defend the country, always have a strong military presence, and have infrastructure not controlled or influenced by other countries (friend or foe).
    With respect you have not actually explained why we are at War with Russia and why did Boris Johnson tell the Ukrainians to keep fighting and not agree the peace deal.
    Likewise why did the West not accept the Minsk agreement earlier?
    The body count and destruction has mounted day by day since then promoted by the UK, EU and US Governments not looking for peace.
    Billions available to kill people but still can’t stop the invasion of the rubber boats across the channel. So much for defending the country from invasion. Easier for the Government to poke their nose into someone else’s war in another land normally for political/ commercial reasons and not to save lives. The Ukraine war is a classic example of how wars are started. The West did not like Ukraine being pro- Russia, so let’s promote an uprising.
    And that’s why the UK has been in so many wars.

  34. APL
    May 22, 2024

    “My speech on Too many wars”

    Only forty years too late.

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