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June 28, 2009

Armed Forces Day

Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy, described as "sickening" a noisy protest by a small number of Irish republicans objecting to Britain's first Armed Forces Day (formerly Veterans Day). I may have shared his opinion had I been exposed to the protesters myself though how anyone can express the least surprise at Irish republicans objecting to Her Majesty's armed forces is beyond me.

Far more sickening is the apparent nonchalance evinced by his government at the current state of Her Majesty's armed forces. The first Type 45 destroyer is to set to sea without a fully operational air defence system while a "black hole" in defence funding may sink what is left of the Royal Navy and with it much of the UK's nuclear deterrent.

Overstretch of the armed forces must be ended, according to a report whose authors include the former Nato secretary general, Lord Robertson, ex-Marine Lord Ashdown and former chief of the defence staff Lord Guthrie.

They argue that Britain should no longer struggle to maintain a full range of defence capability like the US and instead consider scrapping up to £24bn of future "big ticket" projects - including two new aircraft carriers, the F35 joint strike fighters designed to fly from them, six new Type 45 destroyers, four new Astute hunter-killer submarines and the replacement of the Vanguard submarines carrying Trident.

While they are at it, I shall consider cutting my passport in half and mailing it to Buckingham Palace.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 28, 2009 08:44 AM