Tony! You sank my battleship, you wanker!
It’s hard to believe that with all those taxes (an 18% VAT), England can’t muster enough cash to at least keep its navy in decent shape. And this all happened under a guy, Tony Blair, who many — including myself — figured to be as conservative as George Bush in many ways. Particularly on issues of national defence and foreign policy. As usual, it’s only after politicians leave office that we get the full assessment of the damage. (Note: As I’ve pointed out on this blog previously, compared to the Tory leader, David Cameron, Blair sadly IS the more conservative.)
Here’s a telling quote from the Tories’ defence critic: “Labour has done what none of this countries’ enemies have been able to do: bring the Navy to its knees.”
And according to this Telegraph article, the position of defence secretary is a PART-TIME JOB?! What?! Does he have to work at Burger King to make ends meet, or something? If it’s a matter of economics, how about we get the welfare folks working part-time, and pay this guy to put in a few more hours at the office?
I used to say that France needed a Thatcher, but now I’m convinced that what England needs is a Sarkozy. (Mind you, France’s VAT is 20%, so Sarkozy has some work to do there — and the country’s STILL broke.)
Defence spending is shifted to the backburner while social program spending spirals out of control.
Here’s a quote from an excellent piece on the British welfare state:
“What will be the verdict of history on the British Welfare State? Its main crime was the replacement of the burgeoning and varied private provision of welfare with the uniformity and mediocrity of the state monopoly; the values of the entrepreneur substituted with those of the administrator. The aim of state welfare was to remove divisions in society. Ironically, the effect has been to make those divisions more visible. Nothing is clearer in the UK today than the accommodation gap between the homeowner and the tenant in public housing. Nothing is more poignant than the difference between the pensioner who uses an ample private pension to spend the winter months in Spain, and the pensioner dependent on state benefits alone to fund the winter fuel bills. The charge sometimes levelled thoughtlessly against the Welfare State – that it suffocates by providing security ‘from the cradle to the grave’ – is precisely misplaced. The Welfare State failed because the level of security provided was far below that which the citizen could rightly have expected at the end of the 20th century.”
Meanwhile, the US had better post a help wanted ad for a new chief ally, given that this UK Defence Ministry document says that the UK is unable to fight a major war. Yikes.
And let all of this be a lesson to anyone in the US even thinking of voting for a Democrat — even if they SEEM as “right” on foreign affairs and national defence as Tony Blair (and none of them do).