Now that the Brexit squabbling and back-biting is hopefully behind us, we must pray that Britain is about to enter a new political era. With his huge majority in parliament Bunter Johnson must surely have been given a mandate to embark on a significant programme of reform.
And as far as I can see, the first priority for sweeping reforms is the Ministry of Defence. The duty of any government is to protects its citizens yet that duty has been forgotten in recent years and given way to warped priorities and gross mismanagement. In too many parts of the Armed Forces, a culture of inefficiency prevails, reflected in top-heavy bureaucracies, wasteful procurement processes and outdated practices.
Clinging to dreams of imperial grandeur, some of the generals and field marshals seem reluctant to face modern realities such as cyber-warfare, terrorism and unmanned weaponry. For decades, governments of both parties have colluded with this failure of vision by the Ministry of Defence because they appear to be nervous about challenging these bemedalled buffoons.
Commitment to defence has repeatedly been judged by the size of the MOD’s ever-increasing budget, rather that the effectiveness of spending. But there are signs that the new Government will take a different approach, focused on Britain’s national interests rather than grandiose fantasies. To see if taxpayers are receiving value for the £39.3billion spent this year on defence, a far-reaching review into the MOD is to be conducted by Dominic Cummings, the chief Downing Street strategist.
Few people like Cummings and I must admit that he does not appear to be a prepossessing sort, but he is the ideal figure to head this review, not only because of his indifference to criticism or personal feelings but also because of his record as an incisive operator.
In defiance of all the odds, Cummings masterminded both the leave victory in the 2016 referendum and the Conservatives’ election triumph earlier in the month. A few years ago, he was Michael Gove’s adviser at the Department of Education, where his drive for reform provoked outrage from the unions and the teaching establishment. Yet he had a long-term impact in raising standards. The joy of Cummings is that he doesn’t give a tuppenny damn about what people think of him and thanks to his efforts, the United Kingdom is rising up the international league tables in maths, science and reading.
The news that Cummings is now to turn his forensic spotlight on the MOD should be welcomed by the public – even if the top brass are alarmed. His outlook was recently captured in his ferocious condemnation of the procurement process which ‘has continued to squander billions, enriching some of the worst corporate looters and corrupting public life.’
The same dysfunctionality can be seen in the neglect of Britain’s home waters. A proper patrol force around the seven thousand plus mile coast, especially in the Channel, would enhance protection of borders and deter crossings by illegal migrant boats. Somewhat shamefully, the Border Force has just five cutters for such a vital task, compared to the six hundred vessels used by Italy to guard its coast, or the two hundred and forty by Greece.
Yet Britain found over six billion to spend on a pair of aircraft carriers, which boosted the prestige of the admirals but did nothing to strengthen her defences against real threats. As floating targets, vulnerable to new types of anti-ship missiles and drone technology, they need much of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet to protect them. Not only that, but the F-35 strike aircraft they carry are ruinously expensive and have limited range.
So what is the point of these juggernauts? Little wonder that Cummings has called the carrier policy a farce – it is damnit and seems designed only to create a few top jobs for the boys.
But this is just part of a pattern of destructive extravagance by this idiotic and overstaffed ministry. It has been estimated that over the last fifteen years, two hundred and eighty billion has been wasted by the MOD on disastrous equipment decisions.
The sooner Dominic Cummings embarks on this review, the better. Perhaps he can bang a few heads together and fire a large number of official time wasters. This country needs money to spend, not grandiosely useless aircraft carriers.
Is it possible that Anthony Blair has already been mummified? His face certainly seems to have acquired an entirely new shape and patina.
I suppose that doesn’t matter to anyone but him and perhaps Mrs Blair but once again this horrible man is here among us to tell us that he knows better than anyone else, despite having made in Iraq, the worst single foreign policy mistake in the last fifty years.
Why do the media outlets still allow so much time for this pratwinkle, who seems to veer between being a ramblingly incoherent nonentity and a raging warmonger when he is not surrendering to terrorist murderers on shameful terms? His time is past. It is over. He no longer has any say or influence in the running of this country.
In recent weeks, the Blair Creature has been telling us all how wrong we were on the European issue, seemingly forgetting that not so long ago he urged this country to join the euro, a policy almost every breathing human now realises would have been a disaster.
Since the election, he has reappeared to gloat over Jeremy Corbyn’s failure and claim that Corbyn’s ‘revolutionary programme’ and ‘Marxist past’ stopped him winning the Election. This is very odd coming from Blair. He has told us before that he was himself once a Trotskyist.
He has never revealed which particular organisation he joined, although a close friend of his belonged to the International Marxist Group, which called for ‘Victory to the IRA’ and urged its student members to infiltrate and take over the moribund Labour Party in the 1970s, when no vaguely sane person under the age of fifty would have joined it.
An astonishing number of Mr Blair’s Cabinet were also ‘former’ Marxists – and these are just the ones we know about. And, as we all now know, Blair did indeed give ‘Victory to the IRA’ in his Good Friday surrender to them in 1998 – the fact that it was a surrender is shown by the continued legal pursuit of British soldiers accused of crimes during the Troubles, and the effective mass pardon given to IRA killers, though some people still refuse to see it.
As for Mr Blair’s other policies – rapid integration in the EU, participation in mad foreign wars, sale of our gold reserves just before the price shot up, a gigantic splurge in welfare and NHS spending way beyond our means, unlimited immigration, fanatical pursuit of political correctness – they are a mixture of zealotry and stupidity, slightly different from Mr Corbyn’s, but only very slightly.
I just wish all those who managed to see the obvious Corbyn threat will one day understand the damage they have allowed Anthony Blair to do by praising him as the ‘moderate’ he never was.
He should be banned from spouting his nonsense because he is an excellent orator and manages to persuade decent folk that he is the voice of moderation and reason.
He is most definitely not I’m afraid. He is a very nasty man with a great deal of blood on his hands.