Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Fade Britannia

Behold Blairite Britain!

Royal Navy commanders were in uproar yesterday after it was revealed that almost half of the Fleet's 44 warships are to be mothballed as part of a Ministry of Defence cost-cutting measure. Senior officers have said the plans will turn Britain's once-proud Navy into nothing more than a coastal defence force.

The Government has admitted that 13 unnamed warships are in a state of reduced readiness, putting them around 18 months away from active service. Today The Daily Telegraph can name a further six destroyers and frigates that are being proposed for cuts. A need to cut the defence budget by £250 million this year to meet spending requirements has forced ministers to look at drastic measures.

The six warships to be mothballed are the Type 22 frigates Cumberland, Chatham, Cornwall and Campbeltown and two Type 42 destroyers Southampton and Exeter.

It is likely that they will eventually be sold or scrapped. There are also fears in the Admiralty that two new aircraft carriers, promised in 1998, might never be built. Meanwhile the French navy, which will be far superior to the Royal Navy after the cuts, will announce before the April presidential elections that a new carrier will be built.

Defence sources said it would be unlikely that the Navy could now launch an armada of the kind that retook the Falkland Islands in 1982.

I wept when I read this. Not a bit of hyperbold. Wept. This is a wicked and disgraceful thing. At a time when the world so desperately needs to increase its military spending one of the great naval powers of history is calling it quits. A glorious tradition finished off by a pack of grinning statists with no conception of the past or present. Mark Steyn has rightly called Tony Blair the first British Prime Minister who thought the job wasn't big enough for him, that he'd prefer to be a satrap of that Belgian based monstrosity the EU. Please no gibberish about Britain no longer having an Empire. We're not talking about rebuilding the Grand Home Fleet. Simply maintaining British influence on the world stage. Pulling her, and frankly much of Europe's weight in the world. France is keeping up, for her own perfidious ends. Why is Britain falling behind? Was the Great Thatcherite Revival merely an Indian Summer? Has Harold Wilson (who shut down the Admiralty) finally won out? Have the modern Little Englanders won out? The nation that checked Phillip II and Louis XIV, that brought down Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Nazism, that withstood Communism abroad and democratic socialism at home, done in, at long last, by a man who calls himself Tony? Can you imagine Sir Anthony Eden, the late Earl of Avon, asking a television interviewer to call him Tony? No, you cannot. I wish to finish this little rant of mine, for which I thank the indulgence of the proprietors, on what I hope is not a melodramatic note. John of Gaunt's deathbed speech from Richard II:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,

Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege

Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,

With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:

That England, that was wont to conquer others,

Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,

How happy then were my ensuing death!

Richard II, Act 2. Scene I

Publius

12 comments:

The Monarchist said...

On the upside, all of the links to Her Majesty's Ships in the right sidebar will be easier to manage.

Half the British fleet!!! No Carriers!! This brings their navy to the size of Canada or Australia?

I wonder if it has anything to do with the Channel being European waters now, as in who controls fisheries, controls the seas.

Way to burnish your legacy T.B., on the backs of the R.N.

Anonymous said...

They only have 44 ships?

Scott said...

A marvellous post. Terrible news.

And all the while, the Queen standing by does nothing. It is a common truism that the Queen cannot act politically without imperlling the Monarchy. I do not think that true: the people prefer her to any politician, and will do for a long time to come, so discredited are all political brands and politicians.

It would be good to see her speaking out on such matters - or, better yet, refusing to pass a number of laws in this vein.

Theodore Harvey said...

What exactly are Kaiser Wilhelm II. And Nazism doing in the same sentence?

There are many historical achievements of which Britain can be proud. Bringing down the German monarchy---which is precisely what paved the way for Nazism---is not one of them!

Kipling said...

The Germans brought down their own monarchy and replaced it with that weak and sickly thing the Weimar Republic. The pathologies that lead to Nazism were old and deep and many German monarchists became strong supporters of National Socialism.

In the end Wilhelm was a blundering tyrant who endangered the peace and liberty of Europe. Hitler could have been overthrown quite easily as late as 1936. Had the French simply refused to accept the re-militarization of the Rhur-Rhine and sent in a few divisions, no more than it had taken them to occupy the Rhur in the early 1920s, Hitler would have been overthrown by his generals. This was precisely the fear of many top Nazis when Hitler gambled with re-militarization.

The only blame that can be laid on Britain is that it did not push or back the French in 1936, or 1937 or 1938.

Cato said...

"We sailed where'er a ship could sail,
And founded many a might state;
Pray God our greatness should not fail
Through craven fear of being great."

Nuff said, really. But we shouldn't overlook the fact that we're trying to fun an armed forces establishment about 20% the size of the Americans' on about 10% of the Americans' budget (US$500 bn to US$50 bn). I'm frankly surprised that we aren't hurling rocks at the Taliban insurgents, with "A Present from Brighton" scratched on to them with a service knife.

But seriously, though, the inability to keep up with the Americans militarily and then downplaying the military in order to make it look deliberate is one of the ways in which British political culture is totally Europeanised. What, for the Americans, is in fact a great success, we see as our failure, so we call it theirs... "Oh, this is so last week, all these guns and bombs and so forth, trust those bestial swine to devote billions to instruments of pain and death, we shun such things, and spend our feeble tax revenues on baby incubators for the NHS and community out-reach programmes for disabled muslim lesbians. Much more civilised."

The trouble with this government in particular is that, unlike its European counterparts, it tries to do this whilst simultaneously pursuing the most robust overseas policy since Anthony Eden. But then, of course, that is entirely the point of New Labour: the political centre is empty - doesn't exist. Centrist policies are just an attempt to have right wing and left wing policies simultaneously.

Just listen to Blair's speeches - his favourite trick is to juxtapose statements which all previous statesmen would have considered contradictory: "an under-regulated free-market, with social responsibility for all", "maintaining the special relationship with America, while campaigning tirelessly for European unity," "ban cigarettes, legalise marajuana", and so on. The man thinks that by saying them together the opposites are reconciled. First up against the wall, I say...

Anonymous said...

Drool, Blairtannia! Blairtannia, cedes the waves!
Britons ever, ever, ever shall be slaves!

I think it has a lovely ring to it.

What do the Conservatives have to say about all this?

Burton

Dundonald said...

Sadly, the Boy King of the ex-Conservative Party does not 'do' defence!

Anonymous said...

"At a time when the world so desperately needs to increase its military spending..."

I'm sorry...a trillion dollars a year isn't good enough for you?

Younghusband said...

Why haven't I heard more about this? In fact, what I've read is Blair going on about how Britain needs to get MORE involved militarily and use its 'hard' power...

Mandysroyalty said...

The math textbook in our lovely American classroom lists England as a European Country. Shame and disgrace.

MandysRoyalty said...

(It was a data sample for a math problem.)