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

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Britain Heading for a Navy the Size of Belgium's

I'm spending my three weeks of Chinese New Year break in Winterpeg instead of cycling in Egypt or Israel as had been my original plan due to sentimentality for family getting the better of me. I arrived to -40 C weather on a day two firemen were killed on duty. Here much has been mentioned about heroes, and in particular Canadian heroes in Afghanistan who are felt to be doing so alone with the US, UK and the Netherlands while erstwhile NATO allies like Germany and France refuse to do their part. In fact, Germany is currently selling their leopard tanks to Canada so that the Canadians can continue to fight for them. While the Canadian Government appears at pains to express its concern and admiration for its troops, consider the situation back in the Mother Country.

Sir Jonathon Band, Britain's First Sea Lord, has threatened to quit in protest at spending cuts that would help save £250million from the defence budget this year. This while the UK finds itself fighting two simultaneous wars. Sir Jonathon warned that without boosting Navy spending by £1billion a year just to cover day-to- day costs, such as training and spares, Britain will become nothing more than a third-rate sea power. Currently with the way thing are going, with the number of major warships shrinking drastically in recent years leaving the Navy's fleet of frigates and destroyers cut from 31 to 25 and more than a dozen remaining vessels mothballed in dockyards to save money, "we may throw the baby out with the bathwater. We could turn into the Belgian navy. If we do, I'm gone." Belgium's navy at the moment has three frigates and less than 2,500 personnel - compared with the more than 40 major warships in the Royal Navy.

This will certainly affect any chances of developing the concept of an Anglosphere fighting for its interests and values. At the moment the Royal Navy is the U.S. navy's preferred partner on military operations, but Sir Jonathon has spoken out on how any remaining leverage its reputation still provides in Washington was in danger of being lost. Specifically, he has said that the Navy's £3.1billion annual budget must rise by about a third. This in addition to the two aircraft carriers which had been earmarked for service five years from now but which have still not been ordered.

Just how much the Government values its military is to be seen.


BBS said...

I was stunned when I read this today. I know they've been going through cuts for the last few years but had no idea it was this deep.

Scott said...

I'm disgusted by New Labour's mistreatment of the armed forces. They MUST be given the funding. When there are billions of taxpayer's pounds missing (black holes caused by abortive schemes, mistrials etc, in public spending), because of exuberant incompetence, this disgrace is made even more pronounced.

I can't believe it.

Younghusband said...

What's worse to my mind is that the man responsible for depriving the military of the funds it needs so desperately (and has needed for the past decade) will be the next PM...

Jason Bo Green said...

This is baffling, I've never heard of this. Britain without a navy? Britain? Without a navy?

The sound you're hearing is the sun truly setting on the British Empire.

The Monarchist said...

How convenient. Belgium is where Britain takes much of its marching orders anyways, so I suppose it all ties in for the future.

I suspect this is a little much though - I just can't see a capitulation on this scale. I just can't.

John Murney said...

This is awful. The British Empire and global hegemony was possible because of the Royal Navy, the same Navy that won at Trafalgar and that defeated the Spanish Armada. How embarrassing, really and truly.

Dundonald said...

Given that we are governed from Belgium, this should not come as a complete surprise.

Despite the fact that our Army is engaged in two counter-insurgency campaigns where force protection and air assets are of vital importance, Tony “no choppers” Blair has agreed to re-equip the British Army for EU-inspired peace keeping operations, after an agreement with Chirac in 1998 to set up the European Rapid Reaction force (ERRF). The Royal Navy is being sacrificed to carry out this task.

This is exemplified by the £14 billion Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) that will result in hugely expensive “net-centric” and lightly-armoured vehicles that will undoubtedly look rather cool when parading the EU banner during the President’s Birthday Parade, but will be useless in warfare. While the Government is mothballing main battle tanks, they are spending inordinate amounts of taxpayers’ money on equipment that offers no strategic value in any of the conflicts in which we are currently engaged. The FRES doctrine, once seen as the future of warfare, has long since been overtaken by events.

FRES constitutes the single largest military procurement programme, and will come second only to the Trident replacement in terms of capital costs. Yet, its strategic purpose is unclear, apart from the bizarre obsession of displaying “European solidarity” by successive British governments. After all, one cannot possibly preoccupy oneself with the national interest when the hubrisarchs of Brussels call for their fantasy Euro-army.

Thus, we see the crossroads on which our national future will be decided. Will we play our full part in the Anglosphere, determined to ensure Western prominence in the “War on Terror”, or will we complete our retreat into parochial Europeanism—an offshore Belgium? I feel our politicians have already made up their minds.

I’m sorry that the reality is slowly being unveiled to the good people of the Dominions. Is it really this bad? Yes. Is this a complete betrayal of our history and of our national purpose? Yes. However, pre-1997 history is of no concern to the Islington oligarchy. Prepare yourselves for a significant British retreat—nay, withdrawal—in Iraq before the year is out, one which will be spun as a magnificent “victory”.

Beaverbrook said...

At some point, the French and Spaniards will call on dear old England to decommission HMS Victory, as a guesture of continental solidarity.

Dundonald said...

It might happen sooner than you think, if the rumours about the closure of HMNB Portsmouth are true.

3 lions said...

With English independence the navy will be even smaller than this, yet a small English navy with Gods help gave it large to the Spanish armada, We may be small but with hearts of oak we we the remnant that remains will bow the knee to no foreign power.

Unrepentant Jacobite said...

Consider it a form of revenge for the destruction of the brave Spanish Armada in their quest to free England from Bloody Bess and her heretical, Mass-hating tyranny.

It took a few centuries but...