Since Prime Minister Theresa May and then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson announced in 2016 a new Global Britain approach to the United Kingdom’s position on the world stage, much speculation has been cast concerning precisely what this approach entails.

Robert Clark is British military veteran currently studying at postgraduate level at Kings College London. As a researcher and analyst, he has experience within both private think tanks and the UK government, including submitting evidence for the Defence Select Committee. His expertise includes UK foreign policy and Anglo-American military relations.

Recently, a new report released by the Henry Jackson Society’s Global Britain programme details more comprehensively what this new role for the UK should look like. The authors James Rogers and Bob Seeley MP argue that a Global Britain approach should be centred around three fundamental freedoms; Freedom for Trade, Freedom from Oppression, and Freedom of Thought.

Believing that these three key freedoms are essential for liberal democratic states to succeed in a more competitive world order, this report confirms several significant recent developments regarding the current world order which have already seen successful policy-driven implementations over the last two years.

The first development is the return to a competitive state-based international order. Though the United States (US) retains its global supremacy as the super power, and alongside it the success of NATO in ensuring trans-Atlantic peace for 70 years, various regions in the world have recently become much more competitive and, subsequently, unpredictable with a risk for conflict increasing.

This shift in the world order from one of unipolarity at the onset of the 21st Century to multipolarity in 2019 was illustrated by the National Security and Capability Review in 2018; highlighting both a revisionist Russia across Eurasia and an expansionist China, particularly in the South China Sea and wider Indo-Pacific region more broadly.

This development has led to the UK increasing both its diplomatic capability and defence engagement across east Asia and the Pacific in particular, establishing nine new diplomatic missions in Pacific island states whilst increasing cooperation with allies including Singapore and Japan.

The new strategic alliance forged with Japan in particular is an example of how increased bilateral defence engagement with strategic partners should be a cornerstone of a Global Britain approach.

As part of the UK’s activity in east Asia, it has increased significantly the Royal Naval presence transiting through these crucial waters. Conducting Freedom of Navigation Patrols both in 2018 and early 2019, the Royal Navy missions in Chinese-disputed international waters affirms James Rogers’ and Bob Seeley MP’s report citing the centrality of both Freedom for Trade and Freedom from Oppression for a Global Britain vision.

This presence will soon be augmented; announced by the UK Defence Secretary that the Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be making potentially its first operational mission to the Pacific.

The second recent development in the international system which this report addresses is the attempted erosion of the rules-based global order by states employing increasingly sophisticated and criminal methods of subversion. From the state-sponsored terrorist attack in Salisbury, UK, in 2018, to the unrelenting remote warfare being conducted against the Ukraine since 2014, to the increased military and diplomatic assistance given to Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad, Russia has sought to systematically undermine liberal democratic states and institutions, in particular to divide NATO and the EU, for at least the last ten years. Freedom of Oppression and Freedom of Thought are two essential strategies the UK should seek to further pressure the Russian regime into desisting its troubling activities.

Much the same as Russia, China seeks to circumnavigate both international law and liberal democratic institutions across the Indo-Pacific region, in an attempt to assert regional Beijing hegemony in a much less overtly aggressive, though potentially more dangerous and unpredictable nature, to that of Moscow.

Maintaining the international shipping lanes across the Indian Ocean is not just a UK security concern, but a global one. Whilst China has sought to project its influence across the region through its ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) programme, in addition to militarising port authorities from Djibouti to Sri Lanka to Myanmar, the increased Royal Naval presence across this region, building on the successes of 2018, should form a central pillar in a strategy to manage future potential bullish Chinese naval behaviour undermining the rules-based order.

Fundamentally this report seeks to address the growing concern as to what precisely the UK’s role should be in the world, especially in the light of the UK’s imminent withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

By strengthening alliances with global partners including the so-called CANZUK group (Canada Australia and New Zealand), as well as Japan and Singapore, in addition to promoting these three universal freedoms, the UK, working closely with allies, can seek to uphold and maintain, as it has since refusing to accept German aggression in Europe in the last century, the liberal norms and values which the global order strives to ensure to increase global peace and security.

84 COMMENTS

  1. I’m glad attention was brought to the CANZUK idea. I myself am I huge advocate for such an alliance, and its getting real legs now the Conservative Party of Canada have backed it and a great many politicians from Aus and NZ have endorsed it

    • The issue is that in all four counties the CANZUK concept is laughed at , its seen as a brexiters fantasy in the UK. What would it actually do? Free movement? We just left the EU because people in England were not happy about immigration, are we really going to jump in to a new union? Combined defence force? none of the other CANZUK countries spend 2% of GDP and we already have bilateral or multi lateral agreements. Combined foreign policy and a share of the UK’s UNSC perminant chair? Possibly the most substantial move but then would the UK whish to give away its influence. Also NZ is very much the weak link in the chain, too dependent on China. You might note the term five eyes disappearing being replaced with the G4 mantra in security circles now. I can’t see us giving NZ a veto on our foreign policy for no real benefit. Free trade agreement? We will rapidly have a free trade agreement with each of these countries and all three already have an agreement via TPP which is very much the good standard. Hard to see how we could go any further than TPP and if we did then all these countries would have to leave TPP. Much easier for UK to simply join TPP which we are trying to do.

      Come to think of it TPP membership may well be the prize the UK is looking for for getting involved in the pacific as it not only gets us free trade agreements with almost all the countries we want them with but it may also eventually solve our USA issues around trade if we join before the USA.

      • “…none of the other CANZUK countries spend 2% of GDP”

        On the contrary, not only does Australia spend 2% of GDP it is the only one of the CANZUK countries that does. In fact Australia spends more than the UK in terms of GDP (in 2017 2% vs 1.8% – SIPRI Military Expenditure Database).

        Australia also spends more per capita than the UK by about a third again ($1,100 USD per citizen vs $713 USD). With a population of just 25 million it is the 13th largest spender on defence in the world just ahead of Canada in 14th spot (population 36.7 million 1.3% of GDP).

        Australia is no longer the anglo-centric country of the popular British imagination. Today, half Australia’s population was either born overseas or has at least one parent who was. The total passed 50 per cent during 2018, based on official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

        Two out of every three new Australian arrivals since 2001 have been skilled immigrants from India, China, South Africa and the Philippines to work as doctors and nurses, human-resources and marketing professionals, business managers, IT specialists, and engineers.

        The Chinese population in Australia has grown by almost 480,000 in two decades; the Indian by 450,000 and both continue to grow. The Kiwis slowed to 250,000 between 1997 and 2017 while English migrants grew by just 50,000, as new arrivals barely covered those who left or died.

        It is also unrealistic to consider New Zealand as a major partner in the CANZUK relationship, either in terms of spending or capability. Australia has a population around 5 times its size, and economy ten times New Zealand’s and outspends it on defence by about 12 times ($27.5 billion USD to $2.3 billion USD).

        It’s yet another example of a nostalgic of view of CANZUK/Commonwealth/Empire 2.0 that bears no resemblance to the current reality.

        • https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/2-of-gdp-just-a-hop-skip-and-a-jump-away/

          Australia does not yet spend 2% but is on track, NZ and Canada no where near. I must agree with you however than CANZUK is a nostalgia shared by large amounts of people in England and no doubt a significant amount of white Australian.

          It’s also worth noting that the UK and Canada remain very similar to Australia and NZ as we all have large and growing non European populations with large Asia communities. The demographic make up of the US that opens very similar to the CANZUK countries is changing with large immigration from Latin America rather than Asia.

          • Defence budgets are murky things and it is difficult to compare them precisely between countries – apples and oranges.

            That is why I deliberately chose to use SIPRI’s independent data as a source since they make considerable effort to compare like-for-like.

            As to why they reported the UK spent less than 2% in 2017, you’d need to unpack that for yourself or drill down on SIPRI’s methodology.

            Word Bank data also shows Australia outspending the UK on GDP percentage terms in 2016 (2.093% Aus 1.839% UK) and 2017 (1.989% Aus 1.835% UK).

            The ASPI article you linked to was analysing the ADF’s Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS) for the Department of Defence.

            While this does include superannuation payments to the ADF it does not include the budget of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs allocation of some $11.2 billion for pensions and other veterans benefits which are reported to parliament in a separate PBS.

            However the SIPRI definition does include military pensions so this probably accounts for their relatively higher spend for Australia in 2017.

            Your original post that I was responding to re: CANZUK implied Australia was not pulling its weight in that comparison. While that could be argued to be the case for Canada and New Zealand in particular, it’s way off the mark for Australia.

            In any case my point still stands about the relative per capita expenditure on GDP being higher in Australia than the UK.

            As always a note of caution on comparisons as Benjamin Disraeli reminds us “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

          • Where to start?

            The survey appears to have been undertaken to provide ‘evidence’ for a particular point of view. The questions it does not ask are as important as the simple ‘motherhood’ proposition it tests.

            It is relatively easy to get public agreement on a motherhood topic, for example: Should everyone have access to free healthcare?

            It is the follow-up opportunity cost questions that start to test true sentiment and examine the trade-offs of benefits and costs – Would you be prepared to pay higher taxes to make sure others have free health care?

            There is also little detail on the survey’s methodology which tends to undermine its credibility. A properly demographically stratified poll will return more accurate results than an online poll distributed through outlets that have similar views to the CANZUK ‘organisation’ and online surveys tend to have high degrees of bias and self-selectivity (preaching to the choir).

            The links to background material tend to make too much of government, particularly Australian Government, support for the CANZUK notion.

            Firstly, diplomats tend to be, well, diplomatic – that is they tell other allied countries what they want to hear, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in the soothing words of any Australian Foreign Minister at any point of time to a visiting UK delegation.

            Anyway both Boris Johnson and Julie Bishop are no longer in their respective foreign ministry portfolios.

            Secondly, any particular assurances from the current Liberal Party (conservative) government are likely to be null and void by May this year.

            The Liberals are in minority government and trailing significantly in the polls. Parliament is in chaos with the government having lost a vote on major legislation for the first time since 1929 and they have taken the extraordinary step of withdrawing their own bills to avoid further defeats in the house. In short they are on the nose and are likely to be swept from power by Labor in the May election.

            The results of this survey don’t seem to gel with public sentiment. When the bizarre raw onion eating anglophile Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott briefly reintroduced Knighthoods to Australia there was widespread public condemnation and ridicule about harking back to empire and he was dumped as PM by his party.

            In any case it is a very simplistic survey that does nothing to drill down on the political, social and economic nuances that would need to be considered before either free movement or free trade agreements could be entered into in each of the nations.

            The survey would seem to have a ‘tin ear’ for social change in Australia including the current controversy around the date of Australia Day which commemorates the beginning of British colonisation of the Australian continent. The ‘change the date’ movement is gaining traction particularly among younger and more progressive voters with ‘invasion day’ marches now commonplace on Australia Day.

            Other polling (BMG Research for British Foreign Policy Group) conducted in the UK shows the US and China as being more strongly preferred than Australia as priorities for trading agreements, which makes sense since Australia accounts for only around 1% of UK trade.

            The same research shows support for UK-Australia ties is strongest among the elderly which tends to confirm the ‘nostalgia’ effect. Support for trade agreement with Australia in the UK was highest with the over 75s (45%) declining to just 14% for 18 to 34 year olds.

            Support was also higher amongst leavers than remainers (40% versus 21%). It is a pity the CANZUK survey doesn’t provide an age breakup of respondents.

            Appeals to the monarchy are anachronistic. Polling by Australian monarchists also falls into the trap of measuring motherhood statements about support for the monarchy. Support for the charm offensives of the ‘young royals’ is also cited but it is more likely to be a celebrity effect (UK version of the Kardashians) being captured and promoted by the media.

            While the Queen is widely regarded for her devotion to duty (and rightly so) she is a titular head with limited practical powers in Australian life. The monarchy’s appeal and relevance, especially to the already 50% of Australians whose heritage is outside the anglo-sphere, is likely to decline further when the Queen’s reign ends.

  2. I’m all for having a strategic vision, and it’s about time that the MOD and the Government started setting out some longer term priorities rather than just managing decline by wittering on about capabilities. However the money that Sec Def is using is really a very small amount in the grand scheme, and will only grab a few headlines rather than leading to a real increase in overall capability. For instance the new strike ships, converted ro ro ferries?, are supposed to be prepositioned with the necessary escorts and logistics back up. I’m really not sure where those assets are going to come from, bearing in mind the age and other needs of the remaining frigates and destroyers, and there certainly won’t be any spare P8’s in the foreseeable future.
    Having said that, it is interesting that Gavin Williamson gets a really bad press, which might well indicate that he is doing a pretty good job at the MOD?

    • the priority should be 30 warships, not converted compost carriers, all this multi role guff is annoying and doesn’t go anywhere near addressing the real issue of a surface fleet fit for purpose

      • So you don’t think 2 x 70:000 tonne carriers, F35B, Merlin, ect T45 ,T26 ,T31 and Astute class boats isnt fit for purpose? Id say that equipment list would be the envy of 99% of today’s Navy’s, sure we would like more of them, but better then soldiering on with old and outdated kit just to make the numbers look good.

      • What? actually multirole is far better than single role even if we did have 30 warships again. And most RN vessels have multiple roles anyway so I don’t get what you mean!. It’s that RN warships multiple roles should all be just as deadly as there primary role, type 45 for example.

        • A ‘Global Britain,’ would help to corral the defence budget more effectively, than its current vulnerable position. I have always said, new trade deals will most likely require some form of defence component, thereby ring fencing defence spending, especially, for the RN.

    • there is no vision, the vision should be to produce and operate a 30 ship surface fleet, not converted coal carriers and undefended luxuries like the QE AND THE ALBIONS if we’re going to operate such big vessels then they should be fully armed and worthy of the title warship, or stick to other pointless ‘toys like o.p.v’s and these converted coal carries.

  3. We definitely need stronger links with Canada, Australia and N.Z. We also have a special relationship with the U.S.A., the World’s superpower, we need to work that angle more in future. We definitely still want to be friends with our fellow European countries and neighbours too.

    • We can’t work our relationship with the US any more than we do. Most of what we get done is done off their backs. Any closer and we might as well roll up our armed forces (and security services) into theirs…..

      ……I once joked it would be just cheaper to pay the US insurance than have our own armed forces. Keep the Household Division for ceremonial, keep a small coastguard for FP and customs, and roll up SF into Home Office operated counter terrorism unit……

      • Amalgamate the RAF with the fleet air arm would make more sense. The FAA don’t worry about checking into hotels when they deploy. Imagine the savings you could make straight away from the RAF travel and Accom budget.

  4. At the moment, It feels like Britain Is being attacked from all angles, whether It be European Politicians, SNP Union Haters, Elite Business Leaders, Billionaire Investors or the Minority of homebred Remoaners.
    By having Vision and the belief in our Country and It’s People, I welcome the positive talk and actions. It’s what the Vote was for after all.

    • Cap,

      Attacked from all angles? You know why?

      Jealousy is a cruel mistress.

      I agree with you Vision and Belief and maybe a new confidence will develop, that yes sometimes things go wrong, sometimes we fail, but learn from these to make failure less and less likely and success more more the outcome.

      Gets down off soapbox waving the best flag in the world, although I do like Canada’s and Japan’s. The US flag? Rubbish! Frances, 3 stripes, is that the best you can come up with? No wonder you keep losing at everything, wars, rugby. Oh pooh these words in my head have spilled out again….

      • I would have preferred it if Canada kept their old one though.

        I think France should just substitute their blue and red for an all-white flag and be done with it.

        • I prefer the old Canadian Red Ensign as well, many in Canada do as well, it was only changed to appease the Quebecois, who are a bigger minority than we realise, the reason the French have so much power is due to the fact that French is the dual main language of Canada, as such you need as many french speaking civil servants as english ones, so they have an almost even split behind doors in the running of the country!
          I believe a lot of english speakers like the old flag as well, not that they have anything wrong with the current one.
          But I do like the maple leaf and Canada is of course its own country but if you think about it the old flag was more inclusive as it had the coat of arms which has the maple leaf, thistle, shamrock, rose and fleur de lis so all the main cultures of canada are included, the current flag in my opinion looks a bit bland and simple.
          As for the French their old flag was white so I guess that explains everything!

        • They’ve lost a lot Andy. Waterloo, Trafalgar Agincourt, WW1 WW2, ( From the point of view of being invaded by Germany and requiring us and the Commonwealth and the Yanks to rescue them), kicked out of Vietnam, Spanked last week….

          • But they did win a shit load before Waterloo, right up until the special one invaded Russia….never invade Russia, it should be like line one of every European nations global Vision.

            Don’t forget our rule class were effectively french until Richard fucked it all up and had to try and pretend he was British.

          • Lol, The French have fought and won more wars than any other nation on earth, well apart from Great Britain. It’s so funny how the French get blasted over WW2 😂, atleast we British took hundreds of thousands French over to the UK and Fed, Clothed and trained them for the invasion of Europe and they were among the first back into France. What do you guys think about the Royal Navy sinking the French Fleet in port in North Africa in WW2?

          • Im sure there was a reason for sinking the French Fleet but I never understood why they didn’t just requisition the ships for the RN, a few more battleships, cruisers, destroyers etc wouldn’t of gone a miss, but Im sure they had their reasons, and it was better than ending up in the enemies hands!

      • Canada’s Red Ensign was better than their current one. Now they have a dying and decaying piece of vegitation as their national symbol.

        • Totally Agree I loved the old Canadian flag, but those Canadians are to close to flag hugging loving USA so they had to change it. Australia and New Zealand have been talking about a flags change for years now, but there’s to many Royalists jst now.

          • I prefer the red ensign too, as do many in Canada, the current one is very bland but they are rightly their own country, its funny how close they are to the Americans these days, and its hard to imagine a time when they were closer to Britain than America as today they are nothing but a pale imitation of their southern brothers and have lost what makes them Canadian, but who are we to judge, its their country.
            As for the kiwis and aussies, the kiwis had a referendum a couple of years and voted to keep the flag, they are still a very pro British and pro monarchy country and probably the most outside of the UK, funny as they are on the other side of the world!

  5. Two or three thoughts.
    Firstly, a liberal democracy imposing its-self is something of an oxymoron. It sounds a lot like, we tolerate everything except your intolerance – in which case this is not tolerance but conformity, it is double speak. An expansionist liberal democracy is then, really an imperialistic agenda.

    Secondly, if we truly believe in freedom of thought then we must surely believe in the freedom of dissent and the freedom to reject liberal democracy. These might be the values we hold, but if we truly hold them, then we must truly uphold them, lest we become hypocrites, armed to the teeth and promising peace whilst agitating for war.

    Finally, Russia has certainly overstepped the mark and behaved like a childish, neighbourhood bully but let us also remember that in Georgia it was the incumbent government that precipitated military action, in the Ukraine the democratically elected Russian leaning president was overthrown by a subversive EU/US intervention using actual Ukrainian fascists and in Crimea the people had basically been victimised and marginalised by the government in Kiev for years. Again, none of this justifies Russia annexing parts of other countries or its deplorable tactics in the UK but we must recognise that Western Liberal Democracies have used fascist means to achieve their ends and behaved rather more like “neo-imperialists” than peace loving liberal democracies.

    I would full support this new vision if we actually practised what we preached and that means making space for those without liberal views here in the UK and accepting dissent amongst our own without marginalisation and humiliation by the political and media establishment.

    When I read Polly Toynbee defending the rights of Christians to pray outside abortion clinics, then I’ll know we live in a liberal democracy. Until then it feels a bit like propaganda.

      • You’re statement is self refuting. A tolerance that isn’t tolerant IS intolerance.

        Who determines what can or cannot be tolerated, what’s your moral standard? What gives that moral standard any authority? How do we even know your moral standard is true or “good”?

        Should we tolerate, theft, rape, murder … no, we punish these with incarceration, is this not intolerance?

        Your “tolerance” is nothing of the sort. It is old fashioned conformity with different values. Which is fine – but let us be open and honest about it and drop the double speak.

    • It’s certainly a tricky question: if everyone is free to hold their own views and beliefs, what do you do when clashing views collide? Do you stay out of it and potentially let innocent people be harassed and bullied, or do you intervene and suppress the views of some to protect others? You’ve provided a great example in terms of religion vs abortion.

      As with everything in life though, it’s about compromise. Those with religious views are fully entitled to them, but they have no right to force those views on others. If you ask people at abortion clinics to consider other options, fine. If you’re screaming “MURDERER” at vulnerable women who have their own beliefs, or otherwise refusing to respect other peoples right to make their own decisions independent of your personal views, then there’s a problem.

      Applying that logic to our actions globally: we should actively promote our ideals of freedom and equality across the world, and likewise accept others rights to choose alternative lifestyles. The emphasis has to be on others CHOOSING that alternative. If a dictatorship or a communist country has the willing support of its people, then we have no right to interfere, and should instead be encouraging links between our nations to the benefit of all. However, if people are being oppressed for their views, is it not our duty to intervene and try to help them?

      • “Religion and Abortion”.

        Not a Fan of Either, Personally.

        “Dictatorships”

        Every Country Basically has them.

        Quite how Russia has had Putin for so long, evades me.

        “Animal farm quote” “All animals are Equal” …. a few years later, “But some are more equal than others”.

        How unbelievably Corrupt Is Russia’s Elite post Glasnost. ? Eh ? and why do the Honest hardworking ordinary People actually Put up with all their Shit ???????

        We should be Embracing Russia and It’s people really, not tarring them all with the same brush just because of their Corrupt and Power Hungry Leaders.

      • Who shouts “murder” at vulnerable women. It doesn’t happen. Or if it does it is very rare and outweighed massively by the violence pro-life supporters receive at the hands of counter protestors.

        This is fake news.

        The modern tool of progressive liberal democracies and totalitarian Russian governments alike for controlling the populace.

        I totally agree with your vision for promoting our values and allowing others to choose their own paths. But, playing Devil’s Advocate – what happens when people start disappearing in Venezuela for opposing the socialist government? What happens when a young pro-life women praying outside an abortion clinic gets punched in the face? (Which happens a lot). What happens when CNN spin the murder of Lee Rigby 180degrees from the opposite of what the murderer was saying. What do we believe?

        Tolerance, actually seems to be a cover for intolerance and oppression. The right to choose seems to give anti-fa and the alt-left the right to hate, to spew their violence totally unopposed and close down free-expression. And perhaps it means we do not oppose as strongly as we should those who are committing atrocities abroad?

        Big questions which I don’t think modern, divided and “tolerant” Britain is equipped to answer.

    • As Mr Churchill once exclaimed ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others’.
      And what I believe he meant is that their are issues with our systems but until their is a better one found we will make do and I don’t think we ever will. And I do believe that everyone should be able to express their opinions even if I don’t agree with them, that is something that has been forgotten by both the far left and right today. When you start restricting peoples speech its a very slippery path and fine line until censorship and subjugation.
      As for expanding our values and ethos, its an interesting one, I do not believe, although fine in the 19th/early 20th century we should force our beliefs on anyone, just because they believe something different doesn’t mean we should force ours on them, we should try to persuade them around to our ways but even that is a fine line.
      Its Britains values and institutions descended from the Magna Carta which elevated the the individual above the state and not the other way around that have made Britain survive while so many others and other systems have fallen, the most successful and long lasting countries you’ll find are the ones that are descended from Britain, not only the US, CANZUK etc but in Africa the most successful are ex british e.g. Ghana, Kenya, SA, in the far east India, Singapore, Malaysia, HK etc.
      But we can see when you have unrestricted free speech, people can be persuaded and many more innocents can suffer for it, but where is the line? who defines the difference between free speech and hate?
      In terms of having these people standing outside abortion clinics shouting murderer etc at these girls, should that be banned? no, they have the right, and nor should we, especially the state have the right to stop them!
      What has been brilliant about our systems is Freedom Under Law, which means you have the right to better yourselves but their are limits.
      And what if people start preaching facist views(real ones not just what people call facist today), and start calling for the genocide of people, should we stop it? I believe yes, but how? Its a fine line, but I believe if the people are educated enough they will see past the propaganda, after all they should have the right to speak, but you have the right not to listen and voice your counter arguments!

      • Interesting point – no one stands outside clinics shouting murder. But this is the meme that’s being conveyed.

        Usually, there’s young mums with kids and a few elderly. I understand they usually pray quietly, sometimes sing hymns and occasionally get to talk to the women in question. Rarely anything more.

        There’s loads of video evidence to prove this and that counter protestors are the dangerous ones, often harassing pro-life women protestors. BUT because abortion is a “right” and the establishment is anti-Christian the actual truth is not spoken and the rights of these Christians to protest is being curtailed in law.

        This is what I a mean by marginalisation and humiliation. This isn’t liberality but coercion.

    • Agree with a lot of what you say here Nathan. Our freedoms are now allowed only if they conform with the values of the liberal elite. Otherwise they may not be allowed to be expressed. I believe in freedom of thought & speech. Someone once said to watch out for what society won’t allow to be criticised. People seem no longer able to hear out conflicting arguments in reasonable debate but demand everybody agrees with them or are villified & shut up. Generations of our sevicemen died for our freedoms but we seem to be becoming more intollerant of any dissent from a narrow Western ultra liberal ideology.

      If we remain at such weak military levels that decades of cutting has produced, we make ourselves just an annoying squeek objecting at those with real power doing wrong in the world. We carry little credability or send forces into conflict or danger with flawed levels of equipment & force, putting many more lives at risk than necessary.

      GW is doing a better job than most of our defence secretaries have for along time, but we need a genuine change in politics to stop churning out double-speak platitudes that don’t match the capabilities we’ve given our forces. Decieving the enemy is a prudent strategy, but deceiving your own people that everything’s rosy when disaster beckons is a low form of treason.

      • Totally agree.

        How can we stand for a moral, voice that protects freedom of speech and conscience around the world when we’re doing the opposite at home.

  6. @Cam re sinking of Part of French Fleet by RN at start of WWII.

    Had to be done. Even though the french bloke ( who’s name escapes me Petann?) and Churchill were friends, and the French bloke assured Churchill that the ships wouldn’t fall into German hands. The French ignored the British ultimatum of sail with us, sail to America etc or be sunk.

    Had to be done. Terrible shame lives were lost needlessly but had to be done.

      • Milliardenauftrag für Airbus: Bundeswehr bestellt 33 Eurofighter
        Die Bundeswehr will bei Airbus Kampfjets im Milliardenwert bestellen, wie das Bundesverteidiungsministerium entschieden hat. Das erfuhr der BR aus Regierungskreisen. Ein Geschäft von dem die Standorte in Augsburg und Manching profitieren.

        Milliardenschwerer Großauftrag für Airbus in Manching: Wie der Bayerische Rundfunk aus Regierungskreisen erfahren hat, bestellt die Bundeswehr bei Airbus 33 Kampfjets. Am Standort Manching würden dadurch rund 5.000 Arbeitsplätze für viele Jahre gesichert, bestätigt Airbus-Betriebsratsvorsitzender Thomas Pretzl.

        Der Ingolstädter Bundestagsabgeordnete Reinhard Brandl (CSU), der auch im Verteidigungsausschuss sitzt, begrüßt die Entscheidung des Ministeriums “sehr”, die alten Eurofighter durch Flugzeuge der neuesten Generation zu ersetzen. “Das ist insgesamt wirtschaftlicher als eine Nutzungsdauerverlängerung. Die Bundeswehr bekommt dadurch eine Eurofighter-Flotte mit einheitlichen Fähigkeiten. Das vereinfacht auch den Betrieb und die Logistik.”

        Gesamtauftrag im Wert von 3,3 Milliarden Euro
        Die Bestellung des Verteidigungsministeriums wird 33 Eurofighter umfassen. Die neuen Flieger sollen 33 alte Eurofighter der ersten Generation aus der Tranche 1 ersetzen. Insider schätzen den Wert eines neuen Eurofighters auf rund 100 Millionen Euro. Der Gesamtauftrag hat damit einen Wert von rund 3,3 Milliarden Euro.

        Ein Teil der Produktion und dann auch der Wartung wird am Airbus-Standort Manching stattfinden. Auch der Airbusstandort Augsburg profitiert. Bauteile für den Eurofighter werden in mehreren europäischen Ländern gefertigt und dann im oberbayerischen Manching fertig montiert. Hier sitzen auch die Entwicklungsabteilungen.

        Auftrag kommt gerade zur rechten Zeit
        Aktuell ist die Produktion bei Airbus in Manching nicht ausgelastet, weil die Eurofighter aus vorangegangenen Tranchen fertig produziert sind. Die letzten drei Eurofighter aus der sogenannten Tranche 3A wird Airbus in diesem Jahr ausliefern. Folglich kommt der neue Auftrag des Verteidigungsministeriums gerade zur rechten Zeit, um die Anschlussbeschäftigung zu gewährleisten, so Airbus-Betriebsratsvorsitzender Thomas Pretzl. Allein mit der Eurofighter-Produktion sind in Manching rund 2.500 Airbus-Mitarbeiter beschäftigt. Sie waren in den vergangenen Monaten nicht mehr ausgelastet und wurden teils mit der Wartung von Flugzeugen beschäftigt.

        Noch größerer Auftrag womöglich in Aussicht
        Derzeit hofft Airbus noch auf einen weiteren, noch größeren Auftrag, so Airbus-Betriebsratsvorsitzender Thomas Pretzl. Im Gespräch ist, dass auch die veralteten Tornados der Bundeswehr durch Eurofighter ersetzt werden könnten. Ihre Stückzahl liegt bei 90. “Hier ist sehr viel Ingenieursarbeit gefordert, so dass das dann auch Auslastung für unsere Ingenieure bringt”, sagt Pretzl.

        Die Entscheidung des Verteidigungsministeriums, ob auch die 90 veralteten Tornados durch neue Eurofighter ausgetauscht werden sollen, ist noch offen.

        • Steve. What’s that in English then ? I’d like to be able to understand It all rather than what I assume Is being said, Is there an order for 33 New Typhoons to replace the 90 Tornadoes ? I thought the decision had yet to be taken.

          • Replacing Tornado with Typhoon leaves Germany unable to carry out it’s NATO nuclear strike missions. Typhoon is not certified to carry buckets of sunshine so weakens the NATO collective defence stance.

    • Like Boxer and Challenger all part of the German plan to protect its defence industry jobs, vulnerable as it is to French dominance in European defence. Of course we in the UK are happy to help :-). VBCI is out, Boxer is in for example. Rheinmetal takes control of BAe armoured vehicle business etc. My money is on the Atlas Elektronic bid for Type 31…Meko design built in Belfast. 😉
      As to the Germans funding the French aspirations for a European successor to F-35….not going to happen in my view.

  7. I don’t see how the U.K. can expand its strategic ambitions without significantly expanding its defence budget. The US deploys 15 times as many fast jets. China operates 8 times as many fast jets and more than 4 times as many first-rate frigates and destroyers. Britain simply needs more of everything if it is to be more than peripherally relevant to the global balance of power conversation.

    • I think for me it is when scrimp here and there or just make dumb decisions. Take Astute. We need 8 not 7, but one government makes a political decision and bang we are hurt for decades. Again Astute. Obvious candidate for VLS. Did the RN push for it ever? And if they did how much did we save not implementing that feature? Probably little for a large increase in flexibility and capability. T45 and the MOAS. And so on. Little snips here and there. We won’t get a few years grace for the next war like we did with WW2. In a shifting world we don’t know who our friends will be so ‘sharing’ capabilities is something we should avoid….

  8. I like this site, the articles and comments are interesting, but I always find it strange when the west goes on about a liberal world order and demands a standard of behaviour from countries while not living up to those same standards itself. Yes I am Russian so dont bother with the troll reply, but in my view there is alot of talking between leaders, very little listening, both sides see the same problems but have different views and while no one is listening or respecting each other nothing will change

        • I remember once saying here that the only shipbuilding we should throw government weight / public funding behind is submarines. Then some twerp accused me of being Russian. Sort of ignoring the fact that the one sphere where Russia does present us with problems is submarines and the best counter for a SSN is another SSN. Labour favouring surface ships built in Scotland over submarines built in UK has done us far more harm.

    • Fair enough, our supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia and then turning a bling eye to how they are used in Yemen is a case in point. That said, I do believe we mostly have the right intentions, to keep world trade free, preserve human life (yes I know there are many examples where we get this wrong or are directly involved in conflict), and generally to ensure world order.

      History may show that we get things wrong but our intentions are good, mostly. I am not sure the same could be said for Mr Putin, although I acknowledge that the West’s actions haven’t always helped i.e. bringing former Soviet countries into NATO and the EU so quickly.

  9. …but you’re actually saying your Russian. That’s cool. Most Russians call themselves John Smith or Alfred Brown and we can tell they are fake names – tell that they’re not British. It’s nice to hear an honest, Russian, opinion.

    • I have no reason to hide the fact I am Russian Nick, I am not here to troll or make offence, just to learn and understand the thinking, I am happy not to comment if I cause anger to some, I do not wish to take away other people’s enjoyment of this site. I am also a fan of the UK military so find the articles here and at other sites interesting

      • Morning Ulya, How do you view your Political Leaders and the direction your economy is taking with so many Ultra Rich people calling the shots? Or Is It all just Western Propaganda ?
        I would be genuinely Interested in your thoughts.

        • Ulya could pose that question back to you/us. The increasing divide between rich and poor in this country is startling. OK the rich in the UK do not necessarily call the shots like in Russia but we have many problems of our own.

          Ulya, if I may ask, what view do you have of the UK military? I tend to think we have some fantastic people and equipment but nowhere near enough in certain areas. We are also quite like the ‘paper tiger’ that our defence secretary refers to, in that even our best ships and planes do not have all the weapons they should, and we do not have enough frigates, submarines, destroyers, or fast jets.

          • Rob, your infantry is considered very good, one of my brothers is in VDV and I grew up in VDV bases, when they moved from conscript to contract soldiers and improved training UK training was looked at very hard, mainly Para and RM. You have some good equipment but not enough, your land based air defense against missiles is very weak (sorry, I work with missiles so have studied this). I dont mean to offend but the UK is not considered a threat simply because you lack depth to take losses and came back for round 2. I hope I explained this ok

            Captain, our economy is doing ok, growth is modest but heading in the right direction, and moving away from oil/gas only, sanctions have been a good motivator for the government to invest, they had been very lazy to begin with. We still have a problem with corruption but that is improving and the rich have always called the shots, that is the same every where, some maybe need a bullet in the back of the head, but Russia is civilised these day so we avoid that 🙂 . Russia still have many problems that need fixing but will get there, it is very much improved from the country I was born into. Forgive me if I missed some questions, answering between meetings

          • “I don’t mean to offend but the UK is not considered a threat simply because you lack depth to take losses and came back for round 2. I hope I explained this ok.”

            Sounds about right to me, we don’t. Round after round of defence cuts has seen to that. BTW we are no threat to Russia anyway, we certainly wouldn’t start a conflict.

  10. Global Britain?
    Well use some of that 0.7% foreign aid on those dots on the map still British.
    We were the “workshop of the world”, but many governments of all persuasions have done their best to shut it down with heavy taxes & regulations, while starving it of funds.
    Why not lead with transparency? Why do we allow front companies in tax havens to apply for planning permission to build thousands of houses on green belt, without knowing who the true beneficiaries are? If an acre of farmland costs £30,000, but leaps to £2million with permission to build, then the potential for corrupt dealings is obvious, to everyone except HMG, who turns a blind eye to it. Corruption is not just in the Third World.

  11. Global Britain can’t even leave the EU
    GLOBAL Britain doesn’t even have a United Kingdom pun intended!
    Global Britain is Fucked!
    THE US is on its way to a possible meltdown with over 7 million Americans unable to pay back the credit they were giving for thier gas guzzling cars.
    China is buying up more gold and has amassed at least 3 trillion dollers worth that sit nicely in reserve as it tries to steer the world away from USD.

    Project HS2, Brexit and the NHS is quite simply just to big an ask for our politicians to solve never mind being dragged around the world with the yanks.

    A storm is coming people and I have feeling it ain’t gonna be pretty.

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