The annual speech was given at the Royal United Services Institute, on the current state of Defence.

“Excellencies, my lords, ladies and gentlemen – it’s a great privilege to be with you this evening to give this annual lecture. Last year I observed that there had probably never been a better week for a CDS to be controversial – I wonder how many of you can remember why? It was the day before the so-called meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal was due to take place – I say due to take place because, of course, it didn’t – but nonetheless it was a good week to be controversial. This year I suspect I shall regard success as my not making any unwarranted headlines a week before the General Election.

Last year I described a strategic context that was more uncertain, more complex and more dynamic than I could remember. I said instability was the defining condition with threats to our nation diversifying, proliferating and intensifying very rapidly. So, what’s changed?

If anything, events over the last 12 months suggest the context has become even less stable. And the multi-lateral system that has assured our security, stability and prosperity for several generations continues to be undermined by assertive authoritarian regimes who behave as if their historic right of entitlement is being denied to them. As I put it last year – we have returned to an era of great power competition, even constant conflict – reminiscent, perhaps, of the first decade of the last century.

In terms of our immediate interests – Russian activity in the North Atlantic and in SACEUR’s area of operations more widely is at a post-Cold War high; another page has been turned in Syria with Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring in September; Iraq’s government is fragile after several months of public disorder and there is public disquiet in Lebanon; freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf is being challenged; Yemen remains in conflict; Libya is increasingly a proxy war; the security in the Sahel and West Africa continues to decline; the outcome of September’s Afghan election remains undecided, which will impact the peace process and tensions in Kashmir have not diminished.

I could go on – but worryingly, I think, the trends are not positive. For example, the number non-International Armed Conflicts (i.e. those in which the provisions of the Geneva Convention are limited) is rising – according to the ICRC’s legal classification the number has increased from fewer than 30 to more than 70 in the last few years.

Daesh, and the extremist ideas it represents, has absolutely not been defeated – indeed the threat from terrorism has proliferated – as was sadly demonstrated once again in last Friday’s attack at London Bridge. And the conditions in parts of the world are not conducive to reducing the growth of extremism. For example, the IMF and the Brenthurst Foundation state that 62% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is under the age of 25, by 2030 the population will be around 1.65 million, and by 2050 it will have doubled from today to around 2.1 billion, with some 900 million living in cities. Poor governance, conflict, parlous economic growth, and climate change suggest that population displacement and migration will increase significantly from the relatively small numbers we have seen so far. And of course, none of this is helped by great power competition and a new scramble for Africa’s resources.

Looking to the Middle East, Chatham House’s paper on Future Trends in the Gulf tells us that youth unemployment is the highest in the world, now exceeding 25%. Gulf economies and political systems, are becoming increasingly unsustainable, due to low oil prices – three of the six GCC countries need oil to be at $100 a barrel to balance their books, even without population growth, and in four of the GCC, hydrocarbons will run out within the lifetime of citizens being born today. None of this will be conducive to internal stability and it will lead to these states becoming vulnerably indebted.

Of course, all of this instability is reflected in the activity levels of our Armed Forces – with some 36 ongoing operations and 36% of trained strength being committed either to operations or at very high readiness. Our activity has been focussed on deterrence and reassurance, counter terrorism, increasingly persistent presence – a theme I shall return to – and the generation of modernised capability. For striking the right balance between the fight tonight and the fight tomorrow is important not just for the sustainability of our Armed Forces, but equally importantly to ensure we are capable of dealing with the threats of the future.

Now, in support of deterrence and reassurance highlights this year include – and demonstrated by the 50th anniversary of Op RELENTLESS, the continuous at-sea deterrent:

The largest maritime exercise in the Baltic since the end of the Cold War – Exercise BALTIC PROTECTOR this summer tested our Joint Expeditionary Force’s interoperability and involved all eight of our partner nations – although, of course, it is slightly debateable whether ‘exercise’ is the right term, given the effect we are seeking from them; Exercise TRACTABLE saw the latest rotation of British troops to Estonia, demonstrating our ability to reinforce Estonia by land, sea and air with over 200 armoured vehicles; We have conducted air policing both in the Baltics and currently in Iceland; We have returned to exercising in the High North, and we have seen a growth in maritime activity in the North Atlantic in response to increased Russian surface and sub-surface activity; In conjunction with the French we conducted a series of exercises under the GRIFFIN banner to test the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force with a view to its full operating capability being declared in time for the 10th Anniversary of Lancaster House next year; And it was notable that the final brigade was withdrawn from Germany this summer ending nearly 75 years of forward basing on the continent.

In terms of persistent presence deployed overseas, around 5,000 are deployed as part of our global footprint in overseas garrisons, as defence attaches and on loan service; around 5,000 are deployed on operations in the Gulf – and that number goes up and down depending on the threat – with the UN, in support of the French in the Sahel, and on enhanced forward presence in Estonia; and deployments have taken place to more than 60 countries this year, and we will have conducted over 600 capacity-building tasks.

As we modernise our capability, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH has been conducting trials and integration of the Carrier Air Group on the eastern seaboard of the United States. This was the first operation as a formed Task Group with UK escorts, support ships and submarines and is a key step en route to Carrier Strike initial certification at the end of next year. Next week we will commission HMS PRINCE OF WALES. And the first of nine P8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft have been received by the Royal Air Force. In the land domain it is excellent news that after a very long journey the Army will start to see the first versions of the UK Boxer mechanised infantry vehicle begin to enter service in 2021.

But I think it is important to reflect on the context in which all this activity is taking place. I referred to great power competition at the beginning. The challenge for us in the West is that the character of that competition, being conducted by authoritarian opponents, is attacking our way of life and our freedom in a manner that is remarkably difficult to defeat without undermining the very freedoms we seek to protect. There is a growing academic consensus that that the idea of ‘political warfare’ has returned. This is a strategy that is designed to undermine cohesion, erode economic, political and social resilience, and challenge our strategic position in key regions of the world.

The pervasiveness of information and the pace of technological change are transforming the character of warfare and providing new ways to execute this form of authoritarian political warfare including information operations, espionage, assassinations, cyber, the theft of intellectual property, economic inducement, the utilisation of proxies and deniable para military forces, old fashioned military coercion, using much improved conventional capability, and, of course, lawfare – all of which is backed by clever propaganda and fake news to help justify these actions.

Now, I think our own media has a really important role to play in setting up a well-informed public debate as well as protecting our democracy. And I hope we can avoid unfounded speculation as we’ve seen in the last two editions of a certain Sunday paper – where I learned that myself and the CGS were at “daggers drawn” over the future shape and size of the Army, with reductions to under 65,000 being contemplated; I learned we were mothballing one of our aircraft carriers; and that my tenure was about to expire. Whether this is fantasy journalism, wishful thinking or fake news from one of our authoritarian opponents – I leave you to judge.

But returning to political warfare – as Edward Lucas puts it in his commentary on this – “Strategic culture in the West is characterised by a sharp distinction between ‘peace’ and ‘war’ with little scope for active conflict in between. In this Western conception there is scope for debates, disputes, demands, tensions and major geostrategic contests without compromising the fundamentals of peace all take place without compromising the fundamentals of peace. War only occurs when formal or informal armed forces engage each other using kinetic force.”

He goes on to say “these regimes, by contrast, view the strategic landscape as characterised by a continuous and never-ending struggle that encompasses everything from what the West calls ‘peace’ to nuclear war. When they consider conflict along this spectrum, the primary change from one end to the other is the relative weighting that is given to non-military and military instruments. These regimes believe that they are already engaged in an intense form of warfare, but it is political conflict and not kinetic warfare. Their primary operational focus is on employing a range of mainly non-military instruments in non-traditional ways below the threshold of large scale conventional military operations to achieve strategic gains.”

This form of warfare perhaps turns the Clausewitzian dictum that war is an extension of politics upside down – political warfare is war by other means. The risk with all this is unwarranted escalation leading to miscalculation. And the Syrian conflict is a case in point. The Carter Centre counted over 1,000 armed groups fighting in Syria at the beginning – including numerous foreign and domestic factions – the Syrian Armed Forces and its allies, the Free Syrian Army and its allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces, Daesh or ISIS, foreign influence including Russia (and Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group), Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US-led Coalition, Israel and, of course, the Netherlands. And of course, these different actors all have very different agendas. Now this suggests that this is a tinder box that could easily ignite a wider conflagration.

All this requires a strategic response that integrates all of the levers of national power – a ‘fusion’ approach that brings coherence and consistency to our UK strategy. Both major parties in this campaign have said that they intend to have a strategic defence and security review, and in theory 2020 would be the next moment for an SDSR in the current quinquennial cycle. Either way it would help us in Defence to have a review that could help us answer some of these significant strategic questions.

I suggest that our starting point for a review should be a proper assessment of the threat and this should take the form of a net assessment that determines where our current trajectory will take us in 2030 relative to those of our competitors. We might deduce from this that our approach to deterrence needs updating, for the form of authoritarian political warfare that we are confronted with requires a more dynamic approach.

Our doctrine talks about the four ‘Cs’ of deterrence: comprehension, capability, credibility and communication. To this we should add a fifth ‘C’ – that of competition, recognising that escalation and de-escalation need to be dynamically managed on multiple ladders – effectively manoeuvre in multiple domains.

We also need to invest rather more, I suggest, in comprehension. I have regularly quoted Antonio Giustozzi in the past, who in reflecting on our efforts in the first couple of decades of this century, observed that “every age has its follies, the folly of our age has been an irresistible desire to change the world without first studying and understanding it.” Hence the need for better intelligence and warning to inform genuine insight and understanding, and therefore further investment in persistent and forward engagement to establish networks, identify opportunities and develop relationships with allies and partners.

Clearly, we must never lose sight of the importance of credibility, which is drawn in large part from capability, but beyond it I think we should double down on our many strengths. I have been very struck in my year-and-a-half as CDS by our international status as what industry calls a reference customer. People want our training and education and they value our kite mark.

Whether it is brands like Sandhurst, our Staff College or the Royal College of Defence Studies it is remarkable how many alumni around the world have become leaders or chiefs of their forces and who regard their experience at our institutions as defining. For example, three leaders in the Middle East were educated at either Staff College or Sandhurst and the current head of Pakistan’s ISI is a recent graduate of RCDS. And the trend continues – at this December’s Sandhurst Sovereign’s Parade the sons of the Emir of Qatar and the Agong of Malaysia will be commissioned.

The Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training is the undeclared centre of NATO interoperability and maritime standards – with some 13 nations dependent on it for high-end training. Every year around 40 Air chiefs from around the world will attend the Royal International Air Tattoo and the preceding Air Chief’s conference, and over 80 countries send their students on our Air Force’s courses. These are brands that provide us with global leverage and thought leadership. And they are, to coin a recent phrase, ‘over ready’ for export. Indeed, we have a team in Jamaica at the moment looking to help the Jamaicans create an officer academy for the Caribbean as a whole.

But we also provide world leading training and capacity building. Whether it is specialised infantry providing training, advice, assistance, and even accompanying African battalions on UN and AU missions or the GCC Chiefs of Defence coming annually to London to discuss capability development, we have remarkable people who are wanted the world over.

A Defence review would confirm the importance of NATO. And while there has been much debate this week about its significance and its relevance, no-one should be in any doubt about how successful it has been. 70 years is remarkable longevity given that the average duration of a military alliance in the last 500 years has been no more than 15 years. Since 2014, NATO has undertaken the biggest reinforcement of deterrence and defence in a generation, with a particular focus on the readiness of armed forces and on an increase in non-US Defence spending.

It is also, I would suggest, conducting one of the most rapid transformations of an international organisation in history – it is turning its mind effectively to the challenges of the future, including China, space, cyber, hybrid warfare, subversion, disinformation and new technologies. We have seen a NATO adaptation ‘roadmap’ on the challenges and opportunities of emerging and disruptive technologies, and NATO’s first new military strategy for 50 years which takes a 360-degree approach to security. And the UK is at the very heart of this thinking.

A Defence review though will also need to be honest about the true state of our forces. This involves mobilising ourselves to improve readiness and enhance resilience; to protect our critical national infrastructure; and to think laterally about how to outmanoeuvre our opponents and communicate our actions. What worked for the predictability of stabilisation and counter insurgency operations in the last 20 years or so won’t work in today’s context. The efficiency initiatives of the last 25 years have taken risk against readiness and resilience. We have looked to optimise our logistic infrastructure, reduce inventory, rationalise stock, and outsource whatever we can to industry.

Do we know what ‘just in time logistics’ has done to our supply chains? Have we assured sovereign capability where we need it? Has our competitive procurement process shared risk with our suppliers as well as it might for our support solutions? And how do we improve the availability of our key platforms? What impact would Reserve, and Regular Reserve mobilisation have on our employers? These are all issues that must be tested, and our intention is to do just that in an exercise called AGILE STANCE next autumn. And we’ll need commitment from our industry partners to learn the necessary lessons and help us prepare to fight the war we might have to fight.

A Defence review needs to do this at the same time as creating adequate headroom for us to modernise. Our modernised force will be framed through the integration of five Domains: Space, Cyber and Information, Maritime, Air and Land. This will change the way we fight and the way we develop capability.

Our new UK Strategic Command which formally stands up next week as the successor to Joint Forces Command is charged with driving the essential integration across the modernised force to achieve multi-Domain effect. It will develop and generate the capabilities we need to operate successfully in this sub-threshold context (or grey zone as some call it) – including space, cyber, special operations and information operations. It will also command the strategic base, including the fixed parts of our global footprint, and the support, medical and logistic capability that enables operational deployment and mobilisation.

We have to move beyond ‘Jointery’ – integration is now needed at every level – not just at the operational level where the term ‘Joint’ applies. Modern manoeuvre in any domain will onny be enabled by effects from all domains. I saw this vividly as a divisional commander in Kandahar where the integration of cyber, air and land effect realised an outcome that was far greater than the sum of the parts.”

Read the entire speech here.

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Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Can someone please ask him to explain why mixing wheels and tracks in the Strike Brigades is a good idea. And why the Boxers are, as things stand, being bought under armed, rather than in the variants required to make the Strike concept effective. Not off topic at all, they are HIS creation. “I suggest that our starting point for a review should be a proper assessment of the threat” “A Defence review though will also need to be honest about the true state of our forces.” SDSR are always about money – politicians look at what they are prepared… Read more »

Tom
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Tom

It would be good to see financial savings made. The NHS needs the money which is being frittered on military vanity projects combatting enemies which are often the creation of the miitary themselves coupled with a too aggressive foreign policy. I really believe neutrality is the way ahead.

Rob
Guest
Rob

The NHS is a fantastic achievement and should be protected, but the status quo just isn’t affordable now let alone in a few years with an ageing and growing population. Throwing more and more money at it without solving some of its fundamental problems is only a sticking plaster. I am also not convinced that cutting back on defence is the best option. Getting people off benefits and into proper full time work is the ideal approach, reduces the welfare state and increases taxes.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Agree. A job builds self esteem, lack of which is a major contributor to the incidence of much of load the NHS finds itself dealing with.

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

I agree with financial savings with regards to efficiencies and the way the MoD/ government of the day make fiscal defence decisions. I also know (with family working within it) that the NHS has massive efficiency savings to offer up as well within certain departments.

I disagree with the rest of your post I’m afraid. We must always be ready to fight our next adversary and maintain our influence around the globe, not sit back and remove ourselves from it.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

NHS is a bloated and mis-managed organisation that if a private sector company would have gone under years ago. The usual soundbites and one liners thrown about using the NHS as a lefty right hook gets boring pal. As for neutrality, damn get some earbuds, as keeping your head in the sand won’t do your hearing much good.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Hi Tom The uk has been in one conflict or another for nearly 30 years now, its not as if our politicians do not use the UK’s defence forces across the global and are often fully deployed (at the extremes of their safe operating structures). So whilst it would be nice to live in a World where defence isn’t needed, it is and whilst it is we need to provide our people with the best equipment going. Additionally defence as an industry is the 2nd largest exporter in the uk, providing valuable revenue to the treasury that does find its… Read more »

Steve Taylor
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Steve Taylor

Boxers are designed to be as mobile as Leopards. And we mustn’t forget that 3 Div’s brigades used to have an orbat of 1 x CR, 1 x Warrior, and 2 x Saxon.

But no it doesn’t seem ‘natural’.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree, it did. But at that time 1 Division was the primary force. Not 3 Division.

And 1 Division was all tracked, as far as combat vehicles.

I also assume the British Army had way more HET and certainly had more Tank Transport Squadrons at that time, as well as railway capability.

And 3 Division was certainly not meant to split into self supporting groups over a wide area.

And it still had firepower in the form of Warrior, Challenger, and AS90 self propelled artillery.

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

Yep. I was more suggesting such ‘thinking’ was not without precedent. Striker has other more serious problems with it’s lack of organic firepower than the running gear of the main vehicles. It would to me make sort of sense to have one brigade on tracks and one on wheels. And then have a battle group in each brigade on high readiness. Or as high a readiness as an armoured formation from an army from an island can be…… I liked how the US Army used to configure its cavalry regiments. 3 squadrons based on Bradley (with a platoon of tanks)… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

” was more suggesting such ‘thinking’ was not without precedent.” Yes, fair comment. “It would to me make sort of sense to have one brigade on tracks and one on wheels” France I believe has 2 Divisions – identical, each with 3 Brigades. Heavy / Medium / Light. The UK could do the same with the balls and determination to cut 5 infantry battalions and use that manpower to create additional enabling units – Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Signals, REME, RLC, RAMC, and so on. The Heavy and the Medium already exist in our 2 Armoured and 2 Strike… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Sorry, DP ( A ) is Director Personnel ( Army ) for those unaware and disliking abbreviations.

MoD loves them.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Correcting myself, I meant Director Manning ( A )

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

DPA is probably more PC!!!! Retrospectively you will be correct in a year or two.

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

Sometimes discussion like these end up being like the scene in downfall where Hitler tries to deploy ‘imagined’ formations to stop the Soviets! 🙂 In GW1 we sent 3 tank regiments, 3 armoured infantry battalions, one FRR, and enough artillery to complement them. And in doing so we emptied out virtually every store and garage of spare parts and consumables from BAOR. To me all that did was confirm was BAOR was really just the trip wire we all really knew it was. The ‘formation’ was never meant to fight beyond a few days before………We now need formations to fight… Read more »

Joe16
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Joe16

My understanding was the big problem was with tracks at all, within the operating plan for Strike; they want them to deploy over 1,000 km, which tracks won’t be able to do. You’re therefore going to end up with your brigade not able to deploy as quickly as it’s supposed to, or them deploying without “heavy” component.
I fully agree about organic fires, but the fundamental concept of a rapidly deployable combined brigade is undone specifically because of the mismatch in platforms.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Yet again Daniele you save me the trouble of throwing my strike Brigade teddy in the corner! Mixing wheels and tracks, thus negating the advantages of both! Under armoured, under armed, unsupported, unwieldy and un-deployable as a stand alone Brigade! Come on CDS sort this make-do, made up Brigade out.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Evening mate.

From the murmurs I’m hearing about, the CGS is suggesting exactly that, but CDS is resisting.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

I’m desperately hoping that’s what all his talk of review is going to be, but somehow I think I’m going to be disappointed…

peter french
Guest
peter french

Regretably a “Defence review” will be politically driven. The Labour Party headed by Corbyn wii play down our role in the world and be “realistic” and reduce defence spending to the detriment of the strength of the Armed Services. This will lead to a Carrier being at least being mothballed and the nuclear deterrent emasculated at least,
The Conservatives have vowed to maintain the 2percent spend but we need more.
So I look forward to the Election with trepidation , a Corbyn nightmare or better a Tory victory

Herodotus
Guest

You place great faith in a Conservative leader that simply can’t be trusted. He won’t face Andrew Neil …. who would undoubtedly dismantle Bojo’s brave new world plans and reveal them for what they really are…’ irresponsible electioneering!

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Indeed Johnson makes Mephistopheles look like George Washington.

Rob
Guest
Rob

I’m no Bojo fan but you can certainly level that accusation against Corbyn and Labour. Spend, spend, spend is what their manifesto promises. I would argue that uncosted promises are irresponsible. It leaves us swing voters trying to decide which is the least worst option.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/12/alexander-downer-says-australia-should-reduce-uk-intelligence-sharing-if-corbyn-wins

I feel few realise how important the 5 eyes alliance is to western security.

Australia already suggesting they will review intelligence sharing.

Unthinkable.

Unless you have people like Corbyn at the helm.

I will take the lesser evil of Boris Johnson thank you.

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Have to agree with Daniele 100% here.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Me too. Confident Corbyn would never happen. Bojo flaws and all is OK-i think he will walk it. he is often his own worst enemy when answering questions. A bad moment was when he was asked a question about Twitter and tried to fluff his way through. he should have just said-I know nothing about Twitter so you will have to ask someone else-such answers often disarm the interrogators.
btw Steve-your best movie to my mind was Trains,Planes and Automoblies…

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Sgt Bilko surely on a site like this!?

geoff
Guest
geoff

One of your very worst!..

Herodotus
Guest

Nah….Steve’s best film was Terminator?

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Good old Bowfinger

Herodotus
Guest

You may well have to adjust your opinion of ‘the lesser evil’!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

As far as nuclear weapons, the intelligence community, the special forces, and willingness to use them oversees ( not nukes! ) and, for right or wrong, act oversees if necessary? Never in a million years. And I think you know that. Corbyns record is clear on that. The Tories, unlike Corbyn and his entourage, are not against Great Britain being somebody in world affairs. And I’m not talking soft power. The ideology of those that have commandeered the Labour party is against everything I believe in. So no, I won’t be adjusting my opinion thanks. I wanted Hunt, not Johnson,… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Were defence the only issue I would agree with you. Is the NHS safe in Bojo’s hands. There is a big fat dossier that says not!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Don’t believe that for a moment. As no politician will touch the NHS, as “privatising the NHS” as Labour scream, is a vote killer. Tories know that. Though privatisation is already in the NHS in some areas I believe? I would have thought a strong economy goes hand in hand in providing for public services, not wrecking it. Do remind me next year though on here when the NHS is “sold off to the USA” and I will quite happily admit I was wrong. It is just scare mongering, like stories of carriers cut here just because options are considered… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

My gut is to trust the Tories less than I do Labour with the NHS, but the ‘big fat dossier’ you speak of it a colletion of minutes that span a period of over 2 years worth of ‘informal discussions’ regarding trade on every level – under a government that was not headed by the current incumbent (Bojo). Over those 2 years the NHS was mentioned on 6 occasions as something that private American companies would have an interest in post Brexit. American Pharmas lobby US government officials extremely aggressively stateside so it is no surprise at all to me… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Excuse the ‘Government Officials’ comment I mean elected officials….. No Edit function!!

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

But I agree that this election has unfortunately come down to tactical voting to keep out who you don’t want, as opposed to a clear preferred candidate that you do want. Strange times indeed.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Private companies are accountable to their shareholders. NHS Trusts are not directly accountable to the patients they serve. This is the problem. The managers of Trusts need to be directly elected. Government is over centralised.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Corbyn also very guilty of irresponsible electioneering but Boris does it with more panache Herodotus.

Herodotus
Guest

You mean like Mr Blobby in a china shop?

David Barry
Guest
David Barry

For Friday, this is becoming an entertaining thread.

One thing stands out, as a Leader Corbyn listens to the mood music of the party; that music is remain. He is a devout leaver, however, he has listened and promised a second referendum.

And, to even more personal brickbats he has suggested Europeans be allowed to vote… shame no mention of Brits in Europe getting the vote… but, I think that speaks volumes about him.

Blowjob needs to join HRH Andrew on a night time tour of Paris underpasses.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Most amusing viewing all week, Jewish chap challenging a group of the usual lefty agitators, about anti-Semitic comments supposedly made by Boris, then in fact confirming it was Corby…..Holding a placard saying no to racism and challenge intolerance, Mr lefty says “ Well, er…., you know, the Jews, they have all the money and power innit” As the advert for a well known card says fucking priceless!

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

I am happy to see Carter mention FOST.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree. Another Jewell in the RNs crown.

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

It is the jewel. It is the RN.

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

While I love playing fantasy fleets, I am reading the book “Moneyland” at the moment. The UK may put sanctions on warlords/dictators & their corrupt oligarch friends, but British shell company & libel laws, let those dodgy types have money & property in the UK without the police/Treasury or security services knowing about it.

T.S
Guest

Whilst I respect many of you on this site, I fundamentally disagree on many of your views on Corbyn. How a man who has fought for peace around the world is a threat to this country I do not know. Yes that has meant he has had to mix with some dubious characters and in some cases apeaze them in order to move peace plans forward, but the way he is lambasted in the press is like he is Hitler himself. Why is it that his socialist ideals (which are meant to help US) are met with calls he is… Read more »

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

Oh boy!
I am no lover of the tories. I agree that laws need to be changed to stop asset stripping of British firms & the money moved offshore, but, but, but…. if Corbyn is the answer, what the hell was the question?

Herodotus
Guest

The question was, after nine years of Tory rule, why are so many people in this country on the breadline. Nurses having to go to foodbanks…makes me ashamed…what about you?

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

Yes, but the trickle up, from the working/middle classes to the top 1% billionaire class, started under Blair/Brown/Mandelson.

Herodotus
Guest

Which is not an answer to the question!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Most amusing footage of the week, the usual rag tag clueless lefties having a chat with that Jewish chap, come on you must have seen it! The most entertaining two were, firstly, the one that ran away, refusing to condemn and engage in debate, and the other, amazingly holding a placard saying “no to racism and intolerance” getting told it was Corbyns comments that he had seconds ago been so disgusted by, then Mr lefty says “er, well, i dunno much about that, but, them Jews, they have all the money and power, they control everything, er, don’t they, yeah”… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

What anti-Semitic thing has Jeremy Corbyn ever said?

You got a link to this video? A labour canvasser must be a member and saying that on video is quite serious, surprised I’ve not heard about it

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Sole it’s on YouTube, Facebook etc etc, a few seconds google works easily find it! He wasn’t a labour canvasser but just the usual “righteous on my side” protester! In fairness the Jewish chap did elaborate on a book that an author had written, with some quite fantastic and nasty comments about Jewish people and Judaism in general. The book was endorsed with a forward from your JC. The chap then informed the protesters with paraphrase comments with an anti Semitic view, comments which he stated are from Bell-end Boris! After uttering numerous oohs and aha, not fit for office,… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

I’ve not seen it but I can imagine, like you say it can be done on both sides, stick a phone camera in front of anyone who isn’t media trained to lie like our politicians and purposely trip them up it’s going to be a car crash It’s given me an idea this though, next time a clueless turkey from the Tory or Brexit party come to my door and bring up anti-semitism in Labour, I’m going to play along and agree and ask about the statue that Corbyn and McDonnell unveiled of an MP from the 30’s who was… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Thats the current stae of politics at the moment. I have voted labour more than i have voted for others, but looking at their manifesto, i dont see it as adding up, and there are a number of shadow cabinet members who i wholeheartidly disagree with. My choice is made on manifestos, what I think is best for my family, community and country. I dont bother with figureheads, as both Boris and Corbyn are toxic to their own parties in different ways. You and i may be able to meet in the middle somewhere political, but with others, those who… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Sorry for late reply been away Yeah I agree with that, I have nearly voted labour every time, but don’t agree with everything and I would certainly have chucked a few shadow cabinet ministers in the bin before the election Labour would do well after last weeks result to move more moderate and to the centre, although not too much because the centre lost massively with Milliband in 15 and the Lib Dem’s nearly every election I think the public would get behind a manifesto that’s radical like this one, just not too much, I think offering so much put… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Rather sad that what today some call research is no more than shuffling through Facebook or YouTube. Even worse, taking Wikipedia as a primary source. Lazy, pointless attempts to pedal lies from sources with very dodgy provenance.

Herodotus
Guest

Hmm. I is a personal pronoun and, irrespective of where it appears in a sentence, it is always upper case. ‘others with a sense of their own misplaced arrogance’ is not grammatically correct to the extent that it doesn’t mean anything! ‘A misplaced sense’ is more appropriate. ‘patronising rightous know whats best for others nature’! Again, this is poor English as it conveys little and includes spelling mistakes and a missing apostrophe. Got yourself a little exercised, I think!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Oh dear, someones put their teeth back in and starting to gnash gnash gnash! Oh dear your bloood pressure raises rather easly doesnt it. I think you have missed out somewhere in your life, never quite achieved what you think you deserved. Never mind. My name for my Avatar is what i was, and i am, it would seem yours is what you have always wanted to be but never could be. Now thats sad, no matter how good your spelling is. And once again, ignoring the questions i posed to you and the subject matter in hand.

Herodotus
Guest

You are a bully chum! You love to give it out, but you can’t take it back. When you are challenged, your prose falls to pieces along with your arguments. I’ll let you have the last word….your ego appears to need it!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

A bully, realy, ever since i left school ive done quite well with my dyslexia, and achived some milestones, but you seem its ok to pick me up on that issue. You it would appear are an online bully, but undoubtadly, certainly not one capbale of doing it directly to a person. You chum are a loser, with a sense of your own importance, and thats very very sad. And you STILL refuse to answer a direct question. And why did you even communicate with me initialy, the other day with a sad one liner? Get over yourself, man up,… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

And why answer a reply to soemone else…..oh deary me i am makingnyou snap without me even trying.

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

Look, both left & right are guilty. Brown mucked up the doctor’s contract, so the NHS is overpaying by 20-30% more than the European average. When Osborne started charging nurses for their training, I said that would cost more in the long run, as the NHS would have to turn to expensive agency staff to make up the shortfall. There are too many exotic prestige cars in the consultant’s car park in any NHS hospital. I do not want doctors to live in poverty, but do not see why they should be paid way more than the European average. Bring… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

And there goes the neighborhood! You need to do a little research on Corbyn, his shadow cabinet and backers, and instead of staring at his calendar at night, maybe think about the direction he could take this country. All 3 main parties are full of shite, but never in the field of human politics has one man been so unsuitable for high office. In fact he wouldn’t even pass the vetting to be a gate guard on an MOD base! Real research on that man, his hangers on and his previous political dabbling would clear your mind, but alas we… Read more »

T.S
Guest

Ok, I will take a look at the reference material that the majority read who seem to be so well informed on the matter. The Daily Mail is impartial isn’t it? The Sun?

T.S
Guest

How you view his past will depend on which lens you choose to use. You have clearly had your moral compass tainted by our wonderful right wing Tory supporting press, who go out of their way to twist and skew our interpretation of his values and past actions. So he supported a united Ireland, which meant he had dealings Sinn Fein, but so did the Tory government secretly at the time! To work through issues, that is what has to be done sometimes. He helped set up unions for which the Tory government had him and many many others ‘looked… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Yaaaaaaaawn come on take a breath, don’t get to excited! Bet your fun at parties. As for Tories no thanks pal, much prefer a less tainted and more honest Labour Party. But, I see your moral compass has been easily effected by the “nice old grandads” magnetic field. Sigh, another useful fool, as Stalin liked to describe his supporters

Herodotus
Guest

Why do you always stoop to abuse!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Do you always try to sound smarter than you obviously are?

Herodotus
Guest

What an odious little man!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

The very fact he was either stupid enough, or had the gall to come to Birmingham on the anniversary of the pub bombings to launch labour’s manifesto sealed the deal for many around here.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Easily researched without acting child like pal. Give it a go!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Oh and he had never ever brokered or moved forward any sort of peace plan, he was a second rate lefty backbencher who had no clout, authority or instruction to do so.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Fantastic post This isn’t the environment for a lot of supportive people of your post, but there’s a few knocking about on here Unfortunately people are ill-informed and drip fed constant lies and smears passed off as journalism, even though every independent study into the media shows the majority, over 75% of all print paints labour negatively while almost exclusively showing the conservatives positively, even tonight ITV said 88% of all conservative ads on Facebook were factually misleading The last 4 years has been one of the most intense smear campaigns in political history The tories were meeting Sinn Fein… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

People tend to read the papers that reflect their own prejudices. There is very little interest in truth…..as Trump has shown us! You write: ‘ I’m having to explain to grown men and women, actually getting my phone out and showing them proof that Labour didn’t cause the global financial crisis’. Many will simply not care….find a bogeyman and heap the shit on…it saves having to think for yourself. Hence the problem of referenda…..putting a complex issue like membership of the EU to a poorly informed public was distinctly unwise. I am not a fan of Jezzer, but I don’t… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

True to an extent, I also believe prejudice is forced onto many because of the media establishment, the problem is journalism is recycled, a front page headline on a newspaper that might only have a circulation in the hundreds of thousands is held up around a table every Sunday on national tv to millions, the print media set the tone for political discourse An independent online media video might go viral and reach millions online, but won’t be mentioned on the news because it’s not in an established print media The print media is 90% conservative supporting, it’s all owned… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Some really good points! The problem is that the electorate take manifestos with a pinch of salt…and who can blame them! Unfortunately the leader of a party is crucial to its electoral success. Labour should have beaten Major’s Conservatives….the problem was that Kinnock’s Welshness acted as much against him as John Smith’s Scottishness acted for him. Like it or not, the leadership of a party counts for a lot…..was it not Corbyn’s ex wife that described him as a humourless obsessive? Unfortunately, Boris does have an X factor about him that appeals to people. In the same way that Blair… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Well that is certainly true given the conservatives have reneged on nearly every single manifesto pledge since 2015, and yeah of course I don’t expect the electorate to vote on a manifesto like I do, the leader has to have something to appeal, the thing about Corbyn though is he is the first politician in living memory to appeal to the youth, as crazy as that seems The way I see it as a member, new Labour copied the neoliberal economic model of Thatcher, the tories voted with Labour for every single deregulation of the banks, they were actually screaming… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Yes, I would accept many of your points…I have been impressed by the arguments offered by my students in their support of Labour and therefore of Corbyn’s leadership. But whatever party challenges for office, they have to take middle England with them! If middle England decide on a Labour government then the press will follow…they want to sell newspapers! As you probably know, Rothemere’s Rag was an avid populist paper that supported Oswald Mosely in the 30’s….until the gangster like behaviour of his supporters made it untenable. Whatever the Mail is, it isn’t ‘Der Angriff’…..produce a social programme that has… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Oh, and thanks for the debate. Nice to see the left-of-centre get a look in for a change!

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Perhaps but I’m not too sure, maybe that used to be the case when the readerships were much higher, they’re that low now that I think they have their core buyers of the ilk you touched on above, they’re happy reading what deep down they want to hear, like you mentioned again, don’t see a reason for that to change Here’s another one, when you have a minute go on google and search “Jeremy Corbyn” the top hit is an add to a website called the “cost of corbyn” it’s already had to change the content of the ad on… Read more »

Herodutus
Guest

Yeah…..hopefully the polls are wrong as they were in 2017. One thing though, if Jezzer gets in I expect that 2nd ref he’s promised 🙂

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

A bit more like it.

“The parliamentary Defence Select Committee has argued for some time that Britain needs to invest 3 percent of its gross domestic product in defence, rather than the 2 percent it currently does to meet its NATO commitments.”

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/12/06/britains-top-military-officer-wants-unvarnished-look-at-the-state-of-uk-forces/

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

Nobody seems to know what they are for that’s the problem. Until somebody can give us doctrine verbage free 5 point summation of where we are going we will get nowhere.

Beyond CASD, QRA. FPS, and EOD everything else seems to be about the whims of the F&CO and the PM