Monday, 12 July 2004

A cut too far

Libertarians believe that state functions (if we are to have a state at all) should be limited to protecting citizens from those who initiate force or fraud. A properly limited state should therefore have adequate armed forces to keep overseas aggressors at bay. It seems clear that the present government has utterly failed to perform this duty and is now making matters worse. It looks likely that Scotland will be hard hit by the expected cuts:
Defence insiders have told The Scotsman that the RAF is top of Mr Hoon’s hit-list and thousands of jobs among the 8,000 personnel in Scotland are in jeopardy as a result of threatened cuts in frontline aircraft and the scaling back of future procurement projects.

Although two Scottish regiments are likely to be disbanded, that would be small change compared with the huge savings to be made from scrapping billions of pounds of RAF aircraft orders, according to defence sources.

It looks as though the usual NuLab spin is underway:
GORDON Brown, the Chancellor, will today challenge Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, to sack civil servants instead of making cuts in frontline armed forces.

Mr Brown will make it clear that he believes his Comprehensive Spending Review will give the Ministry of Defence enough money to avoid axing regiments - if it is prepared to make some major reductions in bureaucracy.

The Chancellor will step up his rhetoric on cutting government waste, pledging to get rid of up to 80,000 civil service jobs. If Mr Brown has his way, many of those cuts will be at the MoD, which, as The Scotsman revealed last week, has more civilian staff than the army has soldiers.

I expect that a few MOD civil servants will be sacked - and a lot more hired in other departments - and the actual military cuts will be proclaimed to be far less than had been speculated upon in the press and by the opposition. That's the Labour way. The outcome will be yet more expenditure on welfare and not enough on defence.

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1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Neil (
" A properly limited state should therefore have adequate armed forces to keep overseas aggressors at bay" 
Actually I think this is being achieved, at least in conventional terms, better than at pretty well any time in history. Not because of government competence but because there are no potential aggressors threatening to invade. Russia? Germany? Iraq? Yugoslavia? Sierra Leone? The US? To be fair France has a serious military capability but I doubt their intent. 
There does exist a significant threat from terrorists & nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or blockade but the number of regiments we have are totally irrelvant to these. 
The only purpose for most of our forces is to occupy other people's territory which, even in Iraq's case, is clearly not a profitable enterprise.

12 July 2004, 21:36:27 GMT+01:00
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David Ellams (
Nulab's plan is to make the country safe for the "Spetnazt", by a) depriving the individual of the right to keep and bear arms, and b) removal of the armed forces.

12 July 2004, 19:45:00 GMT+01:00