Thursday, September 01, 2011

A lack of commitment?

Despite the breast-beating going on about defence cuts and the enforced redundancies in the Armed Forces, one senses merely a ritual element with no serious commitment to maintaining our military strength.

Compare and contrast with seventy years ago – this cutting from The Guardian of 4 January 1941. The already tiny meat ration (which, of course, did not apply to the wealthy) was being cut still further in order to reduce consumption and free up shipping that would otherwise have been used to transport meat imports - such as corned beef from Argentina – and increase the flow of munitions to our forces in Libya.

Then, of course, we had a worthwhile objective – as the article reports: to "complete the rout of the Italians". Now, we seek to complete the rout of a tinpot dictator, with the help of the Italians, paying them for the air base rental.

Somehow, this does not seem to have quite the same degree of importance, which perhaps explains why people are less inclined to go short - especially when we also have the looting class to pay for.