And the moon turns the tide gently.

Well, so no surprises then. The Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton said that although we will have top class equipment we might not have enough personnel to operate it.

So the ‘perfect’ politicians who made the decisions to cut back our armed forces have got it wrong, very wrong again. I’ve said it before, we are an ISLAND and as such need to defend our shores, yet the Royal Navy may struggle to provide us with enough protection. Again without wishing to sound like a broken record, we need our armed forces up to strength more than ever, and reservists are not going to fill the gap left by regulars. It’s always governments of whatever hue who see cutbacks in the forces as the golden egg to reduce spending, but this attitude is folly. The parallel with 1936-39 is uncanny, we didn’t notice the warning signs about Hitler, and were totally unprepared in September 1939. It could be said the world has moved on and someone like Hitler will never happen again. Oh yeah? That can be guaranteed? When our forces eventually pull out of Afghanistan, that will be seen as another ‘peace dividend’ and a good excuse to cut back even further. Yet the politicos never seem to listen to the senior forces staff, and treat their utterances with disdain. There has only been a ‘politically correct’ statement from the head of the Navy who said “We take a long view on our duties at sea and, on behalf of our nation, are fully ready to meet the challenge.” And I think a severe challenge it will be. Even though there has been no statement, in support or otherwise, of the statement by Gen Houghton, you would have thought such a political view would have bought a slapping down by the minister of defence, maybe it’ll come later. Whilst I’m not advocating a ‘spend all, provide all’ defence budget, we have to have contingency for the emergency situation, a form of insurance policy, of which a parallel can be drawn of any insurance policy, like for instance for your car or house. You pay it every year, but for 99% of the time never use it, but that 1% is what you need it for.

It’s so tragic for the family of the young girl found dead in a graveyard.
What goes through the mind of young men who do this sort of thing? What motivates them to think that killing someone they’ve done something horrible to, is justified or even necessary? Where is the moral fibre to stop these acts? Yes, young people get into situations where they are raped or assaulted and the perpetrator is drunk or on drugs but why oh why does it end up with death and a devastated family? The majority of us will never know feelings like that, and are equally repulsed by the act that was perpetrated. It’s an old cliche, but it’s been said in other areas of the media that this is a terrible time of the year for this to happen. WRONG! Any time of the year is bad, Christmas is just coincidental. I just hope that an exemplary example is made of her murderer(s), there has got to be a deterrent for this sort of crime, and no capital punishment is not, and never will be an option.

In the same vein, it’s no surprise that the two men accused of Drummer Lee Rigby have been found guilty of his murder; with the evidence presented there was no doubt about it. They called themselves ‘soldiers’, what an insult to the man they killed, who was more man, or soldier, than they could ever be. Using religion as an excuse for randomly killing someone, who they didn’t know for certain was a soldier is both cowardly and as it turned out the incorrect use of a belief. Muslims are in fact peace-loving, evidenced by the condemnation of the murder by the Muslim Council of Britain. So these two men were not acting in the cause of their religion, but in spite of it. May their sentencing, when its announced in January, reflect the heinousness of the crime, and they never see freedom again. At least then they won’t be martyred.

About cliverh

Retired aerospace engineer, first with the Royal Air Force and then BAE Systems. Now enjoying a variety of activities and not getting bored. I was a Games Maker Volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics and a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. I was also a volunteer at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in Southampton. I intend to blog about what interests me.
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