More ridiculous Defence Cuts

defecnecutsMore cuts to the Defence manpower budget will be announced today, reducing the Army in particular by a further 5,000 men and women. This is without doubt a dangerous and ridiculous move.

As a member of the UN Security Council and a major player on the global military scene, we have always punched above our weight and without doubt have a remarkably high level of respect amongst forces globally. But unlike in some other countries, the military in Britain exists to support our National and Foreign policies and should only be shaped by the demands of those policies. Continue reading “More ridiculous Defence Cuts”

Why did we expect Algeria to listen?

The Algerian response to the unpleasant events at the gas plant At Imenas was not one that the UK Government welcomed and one that it is probably finding tough to support. But why on earth should we expect anything other that the response we’ve seen?

The Algerian military have a history of being trained by the Russian military and there can be little doubt that the Russian authorities would probably have been as violent with their response had the terrorist action been in their country. The Algerians did what they thought to be the right thing, at the right time and in the right way.

For the UK  and other western governments to suggest that the Algerians should have consulted “us” or used “our” experts shows an arrogance and disrespect to the sovereignty of a nation-state.

We will need to be far less arrogant in our dealings as we plan to defend against the growing threat in Africa. The threat is now getting geographically far closer to the UK and without doubt will be one we will face for many years to come. Worrying times.

Will there be pre-emptive School closures?

English: Snow Plough on Grane Road A snow plou...
Snow plough coming to an area near you soon!

A “rare” Red Warning has been issued by the Met Office for snow in many parts of Wales and some transport infrastructure has already been disrupted for tomorrow morning. Some trains have bee cancelled as have some school buses, but as far as I can see there’s been no mention of school closures anywhere. I find that strange but not unusual.

Every time it snows, or there is a fear of snow, we play the game of waking up and tuning into the radio to hear the ever growing list of school closures. And it never fails to amuse and amaze me that the decision to close a school cannot be taken in advance based on best information from the forecasters.

If early decisions were made it would make it far easier for all parents to plan their care arrangements with far more warning and that can only be a good thing for the kids affected.

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We don’t need Nanny State Weather reports

Poor Driving Conditions confirmed by the Nanny StateLast Saturday I was driving on the M4 in south Wales, the weather was awful, quite possibly the heaviest rain I’ve ever had to drive in. And to help me was the absolutely ridiculous notices on the electronic signs that warned me of “Poor Driving Conditions”.

I already knew that! I’m not stupid, I can see what’s in my field of vision. It was a statement of the bleeding obvious, and demonstrated the low level of wisdom provided by a Nanny State.  Continue reading “We don’t need Nanny State Weather reports”

Afghanistan – why we are now entering the dangerous period

Afghan men attend a shura in the Nawa District.

Yesterday’s announcements on troop withdrawals in 2013 are of course welcome, they are a clear sign that we will leave Afghanistan and that there has been great progress in preparing the Afghan security forces to take the lead.

But there is still much to be done there. Afghanistan is far from being a country at peace and there are dangers from many directions. It has be hoped that one of the threats has been quashed: Having lost so many of its leadership through well targeted remote attacks, the threat of the Taliban as a force for evil may now have lost its will for the fight and could now well turn to negotiation and non violent diplomacy as a means to advance its aims. Continue reading “Afghanistan – why we are now entering the dangerous period”

Why does Politics get in the way of Politics?

I was invited onto a BBC Wales radio programme, Sunday Supplement, last Sunday, taking a look at some of the stories making the news in the last week. I was there to talk about the long term effects of war and awful situations on the health of servicemen and ex-servicemen that had been triggered by an incredible statement in Westminster by Bob Stewart MP about a bomb in Ballykelly 30 years ago. (His transcript starts at 3.34)

It was an illuminating experience as I was “sharing” the item with Madeline Moon, the MP for Bridgend. I’d not met her before and we chatted before going on air and anticipated being in violent agreement on the matter. Treatment for the wounded and needy had to be provided, more needed to be done. It was going to be clear and positive, an easy ride. Continue reading “Why does Politics get in the way of Politics?”