Monday, 29 April 2013


Hammond the current mishandler
of the UK's Defence Dept
Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, wants the Treasury to transfer money from the English Department of Health and the English Department for Education and use it to save cuts in the Ministry of Defence.
According to the The Daily Telegraph as much as £500  million from the two protected departments’ budgets could be reallocated to Defence.
Who cares? Well we do.
Because this, of course, means that £100 million or thereby could be taken from the Scottish budget in  Barnett consequentials.
Because the policies of the UK Finance Ministry have been so inefficient, and because all the forecasts made by George Osborne, so completely wide of the mark, with lower growth and falling tax revenues the Treasury is still borrowing £120 billion a year, and austerity will have to go on and on and on and on...probably forever. The Treasury now wants cuts worth £11.5 billion from Whitehall departments whose budgets have not been protected.
So instead of trimming their budgets for killing people, which would never do. they will instead trim their budgets for educating them and keeping them alive. 
Why? Because there is prestige involved in having the fourth largest military spend in the world and being a big gun, if you'll pardon the pun, in the eyes of the world. Mr Cameron says that it brings us respect, so he does.
Translated into what that means to you and me, it might be that someone you love, maybe even you, could die because Cameron wants to play a big shot. A little island off the coast of Europe whose policies over the past 30 years have driven it to the brink of bankruptcy, wants to pretend that it is still a world player. Tough about your kid getting an education. 
You might care to remember that the Ministry of Defence is one of the least
Wedding photograph of Crafty and Werrity
(Crafty's wedding)
efficient departments of the UK 
government spending billions of taxpayers money on failed projects, dodgy materials and useless equipment and employing more clerks than troops. It has been overseen by a sad collection of ministerial losers; people for whom the words 'arse' and 'elbow' have approximately the same meaning... Hammond, BVI man; Fox and Werrity, the conjoined twins; Ainsworth the moustache man;  Hutton, the nonentity, and Des Browne, the part timer to name, but a few. There's not one of them (or two in the case of Fox) that I'd leave in charge of teapot.
And there are Scots who, despite all this, would still vote to be a part of this joke of a union.


  1. What exactly is wrong with these people?
    Why is the ability to wreak harm on another country their sole benchmark of national worth?
    They remind me of abused children who have grown up thinking that aggression is the only way to achieve anything in life and they equip themselves accordingly.
    The UK is an embarrassment and the entire world must be secretly laughing behind its hand at this pathetic failed state.
    I want out!

    1. max. Welcome to the blog and thanks for commenting.

      I often feel that kind of embarrassment, particularly when I'm talking for friends from other countries. I'm so ashamed of being obliged to be part of something that rates killing people higher than saving people's lives.

      I can look up to countries that spend their national wealth trying to ensure a decent life for their own people, and with what they have spare, others less fortunate.

      Just like people, that is the kind of country you would want around you...

  2. Meanwhile, in Paris, the French defence white paper ("LBDSN" in government-speak) was officially released today. The French defence minister didn't get lucky. No raids on the education or health budgets over there. Instead, just more cuts. There's a chart at the end of this article in Le Monde showing how the UK's defence budget has increasingly diverged from the French one: That trend is set to continue.

  3. Angus...welcome to the blog and thanks for that comment.

    France and the UK are good to compare because they have approximately the same population and are both permanent members of the security council. So the figures have a good deal more pertinence than in comparison with for example Italy or Germany...

    I think it would be pretty fantastical to see the French reduce Education, and most definately Health, spending to fund military spend at any time, but under Hollande, it would be out of the question.

    The French seem to be able to control their governments a little more effectively that the Brits do.

    I expect you will have noticed that Monsieur le Président was welcomed on a state visit to Beijing this week, while Cameron was obliged to cancel his forthcoming visit because the Chinese didn't want to meet him...


  4. Tris

    This is all about position, the position that politicians want for themselves in the guise of keeping Britain at the top table. The top table doesn't feed my kids or help pay my bills. I appreciate that when we downgrade the military people lose their jobs, never good, but we should have been moving away from the amount we spend on defence years ago. Sharing resources with Europe is a far better approach, in fact I would go as far as having a european forign policy that we all have to sign up to as I trust partners in europe a little more than the politicians here who all appear to be guaranteed a two week visit to new york at my expense.

  5. That this won't be reported in the main stream press is only marginally less disgusting than the story itself.

    Just another nail in the coffin for the UK. I know folk switch off as soon as you say 'Barnett Consequentials' - but people need to know about this.

  6. Bruce: The phrase "punching above our weight" seems to crop up again and again. And when we query defence spending we are told of the risk the Britain and British lives, and I think to myself...'what is it that is so incredibly obnoxious about Britain that we have to spend this MASSIVE amount to keep us safe? Given that Spain, for example, spends considerably less than we do, why on earth aren't they being invaded daily, and why hasn't Kim blasted them off the face of the earth?'

    The answer, of course, is simple. We're not at that much risk. But paying out loads of money (ours) and having massive military might at their disposal makes the top cats big players with names likely to go down in history (for whatever reason). And especially for the likes of Blair, Thatcher and Cameron, that is important.

    I'm happy to have a shared military response, but many who are vehemently anti European would not be, and of course, I can see some issues involved in sharing.

    I doubt never work for the UK because their foreign policy would be bound to against everything that the rest of Europe wanted. By and large the UK's policy is the USA's policy. But for all that there is some sharing of equipment with France. (Tears before long, I should think, as the agreement was entered into under Sarkozy, who was also a puppet of Washington, whereas Hollande is not.)

    Job losses are always painful, but with the kind of money that is currently wasted...and it is wasted... by the MoD, we could create any number of jobs that don't involve killing people, or poking our ignorant noses into the affairs of others in parts of the world we know nothing about.

    Not everyone wants or needs to live in a carbon copy of Bedfordshire and the Uk doesn't know about much else. It doesn't understand life in Northern England for heaven's sake; how can it be expected to understand Kabul?

  7. Exactly Pa. Even if we manage to retain our own health and education policies, separate from the privatised English models, it remains a fact that when they spend less on these areas, we are given less money.

    Of course we can continue to spend that money on health and education; that is our prerogative, but England/UK will keep more and waste it on the Defence Department's incomprehensible and muddled purchasing policy, and we will have to cut something else to pay for it.

    I suspect that a Labour executive (they don't like the word government), were we ever to have one again in Edinburgh, in an ongoing UK, would get into line with the English model and sell off the heath service and education.

    After all quite a few Scottish MPs, Lords and ex politicians have financial interests in the medical business. There's a lot of cash for them to make in a privatised NHS.

  8. Ok wrong country but there must be similarities.

    Fear of Terror Makes People Stupid

    UK defence forces are really designed for offence to protect big businesses foreign investments.

  9. I've always thought that CH:

    I think it is worth remembering (as you say, different country (ish) but same idea:

    -- You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack
    -- You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack
    -- You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane
    -- You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack
    --You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack
    -- You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack
    -- You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack
    --You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack
    --You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack
    --You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist
    --You are 8 times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack
    -- You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack

  10. I always find that the people in politics who want Britain to be 'great again', and a 'major power' have a view of 'Britishness' that I find fundamentally out of date.

    That Britishness harks back to empire, and exploitation of foreigners labour.

    I much prefer a multicultural, liberal Britishness which emphasises diversity and rejects aggressivity and nationalist 'us and them' politics.

    1. Yes, I agree it's way out of debt.

      The trouble is that they don't want to give it up, and it is a little like a indigent elderly relative, going without food to maintain the Rolls and the chauffeur.

      A bit pathetic. Time to move over and let rich countries play at being important. Their time will come too.

    2. All Empires die.

      Any links to back up all those 'wonderful' Labour actions yet?

    3. If you need evidence that New Labour introduced minimum wages, EMA and tax credits I'd suggest (kindly) that you read a book on the subject. I'm not doing your reading for you.

    4. You know damn fine what assertions I wanted clarified Labour raised tens of thousands of kids out of absolute poverty, and millions from relative poverty. When?

      The minimum wage is below the poverty line for your info.

      Poverty gap widens under Labour

    5. Dean: Poverty rose under Labour. The difference between rich and poor widened. It was a terrible indictment for what used to be a socialist party.

      I seem to remember you criticising Labour for that at one time...

  11. You'll have seen the story doing the rounds on the BBC about Scottish Indy damaging the UK's standing in the international community, the defence budget is an integral part of that standing. (Which really highlights how 'standing' is measured in our world, not wishing to sound wishy washy but, should it not be about something more productive rather than destructive?)

    The report (from the FCO) also went onto to say it might '...give rise to perceptions overseas that the UK’s weight and influence is in decline…'

    The term No Shit Sherlock springs to mind.

  12. In decline, Pa?

    Surely not. How awful.

    Oh well. We'll have to stop this nonsense then.

    Here's what I propose. We disband the SNP, the Greens, Scottish Socialist and any other organisations appearing to support this separatism malarky, including all these Labour and Trades Unions for Indy.

    We rename Wings of Scotland as Wings over GREAT Britain and of course Scot Goes Pop must be retitled Brit Goes Pop, Munguin's Republic should henceforth be known as Munguin's Proud Great British Kingdoom.. sorry Kingdom, and Fazzledown will have to have Britain in its title somewhere... (ie, either before or after the word Fazzledown... just to show the democratic nature of the regime, you choose).

    I take my Gaelic 'Ban the Bomb' sticker out of the car and it becomes compulsory to sing "Rule Britannia" three times before breakfast in days with a "Y" in them.

    We install mrs Lamont as David Cameron's Viceroy in Edinburgh (then we adopt the crash position with our heads between our legs.)

    Alternatively we could just fall about at what seems like a last ditch attempt by some people who are so out of touch they might be from Uranus to appeal to Jack sense of decency.

    Stiff upper lip old boy. What?

    Tris falls about laughing at the FCO and wee Willie...

    (There was a cute kind of naivety about him when he had hair and was stupid. Now he's old and bald, it's just plain silly and terribly sad.)

  13. Indeed.

    As importantly, there is a comment story up at the Scotsman just now (don't click if you don't wish to, you can take my word for it...) Apart from it being full of mince, (CHuck Hagel US Defence Sec warning us that by becoming independent we might end up like Cyprus or ummm, Iceland.)

    Anyway, the first comment is from some one named Pa Broon, he or she claims there are to many imponderables they'll will be voting no. It goes with out saying, this is not me but an evil and much less well informed impostor.

    I feel as if I should complain to someone...

  14. Independence and the business case for ‘Scotland PLC’

    Economic success isn’t guaranteed should Scotland become an independent country, but it seems a lot more likely than somehow finding the ability to thrive within a failed economic system and London-centric thinking that takes from Scotland disproportionately compared to what it gives back. When you look at the detail with an open mind voting Yes suddenly becomes a lot more attractive option for Scotland plc.

    Independence is catching on with those that can think rationally.

    1. Excellent article CH... Essential reading. Makes the tube businessman whose story was covered by WoS look even more of a plonker for not knowing anything about the economy, before blowing off at the mouth to the P+J

  15. Replies
    1. YESSS.

      Thats on Sunday's photos!

  16. LOL Pa... I'm going to take your word. I try to give the Hootsman (printed in England) as few hits as I can.

    I'm wondering what suddenly made the US secretary of Defense, an expert in the economies of Europe (and has he been to Iceland recently?).

    I'd point out to him that the Cypriot economy went belly up because: (a) it has interdependence with the Greek economy, which he might have noticed went belly up some time ago, and (b) because there was far too much of a reliance on a small number of Russian billionaires putting their money (somewhat injudiciously) in Cypriot banks.

    Why oh why does no one look for an equivalent economy, at Norway for example when trying to rubbish Scotland. It is the most obvious choice, given its location, size and economic possibilities. They could be parallel economies.

    Which means we could be indecently rich.

    And if Chuck thinks that his Scottish cousins are too stupid to manage without England, he can rest assured that the Norwegian government has already promised any amount of assistance to the Scottish government in how to build an oil fund that would make a considerable dent even in the horrific deficit that his own country runs.

    Cyprus my arse. Stupid man. He seems about as thick as the English version: Philip BVI Hammond.

    Another Pa Broon... NOOOOOOOOOOO!

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