In a rare moment of recognition of the need for equitable distribution of wealth Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson matched the billions of pounds given to Tories’ business friends as part of the Covid-19 contracts scandal by promising similar for Tory friends in the arms industry – an “extra” £16,500,000,000 characterised as “defence spending.”
There will be cash for a Trident replacement and for “RAF Space Command.” Both are useless as deterrents – the first doesn’t deter non-nuclear (that is, all) military assaults and the second is fantasy.
Johnson said shipbuilding would create new jobs. Everyone building warships could use the same skills to do something beneficial. The jobs-benefit argument in favour of war machinery is always invalid.
There will be some uses for a centre for artificial intelligence and a cyber force because disruptive attacks on British society and infrastructure are much more likely to be online rather than with a gun but the Tories’ recent record of digital disasters – the Serco track and trace programme for Covid-19 and the unusability of a tracking system for hauliers when the border with the EU is erected on January 1st 2021 – showed they have neither the will nor the aptitude to ensure their cyber warfare plans are not calamitous.
Backbench Tory MP Simon Clarke pretended to try to justify an increase in defence spending.
“To those tweeting me saying we don’t need strong defence, have a look China (training with models of the Taiwanese President’s compound & imprisoning Uighurs in camps), Putin’s Russia (occupying Ukraine and Georgia, waging cyberwar), or Iran & North Korea (illegal nuclear bombs).” – Simon Clarke, November 19th
What is Clarke’s differentiation between “legal” and “illegal” nuclear bombs? The only country ever to use nuclear weapons in combat was USA. What does Russia’s relationship with Crimea have to do with the UK? What does a decades-long dispute between China and Taiwan have to do with the UK?
The careful performance of stupidity by Clarke exposed a flaw in the propaganda of warmongers: It is difficult to find enemies. There are enemies – terrorism – but they are not state-related; military power required to defeat terrorists is not ships, space command or artificial intelligence.
To justify handover of money to the arms industry the government needs “enemies” whose “threats” need the response of expensive weaponry but Iran, North Korea, China and Russia are not military threats to Britain.
Labour’s rapid disappearance as an opposition party was displayed by MP Stephen Morgan who relegated healthcare, welfare, housing, education and every other necessity of life beneath an abstract concept of “national security.”
“National Security is Labour’s first priority and today we welcome the PM’s statement on the long-overdue upgrade in defence spending. As of 1 April 2020, the full-time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces was 132K, a shortfall of just under 12K (8%) below the govt’s own target. High tech systems are essential to keep us and our allies safe, but our troops are indispensable. This decade of decline [2010-2020] poses a risk to our security and our Forces personnel. It must end now and we await further details if the govt will provide the MoD with a fully-resourced spending plan that meets our capability needs for the future and keeps our Armed Forces at its heart.” – Stephen Morgan, November 19th
Phrases similar to “national security” or “our security” are used to create a visceral fear of an unspecified threat that lingers ready to pounce if there is any pause in provision of the welfare system for the arms industry.
The Tories’ announcement of military funding was a clunky temporary distraction from its current destruction of Britain via Brexit and was part of its ongoing promotion of flag-waving pseudo patriotic xenophobia. Expect more of the same nonsense to interrupt coverage of Brexit’s ill effects.