Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I see no ships...

...only hardships. My knowledge of economics must date back to when Keynes' book was a pre-order at Amazon but I did get into it as a constituent of the seemingly pointless examinations I went through.

With that bliss that comes of ignorance, I have been forming opinions about Dave's revelations as to the future of our armed forces. Overall impression is 'What future?' Initial opinions from those who know better seem to agree with me.

The greatly reduced Army available for deployment is not all fighting fit, fit to fight warriors. Amongst them are the support services. My immediate query is regarding the medical cover in theatre. The hospital in Afghanistan has a great record in saving life and ameliorating serious trauma. There is a equation as to the number of troops required to overcome a number of opposing forces; we would be hard pressed to overcome a small tribe of third world dissidents. I see the Army of the future as a threat only - "if you come any nearer I'll let the dog off the leash" sort of thing. We do not know the nuts and bolts as to how the reduction was decided. Did it include any provision for assets such as might be needed in an unlikely war zone or will there be a repeat of troops going from tropical Malaya to fight in a Korean winter in their lightweight clothing?.

I cannot understand the ten year outlook for getting troops out of Germany. There will be a saving but spread over ten years? I understood we were in dire straits and any saving had to be very quickly accomplished. I suppose the reasoning is that we have no proper barracks for them to go to and no habitable quarters for their families. The run down will be shorter than ten years and the people-less accommodation will need to be maintained in the interim. I cannot see Dave's Wider Society ideas producing a lot of volunteers to soldiering in place of cost-carrying professionals. If we do have to send troops anywhere where the bullets fly, the reduction in fast air cover could be very significant.

We will see tomorrow what else is to happen. Lost jobs is rightly a very common concern. Getting on one's bike is going to be very hard if it involves relocation - renting accommodation or sell/buy a home is in the doldrums. Demands on social services will be hard as relationships come under strain from all the cut backs and redundancies. We have forecasts of numbers who may be getting their cards but a fair number will be entitled to redundancy pay - has this been costed and provided for?

There will be considerable wailing and gnashing of teeth. Already, I have the feeling that much of what the coalition Cameron/Clegg/ANOs government says is condescending waffle. The people who propose and make the decisions have comfortable salaries or private means and I cannot really believe that they have much idea of the life of a single mum, maybe poorly educated, with three kids living hand to mouth on a slum estate. She has no union to protect her rights and essentials.

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