Great Britain has lost an Empire and has not yet found a role
- Speech at West Point (5 December 1962)
Over 50 years on it appears that there is still no acceptance that “Great Britain has lost an Empire” and no desire to accept any other role
We may mock UK defence Gavin Willamson blustering nd compare his blustering to Captain Manewaring,but his outburst point to desperate post-brexit government seeking to create a Falklands factor to divert the populace from what many see as years of Austerity after Brexit Deal or No Deal.
“Gavin Williamson’s boast that Brexit could “enhance the UK’s lethality” is the latest in a string of naive forays by the 42-year-old defence secretary. He may have intended it as a boost to Britain’s global military standing but it is more likely to just confirm Williamson’s reputation as the cabinet’s Private Pike, the hapless youth in the sitcom Dad’s Army.
In his first 15 months in the job Williamson’s antics have regularly invited the Captain Mainwaring response of “Stupid boy!”
In March, in the wake of the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Williamson had a message for the chief suspects. “Frankly, Russia should go away and should shut up,” he said in remarks that were widely ridiculed in both Russia and the UK.”
His latest statement includes
The Royal Navy should be able to “develop a reign of terror down enemy coasts”, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said today.
That Swarm squadrons” of drones are to be deployed by British armed forces to overwhelm enemy air defences, the defence secretary has said.
As Tom Peck in the independent points out…
“…I don’t know if you’ve noticed Gavin, but you could send your brand new amphibious assault ships in all their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers glory straight up the white cliffs of Dover with explicit instructions to seek out leadership and they would come back with absolutely nothing. If there were any leadership in Britain, it would not have a defence secretary that says things like, “Russia should shut up and go away.”We are currently the nation the world turns to when it’s in need of a good laugh, and to be fair to little Gavin, he more than pulls his weight on that front. It’s possible this will not always be Britain’s place in the world, but one thing will have to happen first. We will, finally, have to work out that our future simply does not lie in deluded fantasies about Britain leading the world. It lies in precisely the same place as our recent past, as a small but great country, amplifying its position in the world through showing leadership in the institutions of the European Union.
Anything else is just surrender dressed up as bravery. Little boys playing with their toys. We’ll get there in the end, but we will have to do it the hard way, and by the time it happens, little Gavin and his little friends will be long gone, though never quite forgotten“
According to BuzzFeed News, Williamson’s general use of language has even angered his colleagues in the Ministry of Defence. One former adviser reportedly said:
There is a tendency for some who arrive in the department to want to play with the toys and grandstand, which is something to be avoided – it’s not great. The language has been a little bit alarming to those in the services.”“The shooting from the hip and choice of words has raised a few eyebrows because it’s not particularly statesmanlike.
However it is important to note that when we stop laughing art Gavin Williamson sabre rattling , we need to consider that he represents a large number of Conservatives and indeed the Labour Party who live in the delusion that Britain