Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Coup or Cobblers?

So, I was reading this article in The Guardian the other day about how the UK military might react if a Corbyn-led Labour government was elected and went through with abolishing the UK's so called independent nuclear deterrent.  There was all the usual speculation about military coups and the like, (believe me, there are a scary number of military types who have little regard for the democratic process they supposedly serve and protect, particularly when they think that their interests are under threat from elected governments), if the government concerned had only a narrow majority and therefore not a proper (in the military's eyes) mandate.  As in all such articles, there was also the usual arguments as to how the military top brass might try to justify such a coup: the main 'justification' being that their oath of allegience is to the Crown not the government.  (Although, as, constitutionally, the Crown delegates most of its powers to Parliament and therefore the elected government of the day, this is utter nonsense and offers no credible defence for subverting the 'will of the people' as expressed via parliamentary elections).

What always perplexes me about such speculations is that they all centre around the idea of a hypothetical future Labour government threatening the interests (ie budget) of the military, because the left always cuts defence spending, don't they?  Actually, the reality is very different.  This Tory government, for instance, has slashed defence spending by unprecedented levels.  Military manpower is at an all time low, the Royal Navy's 'fleet' is a joke - less than twenty major surface ships - and the RAF appears to consist of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.  Joking aside, the UK's military capabilities have been severely compromised by the Tories.  Indeed, some essential capabilities, such as long range maritime reconnassaince (essential to the protection of the Navy's Trident SSBNs), no longer exist and we instead have to rely upon the French and Canadians to track Russian submarines making incursions in UK territorial waters.  Compare all of that to the last Labour government, which commissioned all manner of major military projects from aircraft carriers to renewing the Nimrod fleet.  It's a pattern repeated over and over historically, with Tory governments frequently making far bigger cuts to military budgets than Labour administrations.  So, why isn't there talk of military coups to unseat Cameron in order to protect the nation's defences?  Could it be because all such talk of military coups bollocks?   Could it be that no matter how much some top brass might itch to seize power, they know that there would be no popular support for deposing an elected government?

Besides, with the military now a shadow of its former self thanks to the Tories, they just don't have the resources to mount a coup.  Maybe that's why Cameron and his cohorts have made these cuts: in order to protect themselves from a coup - they realised early on that they were so shit that there was every possibility that the electorate might just support a military coup to depose them.  On a brighter note, the Tory cuts also mean that the military as so weakened that they probably couldn't resist any kind of popular uprising against the government.  So, it looks like the revolution is back on! 

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home