The media is at it again, with ‘journalists’ and commentators demonstrating that for all the lavish salaries and resources showered upon them they know very little and understand even less.
Con Coughlin is a case in point. Bunkered at the Telegraph, lest he get chased out of a pub by fellow hacks, the great sage has a piece that his sub editor has chosen to title ‘Britain reduced to shaking a weedy fist at Vladimir Putin’ with a subheading thus, ‘Protests against Russia’s annexation of Crimea can’t disguise the fact that Britain is now a mere bystander on the world stage because of defence cuts’.
While that is partially true, it only tells us a fraction of the story and does nothing to explain why we have this state of affairs. Instead Coughlin deigns to inform us that:
It was always going to happen – the eruption of an international crisis so grave that it laid bare the full limitations of Britain’s ability to act on the world stage. And so it has come to pass, with the humiliating revelation that our policy for confronting Vladimir Putin’s Crimean land grab is to do… precisely nothing.
[...] So far as Britain is concerned, the best we can hope for now is that Ukraine’s new interim government does not react to the blatant acts of provocation perpetrated by Russian troops. For, as we now know, courtesy of a Downing Street photographer’s telephoto lens, Britain’s ability to respond to Russia’s wanton acts of aggression is nonexistent.
There are very good reasons for this. The defence capabilities of this nation are largely supposed – among other things – to be geared to do two things:
- to defend our national territory, and
- to protect our national interests and support our foreign policy objectives around the world
The key point here is point 2. It is essential to note that we don’t have our own interests any more, the EU has them for us. And we no longer have any defined foreign policy objectives, as again our foreign policy is dictated by the EU.
For these reasons our defence requirements are ill defined, and our capabilities are being eroded to the point our armed forces cannot act independently – to help bring about the EU plan of an interoperable, member state force taking orders from Brussels.
But Coughlin makes no mention of this. The media has, by and large, embraced EU membership and makes no effort to learn what the EU is designed to do, why it is doing it and how it goes about achieving it. So it is that Coughlin and his friends continue to rail against many effects of EU membership, such as the dearth of a foreign policy supported by defence capabilities to underpin it, but keep telling us how EU membership is essential to this country’s interests.
This mentality extends far beyond the media and deep into the political class, where a few days ago we saw Sir Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to Germany and to the US, write in the Times (£) that:
Foreign policy is not an edition of Radio 4’s Moral Maze. It should be based on a cold calculation of national interest. It is time to get back to basics: the clarity of openly defined sovereign interests and publicly acknowledged spheres of interest.
Yet despite these implorings we see no mention of the EU let alone criticism of the fact membership has brought us to this. In fact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office of which Meyer was part is possibly the most enthusiastic cheerleader and advocate of EU membership in the UK.
The fact is, as part of the EU, our armed forces, for all the billions spent on them, will not be strong enough to field sufficient divisions, wings and naval groups to respond independently to geopolitical crises – as it runs contrary to the notion of interoperability. In any case the would not be prepared to do so because our country’s foreign policy will be written in Brussels and our interests will be what the EU defines them to be.
You just won’t hear any journalist, politician or FCO pension recipient telling the public the truth of it.