|Cameron's cuts will hit the frontline Posted by Fraser at 10 46 PM on Saturday, January 16|
HOW about this for a wartime security policy? Impose brutal cuts on the military – then give the money away in overseas aid.
Sounds like the sort of idealistic plan you’d expect from the under-16s at the Liberal Democrat annual conference.
But this is officially David Cameron’s policy.
It’s not deliberate. But it’s the embarrassing consequence of campaign pledges.
On Friday, Cam promised a “radical departure” in defence policy. That, in future, they’d focus on stopping wars from starting.
Genius! If only someone had thought of that before, eh! Airdrop some Kylie videos on the Taliban, and they’d chill.
But Cam is preparing the ground for the savage defence cuts he’ll be imposing. He hasn’t spelled them out, but anyone can do the maths.
The Royal United Services Institute did last week. The military faces cuts of up to 20 per cent, it says, over six painful years.
But the £5 billion saved won’t help the deficit crisis. It will finance this surge in international aid, which will soar sky high.
Why? A while ago, Cam copied a Labour pledge that by 2013 he would lift spending to 0.7 per cent of economic output.
Sounds paltry. Until you work out that this means £12 BILLION – a ‘wristband levy’ of £480 on each British household.
Now, I’m in favour of overseas aid. But it is an insult to the public to argue that donations need to be forced out of them by the taxman.
The Haiti disaster has proven the incredible generosity of the British public. Even Gordon Brown said he was “humbled” to see it.
He should keep their hands off our hard-earned, then. Let us give to charity as we see fit. We never need the taxman to take it from us. Cam talks about trusting people more. But increasing the aid budget trusts them less. He’d take your money, for a charity of his choice.
What’s Conservative about this? Where is the trust? And if we’re at war, shouldn’t the Conservatives be backing the troops first?
If the axe falls, you can bet the greedy contractors (often in cahoots with civil servants) will have themselves covered.
It will be the servicemen and women on the frontline - or their family in substandard accommodation - who pay for defence cuts.
Cameron doesn’t want this. But he’s focused too much on election tactics. And not enough on what’s right for the country.
I wonder if he is being told how puzzling his campaign pledges will sound on Budget day. How can you justify increasing the aid budget by 50 per cent with SCHOOLS and POLICE being cut by 20 per cent?
I’ve been staggered by the expensive pledges Cam has created on the election trail so far. He’ll have to eat his words. Why? Because the rest of the planet may not play ball. It’s a dangerous world out there: we either shape it, or are shaped by it.