As Every Illusionist Knows, misdirection is the key to fooling people.
Not to mention every politician and salesman trying to make you buy something you don’t want. In the case of politics, not just our current lying cheating government but across much of our political class misdirection has become so normal it would probably seem odd to be told the truth.
Which is probably one of the reasons why the establishment has such a hatred of Mr Corbyn, he says what he thinks rather than pauses and thinks what it is you want to hear before saying anything.
Go back over a week now and we had the attack on Paris where drugged up terrorists went on a murder spree killing people who were enjoying a Friday evening in the city. Much as other cities across the Arab world have been attacked.
Now the Paris attack was used by Cameron as justification to start his campaign to persuade MPs that it is really really important that the UK start bombing Syria, never mind his complete lack of any long term plan, or even a midterm plan or that most military figures who have expressed an opinion seem to be saying the bombing will not stop ISIL and only ground forces will work in the end.
Today he set his case for that bombing, we have a moral duty he said, we should stand with our friends he said, the UN gives us a legal case to act he said. ISIL directly threaten the UK so we should bomb them he said.
He said a lot but as usual he didn’t seem to actually say anything, misdirection, the standard response from our modern politicians, the daily response of our government and something we have come to treat as normal for the Tory party.
This is a roundabout way of getting to my point today so forgive me having a bit of a grump. But Misdirection is the tactic used by politicians who are trying to hide something and given the warlike attitude our government is exuding I’m looking at that.
After Paris we were told of significant increases in military spending, of extra money for the security services and special forces, new ships, two rapid response brigades, lots of sound bites and lots of tub thumping to show the world that Britain is not going to take the threat of ISIL lying down.
Misdirection the lot of it. Well most of it. Cameron may well be ordering the hiring of several thousand new staff for the security services and GCHQ, not sure how many of them will be looking for terrorists though given the current governments endless drive for more spying on the population at large. The extra money for the special forces, no mention of what that consists of yet but my guess is its equipment and support that is already in the pipeline.
But as for the rest, those big sounding announcements. Smoke and mirrors hiding lies and deceptions.
Eight new frigates. The Type 26 frigate is a far more advanced and capable vessel than the older frigates currently in Royal naval service.
They will bring improved capabilities to the navy in what is a dangerous world.
However. The navy was expecting thirteen type 26 frigates, eight anti submarine and five general purpose.
This order was to be made through BAE and the ships built on the Clyde.
The design is still, to use the official phrase ‘Maturing’ and the ships are expected to begin construction in 2020 at which point BAE will be expecting to get paid. Up front the costs are design and administration only. At present the fate of the other five that were supposed to be built is listed as ‘Delayed’.
So these ships are not new and represent a decrease in Royal Naval capability NOT an increase, oh and don’t expect to see them in service for a decade. Oh and by the way the Royal navy flagship, HMS Ocean, the helicopter carrier, quietly that is being scrapped as well in 2018, to then be replaced by the Queen Elizabeth carrier in 2020 (if she has any working planes by then).
We will create 2 new ‘strike brigades’ by 2025 to be rapidly deployable, able to self-deploy thousands of kilometres, and with a much lower logistic footprint.
They will use the new Ajax family (previously known as Scout) range of vehicles, comprising 6 variants and almost 600 armoured vehicles.
However. No reports of hiring 10,000 new soldiers to make up these new units. Listed as being operational for 2025 that is ten years from now.
At present the British army has three brigades designated as reaction along with 16 air mobile brigade and a logistics brigade. These rotate readiness between the infantry brigades so one is available at all times while the others are on training or other duties. The result of the rotation is effectively two reaction brigades available at any time.
The only difference is that they are being equipped with new light armour vehicles to replace the 1970s designed Combat Vehicle Tracked family. Which was happening anyway as part of the armed forces 2020 upgrade.
Not new units, the new equipment is coming anyway as part of the long term planning from years ago. A reorganisation and one that isn't going to happen for a decade anyway.
We will be extending the life of our multirole Typhoon for 10 extra years through to 2040, we will also invest in their ground attack capability.
However. No mention of the fact that the investment in ground attack is only just beginning and is desperately needed because the current Tornado which carries out ground attack missions is being retired (it’s another 1970s design) leaving the UK with no ground attack capable aircraft. So there has been something of a rush to get the Typhoon ready to take over.
Those Brimstone missiles Cameron was talking about, the highly accurate ones that will cause less civilian casualties than the American missiles do, they didn’t even start working on fitting them to the Typhoon until this year. The comment above about investing in their ground attack capability does rather suggest they haven’t done it yet.
Oh and while I’m on the subject of aircraft, the many squadrons of F-35s, the hyper technological US fighter that sings, dances and makes a cup of coffee while taking off and landing from our new carriers.
Erm, yes. Maybe one day but at present there is no estimate of when they will be ready for service, or even able to fly without being grounded due to yet another design flaw.
Nine new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft for maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare will increase further the protection of our nuclear deterrent and our new aircraft carriers.
US aircraft, proven capability and in service in many countries. Very useful and very needed given the joke that is the UKs response to reports of Russian submarines being seen off the coast.
Plus we will need something to protect the replacements for the Trident submarines even though that vote hasn’t been done yet and also these should help protect our carriers (if we ever get them out to sea) given how few escort ships we will likely have in 2020 or even in 2025.
Requirements change, budgets are always tight but it would have been nice to have had the British aircraft doing this rather than cancelling them a few years ago. Oh well, hindsight and all that. But basically this is the only REAL news in the entire increase in British military capacity increases.
Misdirection, just a polite way of saying you lied.