Thursday 3 January 2019

Reality is slipping even further away

If there was one positive thing that I had hoped might come out of Brexit, it was that Anglo-British nationalists would finally be forced to face up the fact that the UK’s place and status in the world aren’t as they have believed to date.  Perhaps it will still happen; but at the moment it almost seems as if the whole process is having quite the opposite effect.  They seem to be just doubling down on their fantasy view of how the world is.
This week, we’ve had the Defence Secretary telling us that, post-Brexit, the UK could build new military bases in the Far East and the Caribbean, becoming once again a global power.  There is, of course, nothing about membership of the EU which prevents the UK from building such bases now; the link with Brexit is tenuous to say the least.  The prime obstacle to building and maintaining such bases is the same reason given for closing such bases in the 1960s and 1970s – the disproportionate cost in relation to the perceived benefits.  The attempt to pretend that the UK was still a global power was a drag on the economy.  That cost issue hasn’t gone away; and the non-existent Brexit dividend has already been spent at least twice over.  Still, there’s always that magic tree in the garden of number 10.
What military forces would be deployed to such bases?  We discovered last week that there are no proper warships available to send as far as the Black Sea, let alone Singapore.  Still, for a country that is building aircraft carriers without aircraft, and hiring ferry companies with no ships, there is, I suppose, a certain consistency in building military bases with no military presence.  And paying for those imaginary forces with imaginary money looks almost coherent in that context.
The most delusional part of all this is the statement that these new bases will enable the UK to “play the role on the world stage that the world expects us to play”, because, apparently, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Caribbean states and nations across Africa will be looking to the UK for “the moral leadership, the military leadership and the global leadership”.  Really?  Comedy leadership, maybe; showing others how to engage in serious self-harm, definitely.  But only an Anglo-British exceptionalist could really believe that those former colonies are all waiting with bated breath for the UK to resume the ‘leadership’ which it showed them in the past.  Just what does it take for reality to sink in?


arthur owen said...

I wondet r how Mr Williamson thinks his bases in the Carribean would fit in with the Monroe Doctrine and those in the Far East with a Chinese equivalent.In the Western Hemisphere the Royal Navy would be under the control of the USA and in Far East they simply would not be allowed in.

dafis said...

Mr Williamson's head seems to have slipped even further up his own arse over recent weeks. A working grasp of reality was never his strong suit but the boy is getting even flakier with each passing day as the heat of a failing Brexit seems to boil what remains of his brain. Might be a Tory party leader/Prime Minister at this rate !