Once again Britain has been hit by an attack that has left scores devastated. Britain’s security is understandably at the forefront of people’s minds and a great many emotional reactions to the incident come first before rational debate can dominate.
Theresa May made the decision to put British soldiers on to British streets. I doubt many in the Army are happy about the decision, it is not a role the soldiers cannot do but is not an effective use of their time and placing multitudes of soldiers in harms way for no practical purpose is simply stupid. May’s motivations are simple, she sells herself on the message of ‘strong and stable’ and believes photos and footage of soldiers walking in front of London landmarks will project that message for her. The Army are being used as window dressing for May’s disastrous election campaign; if an opportunist attack on patrolling soldiers is carried out it will be on May’s head.
The nature of the Manchester attack is the threat that Britain faces these days and it is one that we could be better prepared for. Police numbers have been slashed under the Tories, affecting feet on the street and, crucially, community policing. When the greatest weapon against this type of attack is building community relations between law enforcement and neighbourhoods, the slashing of police numbers is a crucial hindrance. Tory economic ideology is simply wrong on effective policing and is proving incapable when it comes to delivering local solutions.
Tory economic ideology is simple, place as much public money in the hands of as few privateer people as possible and, by their largess, they will distribute the crumbs to provide the barest level of a service. It is an ideology that holds that spending £300billion on a Trident replacement will make Britain secure, instead of spending £300billion on the 10,000s of police, emergency service and armed forces personnel we actually need. Why? Because the £300billion for Trident represents contracts for a few companies and represents £billions in profits for a few people. Spending the lion’s share of £300billion on salaries of police, emergency service and armed forces personnel is viewed as a waste.
Trident is an indulgence that is sacrificing Britain’s security for the ego and profits of the few, I wonder when Britain will be ready for a grown-up discussion about it, starting with who profits and by how much.