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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Putin on a show: finding value in March’s Russian election

SystemSystem Posts: 5,841
edited January 13 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Putin on a show: finding value in March’s Russian election

Vladimir Putin has now run Russia for longer than anyone since Stalin.* It’s all but certain that he will continue to do so after this March’s presidential election. Ladbrokes are offering odds of 1/50 that he wins a fourth full term, which are nonetheless value: probably the shortest-ever odds tipped as such on this site. Looked at another way, it might only be a 2% return in about two months but that’s a lot more than you’d get in a bank – though there is the capital risk that he might fall under a bus.

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Comments

  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 19,967
    edited January 13
    Thirst.

    Thanks, David.

    A couple of Russians we know well seem to worship Putin. Their view on his presidency is, to say the least, somewhat at odds with ours.
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 9,875
    Second, like Corbyn's Labour.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 8,249
    OP: I also don’t think that Putin will want to win by the sort of margins that look like his was a rigged election.

    So it is a rigged election?
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,641
    edited January 13

    Thirst.

    Thanks, David.

    A couple of Russians we know well seem to worship Putin. Their view on his presidency is, to say the least, somewhat at odds with ours.

    The couple of Russians that I work with are a little less keen, but they left for a reason!
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 9,387

    It seems to me that the people who are so apalled by Trump tend to end up behaving as badly as he does. It shouldn't even be an occurence that UK politicians queue up to lay into a foreign head of state. It's juvenile and self-indulgent. As always, Boris Johnson gets it totally wrong in accusing Khan of endangering the special relationship - Khan shouldn't be grandstanding about any visiting dignitary, regardless of their perceived importance. Because it is poor form and the wrong thing to do.


    Got it, no criticising anyone ever.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 8,580

    OP: I also don’t think that Putin will want to win by the sort of margins that look like his was a rigged election.

    So it is a rigged election?

    Yes, David is making the assumption that it is rigged, which it might not be. Of course, they've banned the main opposition guy from running which is much the same thing.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 1,654
    I'm tempted by 90%+ at 25/1. Everyone knows Russian is a managed democracy and Putin actually enjoys the fact that everyone knows it. Another aspect to this is that he's split from Yedinaya Rossiya to run as an independent candidate this time just in case in we weren't aware that it's All About Vlad.

    Sobchak is the president Russia needs but isn't going to get.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,641
    Dura_Ace said:

    I'm tempted by 90%+ at 25/1. Everyone knows Russian is a managed democracy and Putin actually enjoys the fact that everyone knows it. Another aspect to this is that he's split from Yedinaya Rossiya to run as an independent candidate this time just in case in we weren't aware that it's All About Vlad.

    Sobchak is the president Russia needs but isn't going to get.

    The 10/1 on 80-90% isntbad either, but 90+% in the first round is quite a target.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 19,967
    Foxy said:

    Thirst.

    Thanks, David.

    A couple of Russians we know well seem to worship Putin. Their view on his presidency is, to say the least, somewhat at odds with ours.

    The couple of Russians that I work with are a little less keen, but they left for a reason!
    The wonders of anecdata ! ;)
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 4,408
    Vlad and Trump have a lot in common, especially the my country above all others tone. The difference is that Vlad is less uncouth, but that may be a language difference.

    I wonder how many would demonstrate against Putin if he came? A few emigres but not many others.

    One was democratically elected, one might have been. One of those 'compare and contrast' essays for the young firebrands would be illuminating.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 11,651
    edited January 13
    CD13 said:

    Vlad and Trump have a lot in common, especially the my country above all others tone. The difference is that Vlad is less uncouth, but that may be a language difference.

    I wonder how many would demonstrate against Putin if he came? A few emigres but not many others.

    One was democratically elected, one might have been. One of those 'compare and contrast' essays for the young firebrands would be illuminating.

    I expect the LGBT community and supporters would put on quite a show.

    Still, it's all hypothetical since May wasn't and won't be holding hands with or offering state visits to Vlad.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 19,967

    CD13 said:

    Vlad and Trump have a lot in common, especially the my country above all others tone. The difference is that Vlad is less uncouth, but that may be a language difference.

    I wonder how many would demonstrate against Putin if he came? A few emigres but not many others.

    One was democratically elected, one might have been. One of those 'compare and contrast' essays for the young firebrands would be illuminating.

    I expect the LGBT community and supporters would put on quite a show.

    Still, it's all hypothetical since May wasn't and won't be holding hands with or offering state visits to Vlad.
    I bet Salmond'll be glad to greet his paymaster. ;)
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 4,408
    Mr Divvie,

    "Still, it's all hypothetical since May wasn't and won't be holding hands with or offering state visits to Vlad."

    I wouldn't be surprised if she did. Jezza might well do in the future.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 10,466
    CD13 said:

    Vlad and Trump have a lot in common, especially the my country above all others tone. The difference is that Vlad is less uncouth, but that may be a language difference.

    I wonder how many would demonstrate against Putin if he came? A few emigres but not many others.

    One was democratically elected, one might have been. One of those 'compare and contrast' essays for the young firebrands would be illuminating.

    Another good discussion by David. I agree that 90% would look undesirable to Putin, and the 60-79 range looks what he'd want - solidly convincing without looking North Korean. It's also quite likely to be the genuine rig-free level of support, for the reasons David says.

    The snags about Putin are obvious to us, but even in Britain the line "Do you want X who has proved a pretty steady leader with some successes, or do you want Y who you've barely heard of and the media keep criticising?" will tend to deliver an X win in normal circs (unnecessary elections excepted). And Russia has had real trauma, with a large chunk of land area lost, massive corruption and political instability. The contrast with Trump is also helpful - nobody frets that Putin might use nuclear weapons one irritable morning, and Russians do tend to dislike openly vulgar leaders - it was always held against Krushchev (it's not a matter of language).
  • OchEyeOchEye Posts: 1,098

    OP: I also don’t think that Putin will want to win by the sort of margins that look like his was a rigged election.

    So it is a rigged election?

    When Putin announced the date, he also gave the result.....
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 4,408
    Dr P,

    Mr K was indeed regarded as a peasant, a mixed blessing.

    Putin is popular in many parts because he does what he says on the tin.

    Trump is popular in the 'flown-over', but has yet to do much at all on the foreign stage - apart from enter a childish slanging match with Kim. Oh, and he's rude.

    That's where Putin is the opposite.

    Being couth isn't everything. As was said of Charles II ...

    "Here lies our sovereign lord the king,
    Whose word no man relies on;
    He never says a foolish thing,
    Nor ever does a wise one."
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 8,197
    Nice pun.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 43,173
    Good morning, everyone.

    Hmm, 70-80% at 4/1 might be interesting. Hmm.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 19,967
    Off-topic:

    An interesting article about the problems in decommissioning our nuclear submarines.

    http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-painfully-slow-process-of-dismantling-ex-royal-navy-nuclear-submarines/
  • volcanopetevolcanopete Posts: 1,992
    Russia's communists are hopeful of a high minority vote based on newspaper sales and a coalition of the pissed off.It's standing on the basis that the elections are inviolate and without validity.Communist parties don't do soundbites but there are interminable dialectics on their website celebrating the October Revolution if you have the weekend to spare, available .It would be the irony of ironies if the Communist party of Russia helped to introduce democratic structures in Russia.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 10,466
    CD13 said:

    Dr P,

    Mr K was indeed regarded as a peasant, a mixed blessing.

    Putin is popular in many parts because he does what he says on the tin.

    Trump is popular in the 'flown-over', but has yet to do much at all on the foreign stage - apart from enter a childish slanging match with Kim. Oh, and he's rude.

    That's where Putin is the opposite.

    Being couth isn't everything. As was said of Charles II ...

    "Here lies our sovereign lord the king,
    Whose word no man relies on;
    He never says a foolish thing,
    Nor ever does a wise one."

    Yes, that's very well put. But after a generation of extraordinary turbulence, one can see why Russians would feel Putin's at least steadied the ship.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 1,654
    edited January 13
    CD13 said:

    The difference is that Vlad is less uncouth, but that may be a language difference.

    It's not. He's very measured, almost technocratic, when he speaks Russian and he is a lot more structured and eloquent in Russian than Trump is in English. You get the occasional episodes of very simple and direct language when issuing threats. He also adopts the flat Muscovite vowel sounds in the hope people will stop thinking he's a dwarf of German extraction and thereby questionable breeding.

  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 13,962
    tlg86 said:

    OP: I also don’t think that Putin will want to win by the sort of margins that look like his was a rigged election.

    So it is a rigged election?

    Yes, David is making the assumption that it is rigged, which it might not be. Of course, they've banned the main opposition guy from running which is much the same thing.
    I don't expect it to be rigged in the sense of stuffing ballot boxes. I do expect it to be structurally rigged e.g. in terms of media coverage. Were it closer, I'd expect voter intimidation to come into the mix.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 26,362
    Having aligned the Tories with Trump, the next logical step for Boris is to ensure they also come out in support of Putin.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    Great tip, David.

    Nice to see the site returning to discussing and analysing real betting as well.
  • murali_smurali_s Posts: 2,024

    Having aligned the Tories with Trump, the next logical step for Boris is to ensure they also come out in support of Putin.

    LOL! Post of the day so far!!
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382

    tlg86 said:

    OP: I also don’t think that Putin will want to win by the sort of margins that look like his was a rigged election.

    So it is a rigged election?

    Yes, David is making the assumption that it is rigged, which it might not be. Of course, they've banned the main opposition guy from running which is much the same thing.
    I don't expect it to be rigged in the sense of stuffing ballot boxes. I do expect it to be structurally rigged e.g. in terms of media coverage. Were it closer, I'd expect voter intimidation to come into the mix.
    Normally, the opposition party leaders in Russia belatedly find out they've committed some sort of crime, which the Russian state kindly ensures they are prosecuted for, on behalf of the people.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 31,018

    Having aligned the Tories with Trump, the next logical step for Boris is to ensure they also come out in support of Putin.

    I must have missed when the tories aligned with Trump. I seem to recall the PM criticising him publicly not that long ago in fact.

    tlg86 said:

    OP: I also don’t think that Putin will want to win by the sort of margins that look like his was a rigged election.

    So it is a rigged election?

    Yes, David is making the assumption that it is rigged, which it might not be. Of course, they've banned the main opposition guy from running which is much the same thing.
    I don't expect it to be rigged in the sense of stuffing ballot boxes. I do expect it to be structurally rigged e.g. in terms of media coverage. Were it closer, I'd expect voter intimidation to come into the mix.
    Indeed. He'd won anyway, no need to ballot stuff, but why take the risk in making it structurally open.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382

    Off-topic:

    An interesting article about the problems in decommissioning our nuclear submarines.

    http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-painfully-slow-process-of-dismantling-ex-royal-navy-nuclear-submarines/

    Wow. I didn't know that.

    You can't really with nuclear, but part of me wishes we had a few more old surface fleet vessels semi-permanently mothballed, that we could bring back into service over a 1-2 year horizon quickly with a re-fit, if circumstances demanded it.

    Although they would, of course, need significant upgrades to weaponry, communications and navigation.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 10,304
    edited January 13
    Regarding Brezhnev:

    He was always the senior figure in the triumvirate that replaced Khrushchev even though he wasn't Prime Minister or Head of State (it is worth pointing out that neither Stalin nor Khrushchev were Prime Minister for much of their time in power, and Lenin wasn't even officially the party leader towards the finish). Brezhnev also played the key role in ousting Khrushchev.

    On a like for like basis therefore - given that the Medvedev years were officially a duumvirate but clearly with Putin as the senior partner - I would argue that Brezhnev still has a slightly longer run. (It is also worth remembering, to be picky, that 'Russia' and 'the Soviet Union' are not technically the same thing, in the same way England is not the United Kingdom.)

    However, on the fairly safe assumption that Putin is re-elected, I think I'm right in saying he only needs to serve for a month to beat that record.

    A more interesting question might be whether he can pass Stalin. Again, definitions are awkward. In theory, as leader of the Communist party from 3rd April 1922, we could date his time in power at just under 31 years. However, in practice the defeat of the Left Opposition in November 1927 and the XVth party congresss the following month seems a more logical date, while in theory we could go as late as the official abandonment of the NEP in November 1929 or even the appointment of Molotov as Prime Mininister in place of Alexey Rykov in December 1930.

    Let's take the generally accepted date of 2nd December 1927, however. That gives 25 years, four months and three days. So to beat Stalin, Putin needs to be still in office on 4th May 2025. By that time he would be 72, so I suppose it's not impossible. Seems a bit harsh on the poor old people of Russia though given the nature of his regime.
  • Rebourne_FluffyRebourne_Fluffy Posts: 225
    edited January 13

    Off-topic:

    An interesting article about the problems in decommissioning our nuclear submarines.

    http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-painfully-slow-process-of-dismantling-ex-royal-navy-nuclear-submarines/

    Wow. I didn't know that.

    You can't really with nuclear, but part of me wishes we had a few more old surface fleet vessels semi-permanently mothballed, that we could bring back into service over a 1-2 year horizon quickly with a re-fit, if circumstances demanded it.

    Although they would, of course, need significant upgrades to weaponry, communications and navigation.
    Not worried about the RPV: More concerned about the outer-surface tiles*. Just need a few Russian divers and we will have a more difficult time protecting our bombers.

    * Those big and bouncy 'rubber' tiles that cover the hulls. 'Anechoic' is the lingo.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 5,836

    Thirst.

    Thanks, David.

    A couple of Russians we know well seem to worship Putin. Their view on his presidency is, to say the least, somewhat at odds with ours.

    Well he did manage to make Russia moderately great again. If only in the quantum of mischief it can exercise in the world.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 1,654

    Off-topic:

    An interesting article about the problems in decommissioning our nuclear submarines.

    http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-painfully-slow-process-of-dismantling-ex-royal-navy-nuclear-submarines/

    Wow. I didn't know that.

    You can't really with nuclear, but part of me wishes we had a few more old surface fleet vessels semi-permanently mothballed, that we could bring back into service over a 1-2 year horizon quickly with a re-fit, if circumstances demanded it.

    Although they would, of course, need significant upgrades to weaponry, communications and navigation.
    The RN can't fully crew the ships they've got so having more in reserve would be a pointless waste of money.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 28,617
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 18,988

    CD13 said:

    Vlad and Trump have a lot in common, especially the my country above all others tone. The difference is that Vlad is less uncouth, but that may be a language difference.

    I wonder how many would demonstrate against Putin if he came? A few emigres but not many others.

    One was democratically elected, one might have been. One of those 'compare and contrast' essays for the young firebrands would be illuminating.

    I expect the LGBT community and supporters would put on quite a show.

    Still, it's all hypothetical since May wasn't and won't be holding hands with or offering state visits to Vlad.
    I bet Salmond'll be glad to greet his paymaster. ;)
    Ha Ha Ha , unionist lapdogs just cannot help themselves, bitter and twisted to the end.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 21,480

    Thirst.

    Thanks, David.

    A couple of Russians we know well seem to worship Putin. Their view on his presidency is, to say the least, somewhat at odds with ours.

    That's not surprising. Life has improved for the average Russian under Putin, compared to the 1980's or 1990's. So long as you keep your head down and aren't an active opponent of the regime, you don't have much to fear. And most Russians welcome the annexation of the Crimea. Of course, horrible things can happen to you if you do actively oppose him.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,361
    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.
  • Oh dear,

    Ireland does not look well:

    https://www.economist.com/news/economic-and-financial-indicators/21734384-trade-exchange-rates-budget-balances-and-interest-rates

    Bonds rated 3-mth @ -0.33 and a 10-yr @ +0.69 would suggest that the Brexit will bite-back. As the Taffs would say: 'Go compare'!
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    Dura_Ace said:

    Off-topic:

    An interesting article about the problems in decommissioning our nuclear submarines.

    http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-painfully-slow-process-of-dismantling-ex-royal-navy-nuclear-submarines/

    Wow. I didn't know that.

    You can't really with nuclear, but part of me wishes we had a few more old surface fleet vessels semi-permanently mothballed, that we could bring back into service over a 1-2 year horizon quickly with a re-fit, if circumstances demanded it.

    Although they would, of course, need significant upgrades to weaponry, communications and navigation.
    The RN can't fully crew the ships they've got so having more in reserve would be a pointless waste of money.
    I am aware of the RN manning challenge. The current RN is woefully undermanned.

    I'd be prepared to invest more in that as well.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    I'm seeing it at 4pm this afternoon.

    Very excited.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 18,988
    edited January 13
    Dura_Ace said:

    Off-topic:

    An interesting article about the problems in decommissioning our nuclear submarines.

    http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-painfully-slow-process-of-dismantling-ex-royal-navy-nuclear-submarines/

    Wow. I didn't know that.

    You can't really with nuclear, but part of me wishes we had a few more old surface fleet vessels semi-permanently mothballed, that we could bring back into service over a 1-2 year horizon quickly with a re-fit, if circumstances demanded it.

    Although they would, of course, need significant upgrades to weaponry, communications and navigation.
    The RN can't fully crew the ships they've got so having more in reserve would be a pointless waste of money.
    Get the Admirals out of their club chairs and off the sauce, they will be able to crew a good few with the amount of old troughers.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 26,362
    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    It’s not a choice. Or wasn’t.

  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 28,617
    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    +1
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 18,988

    I'm seeing it at 4pm this afternoon.

    Very excited.
    I am seeing it at 2:30pm, give me your mobile number and I will send you some spoilers.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 26,362
    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? Given Trump has given white supremacists senior positions in his administration, endorsed them for office, failed to condemn their violence and terrorism, and made any number of racist remarks, it’s pretty clear where he stands. And white supremacists kill a lot of people in the US. But I guess Trump’s not an uppity African, so you can understand why Boris would be so indignant about any criticism he might get.

  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 1,654



    I am aware of the RN manning challenge. The current RN is woefully undermanned.

    I'd be prepared to invest more in that as well.

    2p on VAT should do it.
  • Understanding Trump is simple: When he is good he is very-good! When he is bad he is bloody awful.

    But for his father he may have been worse. Just imagine 'Trump, D: The Lawyer'. Putin is just an un-reconstructed socialist (often also found, strangely, in Essex): Russia is a disparate shyte-hole held together by threats and tyranny.

    Look at the bigger picture children. The world is more than gardening-tips.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 21,480
    I suppose the diplomatic term for Shithole Country is Failed State.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 10,304
    Dura_Ace said:



    I am aware of the RN manning challenge. The current RN is woefully undermanned.

    I'd be prepared to invest more in that as well.

    2p on VAT should do it.
    A tax is the best form of defence?
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 2,246
    I’m seeing Darkest Hour at 18:30. No spoilers please!
  • Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? ....

    Oh God, you aren't the full packet.

    Scene: 'Obnoxious' Piers Morgan interviews 'queen' Oprah Winfrey on CNN.*

    The 'queen' mentioned that she wanted to represent "Her" people**; 'Obnoxious' did not challenge her. Was she 'occasionally' racist? Should she not explain this phrase?

    :tumbleweed:

    * Was stuck in a Veldhoven hotel at the time and this passed as 'entertainment'.
    ** I thought the Royal Navy banished slavery. ;)
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,361

    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? Given Trump has given white supremacists senior positions in his administration, endorsed them for office, failed to condemn their violence and terrorism, and made any number of racist remarks, it’s pretty clear where he stands. And white supremacists kill a lot of people in the US. But I guess Trump’s not an uppity African, so you can understand why Boris would be so indignant about any criticism he might get.

    So you think there is a moral equivalence? Wow.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,641
    RoyalBlue said:

    I’m seeing Darkest Hour at 18:30. No spoilers please!

    We win :)
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 19,816
    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,361
    Foxy said:

    RoyalBlue said:

    I’m seeing Darkest Hour at 18:30. No spoilers please!

    We win :)
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 1,904

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    +1
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 8,197
    RoyalBlue said:

    I’m seeing Darkest Hour at 18:30. No spoilers please!

    We win. Oops sorry.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 21,480

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    One does not rule out the other, and NHS spending does tend to rise.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 26,362
    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? Given Trump has given white supremacists senior positions in his administration, endorsed them for office, failed to condemn their violence and terrorism, and made any number of racist remarks, it’s pretty clear where he stands. And white supremacists kill a lot of people in the US. But I guess Trump’s not an uppity African, so you can understand why Boris would be so indignant about any criticism he might get.

    So you think there is a moral equivalence? Wow.

    I think that if Trump had the tools Putin has he’d use them in exactly the same way - though probably with less guile and more emotion. That he doesn’t is down to the US and its institutions, not the man. That’s why I would always choose the US over Russia. But Trump is not an occasional racist. If it looks like a white supremacist, talks like a white supremacists and acts like a white supremacist, then a white supremacist is what it is.

  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,641

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
  • I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    Vapid.

    Our defence industries - rightly or wrongly - promote jobs in the UK. Funding Hungarian defence [indirectly] does diddly-squat.
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 19,816
    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,641
    edited January 13

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    Vapid.

    Our defence industries - rightly or wrongly - promote jobs in the UK. Funding Hungarian defence [indirectly] does diddly-squat.
    Well, I am not sure there is much evidence for that. In this analysis, government spending on health had the highest positive influence on economic growth, seemingly to the point of being self funding. Defence expenditure had a negative economic effect.



    Not that I am suggesting further defence cuts, apart from scrapping Trident to fund improvements in the suface fleet and attack submarines.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 26,362
    Matthew Parriss bang on the money today:

    Brexiteers won the vote but have lost the war

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/7fb8d604-f7ca-11e7-a789-003e705b951e

    The next year will largely be about finding forms of words to prevent the UK government being humiliated internationally and torn apart at home.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,641

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.
    I agree. "Punching above our weight" is a polite way of saying "out of our depth".
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 26,362

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.

    Yep - with one leap we would be free.

  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 41,615
    Latest polling has Putin close to 70% on average with his closest rival the nationalist Zhrinovsky on around 5%
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_Russian_presidential_election,_2018
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 18,988
    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Given the waste on trident and carriers without planes, crap engines , overmanned brass etc we should be stopping these idiots getting their hands on any of our hard earned cash.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 41,615
    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    A yougov poll last week had a majority supporting an increase in national insurance to pay for the NHS but a majority opposing an increase in the basic rate of income tax to pay for it
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 28,617
    RoyalBlue said:

    I’m seeing Darkest Hour at 18:30. No spoilers please!

    Minor spoiler. There is a fictitious scene where a delayed Churchill takes the tube to reach the House in time. His doubts of fighting on are allayed by ordinary Londoners who stiffen his resolve against the appeasing out of touch elite.

    Why this representation of ordinary Brits getting it right, while the elite are getting it wrong should upset some is beyond me.....
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Exactly.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 41,615

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.
    We are not, not even Rees Mogg is saying we should refound the British Empire and since WW2 and Suez it is the USA not the UK and France which has led western intervention abroad. It is therefore the US which needs to ensure it has a bigger and more powerful military than China and Russia rather than us.

    Nonetheless we do need to ensure we have a bigger military than Argentina and Spain to ensure we can defend the Falklands and Gibraltar if need be in the unlikely event they are attacked and also to ensure we can play a full part in UN and NATO authorised missions
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    Sean_F said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    One does not rule out the other, and NHS spending does tend to rise.
    Defence is the first priority of Government.

    Our armed forces are woefully unmanned, and below critical mass in several areas.

    I agree with Andrew Marr: defence spending should rise.
  • dr_spyndr_spyn Posts: 8,925
    The Observer presents a case for joining the EU or EEC 1963.



    "Experts say that more than 2/3 rds of problems have been resolved."

    Not a great deal about developments, common currency, single market.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 18,988
    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.
    We are not, not even Rees Mogg is saying we should refound the British Empire and since WW2 and Suez it is the USA not the UK and France which has led western intervention abroad. It is therefore the US which needs to ensure it has a bigger and more powerful military than China and Russia rather than us.

    Nonetheless we do need to ensure we have a bigger military than Argentina and Spain to ensure we can defend the Falklands and Gibraltar if need be in the unlikely event they are attacked and also to ensure we can play a full part in UN and NATO authorised missions
    Time we got rid of them and all our tax havens, but highly unlikely whilst the Tories and their chums are filling their boots with lolly.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 28,617

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? Given Trump has given white supremacists senior positions in his administration, endorsed them for office, failed to condemn their violence and terrorism, and made any number of racist remarks, it’s pretty clear where he stands. And white supremacists kill a lot of people in the US. But I guess Trump’s not an uppity African, so you can understand why Boris would be so indignant about any criticism he might get.

    So you think there is a moral equivalence? Wow.

    I think that if Trump had the tools Putin has he’d use them in exactly the same way
    You think he’d arrange assassinations on the streets of foreign capitals?
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.

    Yep - with one leap we would be free.

    Free of what?

    It's amazing how many people think slashing defence is a free hit. Woeful complacency. Any serious threat-based review, now, would require a significant recapitalisation of our Armed Forces.

    Have a read of 2020 World War by Paul Cornish. We're living in a pacifist fantasy in a world of growing and diversifying threats.

    We need a core critical mass of trained capability that can credibly work with our allies to deter aggression, protect international trade, and protect and project our values.

    These are by no means destined to win out, and sticking our fingers in our ears and pretending it's all fixed, or just a bit of old-fashioned willy-waving, is both naive and silly.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 41,615
    malcolmg said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.
    We are not, not even Rees Mogg is saying we should refound the British Empire and since WW2 and Suez it is the USA not the UK and France which has led western intervention abroad. It is therefore the US which needs to ensure it has a bigger and more powerful military than China and Russia rather than us.

    Nonetheless we do need to ensure we have a bigger military than Argentina and Spain to ensure we can defend the Falklands and Gibraltar if need be in the unlikely event they are attacked and also to ensure we can play a full part in UN and NATO authorised missions
    Time we got rid of them and all our tax havens, but highly unlikely whilst the Tories and their chums are filling their boots with lolly.
    The people of the Falklands and Gibraltar both overwhelmingly want to stay British, in fact Gibraltar voted over 90% to stay British in a referendum over a decade ago compared to Scotland's 55%.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    Oh dear: an AM "I see" post.

    You at your worst.
  • OchEyeOchEye Posts: 1,098
    malcolmg said:

    CD13 said:

    Vlad and Trump have a lot in common, especially the my country above all others tone. The difference is that Vlad is less uncouth, but that may be a language difference.

    I wonder how many would demonstrate against Putin if he came? A few emigres but not many others.

    One was democratically elected, one might have been. One of those 'compare and contrast' essays for the young firebrands would be illuminating.

    I expect the LGBT community and supporters would put on quite a show.

    Still, it's all hypothetical since May wasn't and won't be holding hands with or offering state visits to Vlad.
    I bet Salmond'll be glad to greet his paymaster. ;)
    Ha Ha Ha , unionist lapdogs just cannot help themselves, bitter and twisted to the end.
    Brewed in Scotland, drunk by Nats!

    https://harviestoun.com/our-beers/bitter-and-twisted
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 10,466

    RoyalBlue said:

    I’m seeing Darkest Hour at 18:30. No spoilers please!

    Minor spoiler. There is a fictitious scene where a delayed Churchill takes the tube to reach the House in time. His doubts of fighting on are allayed by ordinary Londoners who stiffen his resolve against the appeasing out of touch elite.

    Why this representation of ordinary Brits getting it right, while the elite are getting it wrong should upset some is beyond me.....
    Because it misrepresents Churchill, purportedly the subject of the movie? There is no evidence that he was wracked by doubt and that his sinews were stiffened by a Tube trip, and the evidence we have makes it extremely unlikely.
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 19,816

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    Oh dear: an AM "I see" post.

    You at your worst.
    Idiots like you who think that "defence" requires Britain being able to nuke the four corners of the globe bring out the worst in anyone with two brain cells.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 21,480

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.

    Yep - with one leap we would be free.

    Free of what?

    It's amazing how many people think slashing defence is a free hit. Woeful complacency. Any serious threat-based review, now, would require a significant recapitalisation of our Armed Forces.

    Have a read of 2020 World War by Paul Cornish. We're living in a pacifist fantasy in a world of growing and diversifying threats.

    We need a core critical mass of trained capability that can credibly work with our allies to deter aggression, protect international trade, and protect and project our values.

    These are by no means destined to win out, and sticking our fingers in our ears and pretending it's all fixed, or just a bit of old-fashioned willy-waving, is both naive and silly.
    Even if we did simply focus our armed forces on ensuring that Europe was protected from aggression, as Edward Lucas suggested yesterday, it would still cost a lot of money. It would just be spent differently.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 28,617

    RoyalBlue said:

    I’m seeing Darkest Hour at 18:30. No spoilers please!

    Minor spoiler. There is a fictitious scene where a delayed Churchill takes the tube to reach the House in time. His doubts of fighting on are allayed by ordinary Londoners who stiffen his resolve against the appeasing out of touch elite.

    Why this representation of ordinary Brits getting it right, while the elite are getting it wrong should upset some is beyond me.....
    Because it misrepresents Churchill, purportedly the subject of the movie? There is no evidence that he was wracked by doubt and that his sinews were stiffened by a Tube trip, and the evidence we have makes it extremely unlikely.
    It’s a dramatic device in a drama, not a documentary. Churchill’s inner thoughts are unknowable - the Director has offered a view. And yet it’s upsetting some....
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,144
    Afternoon all, a very good thread as ever from David.

    For what it’s worth, Mrs Sandpit, who is of Russian heritage, says put your mortgage on the 1/50. Russia doesn’t do surprises, especially not at election times. You’re betting against him falling under an actual bus in the next two months. DYOR as always though.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 1,654



    We need a core critical mass of trained capability that can credibly work with our allies to deter aggression, protect international trade, and protect and project our values.

    We could achieve that without putting taxes up if we a) didn't replace Trident and b) resisted the siren call of tiny production runs of autochthonous designs. We could have had Flight IIIa Arleigh Burke for half the price of the T45s and they would still work when the sun comes out.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.
    We are not, not even Rees Mogg is saying we should refound the British Empire and since WW2 and Suez it is the USA not the UK and France which has led western intervention abroad. It is therefore the US which needs to ensure it has a bigger and more powerful military than China and Russia rather than us.

    Nonetheless we do need to ensure we have a bigger military than Argentina and Spain to ensure we can defend the Falklands and Gibraltar if need be in the unlikely event they are attacked and also to ensure we can play a full part in UN and NATO authorised missions
    We need to assess our strategic defence and security threats, work out how we can prepare ourselves to meet them, in conjunction with our allies, and then fund our contributions properly.

    Anything else is irresponsible. The world is a very large place, of which Britain has <1% of its population, and with which we are very interconnected.

    To protect our living standards and way of life, the UK must engage at a global level and exercise its soft and hard influence as much as it can. Either we help shape the world, or it will shape us.

    Referencing back to the British Empire is just a lazy tool of present-day pacifists to wish away defence spending in preference for spending on something else, and what they think would be a quiet life.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 10,466
    Czech Presidential election (first round) today. Background:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/11/czech-voters-to-give-verdict-on-presidents-anti-immigrant-populism

    And a thin market:

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/politics/market/1.128255728

    I've no idea about it beyond the article, so not betting myself.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 26,362

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? Given Trump has given white supremacists senior positions in his administration, endorsed them for office, failed to condemn their violence and terrorism, and made any number of racist remarks, it’s pretty clear where he stands. And white supremacists kill a lot of people in the US. But I guess Trump’s not an uppity African, so you can understand why Boris would be so indignant about any criticism he might get.

    So you think there is a moral equivalence? Wow.

    I think that if Trump had the tools Putin has he’d use them in exactly the same way
    You think he’d arrange assassinations on the streets of foreign capitals?

    Without question. And at home, too. I see no reason why a white supremacist with no respect for the rule of law would not do that unless constrained by the rule of law.

  • MikeSmithsonMikeSmithson Posts: 4,512
    I've changed the picture in header
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    Dura_Ace said:



    We need a core critical mass of trained capability that can credibly work with our allies to deter aggression, protect international trade, and protect and project our values.

    We could achieve that without putting taxes up if we a) didn't replace Trident and b) resisted the siren call of tiny production runs of autochthonous designs. We could have had Flight IIIa Arleigh Burke for half the price of the T45s and they would still work when the sun comes out.
    Interesting. I always welcome your posts on the subject.

    Btw, check out The Times on Monday. My client (who is an ex-director of British army recruiting) has written a letter on army recruitment and the "marketing" debate.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    Oh dear: an AM "I see" post.

    You at your worst.
    Idiots like you who think that "defence" requires Britain being able to nuke the four corners of the globe bring out the worst in anyone with two brain cells.
    I presume you think the same of anyone else who supports Trident then, including David Cameron, George Osborne and Tony Blair, and the vast majority of the House of Commons.

    I'm saving this one for the next time you accuse others of making personal attacks on you, but never the other way round.

    What a shame.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,641

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? Given Trump has given white supremacists senior positions in his administration, endorsed them for office, failed to condemn their violence and terrorism, and made any number of racist remarks, it’s pretty clear where he stands. And white supremacists kill a lot of people in the US. But I guess Trump’s not an uppity African, so you can understand why Boris would be so indignant about any criticism he might get.

    So you think there is a moral equivalence? Wow.

    I think that if Trump had the tools Putin has he’d use them in exactly the same way
    You think he’d arrange assassinations on the streets of foreign capitals?
    Trump, and Obama before him, routinely do this, via the US 800 military bases in 70 countries across the world. Drones, Special Forces, locally recruited actors and cyberwarfare are increasingly the way that the US performs extrajudicial executions. Nick Turse's book "The changing face of Empire" covers it reasonably well.

    Arguably, that should be the direction of travel for our own forces, though a regional focus on the European and Mediterranean theatres should probably be our limit.

    I am not particularly arguing against such "Dirty Wars" which are the modern equivalent of Operation Condor, re-directed at Islamism rather than Communism, just pointing out that is what the USA is doing.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 9,387

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    I'm more entertained by the people who think the NHS is a failed wasteful mess and want us to copy models from countries who spend vastly more on healthcare than we do to somehow save money.
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 19,816

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    Oh dear: an AM "I see" post.

    You at your worst.
    Idiots like you who think that "defence" requires Britain being able to nuke the four corners of the globe bring out the worst in anyone with two brain cells.
    I presume you think the same of anyone else who supports Trident then, including David Cameron, George Osborne and Tony Blair, and the vast majority of the House of Commons.

    I'm saving this one for the next time you accuse others of making personal attacks on you, but never the other way round.

    What a shame.
    Go off and enjoy your Churchill film and wallow in nostalgic fantasies about how Britain stood alone nearly 80 years ago. Meanwhile the rest of us have to live in the 21st century, a century that is going to be substantially worse for Britain because of the course that you among others have advocated, befuddled by out of date dreams of a Britain that never was.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 24,382
    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    The truth is that the Armed Services, alongside the NHS and Social Care have all suffered decade long austerity. There is only so much that can be done with slashed equipment budgets, and no jam on the horizon.

    From @Dura_Ace comments it does sound as if the RN has the same problems of recruitment and retention of the right calibre of personnel as does my own organisation.

    I hate debt, so do not advocate increased borrowing. We either put up taxes or decide that there are some things that the State does not provide. Of course, this takes money out of peoples pockets by other means, so little real advantage.
    Britain's armed forces have the wrong aims. Britain should not be pretending to be a world power any more.

    Yep - with one leap we would be free.

    Free of what?

    It's amazing how many people think slashing defence is a free hit. Woeful complacency. Any serious threat-based review, now, would require a significant recapitalisation of our Armed Forces.

    Have a read of 2020 World War by Paul Cornish. We're living in a pacifist fantasy in a world of growing and diversifying threats.

    We need a core critical mass of trained capability that can credibly work with our allies to deter aggression, protect international trade, and protect and project our values.

    These are by no means destined to win out, and sticking our fingers in our ears and pretending it's all fixed, or just a bit of old-fashioned willy-waving, is both naive and silly.
    Even if we did simply focus our armed forces on ensuring that Europe was protected from aggression, as Edward Lucas suggested yesterday, it would still cost a lot of money. It would just be spent differently.
    I think to properly fund our armed forces the MoD would need a budget of £45-48bn per year, rather than the core budget of £36-37bn.

    But, I think there's a lot more they could do to flexibly pull upon part-time civilian expertise, including my own, in procurement and contract management, and we should be more willing to buy off-the-shelf equipment.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 1,654
    edited January 13

    Dura_Ace said:



    We need a core critical mass of trained capability that can credibly work with our allies to deter aggression, protect international trade, and protect and project our values.

    We could achieve that without putting taxes up if we a) didn't replace Trident and b) resisted the siren call of tiny production runs of autochthonous designs. We could have had Flight IIIa Arleigh Burke for half the price of the T45s and they would still work when the sun comes out.
    Interesting. I always welcome your posts on the subject.

    Btw, check out The Times on Monday. My client (who is an ex-director of British army recruiting) has written a letter on army recruitment and the "marketing" debate.
    My officer training course at BRNC was unusual in that an unusually high proportion of the course (present company excepted) went on to flag ranks. So, through these old shipmates, I have some insight into the mood of the RN at a senior level. Despite the manifold deficiencies in equipment, training and structure the problems that agitates them all is recruitment.

    Of course, we could fix this at stroke by opening recruitment to EU nationals and allowing lateral transfers from EU armed forces in the way that we currently do for (some) Commonwealth nations.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 21,480

    I see that today is the day that all the people who strongly counsel that increasing funding for the NHS is unaffordable are going to be confirming that they want to increase Britain's spending on defence.

    Oh dear: an AM "I see" post.

    You at your worst.
    Idiots like you who think that "defence" requires Britain being able to nuke the four corners of the globe bring out the worst in anyone with two brain cells.
    I presume you think the same of anyone else who supports Trident then, including David Cameron, George Osborne and Tony Blair, and the vast majority of the House of Commons.

    I'm saving this one for the next time you accuse others of making personal attacks on you, but never the other way round.

    What a shame.
    Go off and enjoy your Churchill film and wallow in nostalgic fantasies about how Britain stood alone nearly 80 years ago. Meanwhile the rest of us have to live in the 21st century, a century that is going to be substantially worse for Britain because of the course that you among others have advocated, befuddled by out of date dreams of a Britain that never was.
    There are far worse fates than life in 21st century Britain.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 28,617
    Foxy said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Trump is an egocentric buffoon. Putin is a serial murderer. One is obnoxious and occasionally racist. One kills journalists and anyone else who crosses him. People really need to get a better sense of priorities.

    Just out of interest, how can you be occasionally racist? You either are or you’re aren’t, aren’t you? Given Trump has given white supremacists senior positions in his administration, endorsed them for office, failed to condemn their violence and terrorism, and made any number of racist remarks, it’s pretty clear where he stands. And white supremacists kill a lot of people in the US. But I guess Trump’s not an uppity African, so you can understand why Boris would be so indignant about any criticism he might get.

    So you think there is a moral equivalence? Wow.

    I think that if Trump had the tools Putin has he’d use them in exactly the same way
    You think he’d arrange assassinations on the streets of foreign capitals?
    Trump, and Obama before him, routinely do this, via the US 800 military bases in 70 countries across the world. Drones, Special Forces.
    Yes - but these could be classified as “military” operations and don’t involve leaving trails of radioactivity across Europe or the streets and hotels of London.
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