Some thoughts on the UK, Empire and geopolitical reality – John Gelmini

English: US President Barack Obama and British...

English: US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron trade bottles of beer to settle a bet they made on the U.S. vs. England World Cup Soccer game (which ended in a tie), during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, Saturday, June 26, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf poses some interesting questions based on his reading of the Economist Bagehot article.

Essentially that article confirms that the Economist does not believe either David Cameron or Miliband are up to the job nor in touch with reality.

Britain wields influence through the Queen via the Commonwealth where a number of the rulers of those countries are controlled by her Governors General, as is the case in Canada.

However, in China and America, our influence is lessening although David Cameron tries to pretend otherwise.

A country without aircraft on its aircraft carriers, no coastal protection vessel and a Tri-Forces of 100,000 people is not a serious military power which can give other nations cause for reflection.

There was a time when the King could stand on his viewing platform and watch battleship after battleship sailing by for more than 6 hours. Then we were feared and respected and really did rule the waves.

Now we are a cipher of what we once were, reliant on co-operation with the French with whom we share aircraft carriers and reliant on the Americans for the execution of major invasions and military operations.


The UK needs to stop living in the past, pretending to be a great power at the top table and concentrate with laser like focus on its own problems.

Perhaps David Cameron through his blundering has made that possible whereby we should rejoin EFTA, become an offshore tax haven and start to emulate countries like Singapore, Norway and Switzerland whose people are much better educated and prosperous than ours and whose military position is one of defense only if attacked.

The public are still fed this diet of jingoism, nostalgia for what once was, “punching above our weight” and interference in the affairs of around 189 sovereign nations. £,12 billion gbp a year in overseas aid, the Barnett Formula or the Monarchy in its present bloated form?

The answer has to be no, unless our economic performance and worker productivity rises to much higher levels.

The UK is like a penniless suitor standing outside a jeweler’s shop and pointing to a Rolex watch and an expensive engagement ring, looking longingly at his fiancee and uttering the words immortalized in the old comedy series “Only Fools and Horses” starring Sir David Jason and saying” Sometime next year we will all be millionaires”.

John Gelmini

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