Opinion: Churchill’s Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race | Foreign Affairs- John Gelmini

Twickenham United Kingdom

Twickenham United Kingdom (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Dr Alf asks about the proper trajectory for reform in the UK.

Given the past record since World War II, I think we need to consider why we are in decline, who has been responsible for the present “trajectory”, and whether the present institutions and systems are fit for purpose.

Given our size as a nation, our population, our poor levels of State education, the reduced levels of our armed forces, our stated ambitions, posturing and actions are those of a man with empty pockets standing outside a jewelers, trying to impress his fiancée and future in-laws, with the prospect of a diamond engagement ring, when all he can afford is a shabby suit with shiny elbows and a cubic zirconia ring.

We need to look at Singapore, Switzerland and possibly Germany, build ourselves a target operating model based on rapprochement, tax haven status and an Establishment that is there on merit rather than on an inherited basis.

We should stop trying to pretend that we are important, that we should be listened to, that we are a Great Power and concentrate on substance, exports, job creation, innovation and managing other people’s money.

Our coat needs to be cut according to our cloth and we need to increase the number of useful and productive citizens whilst reducing the number who are a problem and a burden and the costs of keeping them.

For that, we need strong law and order, no more immigration unless it is people with special skills, more personal responsibility, fewer and shorter holidays, greater productivity, no more meddling in the affairs of other countries where we have no business, and more straight talking to the public.

There should be no more overseas aid and there should be a relentless focus on those things which add value to the nation and increase prosperity for the bulk of the population and on getting rid of those institutions, practices, organisations and customs which detract from or destroy value.

Currently, we have too many of the latter and these need to be identified, rooted out and eliminated without sentiment, nostalgia or as much as a backwards glance.

This would require an objective test against which questions need to be asked and a “sunset law” applied with no keeping of anything just for the sake of tradition alone or some arcane view that says because”these things have stood us in good stead in the past they must be relevant now”.

John Gelmini

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5 responses

  1. Pingback: Opinion: Britain is educating its children for jobs that soon won’t exist-Telegraph-John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. Pingback: Opinion: Unemployed in Europe Stymied by Lack of Technology Skills – NYTimes.com- John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  3. Britain’s history requires to be rewritten, as a result of our identity with our past, and the inability to move from what is a essentially a system modeled on the Roman Empire, as a political and cultural system that has been useful to a limited extent, arriving at where we are now, we need to change from the doctrines of old establishment system that produces leaders, like most leaders from the mid century of Britain, and become a leading power of vision that makes sense to people, and not to cater for a small group of over privileged and over financed, dead wood.

    • Don,

      Thanks for your posting.

      I am not sure what you mean when you state that Britain’s history needs rewriting? Are you proposing a Marxist perspective, i.e. through the eyes of the underdog or ordinary people? Here’s a link to Marxist theory of history


      Personally, I strongly believe that capitalism is the only game in town. This has been well documented under the economic and social history of Neoliberalism. Of course, greed led to the financial crash of 2008 (this is often referred to Second Wave Neoliberalism). Some observers naively thought we would see the emergence of Third Wave Neoliberalism, i.e. compassionate capitalism.

      Indeed, some three years ago, I thought that David Cameron might be the champion of Third Wave Neoliberalism. Sadly, Cameron has proved to be a political butterfly flitting from one colorful issue to the next.

      I wonder if modern Germany gives us a better model than modern UK?

      • John, I am not proposing Marxism, although I am not a scholar of Marx, from what I know of Marx, I believe he is out of touch with what is the working world of hands on work, he is a idealist and their is nothing wrong to some extent in this possibility, depending on what this meaning means, I am saying that Marx having some idea of the proletariat, all having a what? equal say? this if so is completely out of touch with any working rational possibility, because the time taken to make a decision and the variation of possibility is irrational, more so the differing degrees if mans insight is not equal, so all having a say in what is produced and a shared idea is to me totally immature, simply put you do not have to be a genius to understand what I say as more or less what I mean.
        With regard to my comment on the history of British Imperialism, in rewriting this history, I am saying that if you take the rose tinted glasses of of what is known as “Great Britain” I am saying the idealism of the “Great” is not “great” at all, I am saying the Establishment of British rule is a Institutionalized laundered program, and is at base or a basis of criminal ideology, I am asking you to go beyond the pomp and show and ritual of garments such as the Redcoats?
        I am saying we all live on a planet, and the First World has surplus energy that is confusing, as for example, the fact that a city such as Detroit can be a great city of mass employment and has a infrastructure worth billions of dollars, and as a result of corporate greed, of exporting jobs and infrastructure to a country abroad is a form of madness, the city as you are well aware is now in a state of inner collapse, the energy to put in sewerage, electricity, gas, water and all the rest of work that has put this colossal work of mans endeavor to become a city of destroyed houses, drugs, and general crime, this is not the way, its not what system as theory of economics but more the respect of those who have labored, now reduced to nothing, I would call this a speciality of what at any rate is all around me and seems as a surplus, is conceit.
        In the town I live in I purchased a jar of organic peanut butter, recently, the peanuts were grown in South America, transported to New Zealand, processed there, and then shipped to Australia, do you think this is a sensible way of dealing with resources? the excessive and constant shipping of goods around the world and polluting the seas, is a example of a over complex world.
        As you are aware the reason for terrorism today is because we have created a sub world of inferiors, called the third world, for labor exploitation, the result of this has created terrorism, so we now have a boat problem with people escaping atrocities of the third world, it is obvious its not what the system is, it is a mind set that we need to work out as custodians of the environment, which includes people, that are paid a wage in the third world of more than $70.00 dollars a month.
        Its not that I am against capitalism, its what system you mean as to what is capitalism? how many have died in the past century that is in the main a world of capitalism? my estimate of deaths thru war and as a result of war is approximately 500 million, people.the loss of animals as a result of capitalism is beyond estimation, my empathy is more so with the animal kingdom that the human race, the reason why is man is and has been willfully cruel and depraved, you John may have a different analysis of what I say, and the difference between me and you is your class ideology, my class, was working class, here I am saying in terms of assumed values of culture, which I do not share with the group I once lived with, I differ from you, if you believe the class system is no longer in existence.
        Another problem with present day capitalism, is time, as we keep speeding up our race against time, we have a problem of time, the ability to restrain and use reflexion on what is happening is that the decision making, on some levels, we are not able to apply and consider implications of what problems that should be considered, as their is not enough time in our head.

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