Would a Labour Government be able to effectively redress Cameron’s follies and strengthen the UK’s status with Europe, the US, Russia and China? – John Gelmini

Ed Milliband MP speaking at the Labour Party c...

Ed Milliband MP speaking at the Labour Party conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf poses a simple question to which the answer has to be “no!”

The Labour Party has already said that there is no new money and that it will follow George Osborne‘s spending plans.

Unless there are more exports, or they plan to borrow more money, there is no more money for defense.

An island nation spending beyond its means, with an army smaller than that of some banana republics, no coastal protection vessels and a tiny navy, cannot be taken seriously, whether it is under Cameron‘s watch or Miliband’s, assuming the latter became Prime Minister.

Lord West, an expert on navies and sea power, has said on Radio 4 that with just seventeen escort vessels, it is little short of a scandal.

Last week, 1000 soldiers were sacked and plans to replace them with reservists are nowhere near on track, nor credible.

Without a lot of spending on defense, a massive increase in exports to pay for things, we are effectively relegated to a passive role on the sidelines, unable to project military power or give anyone cause for pause.

The credible scenarios now are:

  1. Remain in the EU and contribute to a European Army
  2. Become a plug and play component of the US military
  3. Leave the EU, become neutral and become an offshore tax haven

Ed Miliband, if he lasts the distance, will not go for the third option, so the result will be one of the two, unless he plans to reintroduce National Service and introduce conscription, which the Army has said it does not want.

John Gelmini

George Osborne: Possible Silver Bullet Options?

English: Human Capital Investment Model!!

English: Human Capital Investment Model!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If UK Chancellor, George Osborne was the Lone Ranger and I was loading his six-gun with silver bullets  for his Budget speech to Parliament on Thursday, I would recommend the following:

1. SMALL BUSINESSES

Small businesses are much more effective in creating jobs than large businesses, so there needs to be a big stimulus for small businesses. especially for creating jobs and investment

2. YOUTH UNEMPLOYED: TRAINING

There are billions of Euros being offered by the European Commission to retrain young people and reduce youth unemployment. George Osborne needs to harness these resources effectively, matching increased national skills, with potential demand. Practical skills and apprenticeships, along the German model, would be a good start point. Another enormous opportunity is language skills; this is required to increase sales penetration in BRICS countries; also learning languages like German would be beneficial for skilled people to tap in to German growth.

3. CONSOLIDATE PUBLIC SECTOR

Despite all the squealing, there are still enormous opportunities for further consolidation in the Public Sector, like for example removing “care” from Local Authority management; rationalizing number of Local Authorities, Police & Fire Services etc. There are still opportunities to rationalize the number of Central Government departments. Front and back-offices services should be streamlined, rationalized, outsourced and off-shored wherever possible, provided that it was in the national interest.

4. INVESTMENT

There are still opportunities for leveraging growth, with greater stimulation for capital investment. Companies should be given aggressive tax incentives for further capital investment. There are still excellent opportunities for Public Sector investment, like infrastructure, benefiting from the historically low levels of borrowing costs.

5. EXPORTS

Businesses should be given enormous fiscal incentives to increase exports

6. NATIONAL SERVICE

There is an opportunity to bring back compulsory National Service, along the lines of Israel’s example; two years for women and three years for men, at the age of eighteen. National Service could increase the skill-base, compensate for cuts in the tri-services, and potentially deploy military leadership to address social challenges.

Any thoughts?

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