Anorak News | Taking Away His Toys

Taking Away His Toys

by | 22nd, July 2004

‘LIKE old Uncle Toby in Laurence Sterne’s classic The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Tony Blair can’t stop playing with his soldiers.

‘Right then, guys, I’m sending you to look for Bin Laden’

When he became Prime Minister seven long years ago, it was like all Blair’s Christmases had come at once – and for each of them he had got a new regiment or battalion.

During that time, he has sent his soldiers into Kosovo, into Sierra Leone, into Afghanistan, into Iraq and even into London Heathrow.

And this morning we learn from the Guardian that the PM is now drawing up plans to send his troops into the Sudan, scene of a fast-unfolding humanitarian disaster.

So obsessed has Blair become with his war games that his colleagues in government have decided to confiscate his toys until be can start using them responsibly.

Thus we read in the Telegraph of the ‘swingeing’ defence cuts announced yesterday, which will see the number of soldiers at Blair’s disposal cut from 107,500 to 102,000, the number of sailors slashed from 41,300 to 36,000 and the number of RAF personnel reduced from 53,800 to 41,000.

Not only that but bases will close, ships will be decommissioned, orders will be cancelled and regiments will be merged.

General Sir Michael Walker, Chief of the Defence Staff, tells the Times that the cuts mean that Britain will not be able to cope with any additional major operations.

In all, it will only be able to handle one large-scale operation and one secondary peace-keeping role.

Which at least means that next time Blair tries to take the country into a war that it doesn’t want, he won’t have the soldiers to do it.’

Posted: 22nd, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink