Obviously, Benedict Brogan, a senior political analyst at The Daily Telegraph, is exceedingly well-educated, highly intelligent and very well connected up and down the intricate corridors of Westminster. Even so, he's wrong and I'm right! Today he writes a column bemoaning Dave's lack of strategic thinking and of course he is entirely right. Dave, in so far as he is a 'thinker' at all, is a tactical thinker - a lieutenant not a general - and I doubt that he even understands the word 'strategic'. Brogan states that Dave has failed to define Britain's place on the world stage which is almost certainly true but where I part company with him is that Brogan finds this deplorable where-as I rejoice. What Brogan fails to understand is that national leaders do not 'define their place on the world stage' - they earn it - or not, as the case may be. And they do not do it be posturing with massive armed forces paid for on borrowed money! A prime example lies across the North Sea where the 'Kaiserin' exerts quiet but immense influence not on account of her armed forces which remain positively reclusive but by means of the geo-political position of Germany at the heart of the European land-mass plus her nation's immense wealth based on thriving commerce.
Brogan tells us that the British economy, almost uniquely, is thriving but warns, quite correctly, that it remains fragile. Why, in that case, he should think it right for Dave to squander borrowed zillions on more guns, ships and aircraft, I do not know. It's not as if our 'brass' covered themselves in glory in Iraq and Afghanistan where they stumbled about in a manner that made 'Dad's Army' appear reasonably efficient! In fact, their almost total incompetence and mishandling of our troops reduced our 'role in the world' to that of the resident clown! (None of that should be taken as an insult to the 'Toms' on the ground who merely followed their orders from on high to the very best of their not inconsiderable abilities and bravery.)
Yes, Brogan is quite right to suppose that there is very little strategic thinking in Whitehall and that it is the state of the economy that dominates. If so, that is entirely right in my opinion although my confidence in Osborne's ability to steer us back to real prosperity is minimal given that each year our national debt increases. There are two huge calamities looming over the horizon. The first is the European economy which remains in exactly the same quagmire that it was in five years ago. The other is 'over there' where the American economy is still operating on the greatest 'Ponzi scheme' the world has ever seen. Sooner or later reality will crash in through the front door and "there will be blood"!