Jeremy Corbyn’s honesty, frankness and radical opinions on socio-economic inequality and the massive abuse of Britain by the super rich and giant corporations is what drew me in. His fanciful and air headed approach to national security is what’s pushing me away.
Jeremy Corbyn has controversy running through his veins, by and large for all the right reasons. His attack on the desperate situation of Britain’s most poorest citizens and his push for greater investment in education, healthcare and nationalisation calls out to the lefty within me. Quite frankly, barring Natalie Bennett, there’s not a single mainstream politician whose policies can be viewed as primarily supporting those who need help the most. However his policies on defence, while seemingly held in the best of interests, are a cause for concern.
Corbyn has made his position on Britain’s future state of affairs concerning foreign policy and national security abundantly clear. He wishes to promote the position of politics in solving crises like the current conflict with ISIS; he is likely to decrease the size of the army, questioning Britain’s need for a ‘global reach’. He is staunchly against the renewal of Trident and has even spoke of leaving NATO. Recently it has resurfaced that he is in favour of a potential power sharing agreement with Argentina over the Falklands.
Promoting the role of politics in conflict resolution is a sound policy and one of Corbyn’s criticism of our Middle East policy is how we support states like Saudi Arabia that have been known to support terrorism. However the complete dismantling of the British power structure of which has taken centuries to build is tantamount to opening the gates of Troy and letting the wooden horse in.
Jeremy Corbyn has said himself he can’t think of any reason to deploy British troops overseas hinting at further cuts to our nation’s armed forces. To put things into perspective our troop level has already been cut from 102,000 to 82,000 and there is speculation it could be further reduced to 50,000. Already prompting fears from the US that Britain will become unviable as a military power.
Therefore the fear is should Jeremy Corbyn enter Downing Street there is a potential to see further reductions in troop level possibly below 50,000. So much so we recently saw a thinly veiled threat by a General in the British army should Corbyn “jeopardise the security of the UK”.
The truth is while Corbyn promotes political dialogue as an alternative to violence, and rightly so, he ignores the realities of the world we live in. Putting ISIS to one side at the moment, we have the crisis in the Ukraine and fears of an expansionist Russia. The rise of China and its aggression in the region may seem like a distant issue for the people of Asia but time and time again we have been dragged into distant conflict. Taking a look in general it’s clear to see the world is riddled with conflict, we simply do not know where the next crisis will come from and how it might affect our nation.
Many of us like to believe in nuclear disarmament and a nuclear free world but this in itself is fanciful thinking. As far as nuclear weapons are concerned Pandora’s Box has been opened and no matter how safer we would all be it will never be closed. There will always be that fear that one nation may have nuclear weapons in secret and therefore others will always seek to defend against that. To believe that we can sit under the United States’ nuclear umbrella and save money by cutting our own deterrent is often made redundant by the Chicago for Hamberg theory. Would the United States trade one of its cities in the defence of a foreign nation?
While Corbyn’s remarks on Britain’s NATO membership have been recalled, his remarks on the Falkland Islands have only recently begun to do the media rounds. And this is perhaps the biggest issue I have with Corbyn’s defence policy. The Falkland Islanders have voted time and time again to remain tied to Great Britain. Ignoring this show of democracy and the fact that the Falkland Islands have been populated by British settlers for the past 182 years, Jeremy Corbyn is acting markedly ‘un-Jeremy Corbyn’, in as much as he is actively repressing democracy.
It is in this die-hard liberalism that the greatest fear arises concerning Corbyn’s attitude towards defence. Corbyn’s lack of reality and commitment to pipe dreams is reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain’s fateful piece of paper.
Perhaps as a student of history I am biased, but time and time again history repeats itself. For one man to believe that our nation’s security is best served with words with little need of an adequate armed force is tantamount to believing that one can see the future. We cannot say when the next great war will occur or how big an army we will need, but we can see that in the past great wars arise periodically and it is always the case that those best prepared fair best.
While I see Jeremy Corbyn as a man who stands up for the downtrodden and desperate I also see him as a man who believes too greatly in dreams. I can and do believe it is possible to change Britain into a country where everybody truly has an equal chance in life; however I simply cannot trust human nature so much so to jeopardise our national security.