Friday, 19 August 2016

Left Right Left Right?

It may be surprising but despite many reservations there is a time or two when Mr. Corbyn says things which I can agree with.  He has indicated in an off the cuff comment that there are questions in his mind about the NATO alliance and the high flown talk of it "doing something" about Russia and the Ukraine.  This has been greeted with shock horror in the media.

It is possible he has asked the basic question that if NATO ought to rattle it's sword against its shield and bang a drum or two then who is to do it, that is whose army and with what air support.  It may be that the armchair warriors of the media and politics are thinking of going nuclear for the hell of it, but let us assume non-nuclear.

The thinking is that as the EU has pushed further and further east looking for lebensraum for its administrators and officials, it should now impose its will on the further shores of the Black Sea and The Crimea.  Ah, The Crimea, we have been there before and that did not end well.

So could the master German's be at the front of the line?  Perhaps, but by all accounts your German army of the present day is a lot more Fred Karno than Freikorps.  It is less Prussian Glory and more Strictly Come Dancing without the timing.

The French, well not really, Beau Geste is into interior decorating and the Foreign Legion a lost cause.  The Italians?  No.  The Spanish?  So it has to be the Brit's, again.  Sadly, we are short of numbers.  The enhanced mixed brigade we might be able to muster might be good enough to get there, although this is arguable, but not to do anything and probably would need lifts from Ryanair or Easyjet to return.

As for air support, the Brit's could manage a day or two, the others even as much as a week, so long as no opposition was encountered.  If the Russians could put up a few planes and perhaps unlike the EU  ones with enough ammo' to make a fight of it, that would be a write off.  As for logistical support it would be another Iraq and a lot worse.

Mr, Corbyn may be against any of this purely on principle and there is a good case for thinking that NATO today is not what it was when I served with the colours just after Stalin bit the dust.  There is a better case for looking at just what it is and for and perhaps needs radical reform of purpose, structure, strategy and the other things that have been lost sight of in our new Europe.

We may not like Russia, but apart from the literature, music, opera and ballet etc. we never have and there is a long tradition of opposing Russian empires.  How many men were lost up the Khyber because we feared them moving into India?

But if we or the EU tell us to go out there and do our duty we should question whether it is a duty, or whether, like Bismarck, we should put Realpolitik first.

If you would like another tune, go to Youtube and take your pick of the choices of the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky.

But don't forget to duck when the cannon's fire.


  1. Disabled toilet.

  2. "more Strictly Come Dancing without the timing."

    Ha ha - good analogy. Maybe Corbyn is sometimes right on the stopped clock principle.

  3. My question would be WTF is the EU doing in the Ukraine in the first place? The Russians don't trust the EU, and rightly so, because they remember Hitler and Napoleon. The Crimea and Donetsk regions democratically seceded from rest of the Ukraine largely over internal sovereignty issues. The Ukraine at the time (and probably still is) bedevilled with corrupt politicians skimming the Gas and pipeline revenues. So why should the EU and NATO be involved?