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Why Is Britain Broke?

dont have any money?

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#41 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 0309 AM

Yeah, I could believe that. :D


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#42 seahawk

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 0544 AM

I would say the size of the armed forces is very fitting to the economic strength and threat level the UK faces. The mission and expectations just do not match with the economic reality.


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#43 Roman Alymov

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 0549 AM

Roman, UK is still in the top ten on that list, nothing to be ashamed of.

No disrespect at all - as for me (and as i said in the beginning) UK is performing quite good for country of its size and position, and i do not think it is "broke" . Yes UK is no more on position to challenge China or even Russia near Chinese or Russian borders\waters - so what, why should they be able to? Spain is also unable to (even dealing with Gibraltar is problem for Spain) but they somehow live with it. UK is in better position as the world we now live in is to great extent shaped by British Empire to make it convenient for UK both in terms of business and culture and will stay like that for another couple of generations at least, if not forever.
   I think the problem is UK Gov still somehow feel they are to flex their muscles  from Donetsk (once founded by Britt) to Capetown to HongKong while this task is far above their means.

 

 

 

Also, regarding China

Russia and the rest of the world ignores Chinese growth at their peril.

I think it is high time for another quote representing official Rus position on China growth and relations with China

https://youtu.be/FbY0VpyjtuI?t=987

 

 

on China’s maritime strength

https://youtu.be/FbY0VpyjtuI?t=1691


Edited by Roman Alymov, 14 July 2019 - 0551 AM.

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#44 Chris Werb

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 0621 AM

Joan must have slipped something in my coffee this morning because I'm sitting here nodding in agreement with everything Stuart and Roman are saying. :)

We are not broke. It has nothing to do with socialism. There are very successful economies out there, far more socialised than ours that deliver far better services and lifestyles and happiness for their citizens and still have reasonable to downright outstanding defences. Introducing socialism into a debate is usually about one step up from comparing your opponent to Hitler and just as productive.

Our (ironically named) defence posture is largely built around the notion that joining up with Uncle Sam and a few of the usual subjects and sticking the boot in far from home against relatively defenceless opponents will hasten the Worlds inevitable progress toward secular western style democracy and capitalism. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different outcome from the bloody chaos that inevitably ensues.

Confronting or even attacking China, in her own back yard and even with "allies". Let's not go there. I mean REALLY not go there. Ever.

Closer to home, we are meant to be helping defend Europe from Russia, yet there are obvious problems with this scenario.

Firstly I can see no motivation for Russia invading and an awful lot for them to lose. Secondly, their interest appears confined to areas formerly within the Soviet Union with large "ethnic Russian" populations. Lastly, Russia has demonstrated the means to attack us conventionally in ways that would massively disrupt our economy without resorting to nukes. There will be no possible, let alone economically viable defence against these kinds of attack for decades if ever and their capacity to mount them is steadily increasing. Having five Apache helicopters and a platoon of MBTs in situ only gives their propagandists photo opportunities. Some of the things the US has been doing have been highly provocative. B52s over Estonia and armed US serviceman posing for photos with the Neva river behind them. Would Uncle Sam tolerate this kind of behaviour if Mexico or Canada were Russian allies?

So, we can save a fortune and lots of lives by not doing out of area at the whim of the US. Since we are unwilling to entertain the changes to society and defence posture necessary to confront Russia, we can at least stop poking them with a stick.

At the moment, our armed forces exist as they are largely through institutional and cultural inerta/momentum. There is no will to have a sensible national debate about what the strategy should be going forward and how we create and maintain the force structure necessary to implement it. Expect to see more of the same, but with ever less personnel and platforms to accomplish it.
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#45 Roman Alymov

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 0648 AM

....... and armed US serviceman posing for photos with the Neva river behind them. 

I think you mean Narva river  - border river between towns of Narva (Estonia) and Ivangorod (Russia). Neva river is in StPeterburg


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#46 Ssnake

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 0837 AM

Closer to home, we are meant to be helping defend Europe from Russia, yet there are obvious problems with this scenario.

Firstly I can see no motivation for Russia invading and an awful lot for them to lose.

 

I don't see the motivation either. But I've seen the motivation of taking the Krim only after 2014, and I have no access to what Putin really thinks, believes, wants. Professional defense planning shouldn't circulate around intents, but must focus on capabilities. Russia has certain capabilities that make it a threat to the Baltic Republics especially, so NATO better be prepared to neutralize such capability (other than by threatening with nuclear retaliation, a doctrine that stopped sounding convincingly as early as in the 1960s).


Edited by Ssnake, 14 July 2019 - 0838 AM.

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#47 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 0901 AM

Joan must have slipped something in my coffee this morning because I'm sitting here nodding in agreement with everything Stuart and Roman are saying. :)

We are not broke. It has nothing to do with socialism. There are very successful economies out there, far more socialised than ours that deliver far better services and lifestyles and happiness for their citizens and still have reasonable to downright outstanding defences. Introducing socialism into a debate is usually about one step up from comparing your opponent to Hitler and just as productive.

Our (ironically named) defence posture is largely built around the notion that joining up with Uncle Sam and a few of the usual subjects and sticking the boot in far from home against relatively defenceless opponents will hasten the Worlds inevitable progress toward secular western style democracy and capitalism. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different outcome from the bloody chaos that inevitably ensues.

Confronting or even attacking China, in her own back yard and even with "allies". Let's not go there. I mean REALLY not go there. Ever.

Closer to home, we are meant to be helping defend Europe from Russia, yet there are obvious problems with this scenario.

Firstly I can see no motivation for Russia invading and an awful lot for them to lose. Secondly, their interest appears confined to areas formerly within the Soviet Union with large "ethnic Russian" populations. Lastly, Russia has demonstrated the means to attack us conventionally in ways that would massively disrupt our economy without resorting to nukes. There will be no possible, let alone economically viable defence against these kinds of attack for decades if ever and their capacity to mount them is steadily increasing. Having five Apache helicopters and a platoon of MBTs in situ only gives their propagandists photo opportunities. Some of the things the US has been doing have been highly provocative. B52s over Estonia and armed US serviceman posing for photos with the Neva river behind them. Would Uncle Sam tolerate this kind of behaviour if Mexico or Canada were Russian allies?

So, we can save a fortune and lots of lives by not doing out of area at the whim of the US. Since we are unwilling to entertain the changes to society and defence posture necessary to confront Russia, we can at least stop poking them with a stick.

At the moment, our armed forces exist as they are largely through institutional and cultural inerta/momentum. There is no will to have a sensible national debate about what the strategy should be going forward and how we create and maintain the force structure necessary to implement it. Expect to see more of the same, but with ever less personnel and platforms to accomplish it.

You say that, but....

https://en.wikipedia...the_Imjin_River

 

Once again, you are assuming we choose the deployments we make. If someone flew a 777 into Parliament next week, we would need an expeditionary capability presumably. The real world has an alarming habit of demanding the capablities we need, and we ignore them at our peril.

 

As for what motivates Putin, its very clearly the hope of getting as much back of his Soviet Union as he can manage. No, i don't think he wants to fight for it. I think he figures our own apathy will dump it in his lap, and ive half a mind to agree with him.  There is also the problem of what happens when the populist wave Putin has been riding runs out. Is he going to bow out gracefully, or is he going to take a leaf out the book of those Argentinian generals who thought an easy victory would be just what was needed to stabilize the regime? Nobody predicted Crimea. Nobody predicted Donbas. Nobody predicted Georgia. So for me, we must take him at his word every time he says he intends to protect Russians outside his borders. That is a casus belli for everywhere from Eastern Europe to New Jersey.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 14 July 2019 - 0907 AM.

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#48 Roman Alymov

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1003 AM

 

Once again, you are assuming we choose the deployments we make. If someone flew a 777 into Parliament next week, we would need an expeditionary capability presumably.

 

To do what, get bogged down in another war on opposite side of the globe, waste more money and lives and retreat from ruined country leaving situation worse than it was before your intervention? 

And about motivation and capabilities - let me remind you UK is in direct and long territorial conflict with another country (not Russia), sometimes balancing on the edge of shooting war - and in this shooting war UK would find itself in very uncomfortable position from geography point of view.  What is making you focusing on Estonia again and again?


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#49 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1106 AM

I think in general there's somewhat of a malaise in Western society today, and the UK is just an example of that (although sh*t, I'd much rather be a poor person in 2019 London than 1819 London) and a general sense that we just don't have our act together as much as we did in the past. All of the WW2 discussions have kind of brought that home for me -- the US engaged in a logistical feat over 4 years that I don't think we'd be able to replicate nowadays, despite all our technological advantages. I don't think our forefathers were necessarily more intelligent/driven/patriotic than us, but there's like a systems failure or something. 


Edited by Brian Kennedy, 14 July 2019 - 1106 AM.

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#50 sunday

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1127 AM

 

Losing India combined with the hobbling effect of the dependency created by the economic exploitation of it from 1765 to the 1930s certainly should be considered a factor. That this would not prepare a nation and its people well for economic takeoff in the post colonial era is not surprising in various ways.

 

... Spain did, kick up its heals and live off its Empire

 

 

Well, if you do not know well the history of your own country, you are not expected to know the history of other countries.  :P

 

Hint: How many universities were founded in Spain's overseas territories, and how many were founded in the English colonies?

 

Reading.


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#51 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1131 AM

Losing India combined with the hobbling effect of the dependency created by the economic exploitation of it from 1765 to the 1930s certainly should be considered a factor. That this would not prepare a nation and its people well for economic takeoff in the post colonial era is not surprising in various ways.

 
... Spain did, kick up its heals and live off its Empire.
 
Well, if you do not know well the history of your own country, you are not expected to know the history of other countries.  :P
 
Hint: How many universities were founded in Spain's overseas territories, and how many were founded in the English colonies?
 
Reading.

fine, but go much technical innovation was Spain doing after the 17th century? I mean no offense when I suggest it never industrialized like Britain or France. If it had, it probably would have won in 1898.
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#52 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1133 AM

I think in general there's somewhat of a malaise in Western society today, and the UK is just an example of that (although sh*t, I'd much rather be a poor person in 2019 London than 1819 London) and a general sense that we just don't have our act together as much as we did in the past. All of the WW2 discussions have kind of brought that home for me -- the US engaged in a logistical feat over 4 years that I don't think we'd be able to replicate nowadays, despite all our technological advantages. I don't think our forefathers were necessarily more intelligent/driven/patriotic than us, but there's like a systems failure or something.


We grew comfortable. It's killing the American Empire as sure as it did ours.
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#53 Murph

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1135 AM

 

I think in general there's somewhat of a malaise in Western society today, and the UK is just an example of that (although sh*t, I'd much rather be a poor person in 2019 London than 1819 London) and a general sense that we just don't have our act together as much as we did in the past. All of the WW2 discussions have kind of brought that home for me -- the US engaged in a logistical feat over 4 years that I don't think we'd be able to replicate nowadays, despite all our technological advantages. I don't think our forefathers were necessarily more intelligent/driven/patriotic than us, but there's like a systems failure or something.


We grew comfortable. It's killing the American Empire as sure as it did ours.

 

Quite perceptive, and totally correct.


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#54 sunday

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1153 AM

 

 

 

Losing India combined with the hobbling effect of the dependency created by the economic exploitation of it from 1765 to the 1930s certainly should be considered a factor. That this would not prepare a nation and its people well for economic takeoff in the post colonial era is not surprising in various ways.

 
... Spain did, kick up its heals and live off its Empire.
 
Well, if you do not know well the history of your own country, you are not expected to know the history of other countries.  :P
 
Hint: How many universities were founded in Spain's overseas territories, and how many were founded in the English colonies?
 
Reading.

fine, but go much technical innovation was Spain doing after the 17th century? I mean no offense when I suggest it never industrialized like Britain or France. If it had, it probably would have won in 1898.

 

 

Ah, the fine art of goalpost moving, combined with forgetting the devastation of the Napoleonic invasion, the devastation of the liberation by the English, and the lost of a big chunk of the empire because of revolutionaries supported and paid from London, while there was a theoretical alliance with Spain. Perhaps that was the last example of that "No peace beyond the line" principle.

 

In that context, 1898 is nothing more than an anecdote.

I think one could say that the raider/locusts role in Europe the Vikings did play during the early Middle Ages, passed to England, which keep at it from Elizabethan times to the end of the Napoleonic wars, then transferred that activity to Asia, first destroying the Indian textile industry, then making junkies of a good chunk of Chinese population.

Do you pretend to cover that with the industrial revolution? See how the first man in space did *not* justify Stalin crimes.


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#55 Nobu

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1204 PM

Britain has not been the same since losing its Indian goose of gold. This is not an indictment, merely an observation, as it would be a surprise if post colonial Britain was as motivated economically with the comfort derived from the conservatively estimated $44 trillion extracted by Britain from India in the period 1765 to 1938 as it would be without it.

The question is when Britain will start actually trying to compete again instead of going through the comfort motions and living off of the interest. I am optimistic about how well Britain will do when it does, but less so that I have been in the past about whether it ever will.


Edited by Nobu, 14 July 2019 - 1215 PM.

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#56 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1245 PM

I think one challenge that both the UK and the US have is how to distribute/diffuse their economies some more beyond the major cities -- not in a tax-the-rich sense, but more about bolstering the development of the rest of the country. The fact that there's so much money in SF and NYC isn't good for the country in general (and honestly it's not good for SF and NYC either), and my impression is that it's even worse with regards to London and the rest of the UK.


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#57 sunday

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1253 PM

I think one challenge that both the UK and the US have is how to distribute/diffuse their economies some more beyond the major cities -- not in a tax-the-rich sense, but more about bolstering the development of the rest of the country. The fact that there's so much money in SF and NYC isn't good for the country in general (and honestly it's not good for SF and NYC either), and my impression is that it's even worse with regards to London and the rest of the UK.

 

That was something the US had succeeded in doing until, I think, the 21st century. Washington DC was almost a backwater for business, while in France the country was divided between Paris and the countryside. England managed it very well, too, until the big growth of the London financial markets, and the decline of the manufacturing areas in the Midlands, etc.


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#58 Ivanhoe

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1253 PM

 

I think in general there's somewhat of a malaise in Western society today, and the UK is just an example of that (although sh*t, I'd much rather be a poor person in 2019 London than 1819 London) and a general sense that we just don't have our act together as much as we did in the past. All of the WW2 discussions have kind of brought that home for me -- the US engaged in a logistical feat over 4 years that I don't think we'd be able to replicate nowadays, despite all our technological advantages. I don't think our forefathers were necessarily more intelligent/driven/patriotic than us, but there's like a systems failure or something.


We grew comfortable. It's killing the American Empire as sure as it did ours.

 

 

There is no American Empire. The populations of all territories combined is less than the number of illegals in the Lower 48. The five inhabited territories are: Puerto Rico (PR), Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), American Samoa (AS), and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). We didn't conquer any of them by military force. The USVI we bought from the Danes (I have a big WTF on that strange transaction). The Marianas were liberated from the Japanese in '45. Only American Samoa was annexed in the traditional colonial sense, without a shot fired (except between the USN and the German Navy).

 

 

 

 

Puerto Rico is an odd duck, they are conditional US citizens more or less. We receive no federal income taxes from PR, only import/export taxes and SSI/Medicare. They are subject to a military draft, unlike say American Samoa.


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#59 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1254 PM

Losing India combined with the hobbling effect of the dependency created by the economic exploitation of it from 1765 to the 1930s certainly should be considered a factor. That this would not prepare a nation and its people well for economic takeoff in the post colonial era is not surprising in various ways.

 
... Spain did, kick up its heals and live off its Empire.
 
Well, if you do not know well the history of your own country, you are not expected to know the history of other countries.  :P
 
Hint: How many universities were founded in Spain's overseas territories, and how many were founded in the English colonies?
 Reading.
fine, but go much technical innovation was Spain doing after the 17th century? I mean no offense when I suggest it never industrialized like Britain or France. If it had, it probably would have won in 1898.
 
Ah, the fine art of goalpost moving, combined with forgetting the devastation of the Napoleonic invasion, the devastation of the liberation by the English, and the lost of a big chunk of the empire because of revolutionaries supported and paid from London, while there was a theoretical alliance with Spain. Perhaps that was the last example of that "No peace beyond the line" principle.
 
In that context, 1898 is nothing more than an anecdote.
I think one could say that the raider/locusts role in Europe the Vikings did play during the early Middle Ages, passed to England, which keep at it from Elizabethan times to the end of the Napoleonic wars, then transferred that activity to Asia, first destroying the Indian textile industry, then making junkies of a good chunk of Chinese population.
Do you pretend to cover that with the industrial revolution? See how the first man in space did *not* justify Stalin crimes.
When I say innovate, I mean,
The steam engine.
The canal.
The railway.
The steam ship.
The iron ship.
John Harrison's marine chronometer.
The Bessemer converter.
The telegraph.
Mass production.
Modern archaeology.
Modern botany.
Paleontology.



Or innovators.
Charles Darwin.
IK Brunel
George Stephenson.
Thomas Telford.
Josiah Wedgewood.
Michael Faraday.


Did Spain display the same technical innovation in the same period? No.

I'm not talking about who had the best Empire. I'm talking about who were innovators and who wasnt. Spain's innovators lead the world, but by 1900 were a good century and a half past it.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 14 July 2019 - 1256 PM.

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#60 Chris Werb

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 1259 PM


....... and armed US serviceman posing for photos with the Neva river behind them. 

I think you mean Narva river  - border river between towns of Narva (Estonia) and Ivangorod (Russia). Neva river is in StPeterburg

Sorry, autocorrect struck again. :)
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