Security and Stability 2

August 12, 2017

In relation to the European Union, and the Hope and Vision for it, which we had but remains unfulfilled; our departure from the EU raises issues about what our future relationship will be, especially as there seems no desire by the core members of the EU and the Eurozone to reform their institutions.  Our two areas of concern are the future of Gibraltar and the continuance of the special relationship with the Republic of Ireland through the British + Irish Council and the Common Travel Area.  The threats arise from the EU failing to recognise the special status of Ireland  by virtue of the Republic being a member of the CTA and of the EU.

The continuance of the CTA should not be in doubt and any problems relating to the border are of a practical nature that can easily and sensibly be resolved.  The obstacles to that are of a political nature driven by opportunism.  Sinn Fein have demanded the granting of special status to Northern Ireland by the EU with the customs and trading border effectively being pushed in to the Irish Sea.  The aim of this is to peal off Northern Ireland from the UK.  It is unacceptable, but it seems the Irish Government who are supposed to be impartial by virtue of the Good Friday Agreement, have endorsed that position and thereby created a barrier.  The second barrier is the refusal of the EU to discuss future trading arrangements before agreement is reached about the border.  But, it is the agreement on customs and trade that will determine how the border will operate in the future.  The EU is putting the cart before the horse.

Both the Irish Government and the European Commission keep demanding clarity from the UK, but both are unwilling to place any concrete proposals on the negotiating table.  Following the Referendum last year Liam Fox made the UK position very clear.  The UK wanted free and fair trade with the EU and would not place any obstacles in the way.  However, if terms and conditions were implemented against the UK they would be matched by the UK with the very same measures.  That should be the UK position with regard to the Irish border.  A free and open border will be maintained between Britain and Ireland, made easy by the fact that neither are in the Schengen Area, and they continue joint external visa arrangements and immigration/entry procedures.  In effect that puts the border in to the North Sea and the English Channel.

It is a situation that could be open to abuse and will have to be carefully monitored to ensure criminal elements are frustrated.  The EC are right to be wary of the UK being used as a back-door to the EU.  Likewise the UK does not want the Republic to be used as a back-door in to Great Britain.  With good will it can be policed in an unobtrusive manner.  This is not made easy by the attitude and actions of the new Taoiseach, who acts as though the North is already part of his jurisdiction.  His undiplomatic visit to Belfast recently, to show solidarity at the Gay Pride event and promote Same Sex Marriage, does not bode well for future relations and does not demonstrate impartiality.  It is not Northern Ireland that should have ‘special status’ – it is the Republic of Ireland’s ‘special status’ that should be acknowledged and recognised by the EU.

Spain has a normal veto regarding the final exit agreement from the EU, but has also been given an additional veto in relation to Gibraltar and the application of future trading agreements via the UK.  Latest comments by Spain’s Foreign Minister indicate a softening of their official position, with him promising not to raise sovereignty issues during the negotiations.

However, they still aim to recover Gibraltar and restore territorial integrity despite the indisputable fact that Gibraltar was ceded in perpetuity to the British Crown.  This softening seems to be in response to concerns raised by 10 thousand Spanish workers who cross the border each day and the wider population who cross to shop and take advantage of lower custom and excise duties, and the absence of VAT.  The existing border is not open as Gibraltar is not in the Schengen Area.  That will not change, but it is a reason why Gibraltar could join the CTA (and it has strong Irish links) and why a change of status to that of a Crown Dependency would be of great advantage.

The UK is not leaving Europe and will still be a member of the Council of Europe that has a larger membership, and a remit that is much wider than just human rights.  Our commitment to European Solidarity can in the future be focused through the CE institutions.  Our position would be to concentrate our efforts there for a Europe based on Christian principles and values.  As a member of the CE we would still be able to fly the flag inspired by Our Lady and Her crown of twelve stars; and also able to acknowledge the ‘Ode to Joy’ anthem that celebrates brotherhood, peace and understanding.  Both the flag and anthem originated with and were adopted by the Council of Europe, but were later high-jacked by the EU.

Of course the UK will still be a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.  Whatever the future for a European Defence Union, we will be detached.  Our future lies in being more independent and more influential.  The support from the UK government for Germany having a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, with a veto, should be withdrawn.  It will not be our concern if the EDU wants that status in the future, but it will then be up to France to concede that status in their place.

In relation to the United Nations our aim would be to maintain the UKs pre-eminent position on the Security Council, but to reset the approach away from population control, replacing that with pro life and family positions.  There is evidence of mission creep by UN agencies that are now out of control.  Many are redefining Charters, Conventions and Declarations to suit their own progressive agendas, contrary to the decisions and wishes of the UN General Assembly.  They need to be curbed or if necessary disbanded.  The UN also seems to be incapable of controlling the activities of Non Governmental Organisations and their financial backers.  This is a grave situation when the likes of George Soros and his co-conspirators are able to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states.  The entry by corporate entities in to space exploration that has a commercial motivation, resulting in despoilation and exploitation, also gives cause for concern.

The UK government does not engage the public when it takes up a foreign policy position or pursues initiatives at the UN.  Never apologise and never explain seems to be the historic culture ingrained at the Foreign Office.  That needs to change with a new culture of openness and transparency.  We have concerns about the FO support for the inclusion of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan as permanent members of the Security Council as this will make it even more difficult to achieve a consensus.  The proliferation of nuclear states is a sign of failure, as also is the fact that the existing five veto holding permanent members are the world’s biggest arms producers.  If those five cannot prioritise a plan for arms reduction and a further extension of Nuclear Free Zones, we have to question their raison d’etre.

This major problem is peculiar in that it only afflicts the Northern Hemisphere, as the whole of the Southern Hemisphere – including all of Africa and Central & South America – are NFZ.  The UK respects these long-standing agreements and is committed to not infringing them by taking nuclear weapons in to those regions.  So, nuclear bombs and missiles will never be based in the Falklands, for example.  In the future we could be called on to police the South Atlantic and need to be prepared for that eventuality.  It should be remembered that NATO responsibility ends at the Tropic of Cancer.

Potential flash points are in Central Asia, the Far East and Pacific; with China being a greater threat than Russia.  While we should not get directly involved, we might have to provide cover if the US Navy is withdrawn to the Pacific.  This happened during the Viet Nam conflict when the maintaining of carrier task groups off-shore put a great strain on the US Navy.  The US focus has already shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  It is clear that we are going through a period of change that requires a totally different approach to UK foreign policy.  A renewed commitment to the Commonwealth and a declaration that the UK will defend its interests on the Security Council would be a minimum position.  It should also be recognised that we can be drawn in to conflict due to Treaty obligations; meaning that we should not make promises we cannot keep.  This requires the maintaining of a credible military force.

The British Royal Navy 2

August 8, 2017

The current situation faced by the RN is reminiscent to that when King William III ascended the throne; neglected and underfunded.  His ambition was to rebuild the Navy to a position of pre-eminence; his problem was the lack of funds.  His solution was to borrow the money and thereby created the Bank of England and the National Debt, which are still with us.  It has been mooted that our current Debt is the equivalent of the cost of all the wars fought since.  There was a consequence arising from the building programme, the oak forests of Britain and Ireland were laid waste.  The construction of ships was a massive enterprise that stimulated the economy and did lead to the industrial revolution.  Britannia really did rule the waves as the RN won control of the seas.  Control of the seas resulted in control of the world and the British Empire.  Our modern desires for the RN are less ambitious and relatively less costly.  We merely want to save the RN.

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The British Royal Navy

July 23, 2017

Our concerns about the state of the UK Armed Forces are extensive, particularly so with the RN which is at a very low ebb.  Each year Navy Books publishes a Complete Guide to the ships and aircraft of the Fleet.  This is authored and compiled by Steve Bush.  For twenty-two years he served in the RN.  On leaving in 2000 he joined Maritime Books and from 2003 has been editor of Warship World.  There is no better person to comment on the state of the RN, so for your information we republish his Introduction to the 2017 British Warships & Auxiliaries. Read the rest of this entry »

Security and Stability

July 16, 2017

CDP policies are framed by reference to the essential ‘six systems of community’ as listed in categories 2 to 7 in the sidebar to the right.  Over and above those is the duty to ensure that the country is secure and stable; as this enables and allows the ‘six systems’ to flourish.  Since ancient times the prime duty of a King has been to protect his subjects, mainly against external threats, but also internally by imposition of law and order.  In modern times this prime duty, to protect its citizens, rests with the executive government overseen by the people’s representatives.  The duty to protect its citizens can now be more widely defined to include environmental and health hazards, as well as the unscrupulous behaviour of conmen and carpet-baggers.  However, for the elaboration and discussion of this category we are limiting our coverage to the three sub-elements of foreign policy, defence and civil protection.

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Rally for Life brings Dublin gridlock

July 8, 2017

This year the Rally and March was clearly focused on the campaign to win the upcoming referendum that will propose the rewording of the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution.  This will effectively legalise the provision of abortion to an extent that will make abortion in the UK look moderate by comparison.  The push by politicians and the extreme-left, cheered on by the news-media, has a momentum that appears unstoppable as it is supported by external forces.  It is an effort that will fail because there is no substance to their superficial and irrational premise that totally ignores the humanity of the pre-born child.  The massive turn-out on 1st July is indicative that the defenders of the 8th Amendment are active and organised, building on the work of the last few months, and most important are growing in number in every part of Ireland.

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All-Ireland Rally for Life : Save the Eighth Amendment

June 17, 2017

ind_virgenThe Eleventh annual All-Ireland Rally for Life will be held in Dublin this year, on Saturday, 1st July, with the numbers attending expected to increase in the face of extreme pressure from the abortion lobby who are pushing hard for the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution [which provides equal protection for mother and unborn child] to be repealed.  The CDP continues to support the Rally and stand in solidarity with all the pro-life groups – North and South.

This year they are closer than ever to seeing that abortion on demand is legalised following the outcomes from the Citizens Assembly considering constitutional reform in the Republic and in the North with the Alliance Party’s David Ford repeatedly tabling abortion bills in the Assembly.  With the selection of Leo Varadkar as Leader of Fine Gael and Taoiseach, their overriding priority seems to be holding a Referendum on the Eighth Amendment in 2018.  Much of this pressure is being orchestrated by external forces, including the United Nations.

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Of Mice and Men and May

June 15, 2017

To quote from Robert Burns poem of 1785 to a Mouse – “But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane, In proving foresight may be vain; The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!”  In plain English – you are not alone in proving foresight vain as best laid schemes often go askew, leaving grief and pain instead of joy.  To that we can now add the plans of May in calling a snap general election, before completing the exit from the European Union and completing the full fixed five year term of Parliament.

TM has self-destructed and her image as a statesman lies in tatters at the mercy of her party and the men in grey suites.  Her action has proved to be without doubt extremely irresponsible, after proving that she cannot be trusted.  She survives because there is no real alternative.  Her action was all about strengthening her position within the Conservative Parliamentary Party, but she has achieved the opposite and she has put Brexit at risk.  Federalist European politicians are mocking her and the UK as they offer to let the UK remain in the EU at a price.  They will regret that derisory attitude, because the Dunkirk spirit will prevail.  UK citizens will close ranks and form squares to defend their decision to leave the EU; even as the Conservative Party, in their turn, are torn apart themselves.

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