Regular readers of KoW will know that we’re a non-partisan troop of geeks, and there’s no change to policy here.. I must note, however, that the British Prime Minister has just fired the starting pistol on the British General Election and the hung parliament will be declared on May 7th… once all the votes are counted… Or am I being too negative? Perhaps someone will get a clear majority – I tend to follow the bookies on these things, and the sensible money is on a hung parliament.
In all election campaigns issues fight for prominence, and defence is not an issue in which many positive points can be scored. Only in 1983 did the unilateralist policies of the Labour party sink it almost into oblivion. According to (Cowley and Quayle[?] some time ago) defence was only the 17th most important issue for electors on voting day…. so our favourite topic doesn’t rate that highly.
But, but, but, with the economy in trouble, and a war still being fought this should be a hotter topic than that. Defence procurement (industry, jobs and R&D), troop conditions (touchstone issues in constituencies) and our place in the world (ability to project power etc) should all feature at some point during the campaign, and when they do I’ll blog about them. I should make it clear that I have no horse in this race – I am a classic ‘floating voter’ this time; so I’ll blog in that spirit.
What might be nice (?) is that some of the parties give us an indication of how they are distinct from each other in defence terms – the thumb sketches that we’ve seen so far put them all pretty close together.
To the hustings …. as they used to say!