I am aware that the Strategic Defense and Security Review has caused serious cuts to our armed forces, but I still found today’s news a little surprising.
Our imperious leader is in Burma (or Myanmar, if we are being formal) in an attempt to prop up his ailing regime by standing near a democratically elected stateswoman: Aung San Suu Kyi (who is either much smaller than I expected or our PM was rather ungallantly standing on a box). Actually, he’s probably trying to sell her some guns – as this seems to be the usual excuse adopted by our leaders to justify an overseas trip – and watching the dawn come up like thunder outer China crost the bay.
Anyway, in addition to his normal duties, he seems to be trying to augment the sadly diminished RAF by recovering some 20 Spitfires that we buried back in 1945 to keep them from falling into enemy hands. Surely things aren’t so bad that the defense of the realm must now rely on 67 year old fighter aircraft? I know the Spitfire was a fine plane, but I fear it might be slightly over-matched in a dogfight in 2012.
Still, slightly better news for the UK came from Standard and Poor’s: the credit rating agency to toffs and gentry. Apparently, they have confirmed the UK’s much coveted AAA credit rating: so it would seem that contrary to everything we see in the news media, our finance must be fine. Perhaps we could splash out on some slightly newer aircraft to keep our enemies at bay – a dozen English Electric Lightnings perhaps? Then again, perhaps young George should keep his powder dry for a while longer: I used to work for Enron which also gained regular very positive credit reports from S&P, but wasn’t quite as financial viable as the ratings led people to believe.