By Bill McKay, a 68-year-old former British Army subaltern 1983-1988
WHEN I hear that our armed forces are not fully geared up and ready to invade Norway tomorrow, I weep. For we have lost the very essence of our country.
For what is Britain? What is our country, if not poised and ready to use overwhelming force to smash any nation that offends us, like a hammer smashing a walnut?
I mean no offence to Norway. It could be anyone: France, Serbia, Liberia, Ecuador, Fiji. We’ve been at war with all of them in our time and we f**ked them up freestyle. We didn’t need to gear up or rearm. We were ready for massive aggression at zero notice.
But according to defence secretary Ben Wallace, a former soldier like me, we no longer have that capability. If Spain starts acting up or the Democratic Republic of the Congo gets lippy, all we have are words and nuclear weapons.
What’s happened to us? Why aren’t we the angry monster bristling with weaponry and only too ready to take offence that sunk the Belgrano and twatted the Argies back in ’82?
We let ourselves get soft. We stopped ploughing every spare penny into our military, lulled by the end of the Cold War, our only wars mere indulgences like Iraq or a recreational bombing of Libya.
The announcement that our military is under-strength, that it would struggle to even crush Belgium beneath its shiny heel, is a wake-up call. F**k everything else. Close the schools. Triple taxes. We must become a fully militarised nation.
Only when there are more tanks than cars, when every adult male has a military rank and when we are so ready for war we’ll start one on a misunderstanding can we truly be the Britain that the world once feared.
I fancy invading Morocco this time. Who’s up for it?