HOT on the heels of orders to ‘take the pain’ – pain inflicted by lockdown fanatic Michael Gove – Boris Johnson is now telling us to ‘steel’ ourselves for a long war in Ukraine. I don’t think this is going to turn out well.
The Prime Minister tells us, ‘I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war, as Putin resorts to a campaign of attrition, trying to grind down Ukraine by sheer brutality.’ What Johnson really means is that you, Joe Public, are going to have to deal with the fact that while your household and car energy bills go through the roof, my government will continue to shovel millions of pounds to Ukraine so that I can look like the stateman I have always longed to be.
Johnson adds, ‘Time is the vital factor. Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack. Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine’s side.’ Seriously though, who writes this stuff? Since when was time not a vital factor?
Time was vital in the trenches, for the D-Day landings, and no doubt it was vital for the Tet offensive. And who, may I ask, has ever been able to ‘enlist time on their side’? If only I could enlist time on my side I could get a lot more done during the day.
The Prime Minister is declaring that even though Britain is in the middle of the biggest squeeze on household finances in a generation, he is going to use taxpayers’ money to fund the Ukrainians in their war against Russia, therefore prolonging that war and the economic devastation it will cause to the West.
The Prime Minister wants to to ‘ensure that Ukraine receives weapons, equipment, ammunition and training more rapidly than the invader, and build up its capacity to use our help’, which means more money for the Ukrainian war effort.
Johnson also insists that ‘we must help preserve the viability of the Ukrainian state. President Zelensky’s government has to pay wages, run schools, deliver aid and begin reconstruction wherever possible. That will require constant funding and technical help, which we should plan to sustain for years to come.’ There it is in black and white – the war will require constant funding for years to come. The result of this, dear reader, is billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money funding Ukraine. This is name-your-figure funny money, open to the usual abuse and corruption, gargantuan levels, few questions asked, blank-cheque levels of ‘funding’. May I ask who voted for this?
Now I’m not saying that this Ukraine-Russian war doesn’t throw up some very difficult issues, and in general I obey the rule that you must stand up to bullies otherwise their behaviour and threats only get worse and more outrageous. But I also believe in jaw jaw, not war war, when there are grievances on both sides and combat costs are so devastating.
Nor do I remember reading anywhere in the Conservative Party manifesto at the last election that should a war break out on the edge of Europe Britain was going to fund the defence and day-to-day running of that country ‘for years to come’ even if the economy at home is in the toilet.
I don’t remember that in the small print under ‘Get Brexit Done.’