It was hardly surprising that Philip Hammond was greeted with cries of “shame” when he announced his defence cuts in the House of Commons on Thursday. The plan to slash troop numbers by 20,000 is ill thought out and will leave many serving soldiers feeling they’ve been stabbed in the back by Whitehall pen pushers.
I’m not one of those bleeding heart liberals who starts moaning about “the cuts” every time the Coalition announces some cost-saving measure. I recognise that the deficit has to be eliminated before we can start paying off the huge debts this country was saddled with by the last Labour government.
But is it really necessary to axe units like the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment, given their distinguished service history? Or the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the highest recruiting regiment in the British Army?
Will Britain really be able to defend itself properly with an Army of only 82,000 men and women? That’s smaller than at any time since 1750. (To read more, click here.)