Thursday, 15 January 2009

Then and Now

Readers of Private Eye will be aware of complaints about the quality of housing for troops and their families, and that the these as well as the training facilities have been 'privatised'. We also hear that the government intends to expand public works programmes; and it has long been supposed that the defence industry has to be encouraged to sell to unpleasant foreign governments, (who have to be bribed, so causing moral outrage,) so that they can have sufficiently long production runs to produce something for British forces, at an affordable price. Their products are probably not quite as good as those of other major states, and the quantities supplied to the troops are often insufficient.

How things change. When Britannia was a Roman province, the Roman troops built the roads, they quarried the stone and they transported it and they built Hadrian's Wall, and probably other public facilities, such as aquaducts; as well as their own forts and barracks, and any seige engineering their campaigning required. Their fighting soldiers included men who were well trained in the requisite crafts and engineering skills. Their army bureaucracy efficiently organised the production and distribution of weapons and armour and uniforms. They did this over a vast empire which took several months to traverse, on foot, on horseback and by sail.

Come to think of it, the British army used to be able to do much the same, and also over a vast empire which took several months to traverse, on foot, on horseback and by sail. They both sold weapons to foreigners, who didn't need to be bribed to buy them, and even without foreign sales were able to supply their own forces with all they needed. These weapons were not inferior to those of their tribal opponents or rival states.

Isn't it strange that as we 'progress', our capacities diminish? Progress makes things worse, it seems. Progressives certainly do.

So, how about bringing the troops home from foreign adventures which don't benefit Britain, and have them improve their own quarters, handle their own training, organise their own arsenals (and hospitals) and help improve the roads and other infrastructure. Ah, but the unions and the profiteers who finance our rulers might not like that. What a pity.

Oh yes, one more thing. Those legionaries were versatile. They were also tough and ruthless. They had another skill. They were good at crucifying internal enemies of the Senate and People of Rome. I think it was Crassus who had his troops line the road south fom Rome with 6,000 rebellious slaves on stakes after the defeat of Spartacus.

What a picture that summons. Imagine the main roads of this country lined with the crucified corpses of the the internal enemies of the British people. Surely there'd be more than enough to stretch all the way from Downing Street to the Snot Gobbler's own Scottish constituency. Let the ravens feast!

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