I realise I am not overly qualified to comment on defence budgeting but I will nevertheless. That’s what blogging’s all about after all.
So, I think it’s interesting that Gideon Osborne has decided that the Trident Project can continue (keeps Tory voters at bay) but the MOD must fund it through its own resources (Keeps Lib Dem supporters engaged).
The MOD has a £36bn resource budget (which is to be cut by 10 – 20% – thereby focussing our minds on pointless wars. We all know what those are.) It also has a £9bn capital budget which is currently earmarked primarily, I think, for 100 new jet fighters and two new aircraft carriers. That now has to include Trident. So, what would you do?
Certainly I was with the Lib Dems, in policy terms, in that I believe money on defence could be spent more effectively in other areas than Trident and that’s looking like the outcome now.
But I very much doubt that one can put this down to brilliant negotiation by Nick Clegg; just pure pragmatism by Gideon (who continues to surprise me with his apparent lack of total shitness).
Meanwhile the LIb Dem’s referendum looks like being derailed in the Lords. (And in Scotland.)
So, will this effectively derail the coalition too?
Depends if it becomes a lovers tiff (a la Brokeback Coalition) or a deal breaking divorce.