Guest Post – Are there any Tories left?

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As I feel it is important to be open about one’s political leanings, I vote Labour. But I am a Tory. The problem is this: there are no Tories in National any more. The conservative, nationalist element is gone, lost in a haze of neo-liberal thought and a willingness to sell out the country for forty pieces of silver. Nowhere is this more apparent than in defence.

Defence is the cornerstone of a great nation. Britain was founded in the blood and mire of Agincourt and Crecy; Germany would never have been Germany without Sedan. Traditionally, right-wing, true Tory governments believed in a strong defence force. The current National government has castrated ours.

All the talk that recent defence cuts were merely “back office” cuts was bullshit. Here are some facts:

We are getting 8.8% fewer frigate sea days in Budget 2012 than in Budget 2011. We are getting 14.3% fewer Seasprite hours. We are getting 17.8% fewer Offshore Patrol sea days. We are getting 9.3% fewer Inshore Patrol sea days. We are getting less availability from the Canterbury.

What about the others? Well, we are getting 20.9% fewer Orion hours. We have dropped from being “Substantially Prepared” for airborne surveillance to “Partially Prepared.” And our Army’s readiness across almost the entire military spectrum has dropped, proving that National were bullshitting when they said they were only cutting back office functions.

We had a gigantic underspend in the Defence budget last year, and a parallel underachievement in just about every output class. The defence force can’t even do what it said it would! It doesn’t have the staff.

Morale is at the lowest it’s ever been. For all Helen’s shortcomings, her slashing of the Skyhawks was coupled with substantial funding for the other arms. Soldiers, sailors, and airmen are fleeing the NZDF as fast as they can.

While John Key isn’t as big a traitor as Nick Clegg and David Cameron, who are currently doing what Hitler never could – destroying the British Army – they aren’t far off.

So, where are the real Tories? Where are the people in National who believe in nationalism, who want a strong army, a strong police, and don’t want us selling our land to the Chinese or us strengthening other nations through free trade agreements?

They’re all gone. They died in the 1980s, when neoliberalism stripped all that was good and wonderful about right-wing thought and replaced it with a soul-less love of money and nothing else.

My call to National is this. Fund defence. Fund the police. Bring back the old Tory values: loyalty, patriotism, honour, and glory. Find your heroes in El Alamein, not the trading floor. There may not be votes in it, but there is something better: a wondrous, strong, powerful New Zealand. The glory of the South Pacific.

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