Yet another scheme by the MoD for cutting costs on the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers has surfaced in the media, with claims now being aired that one of the two ships might be sold to India.In my darker moments I come to believe that the last Englishman will be a chap named Gupta or Patel. This is not out of any animosity toward the emergence of India as a superpower. Quite the contrary. India will prove an invaluable counter-weight to the ambitions of its authoritarian rival across the Himalayas. It is, rather, a bitter regret that the homeland of so many noble virtues and values, a nation that boasted of being the "Mother of the Free," should, quite literally, sink into ignominy.
The Guardian reports that India "has recently lodged a firm expression of interest to buy one of the two state-of-the-art 65,000 tonne carriers" and that an unnamed "defence source" has told the paper's Tim Webb that "selling a carrier is one very serious option".
The argument here is not that the RN should seek to rule the waves, merely that Britain at least punch its weight in the world. Rather than being the hub of a network of middle powers, joined together into a force with global reach and levels of strength, the British Establishment have decided to become a satrap of the Eurocracy. The twin forces at work here are shame and "practicality."
In the wake of the two world wars nationalism was given a very bad name. Love of country had blinded the leading European states to respect for humanity. Our nation, uber alles, and all that. It was a sloppy argument, and really only plausible in continental Europe. Whose nationalism? Was it the Britons, of that generation, whose love of their country had caused two world wars? Or was it their patriotism and grim determination that saved western civilization? Not all nationalisms are created equal. If shame brought men to question British greatness, the "practical" men sought to reassure those with any lingering pride to surrender to "inevitability."
Had Aristotle lived in the modern age he would have added "inevitability" to his list of logical facilities. It's a kind of argument from authority, except that authority is history. Not history as you or I know it, or Gibbon knew it, but history as Marx understood it. This is going to happen. Absolutely. No questions. Either get with the program or find yourself a place in the ashcan. Why? Because it's inevitable. It denies, of course, that men have free will. To deny that is to misunderstand man and his track record. It is to substitute a hunch for a fact.
The end of the Vasco da Gama Era meant Europe was no longer the center of a global imperial system. Hemmed between Soviet Russia and America, the marginalized Great Powers over reacted. Rather than retrench, they sought to surrender. To remain relevant Europe had to unite. Who was Britain to avoid this inevitability? The Channel is really only a narrow stretch of water. You can see, on a good day, Calais from the Cliffs. So you can. Geography is powerful, but not invincible. If it were, Europe would today be under either a Soviet or Nazi heel. What saved Europe was the Anglosphere. That people in every corner of the globe would think it right and natural to fight for an island thousands of miles away, in the name of a sovereign they had never glimpsed in the flesh. Charles de Gaulle, in rebuffing one of Britain's early attempts to enter the then Common Market, remarked that Britain did not think or act like a continental nation. Amen to that. Now if only the successors to Macmillan and Heath, would begin again to appreciate the General's sound logic.