It is Christmas yet once again. It is a festive season. I quite enjoy it and always have. I think it is fair to say that I used to enjoy it a lot more. But fret not, I shall take pleasure in being with my family and friends as much as I ever have. Perhaps it will be different this year though, perhaps we might finally reach that crescendo where we realise that lo and behold we already have so much junk in our tiny houses that we really do not need more of it courtesy of the consumer society that we live in. Would it not be nice if we could give away happiness and joy instead of iPods and jewellery. Naturally I realise that this is an inimical part of capitalism but to me at least it seems that we have so much stuff these days that we simply do not need more.
But I digress. My thoughts are on defence. The defence budget is shrinking and this is sad and bad - but does it really matter? The first duty of the state is to protect the people under its aegis. To protect their values and cherish their believes and way of life. A budget must reflect its people. Certainly the welfare budget does. But, maybe, just maybe, the budget is a true reflection of our country these days. The budget is decreased because there is less to defend and protect, not physical things, but abstract concepts like 'family' or 'afternoon tea'. As these concepts continue to crumble then can we really be so surprised that the MoD is reducing the budget, after all, what is there to protect anymore? Our right to binge drink, to not participate in democracy, to shun work?