So parliament is back after the general election. That was an exercise in national decision-making that is yet to be judged by history but the early signs aren’t good.
Many people, especially in the ‘red wall’ constituencies of the Labour heartlands voted conservative with such fervour and passion that you’d think hen’s teeth were going out of fashion. Instead, the once rarer than rocking horse excrement tory MPs in towns like Workington in Cumbria have become ‘common as muck’ in Boris’ brave new world of national asset stripping.
First off the blocks in this collective race to the bottom was Andrea Leadsom, one time candidate to lead the party herself but now content to do her master’s bidding and sign off on one of the biggest defence betrayals since William Joyce defected to the Nazis in 1940 and ran a wartime propaganda radio show to undermine British resilience.
Not quite so accomplished a radio presenter, Leadsom had to content herself with what she is good at – selling people out for profit. And just who are the patsies in this little deal? Whose security has just been compromised in the name of profiteering foreign nationals? Well, ours of course – including every single one of those ‘red wall’ voters who lent the tories their vote this December.
Cobham is a British firm, responsible for much of the defence infrastructure our country relies upon for national security since before WW2. Winston Churchill relied upon Cobham to keep Spitfires flying during the Battle of Britain – and they did! American private equity firm, Advent just took over. But here’s the kicker…
The takeover was agreed by Shareholders in the middle of 2019 but not agreed by the government until after the general election. Now then, why do you imagine that was? Cynics might suggest that the deal was allowed as part of a more general, post trade trade agreement with the USA. Realists might suppose that to tell the public about it before the votes were cast might have left the tories with a few hard questions to answer about the defence of the realm and our newly subservient relationship with our American financial overlords.
According to Simon Murphy’s article in The Guardian…
Lady Nadine Cobham, the daughter-in-law of the company’s founder Sir Alan Cobham, said: “This is a deeply disappointing announcement and one cynically timed to avoid scrutiny on the weekend before Christmas.
“In one of its first major economic decisions, the government is not taking back control so much as handing it away.
“In Cobham we stand to lose yet another great British defence manufacturer to foreign ownership, through a takeover that would never have been approved by the Americans, French or Japanese, all of whom have taken steps recently to raise protections for their own defence sectors.”
In what may well prove to be one of the year’s most prophetic questions Ed Davey, acting Lib Dem leader asked in the same article…
“If Boris Johnson’s government are happy to sell off a leading UK defence and aerospace company to Trump’s America, how can we expect his government to protect our defence and manufacturing sectors, not to mention every other sector of our economy, as they negotiate trade deals after Brexit?”
How indeed, Ed? How indeed?