GENERAL Sir Richard Dannatt is to become Defence Minister if there is another Tory government.
He will do so, not by becoming a Tory MP from standing as a candidate and winning a seat in next May’s General Election. He does not feel that he is required to justify himself before the mob.
Instead, he will enter a Tory cabinet via a seat in the House of Lords, as befits a former chief of the general staff of the armed forces of the crown.
If the Tories win the election, he will be entering government at a time when it will be facing a war on two fronts.
First of all our general will have to do battle to see that his comrades in arms get every piece of equipment, every gun, bomb, plane, helicopter and every soldier that they require for the killing grounds of Afghanistan.
Then, since military expenditure will have to rise to finance the coming great offensive, the good general will have to wage the battle against Mrs Thatcher’s ‘enemy within’.
This enemy is the millions of workers and youth and middle class people who will threaten the military budget by fighting the savage cuts that a Cameron government is already pledged to make.
The workers and the middle class are to have their wages, benefits and pensions cut. They are to have their taxes raised, the NHS is to be privatised, while millions are to lose their jobs, especially in the public sector.
The masses will resist these cuts tooth and nail in mass demonstrations, strikes and general strikes.
So, having the last armed forces chief of staff in the cabinet makes sense, both in terms of the expansion of the war in Afghanistan and helping to direct the war at home to make the masses pay for the crisis.
As the burdens and the costs of the Afghan adventure increase, so will the need to make even more savage cuts on the working class and the middle class at home.
In this situation, if a just-retired officer can be parachuted into the cabinet to be a defence minister, then other likely generals will be parachuted in to join him – especially if the civilians in the cabinet seem to be weakening.
And if a general can become Defence Minister, via the House of Lords, why cannot a general become Prime Minister.
The Tory pledge to make Dannatt a defence minister is just the first shot in transforming a Tory cabinet into a real war cabinet against the working people of the world.
In the early 1970’s, under the influence if the economic and political crisis that was raging at the time, General Frank Kitson – who commanded in the north of Ireland at the time of Bloody Sunday and became the Chief of UK Land Forces – wrote a book about the role that the British army would have to play in the future.
He wrote in Low Intensity Operations: ‘If a genuine and serious grievance arose, such as might result from a significant drop in the standard of living, all those who now dissipate their protest over a wide variety of causes might concentrate their efforts and produce a situation which was beyond the power of the police to handle. Should this happen the army would be required to restore the position rapidly.
Fumbling at this juncture might have grave consequences even to the extent of undermining confidence in the whole system of government.’
It is this situation that the political generals are preparing for, and there is no doubt that it is on the way.
The way forward for the working class is to mobilise now to bring down the Brown government and to bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, disband the officer corps and smash the capitalist state, to bring in socialism.