We've asked a lot of our troops in the past decade. Too much, really. We fail to equip them properly and we don't have enough of them. Then we go and send them off all over the World into conflicts where our national interest is not clear. Nowhere is this more true than in the Iraq conflict. What on earth are we doing there? What has been achieved? And at what cost in terms of blood and money?
In Dover & Deal we used to have the army at Connaught Barracks, the Marines at Deal. In times further past, the Channel Fleet was stationed on the Downs off Deal's coast. In the Second World War, there were RAF airfields in many locations. So we have a great martial heritage - but it's now a martial past. Charlie Elphicke believes this is strange. If Britain were ever attacked it would be in the South East and most likely across the Dover Straits. So why are hardly any forces stationed here?
Charlie Elphicke believes Britain needs to be strongly protected, so that our nation is kept safe. We need a strong navy. We need an effective air force. And we need the army to be equipped with what it needs to do its job properly. We do not need to combine our forces with those of our European neighbours. We do not need to send our troops all over the place on madcap foreign policy adventures. Gunboat diplomacy may have worked at times in the Victorian era, but it's out of place today.