Politics

Day 3 of the Daily Mail’s Serialisation of White Flag?, Lord Ashcroft’s latest book on the UK’s defence capability

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mail on Tuesday 25 September 2018.

Our heroes’ new enemy? The lawyers on a mission to sue them.

Donors who gave blood to the NHS might have been surprised to find out their good deed could have been saving the Taliban.

During the Afghanistan war, large volumes of blood collected here were sent to the field hospital in Helmand province, where it was used to treat both our own soldiers and the men trying to kill them.

This strange state of affairs encapsulates the contradictions of war fought with honour — and, increasingly, war fought with an eye on the law.

British surgeons at Camp Bastion went to extraordinary lengths to save wounded enemy fighters — and rightly so.

It was their duty under the Geneva Convention but also the moral thing to do, even if it meant patching up injured Afghan insurgents and enabling them to return to their deadly activities planting more roadside bombs.

Army doctors and medics accepted their humanitarian obligations, approaching each patient as a medical challenge rather than an individual who might be on the wrong side of the war.

Nonetheless, they were acutely aware that the enemy did not share the same standards.

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Day 2 of the Daily Mail’s Serialisation of White Flag?, Lord Ashcroft’s latest book on the UK’s defence capability

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mail on Monday 24 September 2018.

Shot down by the PC brigade: As recruits to Britain’s shrinking armed forces are told it’s ‘okay to cry’ and have a wobbly belly, Russian troops come out of training ‘made of steel’, claims a new book

  • An explosive new book dares to ask if Britain’s Armed Forces are fit for purpose
  • Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott revealed how cuts have left us exposed
  • In today’s extract, they highlight a new threat — political correctness…

Are Britain’s Armed Forces fit for purpose? An explosive new book dares to ask the question. On Saturday, in the first part of our exclusive serialisation, the authors, Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott, revealed how spending cuts have left us perilously exposed in the face of renewed Russian aggression. In today’s extract, they highlight a new threat — political correctness.

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Day 1 of the Daily Mail’s Serialisation of White Flag?, Lord Ashcroft’s latest book on the UK’s defence capability

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mail on Saturday 22 September 2018.

An army cut to ribbons, a Navy struggling to stay afloat and a tank unit so weak it’s nicknamed ‘Operation Tethered Goat’. As Putin flexes his might, a new book claims the British military is at breaking point.

  • At a time of international crisis our Armed Forces didn’t have what was needed
  • Theresa May ordered airstrikes on Syria to punish the Assad regime this year
  • British submarines were loaded with cruise missiles and dispatched

Earlier this year, Theresa May ordered airstrikes on Syria to punish the Assad regime for its use of chemical weapons.

Reports quickly emerged that British submarines loaded with cruise missiles had been dispatched and were on their way to the Mediterranean.

Cue images of sleek, silent vessels powering their way underwater at top speed, the Royal Navy responding with vigour as it has done since the days of Nelson and beyond.

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America at the midterms

By Lord Ashcroft

With two months to go until the midterm elections, I have conducted a 6,000-sample poll of American voters to provide a snapshot of the national mood as the campaigns get fully into gear.

To start with the biggest-picture question of all, is the country heading in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track?

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Lord Ashcroft’s new book – an assessment of the UK’s defence capability – can be pre-ordered now

By lordashcroft.com

Lord Ashcroft’s new book – White Flag? An Examination of the UK’s Defence Capability – will be published on October 2 and can be pre-ordered now.

The book, co-written with political journalist Isabel Oakeshott and published by Biteback Publishing, will examine the state of the UK’s armed forces after years of cuts. It will assess whether they are ready to deal with coming threats and the possibility that this country may be drawn into military conflict which is not at a time and place of our choosing. It will also explore the politics of defence. (more…)

How voters will judge whether Brexit means Brexit – and the two questions Ministers should ask about any deal

By Lord Ashcroft

Rarely can a Prime Minister have been so glad to see the back of her colleagues. As she left Westminster for a well-earned holiday last week, Theresa May knew that each one of the crucial votes she survived in a fraught parliamentary session only served to underline just how unenviable her task of shepherding any kind of Brexit deal through the House of Commons will be – if indeed a deal can be concluded that she is prepared to sign.

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Malta makes a strong case to host the EU outposts of British companies after Brexit

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on 28 June 2018 on ConservativeHome.com.

My lifelong passion for bravery, in general, and gallantry medals, in particular, means that I have long had a soft spot for Malta. As the only country in the world to be awarded the George Cross – for its tenacious resistance to Germany and Italy during the Second World War – my admiration for the island’s once-besieged people is immense.

However, my support for Malta as a business location where UK companies might wish to set up a base after Brexit has nothing at all to do with any sentiment. (more…)

Brexit, the Border and the Union

By Lord Ashcroft

The Irish border is at the centre of negotiations as to how we will leave the European Union. My latest research, published today, explores what people think about the issue on both sides of the border, how voters in Great Britain see the question in the context of the wider Brexit debate, and the potential implications for the union of nations in the United Kingdom. My report is called Brexit, The Border And The Union, so let’s take those themes in turn.

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Leave voters would rather lose Northern Ireland than give up the benefits of Brexit

By Lord Ashcroft

This article was first published in the Telegraph on 19 June 2018.

It seems ironic, when we remember the sound and fury generated on both sides of the referendum campaign, that the biggest sticking point in the Brexit negotiations – the Irish border – is one that was hardly mentioned before the vote. As with so much in politics, how you see this conundrum depends on who you are and where you sit.

My latest research finds that for Nationalists in Northern Ireland, the practicality of customs checks is almost beside the point: any kind of border in an island that they see as one country is unthinkable. For them, avoiding a hard border eclipses any other potential goal of the Brexit negotiations.

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‘In Ireland, we’d have a second referendum to get the right result’: Brexit and the border, as seen from the Republic

By Lord Ashcroft

Yesterday I reported on what my focus groups in Ballymena and Belfast had to say about Brexit, the border and the Union. Today, the view from the South.

One thing that united our focus groups in the Republic of Ireland – Fine Gael voters in Dublin and Fianna Fail supporters in the north-western city of Sligo – was the conviction that by voting for Brexit the UK had made a terrible mistake which it would regret, if it didn’t already: “They misunderstood what they were doing;” “Places like the North East are wholly reliant on foreign investment. It’s like turkeys voting for Christmas;” “It was for all the wrong reasons. ‘We are Britain and we’re going to be great again, we’re not going to have the EU telling us what to do, we won the war’.”

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