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LETTERS TO BEN: Defence Review + Lord's Prayer in Schools + Volunteering in India + Israel/Palestine issue

Dear Ben,

It was good to see you at the Palace of Westminster and Bath Abbey more recently, saddened you couldn't join us at the pub afterwards! Perhaps see you for a drink in the future at the Crystal Palace or the Green Man.

I have been talking to a few people about the UK's position when it comes to defence strategy. I have a few points I would like to raise with you, perhaps these need to be addressed more secretly.

The need to defend usual points of entry into the UK such as ports, international train stations and airports, in case of a "breach of trust" attack where foreign militaries would be allowed to send in commandos through existing civilian channels in a concerted and coordinated assault. There would need to be sufficient military presence to defend against hundreds arriving at each location simultaneously before the borders could be closed in a potential conventional attack. Saudi Arabia was a country formed when 12 men with rifles scaled the walls of Riyadh at night and took over the city and ultimately one of the richest countries in the world. True story.

The UK is a leading maritime military power, our leading troops are counted as Royal Marines, but there has been some discussion as to our lack of a feasible strike capability, in terms of modern assault ships capable of deploying task forces at quick notice to trouble spots across the world. Many countries in Europe and abroad have superior equipment in this regard to Britain. Instead of over-extending ourselves in war zones such as Afghanistan it would be more conservative to concentrate on securing maritime cities near the coast, using conventional assault ships full of tanks, marines, helicopters and backed up by VTOL strike aircraft. I would like to suggest we start by perhaps buying the Mistral class assault ship from the French that they are now refusing to sell to the Russians because of sanctions so that is a missed opportunity. Britain is considered the home of the naval industry so having a military force to protect British shipping from the threat of disruptions to world shipping should be an obvious conservative global military defence policy.

Furthermore, in light of cuts to police and military, perhaps it would be worth considering the deployment of more traditional local paramilitary volunteer force, sanctioning leading local residents by empowering them with recognised agencies for judiciary and defence duties. Perhaps members who have passed basic training in the CCF can join up and get something for their hard work, improved status with recognition as a paramilitary officer and also public notaries could be commissioned in a similar role.

Another point I was thinking about from last night RE Statute Law, policemen who misbehave should be sanctioned with fines, 1-2 weeks wages for infractions - a standard management technique in football. These fines should be used in the local community to sponsor alternative schemes such as street pastors, or perhaps technology like cameras with facial recognition software on street corners, and also other community schemes.

On a separate issue, I think the Lord's Prayer should be taught manditorily in schools as part of the IB, as we have the Christian cross on our flag, we need everyone involved in being a British Citizen to know what they are getting involved in. This would help to win the hearts and minds of disaffected youths who have started resorting to terrorism through miscommunication of British values.

One last point to Israel/Palestine and defence, I would encourage you to end the apartheid situation in that region, by supporting a one state solution with a secular state of Israel/Palestine. Give all the Israelis British passports, as the White South Africans were offered British Citizenship at the end of Apartheid, and let the Palestinians inherit the infrastructure of a more developed and economically viable state. The Jews came to London in the 17th century which led to London becoming established as the financial capital of the world and centre of world trade, so this would help to overcome potential economic problems caused by the wrong type of immigrants who seek to harm our interests. (I think we should have a system of indentured servitude for illegal immigrants in Europe, similar to the system in the early federal USA where immigrants arrived as indentured servants to their sponsors and had to work for their freedom and to become US citizens and the right to earn a living independently.) We should also look to bring the Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile defence system to Britain to prevent any potential long range missile attacks from developing nations around the world who are hostile to British interests and will soon posses missiles that could reach the UK.

I will write to you about the potential volunteering opportunity on the farm in India once I have returned and spoken to people, perhaps I will try it first and report back to you on my experience.

I'm leaving for Bangalore, India tomorrow. I wish you good luck in parliament and good health in all your activities. I'll be back at the end of January and hope to have a more settled time after that in terms of the things I would want from my life in Bath.

Best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

William Gaskell

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