There are some of us, Mr Chairman, who have always known that Labour MPs are a bunch of unilateralist humbugs
I've seen the Major angry before, but never like this.
"How dare they? How dare they! Those lowlife communist scum... how dare they say the top brass are only complaining about the lack of kit because they're Tories! Where were those yellow-bellied vermin when we were standing up to the Ruskies and the IRA? I'll tell you where - supporting the Queen's enemies! CND, Troops Out... oh yes... while our boys were dying for us, that traitor Foot even worked for the KGB - a known fact. And our current Defence Secretary - that ridiculous little town councillor chappie - started out as a Marxist - A MARXIST! Scum - scum from the sewer."
"Well Major, they were young and foolish, and probably poorly educated... they can't be expected to understand concepts like patriotism and loyalty to Britain. They probably believed communism would help the working man, and the IRA was a force for good. I mean not everyone had the benefit of your upbringing..."
"Upbringing?! I'm beginning to wonder about you, Tyler. You shouldn't need upbringing to understand basic principles like loyalty and duty to Queen and country! If they can't understand that, WTF are they doing sitting in our Parliament ruling over us? Apart from sticking their snivelling little snouts into the swill bucket, that is."
As we blogged over the weekend, Labour's record on defence spending is shameful. I feel ashamed that we've sent our troops out to die without proper equipment, and I'm appalled at the way that gutter traders like Brown and Ainsworth dismissed the concerns of our professional soldiers.
Yes, it's true that defence spending has increased in real terms, BUT ONLY WHEN MEASURED AGAINST AVERAGE INFLATION - NOT WHEN MEASURED AGAINST DEFENCE INFLATION, WHICH IS MUCH HIGHER.
Today's outburst by Labour MPs at PMQs turned our stomachs. We know that Labour MPs have never been keen on defence. Over the years very many of them have been unilateralists and fellow travellers. But this is now, and our guys are still dying in Afghanistan because of Labour's failures. It is beyond contempt for their MPs to dismiss the genuine concerns of our generals on the grounds that they're Tories.
PS Defence prices rise faster than general inflation both because the earnings of personnel rise faster, and because the price of defence equipment rises much faster. The best estimate of the overall "relative price effect" is 3% pa - ie defence inflation runs about 3% higher than average inflation (GDP deflator). This figure was estimated by Prof David Kirkpatrick for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), based on ONS price indices and various other input. For future reference, here's his summary:
On the basis of this estimate, defence spending under Labour has declined by about 2% pa in real terms - despite the various wars they have engaged in. The ONS do not currently publish their own estimate, but they assure us they are working on it.