7. Defence & Policing

There are two extremes in the styles of imposing ones will on others. They are not the extremes of total control or no control. The extremes are in attempting to impose will by overwhelming force or by persuasion. I reject the former even though there are arguments in its favour as a potential last resort. For both policing and external defence I regard both as Trumpian solutions; ignorant and both demanding and inviting escalation by any opposition.


Where & when authorities want to impose order on a community, rather than keep peace within a community, they bring in outsiders. In the UK this was the case for the 1878 Blackburn riots where regiments of the army formed in southern counties were on ‘policing duty’ in Lancashire. Throughout the 19th century similar tactics lead to soldiers firing on citizens, frequently leading to deaths and injuries to those not involved in any illegality. In the 20th century Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called on southern police on highly boosted pay to act illegally using unnecessary force in suppressing mining communities in the north - the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ being just one example. It has been claimed that the South Yorkshire Police force were alienated from their home community by deliberate internal ‘discipline’ - and also that they found the alienation easier when confronted with external groups (Miners at Orgreave and Scousers at Hillsborough) to an extent impossible had they perceived the crowds as members of their own community.

Good policing in the UK involves constables with citizen powers patrolling with consent of a community whose values they share. Inevitably they come into conflict with individuals whose values are not those of the community. That is the task of policing. Problems occur where a whole community has values that are in conflict with those of the overall authority. That is a problem for education, public leadership, community discussion, etc. It may be a problem for the police to deal with - but it is not a problem they can solve.

more to follow …


It can be argued that defence has failed as soon as force is needed. This is certainly the case with nuclear weapons and is the basis of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). MAD assumes a rationality that would also rule out many conflicts as few offer long-term benefits to any side - and all contain risk. It makes sense to present an international face of a friend who offers benefits without being a friend. Better of course to also present the view of not being worth attacking!

The UK has the option of buying in to a MAD defence system (Trident) that has incredibly large (and improperly defined) costs, pays most of the benefits of purchasing the system to a foreign (though ‘friendly’) power, and is constrained in their use by that foreign power. Is there an alternative? Best - is there an alternative that would answer other problems at the same time? For the UK withdrawal from Trident would be strongly opposed in two adjoining constituences in North West England, reliant for employment on building nuclear powered submarines and providing nuclear power.

Solution? If the aim is to reduce tension between nations then one way is to freely offer help against a common enemy. Conveniently global warming can act as the common enemy without building up tension anywhere else and one massive part of the fight against global warming is in the gathering of information in the oceanic realm. Perhaps the UK could build a fleet of nuclear powered research ships and submarines (made in Barrow), offering joint scientific staffing to foreign universities and free access to the information gained.

Action for Eutopia

For policing a priority must be to ensure that our people have a set of shared values and not expect policing to impose values that aren’t shared.

Could our Eutopia provide something equivalent to the UK for defence? Something that would cost less than building up stocks of weapons yet reduce international tension (particularly any aimed at us!). Positive knock-on effects preferred?

Finally what does the provision of armies, navies, and air forces do in addition to prepare and commit to direct fighting? Can we implement answers without spending so much on weaponry which, in the end run, must be wasted money?

© John Cartmell 2013