They have let the Treasury run the show, and so instead of cutting out whole functions that the state does not need to do at all (it being a given that the British state does everything badly), the whole sorry mess has been pushed very gently into the bacon slicer, removing a few microns of the disgusting fat that permeates it all.
The low point was Cameron's presentation of the SDSR yesterday. Ed Miliband asked the obvious question:
Is it really the case that the best strategic decision for the next decade is for Britain to have aircraft carriers without aircraft?Cameron's reply marks him as the true heir of Blair's mantle as the most shameless liar ever to enter 10 Downing Street. The first sentence also pretty well describes their politics:
There is not a gap in our flexible posture. With our air-to-air refuelling and our fast jet capability we have the ability to deploy forces around the world.That is an evasion based on a lie, and Cameron knows it. See my 11 August post on just how long that RAF lie about its capability has been distorting Britain's defence posture. It is a fundamental lie - unless you accept it, you cannot justify the continuing existence of the RAF as an independent service.
But hell, the whole spending review has been a fundamental lie - it's been about administering decline while denying it, which is all Whitehall is good for and represents the maximum aspiration of the British people.