Regardless of your political view, its obvious that the Armed Forces have been run down by succesive governments of leanings various. There isn't any one party to blame, they all have one thing in common - the ability to applauded and praise the military when simultaneously regarding it as an expensive non-essential.
We have constantly seen errosion and increased HMT oversight since the 50s, each successive Government just compounds the issues.
There is a difference between reducing size to a level that befits our requirements and decimation.
At the end of Empire, Britain did not require the amount of armed forces required to Police and protect our interests, so scaling down was inevitable and necessary.
Taking the size down to a level that we are unable to protect ourselves is another matter altogether.
As many have suggested, the specter of another Falklands is hovering on the horizon and what would we do with no carrier capability.
I remember in 82, the panic to get the through deck finished to go double headers with Hermes, and the rush jobs carried out on her to take fixed wing.
Edited to correct mung spelling:-|