Michael Portillo wasn't the only politician to harbour misconceptions and delusions about the special forces.
Yes, there are certain missions for which only special forces are suitable. Yes, they can sometimes achieve seeming miracles. Yes, we'd be a lot the worse for not having highly capable units of this kind. Yes, we Brits do it rather well. And, yes, since 1989 the proportion has risen of whatever it is we expect to achieve with armed might, that will be assigned to such troops.
But no, categorically no, you cannot have armed forces essentially comprised of nothing else, which is what the government appears to imagine, with plans for big reductions in army numbers and conversion of some of the remaining line infantry regiments to "Ranger" forces, with silly American "elite" connotations. When everyone's special, then nobody is.
And there's a bigger, deep-running problem. To man a single regiment of SAS, you need thousands of very good "ordinary" soldiers aspiring to join them, training hard to be able just to apply to join them, actually applying to join them - and then, mostly, failing. To be able to have an elite with such high standards, you must first have a big enough pool of proven, pretty high-standard talent to draw upon.
I don't know what is the critical mass of soldiery to produce, by distillation, what we need by way of special forces. But diminish the army far enough, and we won't have it.
Enough of random and destructive penny-pinching. Read yer history**: sell or scrap yer bloody aircraft carriers (before the Chinese do it for you one sunny afternoon in Far Eastern waters): and rebuild & re-equip the forces to a balanced and realistic standard ... at critical mass.
** The Prince of Wales ... for pity's sake!