Those of us who grew up in the 1980s will recall that the threat of nuclear war was very real. This was the era of the Cold War. Where the USA and the West were pitted against Russia and the Warsaw Pact and peace was maintained by an arms race where all concerned were assured of mutual destruction if ever a weapon was fired. At the time it was scary. With hindsight the world feels much more secure then than it is now.
Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the advance of democracy through Eastern Europe, we have taken our eye off the ball. We don’t spend enough on our defence and armed forces. The first duty of Government is to keep people safe through our armed forces and a functional criminal justice system. But spending has not kept pace with growth as successive Governments have chosen instead to spend more money on hospitals and schools.
However, the world remains an unsafe place. We are sending weapons to Ukraine to help them combat the invasion from Russia. The terrorist attacks by Hamas means we need to support Israel as well as send aid to Gaza.
Britain is nothing if not a force for good in the world and a stout defender of freedom. We are right to have big ambitions for our public services. But we must in the first instance make sure that we spend enough to keep our country and its people safe. That is our first duty and I would like to see expenditure on Justice and Defence be more of a priority than our political debate currently affords