Good news at last! Apparently, the UK is no longer in a position to be a "full-spectrum defence partner of the United States". Presumably the country will be dragged no more into pointless and unwinnable wars which exist entirely to satisfy the needs of the American defence industry, and those of popularity-seeking presidents? Does anyone in this country, apart from our own defence lobby and diehard Tories, really want to spend such a large proportion of taxpayers` money on remaining "a first class player in defence", when the cash could be spent on improving health, education and welfare provision?
The right questions are clearly not being asked, especially about the necessity for the Trident nuclear weapons programme, and the possibilty of sharing defence responsibilities with our EU neighbours; where is the enemy upon which we wish to deliver devastation ten times worse than dropped on Hiroshima? Is it not likely to be an enemy of America against whom the US would order such destruction? One would at least expect a Labour leader, desperate to show how different his party is from the others, to be putting forward views suited to the requirements of the 21st century rather than those of the 1950s. However, the one important question is whether we should have "the fourth largest defence budget in the world", when living standards are falling, and foodbanks multiplying? Cameron might like to boast about it, but at a time when disability benefits are being cut, and care for the elderly is reaching crisis proportions, I personally find it shameful.
In pre-Iraq days, Labour used to aspire to an ethical foreign policy, and although Blair ruined the idea, it should not be off the drawing board still. If the country wasn`t wasting billions on unnecessary weapons and wars in efforts to stay on the top-table of global players, it might be able to act more effectively in helping Syrian refugees, and set a moral example for others to follow. A pledge to ban the use of drone attacks would not go amiss.The days of being America`s poodle should have long gone, and with the Tories being as intransigent as ever, a window is clearly opening for Labour. Sadly, I`m not holding my breath.