We can afford a defence boost, but not a proper social safety net.

The government likes to praise itself for its generosity in the face of coronavirus, and when quizzed about the insufficiency of this or that safety net provision they crow and crow about their generosity, the limits they’ve surpassed, and how it would be inconceivable to spend more on any such programme; and these surely are the most crucial programmes right now, save vaccine deployment and Test Trace Isolate.

Well well well, we now hear tell of a £16bn boost to defence spending, while foreign aid is slashed (against promises) while Universal Credit’s measly boost is seemingly still set to expire next year, and while 3 million plus fall through the cracks of vital welfare provisions during a global economic contraction set to unleash untold misery upon people in even the wealthiest nations such as ours.

I understand lots of people feel very strongly about having a powerful military force, and there are things we need to do. Veterans sleeping on the streets or living in poverty is a heinous injustice this Tory government has presided over for a decade.

Pay need to be improved, training needs to be expanded, and an unpleasant culture needs to be tackled inside the armed forces so those who enrol are treated fairly, payed generously, and provided for by society if necessary upon return. Remember; those within the Armed Forces at the grassroots, simply doing as told, have never been particularly at fault for the imperialistic decisions of British governments or high command, with notable exceptions.

The fact our government feels this increase, at the demand of the defence department, is absolutely the priority, while we refused to provide free school meals at a fraction of the cost, won’t put in place a UBI, and continue to grandstand into a moral panic about the state of the public finances (which last time gave us an unsuccessful austerity project that stagnated our grown and set us back 10 years), is a shocking statement of what the value.

Billions look set to go to renewing Trident into the 2030s (completely unnecessary), and billions more into expanding provisions for the weapons of warfare, while we don’t take care of our own people, our own veterans, and can’t get working class kids fed. Shocking state of affairs.

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Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.

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