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The West is clinging to the delusion that its survival can be bought cheap - by Allister Heath

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

"Vladimir Putin’s criminally obscene invasion of Ukraine has changed everything. Britain and the West have been plunged back into what, at best, will become a lengthy new Cold War and clash of civilisations.”

“For the first time in more than 30 years, we face a truly existential threat. Our enemy is a hostile state armed with nuclear weapons, a large conventional army and led by an empire-building psychopath: the danger to the European powers is orders of magnitude greater than the very real risk posed after 9/11 by al-Qaeda and Islamic State.”

And the implications for all of us will be profound, according to Allister Heath in today’s Telegraph. The war is only the start of a seismic upheaval at home as well as abroad.

Our whole way of thinking will need to change:

“It will require us to relearn strategies, tactics and virtues at odds with the hyper-emotional performative stupidity and instant gratification of the Twitter era. Our elites will need to reprogramme themselves psychologically, economically and militarily, read some history, become more serious and austere, and knuckle down for a lengthy fight.”

Western Europe is in for years of economic austerity while we re-configure our over-reliance on Russian gas and come up with an energy policy which is self-sufficient.

But that is only the half of it:

“The greatest immediate change will need to come in defence expenditure. The Integrated Review needs itself to be immediately reviewed. The Nato target of 2 per cent of GDP is fine in peacetime, but laughably low when a new iron curtain is descending on Europe and we need to deter, contain and frighten rogue regimes worldwide.”

This in turn will have profound implications for our domestic agenda:

The post-Blairite era of social-democratic largesse must end: the state needs to refocus on its core function of defending lives, liberty and property. We require less redistribution, and enhanced resilience. This implies large spending cuts. The social care plan will need to be abandoned, the pensions triple-lock axed, the NHS reformed and numerous wasteful subsidies, pseudo-levelling-up policies and other programmes and handouts ended.”

Huge challenges await us. It remains to be seen whether we up to meeting them.

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it.

Article by Allister Heath for the Telegraph - The West is clinging to the delusion that it
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