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What's Starmer's alternative to Tory militarism?

It is widely anticipated that Labour will win the upcoming general election of 4 th July, with Keir Starmer replacing Rishi Sunak as British Prime Minister. Many could be

forgiven for thinking this eventuality would usher in the seismic change the country

requires. This may turn out to be true in isolated areas, but in terms of military spending and foreign policy, little seems set to change.

Indeed, instead of reversing the increased militarisation of successive Tory

governments, a Labour government will sustain it. Starmer has even committed to

raising the UK’s defence spending to 2.5% of GDP “as soon as resources allow.” For

context, the defence budget is currently around 2.1% of GDP.

If that wasn’t enough, Starmer has also promised to make the UK’s nuclear deterrent

the “bedrock” of his security plan, stating that “Labour’s commitment to our nuclear

deterrent is total.”

It seems Labour is operating in a parallel universe in which sustaining genocidal

weapons of nuclear war somehow makes the UK, and the world, safer. Such devices of

brutal mass murder only act to raise the scope and bloodshed of global conflict, rather

than prevent it.

Starmer’s cheerleading for Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons programme, will only

continue to raise global tensions and drag the world closer to war.

The gulf between Labour’s foreign policy and that of its traditional supporter-base has

been exposed over the conflict of Gaza in recent months. Starmer’s reticence to

condemn Israel’s actions or call for a ceasefire notably cost them support in May’s local


Labour was forced to slightly alter its stance after those elections, calling for a ceasefire,

but it hasn’t gone nearly far enough for many. The party’s manifesto includes a greatly

watered down pledge on Palestinian manifesto, leading many to further question the

party’s commitment to effective conflict resolution.

Keir Starmer may be the UK’s next Prime Minister but his approach to military spending,

nuclear weapons and ongoing conflict shows the Labour party is offering little in the way

of change.

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