Johnson may well have misjudged the public mood but it’s up to us to raise our voices to let him know it

Murad Qureshi


Boris Johnson certainly has a sense of timing. Bad timing. With the government’s spending review being concluded he took it upon himself to announce ludicrous increases in military expenditure whilst rumours of a pay freeze for frontline workers continue to swirl.

The mammoth £16.5 billion increase ensures Britain’s position as Europe’s biggest military spender at a time when it has the highest Coronavirus death toll on the continent, in part due to his government’s botched response.

Although this announcement will be praised by the right-wing media and members of his party it was designed to satisfy, it may well clash with the public mood. After almost nine months of chaotic government and consecutive U-turns in response to the pandemic people are keen to see frontline workers rewarded for their efforts and those with the broadest shoulders taking at least some of the weight.

On the flipside, the public clamour for a Space Command or a National Cyber Force wasn’t exactly deafening. Quite the opposite. In comparison to the spring’s outpouring of appreciation for carers and frontline workers it was positively silent.

Johnson may well have misjudged the public mood but it will be up to us to raise our voices to let him know it. We must stand up for healthcare, not warfare and you can start by signing Stop the War’s petition below calling for just that.

Petition – #HealthcareNotWarfare: No Increase in Military Spending

“In the face of the greatest crisis since the Second World War, Boris Johnson has chosen to prioritise military spending over the biggest threat to safety and security for people in Britain right now, which is undoubtedly COVID-19.

Even during a pandemic Johnson says defence should come first but this extra money will be spent increasing Britain’s offensive capacity, not protecting the population. We believe the effort to save people’s lives and care for people in a crisis should have priority over new technologies of mass killing.”

Add your name here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/cut-war-not-healthcare-no-increase-in-defence-spending

25 Nov 2020

Sign Up