UK must do more on IS

John Woodcock MP  |  6 February 2015

Today’s report by the defence select committee, of which I am part, does not pull its punches on the failure of the UK to engage effectively against the extremists that continue to peddle terror from their base in Iraq and Syria. So far the government’s actions to tackle the threat posed by Daesh – the …

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Nationalist posturing over Trident gets us nowhere

John Woodcock MP  |  20 January 2015

The UK’s nuclear deterrent will always be a controversial issue for the country and its politicians. That is understandable: the prospect of nuclear holocaust is so grotesque that many simply will not countenance their taxes being spent on a system that could – even in theory – inflict it. Some members of all parties, including …

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Labour needs to build on its defence review

Stephen Beer  |  4 September 2014

The Nato summit today will have a packed agenda, not least dealing with a crisis on its borders. The alliance has risen in our consciousness in recent weeks as fighting in Ukraine has intensified. The shooting down of the Malaysian passenger jet emphasised in tragic fashion the nature of the weapons being used and the …

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Where will Europe go on defence?

Martin Edobor  |  2 September 2014

As tensions continue to rise over Russia’s continued incursion in eastern Ukraine, Federica Mogherini, European Union’s new foreign policy chief, has ruled out any form of military intervention from Europe. She used the first interview after her appointment to state that Europe going to war with Russia is not an option – only through a …

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Defence by default

Stephen Beer  |  25 July 2014

Cuts must not drive defence policy —We need a proper conversation in the Labour party about what we think about defence. Recent events in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq are demonstrating that potential threats to our national security and to world peace still exist and are evolving. We are being reminded that, if we ignore them, they …

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Only a pro-Trident policy holds water

John Woodcock MP  |  2 July 2014

This week’s Trident commission report was generously funded by a number of groups backing unilateral disarmament, but it has concluded that a continued nuclear deterrent is an important part of Britain’s security. Authored by senior politicians of all three parties, defence specialists and academics, the commission’s members came to a unanimous conclusion that the United …

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The Russia dilemma

Kirsty McNeill and Andrew Small  |  21 March 2014

Britain’s political class did not distinguish itself in its immediate response to the Crimean crisis. A zoom lens outside Downing Street which captured Cabinet Office papers in the hands of an unguarded official seemed to reveal yet more evidence that the protection of the City trumps any other strategic instincts for this government. Labour, meanwhile, …

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The intervention dilemma

Kirsty McNeill and Andrew Small  |  17 July 2013

‘We know why we were left to die. Because there are no resources in Rwanda. Only Rwandans.’ The speaker was a Rwandan politician we visited in 2006. A progressive approach to humanitarian intervention must begin with the desire to prove her wrong. If the left’s ideals of equality are to mean anything at all then …

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Lucky Jim

The Insider  |  3 April 2013

Of all the members of the shadow cabinet, Jim Murphy may be emerging as one of the most interesting. Regarded, unfairly, as a Blairite pur sang, Murphy has adapted to the leadership of Ed Miliband with a mixture of impeccable loyalty and a streak of independent thinking: willing to accept cuts to his department, firm …

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A new model of ‘preventative intervention’

Luke Akehurst  |  20 February 2013

Ed’s speech about the 10p tax rate meant that there was not a lot of coverage of Jim Murphy’s important speech on ‘preventative intervention’ last week. That’s a shame as Jim’s speech deserved more attention and was a characteristically thoughtful contribution to debate about one of the most controversial aspects of the Blair years, the …

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