Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 54 Number 2, February 10, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Grant Shapps' Declaration that the Era of the "Peace Dividend" is Over

Stand with the Peoples of the World against the Anglo/US Warmongers

On January 15, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, delivered a speech at Lancaster House in London declaring that the "era of the peace dividend is over" [1]. This was the "peace dividend" that he claimed Margaret Thatcher spoke about in a short speech at Lancaster House 35 years before. But this was no "peace dividend". This was the deception coined by US President George H W Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the light of the 1988-1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, that opened further the ambitions of the Anglo-US imperialists to unilaterally expand and dominate eastern Europe and the world.

Far from being a "peace dividend", this gave rise to NATO's expansion and wars in eastern Europe and the Middle East which is now threatening peace across the world. Today these aims of the "peace dividend" have been replaced by wars of destruction against countries and peoples that they cannot control in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, Africa and Asia. Now they are escalating their dangerous proxy war in Ukraine using Ukrainian lives against Russia, a major power, and actively participating in the genocide against Palestinians alongside Israel, whilst also escalating war tensions on the Korean Peninsula against the DPRK and threatening China in the Asia-Pacific region.

Shapps revealed that he is a dyed-in-the-wool British imperialist, trying desperately to project Britain's role in the world declaring that the "peace dividend is over" and that Britain must again prepare for war, indeed for a World War III, and arm itself against many countries and peoples that he claims are "tearing apart the rules-based international order - established to keep the peace after the Second World War". Desperately he presents "British leadership" as having a "galvanising effect" among European powers alongside the US and that they set the rules of "peace" in the world today whilst in reality they continue to ignore the decisions of the United Nations and international law and promote their warmongering alliance NATO as the decision-maker for the fate of the world.

Far from keeping the peace, Britain alongside the US, leads NATO and other western powers to continue to arm Ukraine so as to escalate the war between Russia and Ukraine. Since October Britain has been arming and supporting Israeli genocide against the Palestinians. This has not been lost on the people of Yemen, who are standing with Palestine. Also, the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen, known as the Houthis, are demanding and implementing a blockade of Israeli ships in their own waters with the aim of forcing Israel to lift the Israeli embargo of food and medicines on Palestine. Britain, instead of seeking peace in the region and a just solution for the Palestinians, has joined the US in continuing the criminal bombing of Yemen and the Ansar Allah movement, increasing the risks of war in the region by supporting these Israeli crimes [2].

The British people and the people of the world over the last more than 100 days have demonstrated that they stand with Palestine not with Grant Shapps and his imperialist British government. Grant Shapps declaration that "the era of the peace dividend is over" shows that the government is hell-bent on escalating war for Britain's arms based economy and the interests of the western oligarchy.

Westminster continues to be a pro-war government alongside the US. These are the forces continuing to create a more dangerous world. Their refusal to find alternatives to the use of force shows their arguments do not merit consideration. Even long before the era they claim was the era of the "peace dividend" they refused to provide serious problems and conflicts with peaceful solutions that benefit the peoples and countries involved and that serve the whole of humanity. The people of Britain must continue to march in step with the peoples of the world against their Anglo/US warmongering governments and take up the line of march for an anti-war government in Britain and make their contribution to bringing about peace in the world.

1. Defending Britain from a more dangerous world - Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, January 15 2024
2. Britain's Covert War In Yemen - Declassified UK October 5 2022
"The brutal war in Yemen, which has raged since 2015, is the world's worst humanitarian disaster. A delicate truce since April 2022 has reduced some of the horror, but that deal seems to be breaking down. It should be time to reflect about who, on all sides of the conflict, including in Britain, might be indicted for war crimes. Nearly 9,000 civilians have been killed in over 25,000 mainly Saudi air strikes which have been facilitated by Britain's Royal Air Force. Many more tens of thousands have been killed in the conflict. The UN has repeatedly alleged the commission of war crimes but no Saudi, Briton or Yemeni has been held to account, nor is likely to be. Tragically, bombing is history repeating itself, and the price once again is being paid by ordinary Yemenis."


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