The latest round of cuts in Britain's military spending should be welcomed by all who want to restore sanity to a world filled with the horrors of mass slaughter in Afghanistan and Iraq, drones in Pakistan, torture in Abu Ghraib, al-Qaida terrorism in London and New York, murder in Ain Amenas, "extraordinary rendition" and the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp.
Britain will play no constructive part in ridding the world of such atrocities for as long as successive governments act as US side-kicks with an itchy finger on the trigger whenever British or US big business interests are threatened anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, these latest cuts are largely illusory in terms of Britain's real military capacity.
Of course, armed forces personnel will be thrown on the scrapheap as required, in line with Britain's imperialist military traditions. The footsoldiers are always expendable.
But plenty of public money will still be found to pay handsome profits to corrupt and inefficient armaments manufacturers for new jets, missiles and the like.
Britain officially spends about £37 billion a year on what is euphemistically known as "defence," which represents 2.3 per cent of our gross domestic product.
The real figure, taking depreciation and "special reserve" funds into account, is closer to £46bn.
Over the next few years, the official military budget is due to fall to £31bn, although an extra £4bn will be drawn from the special reserve to fund ongoing commitments in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Indeed, Prime Minister David Cameron has declared his enthusiasm for more intervention in northern Africa, backed as ever by Labour defence spokesman Jim Murphy.
Then we can add the cost of renewing or replacing Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system at a total cost of around £100bn.
It's not yet clear how that will help sort out troublesome natives in Africa or the Middle East.
On the other hand, were Cameron and our pocket field-marshal and Foreign Secretary William Hague to drop the swaggering pretensions and spend no more of our GDP on the military than, say, Germany, Britain would be reducing its arms expenditure by £18bn this year instead of some £700m.
Now, that would be worth celebrating.
Instead of Prince Harry going to Afghanistan to shoot Afghan peasants, he could stay at home and shoot British pheasants - at least until that's outlawed as well.
Unite the union is right to call for a Leveson-style inquiry into the whole murky world of company blacklisting.
Trade unionists have long known about the activities of the Economic League, Caprim Ltd and more recently the Consulting Association in providing information to subscribers who want to exclude trade union activists, socialists and communists from employment.
The scale of these operations has been enormous, involving not only dozens of construction companies but also some Britain's biggest employers in the banking, armaments, transport, steel, cement, brewing and food and drink sectors.
Even today, despite some improvements in data protection law, there is insufficient protection against this vile, underhand violation of democratic and human rights - hence the current civil prosecution of construction companies by victimised workers instead of a criminal one.
An open, free-ranging inquiry would also help reveal how the blacklisters have been helped by the Special Branch and other forces of the state to compile their lists.
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