The National:

BRITAIN, recently described as a second rank nation by its former prime minister, John Major, has just increased its defence budget by £16.5 billion. This is retail therapy for neo-cons.

In justifying this extraordinary outlay Boris Johnson says the defence of the realm is paramount. Yet, Britain was last invaded 80 years ago when Germany occupied the Channel Islands for five years. The second-last time was in 1797, when French troops fought the British Army at Fishguard on the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Invading and looting other countries though, has been one of Britain’s most enduring pastimes. A 2012 study of the history of 200 nations found that 90% of them had been invaded by Britain. Among those considered either to be too remote or not sufficiently rich in natural resources to plunder are Tajikistan, Guatemala and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Tony Blair, now a global peace envoy, involved Britain in seven military actions during his time as Prime Minister.

So how can the UK Government justify the extra £16.5bn when it’s really other nations who need defending from us?

READ MORE: 'This is totally inappropriate': Campaigners slam Tories' £16.5bn military boost

Let’s start with Brexit. Now obviously, having hoodwinked the population of England into thinking the UK is best when waging war (remember Agincourt, Trafalgar, and Waterloo) you don’t want to be known merely for having a sufficiency of chlorinated chicken.

Some ill-equipped small republic is in for a damn good thrashing some time very soon. Margaret Thatcher invaded Argentinian territory to revive her flagging fortunes in 1982 and Blair invented a dossier to help Haliburton gather in the spoils of war in the Gulf. It’s a fail-safe strategy: wreck the joint then get the owners to pay for the damage.

The Government is expected to cut the UK’s overseas aid budget to help fund its new military shopping expedition. This makes perfect sense from a strategic perspective. By leaving unstable regions even more exposed to the predations of warlords and dictators you create the conditions for even more chaos and with it the prospect of another lucrative military engagement. Case made.

Some of this expenditure will be used to create a National Cyber Force to conduct offensive operations against fake news. Fun fact: this means you and me.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson insists £16.5bn military cash boost will strengthen the Union

Presumably this won’t be operational until the Downing Street IT unit constructs a blocking device, else there would be red flags going up all over the shop with every communique issued by the Johnson administration.

Earlier this year, Dominic Cummings wrote that military procurement “has continued to squander billions of pounds, enriching some of the worst corporate looters and corrupting public life via the revolving door of officials/lobbyists”. It seems he might have paid with his job for that one.

As our armed forces are now even better-equipped to wreak more geopolitical havoc expect another generation of children in the usual regions to go without food and shelter.

At home, the Government refused to fund free school meals for our own poor children and to extend the £20 uplift to Universal Credit. Perhaps Boris Johnson thinks that children in other countries shouldn’t be treated any better.