The National:

SO there I am, minding my own breakfasting business, when three billion quid sails past my kitchen window.

She is the Queen Elizabeth, the navy’s latest expensive toy, a truly massive aircraft carrier. Its partner in future crime is the Prince of Wales (the MOD is nothing if not utterly lacking in imagination when launching and naming its kit). 

But at least this expensive chunk of weaponry is only visiting. She has bigger fish to fry. Boris is going to big up global Britain by sending her off to the South China Sea. You doubt that President Xi is cowering in a bunker at the thought.

READ MORE: Richard Murphy: Boris Johnson's foolish nuclear plan will backfire on him

However, when you live in my neck of the woods, some of the less savoury, permanent neighbours are on your doorstep. When you live between the Faslane and Coulport nuclear bases, and just down the road from the hardware store in Glen Douglas, you live life with a rather large target on your collective backs.

Bad enough that massive Trident submarines also pass your window with their unsavoury cargo. Bad enough that there are regular reports of radioactive material leaking or being dumped. Bad enough that there is talk of a strike at the now civilian run base on account of their wanting to slash firefighter numbers. Oh, oh, oh what a lovely “peace”.

But now we learn that, in defiance of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to which we are a signatory, the UK Government is planning to remove the cap on the number of nuclear missiles stored in my back garden. Instead of 180 there will be 260 warheads. Breaking international law is becoming something of a wee hobby with this lot.

So a government which says it can afford no more than a 1% pay rise for nurses, and which is systematically stripping aid from some of the most benighted regions in the world, can apparently find billions down the back of the sofa for more deadly toys for the boys.

And all in the name of a series of Johnsonian fantasies. It will allow the UK “to punch above" its weight – not a difficult proposition when Brexit has rendered us a light flyweight. It will prove Britain’s credentials as a “global player” – only if we sign up for international tiddlewinks.

READ MORE: Fury as Boris Johnson to dramatically increase number of nuclear warheads

The true and terrifying absurdity of kick-starting a new arms race becomes apparent when you consider the risks which actually face the modern world. The ravages of climate change and the pandemic have already demonstrated what really brings countries to their knees.

But in terms of defence policy, the most significant threats come from cyber and terrorist attacks. Perhaps someone will mansplain to me precisely how you deploy nuclear missiles against either of those.

This UK government has sick priorities. It plunges us into insignificance with its Brexit obsession, then tries to buy its way back to the top tables with weaponry. It has a Trumpian disregard for its natural allies, with the exception of America, without whose say so it can deploy not a single missile from a single submarine, since the nuclear war games are run from Washington. (Even the Trident manuals are written in US Speak).

Most damning of all, it watches starving babies in war zones and thinks “who needs to give these people aid when the same money could buy us more bombs?”