A crisis of confidence at the heart of the country’s institutions allows predators to circle in preparation for rich pickings

The government’s decision to send a second Royal Navy warship to the Gulf will intensify concerns that Britain is unintentionally sliding into armed conflict with Iran. The deployment of HMS Duncan, a Type 45 destroyer, will be seen in Tehran as a gratuitous escalation of an already tense regional situation. It may help improve security for the 15 or more British-owned oil tankers that traverse the Gulf each day – or it may worsen it. The move potentially turns the warships and the tankers into targets, should Donald Trump impetuously decide to start a war.

Once again, Britain is being dragged along by international events, lacking an independent, well-considered policy, compromising its principles, and at the mercy of more powerful antagonists. This sense of drift, of a rudderless ship of state bobbing…

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