Complacent and self-centred Western Democracies have repeated the same mistakes as were made in the 1930s – Empey

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Complacent and self-centred Western Democracies have repeated the same mistakes as were made in the 1930s – Empey

Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey has described the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin as the inevitable consequence of complacency and failure by Western Governments.  

Lord Empey said:

“It is hard to believe that after all the sacrifices made during World War 2, not least by families across Northern Ireland, that Western Governments have failed to learn the lessons from the days of Hitler and the Nazis. In the 1930s, Hitler took over parts of democratic countries on the pretext that German speaking minorities were being persecuted. While this was a fabrication, the Western countries stood by and allowed it to happen.

“The parallels with Putin are stark. Western countries, such as our own, have let their guard down, failed to invest in defence spending and failed to stop Putin in other conflicts such as Syria, where President Obama did not follow up on his ‘red line’ promise and curtail President Assad. The result was that Putin bombed the anti-Assad population into submission, thus ensuring he had a warm water base in the Mediterranean and kept the puppet Assad in office. Putin’s so-called private forces are currently active in Libya and large parts of west Africa while the West just watches on.

“We can all think of better ways of spending taxpayers money, but failing to keep up our defences always comes back to haunt us, time and time again. It inevitably leads to more expense and cost, mostly of human lives, than if we remained strong in defence of our way of life and our values.

“I listened yesterday in Parliament to a very depressing answer to a Question on the repairs necessary to the UK’s fleet of Type 45 Destroyers. Although it has been known since 2009 that there were problems with their propulsion systems (they can fail in warm water!) it will be 2028 before all of them are fixed. This slipshod and complacent attitude exemplifies my point; we are simply not taking national defence seriously.

“We can only hope that Putin will ultimately fail, but if he does, it will be because of his own warped view of history and not because of any actions Western countries may take. Putin was given the green light by the West and he is taking his opportunity for a major land grab, whatever the cost. Tragically it is Ukraine and its people who are paying the price.”