FROM THE CHAIR
2022 was supposedly the year we focused on recovering from the pandemic and rebuilding the economy. Sadly, much of our political energy was soon turned towards a new threat. Vladimir Putin brought death and destruction back to mainland Europe with his barbaric invasion of Ukraine, and we had to respond.
As Lord Howell writes in this issue, “Experts said a war of this primitive nature would never happen again. They were wrong – and they were right.” This was old-fashioned war in an interconnected world, and our defence policy – which for the last few years had rarely made the front pages – took on huge significance for our security.
The ramifications of Putin’s actions will echo down the years. To take one example, Finland’s ambassador to the UK writes in this issue about how Nato membership would strengthen his country’s security.
When looking at defence, we must address the past as well as the future. Our cover interview is with Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, who tells Adam Payne of the sleepless nights he’s suffered since the government published its plans for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles. And we hear from Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who asks us to remember the service by the men and women of all three services as we mark the 40 years that have passed since the Falklands War.
We also have some lighter fare: we explore TikToking MPs, ask whether a PM can have too many PPSs, and find out what happened to Heidi Allen after she left politics.