THE BLOG

Are We Still a Super Power?

20/11/2014 17:05 GMT | Updated 20/01/2015 10:59 GMT

If we are then what are the benefits for us as a people of this Superpower? We are told that we benefit from trade deals here and there. But what is the reality? Are we as a population kidding ourselves that we are still a world power? Or is it more of an egotistical and superior belief that we are better than others who are not 'world powers'?

I think it's safe to say that India and Pakistan could both be termed by virtue of their nuclear weapons as world powers. However the percentage of their populations that live in poverty and squalor is completely disproportionate, when you consider their aspirations to explore space

We are currently at the back end of a recession, but as much as our politicians say that 'recession' is a bad thing, and many of us who have been getting little or no pay rise may agree with this point of view. There is a different perspective to be had. For starters the record low interest rates of the bank of England and the knock on effect being that many families will save upwards of a £1000 pounds a year and in many cases much, much more. I'm not talking about the middle classes here but very much the working classes. Okay, you may not have had your pay rise, but I do remember prices at the petrol pumps going back four or so years ago actually being more than they are at the moment. Okay we have only just had recent drops in prices, but nevertheless they are lower.

Yes jobs have been lost, and yes I am amazed that my weekly shop prices have increased by quite a bit. But all in all I personally am about evens to when the recession was about to start. My mortgage was much higher, petrol prices were in comparison to your wage you were getting four or five years ago much higher.

So what is this myth that we rush to accept as being the truth? Is it the truth? OR is this whole recession scenario a way for the rich to become obscenely rich? Bear in mind, in times of recession the wealth gap widens hugely, and that can't be purely because the poor are that much worse off because the reality is we are not. Well not enough to increase this gap between rich and poor as it has.

Yes everyone wants a pay rise and yes it is obscene that our politicians have taken an 11% rise when many of this country's problems lie at the door of Westminster no matter what brand of politics you choose. Whereas public sector workers are told they will only get 1% pay rises. Of course this is not right, but still it distracts from my point, are we actually that much worse off than when there was no recession? Some obviously are, but when you look at some of the bizarre jobs that were created in "good" times then is it any surprise that these made up jobs will be the first to go! Bus drivers haven't been losing their jobs, nor bin men, nor for that matter doctors. So the jobs that have been lost are those, which often are not necessary for society to continue functioning.

Getting back to my point about being a world power, there are hundreds of countries out there which are perfectly happy not having to police the world. Take New Zealand for instance, a country of around 4 ½ million people in a country not dissimilar to the UK in geographical size. No, it's not a wealthy country in terms of material wealth. I tell you what, after having lived there for 6 months, as a people they are far happier than we are here in the UK. The truth is there are only a dozen or so countries that would or could be termed as super powers, so is it really a status we should aspire to (when as we have seen the wealth gap widens) or with the trillions saved on Nuclear weapons, or the millions we spend on politicians running around the world be better spent? Only one small example, over £500,000 spent on limousines for Eric Pickles seriously. I think we would be better off not being the world power, we are being told we should be.

The USA for the last 100 years has been the world's most powerful nation. 20 years from now it will almost certainly be China, in their case probably the second time in written history they have been the world's most powerful nation. Both the US and China will have built their power if not on slave labour then something that is so close to it as to make no difference. Don't get me wrong we in the UK did much the same and if you look at any super power they have all risen to this status by making best use of either slave labour or incredibly poor wages and working conditions for those who have elevated their countries to this lofty status!

So, do we need to be a world power?