We must not let ‘war weariness’ nor understandable concerns about domestic matters allow us to forget the awfulness of all that is happening in Ukraine; nor the very real risk to the UK as a result of it. We must not give in to the ‘appeasers’ who will argue that it’s a war in a distant land; that we should let Putin have what he wants in the Crimea, Donbass and Black Sea regions, or that ‘doing a deal’ with Russia is preferable to any kind of NATO escalation. The fact is that this is an aggressive, bloody, illegal and unjustified invasion of a sovereign country; and that if we ‘appease’ we will not only be inviting Russia into military adventures ever closer to the UK - in the Baltic states or Finland, for example - but would also be sending a message to the world that illegal invasions of neighbouring countries are somehow or another acceptable , as the West will ultimately  give in for the sake of a quiet life. Let us not forget that Kyiv is not much further from us than Southern Spain.

When the new head of the Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders said this week that ‘this is a 1937 moment’ he was surely referring not only to our state of military preparedness; but also to the appeasement to which Churchill was so opposed and which gave Hitler all the encouragement he needed. So we must constantly reiterate that Russia must be removed from the whole of Ukraine, that they must be held to account for the multiple war crimes they have committed; and that we will not do business with them nor come to any kind of a ceasefire until that has happened.

As the Prime Ministerial caravan moved from the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Kigali, Rwanda to the G7 in Germany to the NATO summit in Madrid, there was simultaneously a Whitehall turf war developing over defence spending and the size of the Army which seemed almost as intense as the real thing in Eastern Europe. The PM’s absence overseas (but engaged on matters military and diplomatic) coincided with the annual Land Warfare conference in RUSI; a dinner I hosted in the Commons for the Chief of Defence Staff, where he dealt with some 27 piercing questions from MPs and peers and a meeting with defence manufacturers the next day where it was inevitably the hot topic.

The vast military aid we are giving to Ukraine (an extra £1 billion announced at NATO) allows the PM to claim that our spending is now close to 2.5% of GDP (especially if you include the nuclear warheads in the total). That of course takes no account of inflation and allows us to proceed with the absurd cut of 10,000 in Army numbers, making it the smallest army since before Waterloo. Surely if there is any lesson to be learned from Ukraine, it must be that the focus on cyber warfare, Intelligence and Security and ever higher high-tech warfare is all very well; but that as CGS said “cyber won’t build a bridge over a river.” We are not yet making enough ammunition nor vehicles to replace those we have sent to Ukraine, at least partly thanks to some kind of a delay in contracts, I am told - no doubt Treasury inspired.

The fact of the matter is that there is a very real risk of escalation of a variety of different kinds from what is happening in Ukraine, and it must be our duty to make sure that we are ready for whatever may now happen. Cutting defence spending in real terms or reducing the army to 75,000 at a time like this, is irresponsible in the extreme. The MoD and No 10 must prevail over the Treasury in the intense turf warfare which is raging down Whitehall. Far from cutting defence spending, now should be the moment for a significant increase in it if we are to be sure of carrying out what the PM promised NATO, and if we are to keep our Nation safe at the same time.

It really is a 1937 moment - and we should never forget what happened in 1939 as a result of it. Appeasement of any kind and defence cuts alongside it would be a suicidal mistake.