One thing that is true of Britain since 1945, as Dean Acheson famously said, is "Great Britain has lost an Empire and has not yet found a role." We have tried to tell ourselves we are still a great power by latching on to the Americans' coat tails and possessing incredibly expensive nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, that is no longer enough. When Britain leaves the European Union, we have a unique opportunity to break out of that 70-year stupor and chart our own course. That, however, means we need to have a reality check. No longer can we rely on creative accounting and luck, we must spend more on our armed forces before it is too late.

I wrote some time ago it is folly to think we can march into countries and be able to force our will onto them - as the disasters in Iraq and Libya show. We are not that country anymore. The world is not at our beck and call. Even so, we must spend more on our defences or accept we can no longer afford to carry out the basic tasks that nation statehood entails.

Where have all the good men gone?

Fortunately, this is an issue that has (finally) been noticed at Westminster. Out has gone the affable, grey man Sir Michael Fallon, the Government's resident bearer-of-bad-news, in has come Gavin Williamson. I don't expect Mr Williamson to be any different, he will follow one of our worst defence secretaries (which takes some going) in dutifully hanging the Forces out to dry when another round of spending cuts comes around.

What has changed though is a new generation of MPs is coming through. We saw this week the personally courageous Tobias Ellwood, a minister in the MoD, allegedly threatened to resign if any more cuts were imposed on defence. Thank goodness, someone eventually had the backbone to say something.

It goes unnoticed, although, it should not when admirals write in newspapers the cuts have gone too far.

I suspect with the heart-warming news about the impending royal wedding, Mr Ellwood's alleged threat will be quickly forgotten. If anyone paid attention at all. No one has had the guts to give up their cushy government job yet, as far as we know, and the new Michael Fallon, Liam Fox, has been wheeled out to play down talk of a rebellion on the issue.

Quite why Mrs May even bothers to try to explain away these splits, when most of us are sick to the back teeth of hearing about them, is beyond me. No longer can we pretend this rotten government is on the side of our brave servicemen and women, or that of our proud military history.

An opportunity to right the wrongs

The Royal Navy, once the most powerful in the world, is now a shadow of its former self. The Army is painfully small and the RAF quietly goes about its business because nobody wants to listen. This is dangerous. Maybe not for this government, or even for the next, but one day we will be caught with our trousers down. We were supposed to have learnt this from the inter-war period when the politicians who tell us that they are modern-day Churchills and would never appease evil while slashing away with the precision of the axe-man.

They have consistently missed the insurance payments, and their short-term outlook will damn them. Then again, maybe they are Churchills, the Churchill of the 1920s who mercilessly decimated The Royal Navy.

We'll be bombarded with the adverts about it being like a family because nobody wants to join up. And who can blame them? You'll be sent to risk your life and then left to the mercy of unscrupulous human rights lawyers. These unimaginably brave men and women who put their lives on the line are not protected by the sickly platitudes of men in suits. If we can't afford to support adequate armed forces, why are we maintaining a nuclear deterrent? This is the weapon of the superpower, we are not a superpower, we have very simple decisions to make. We must face up to it soon.