If today's news from Iran hadn't already confirmed our nation's second-rate status then Gordon Brown's visit to Afghanistan to inspire the troops, confirms it, with an added touch of hypocrisy.
Iran's territorial waters may soon extend to the Kent coastline and if they did, what would we do about it if a couple of cross-channel ferries were taken into custody for espionage? Absolutely nothing I'm sure.
Meanwhile, Gordon, fresh from the electoral approbation of a group of carefully-chosen ten-year-olds on Channel 5, has blamed pesky foreigners for the increased tax burden imposed on small businesses in the Budget, when speaking to the House of Commons Treasury Committee yesterday.
Brown was asked about the benefits of immigration by the committee, which was meeting to discuss the Budget. Brown quoted Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, who said immigration contributed 0.25 per cent of US economic growth.
Asked why the tax burden for small businesses had increased, Brown claimed that large numbers of immigrants from eastern Europe were being encouraged to register as managed services companies in order to reduce tax. He said people were registering before even arriving in the UK.
"It is a problem we are determined to solve without penalising the company which is investing in the future."
Now if you happen to run a small business, you may not agree and so the only way to avoid an increased tax bill is to either become very large, very fast or learn Russian and buy a premier league football club.