By Panda Paws
There are a number of people in Scotland who think that Tony Blair should be on trial in The Hague. Weapons of mass destruction, crumbling infrastructure, rising poverty, stolen oil and life expectancy only in the fifties in some areas. And don’t even get me started about Iraq!
So what is it with Westminster and WMDs? Why are they so attached to Trident, those penis extensions on the Clyde? Easy – it’s about prestige and pretending to be important. The UK is a set of islands off the coast of Europe that is run by folk that still think they command an Empire. An empire biscuit maybe! The sun has set on the Empire and Britannia no longer rules the waves. Though as the referendum campaign demonstrated, they are more than capable of waiving the rules.
Trident’s essential to our defence, they shout. Miliband stated in the BBC debate that WMDs were needed to defend against ISIS then was forced by Leanne Wood to admit he’d never use nuclear weapons against them. (I really like Leanne Wood her comment about Farage– “my friend on the far right” was the quote of the evening.) As one wag on Twitter recently stated: baggage handlers at Glasgow airport have done more to protect Scotland against terrorism than Trident! And let’s face it baggage handlers cost a damn sight less.
The resident pub bore Farage, in between w(h)inning over the audience, said we needed them to protect Crown Dependencies like the Falklands! Because it worked so well in deterring the Argentinians in the eighties! It’s even been revealed that the military warned Thatcher against cutting conventional forces prior to the invasion.
Only three Nato members have nuclear weapons. So membership of NATO is not dependent on being a nuclear power. However, if the UK ditched them it would be much harder to justify their permanent seat of the UN Security Council. So what difference does that make to the average person in the street – somewhere between zero and none. But to a politician keen to strut around the world stage feeling important its worth a great deal.
So what if we have aircraft carriers with no aircraft and that the seas are left undefended because it takes a day to get a ship up from Portsmouth when the Russians are buzzing around close to national waters in the Moray Firth. So what if defence cuts mean sending p45s to serving soldiers on deployment on areas of conflict. So what if there are fewer full time members of the British Army than there are members of the SNP. Trident keeps us safe – apparently.
Given the choice between spending £100 million on WMDS that can never be used but allow you to pretend to be a world power OR social security “reforms” that freeze working age benefits despite rising prices of essentials and are happy to sanction pregnant woman, the disabled and someone 5 minutes late at the Jobcentre to weeks with no income, well there’s only one choice.
If you are a sociopath who cares more about status and power than people it’s got to be bombs not bairns.
Update on Notes from the Shires (The East Renfrewshires)
By now most of you will have heard about the latest Ashcroft polls which show Labour and Jim Murphy trailing the SNP by 9 points. It’s hard to believe given 2010 results. So has that much changed in 5 years? Possibly. However East Ren has a very high number of Tory voters and if they decide to vote tactically to keep out the SNP then Labour could still win. One wrinkle in this would be if they think staying with the Tories would actually allow them to win the seat. In the referendum the No vote was higher than in Scotland as a whole – 63.3% against 55.3%. Indeed it was the 5th highest No in Scotland behind the two areas bordering England and Orkney and Shetland. The SNP will need to work very hard to unseat Murphy and whilst I’m no John Curtice or James Kelly, I still think it’s a three way marginal.
Panda Paws is a “stringer” for Munguin's Republic on a zero pay contract. In the absence of any financial reward, please feel free to lavish copious praise btl, and if it’s sincere so much the better.
Note from Munguin to Tris: Tell her to stop moaning. It's work experience, and will look good on her CV.