|Cameron tells us we need Trident because of the threat from |
For some years Westminster has bandied about the figure of £100,000,000,000 as the cost of updating and maintaining the weapons system. So that's a bit of a price hike.
Maybe, in considering that figure we should take into consideration that almost nothing that Westminster does is ever delivered on time or on budget, and not be surprised if within a few years the cost has risen to £200,000,000,000 or more.
Regardless of any other argument, the question must be can a small island off the coast of Europe justify this kind of money? And probably the answer to that is... No.
The current government and the Blairite wing of the Labour party tell us that without a nuclear deterrent our security is in danger. Even the Liberal Democrats believe that, although they think we shouldn't have the bells and whistles version advocated by the Tories, they say we most certainly need some nuclear deterrent.
|Not everyone is happy with nuclear weapons.|
So, by denying nuclear deterrents to the rest of the countries, is the UN condemning them to perpetual danger? If you are Polish or Spanish, Swedish or Moroccan, should you spend your life expecting destruction to descend from the sky at any moment?
I suspect not.
So, how much use are these nuclear weapons? Could we ever use them?
The fact is that against the enemies that the UK faces in today's world, a nuclear bomb is useless. I suppose that Obama could give Cameron permission to blow up Moscow if the Russians threatened to blow up London over the disputes in Ukraine or Syria . But how likely is that to happen?
The UK seems to have been permanently at war for as long as I can remember, most recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and I imagine, soon, Syria. Can we use a nuclear bomb in any of these places? Did the UK having nukes stop Argentina from invading the Falklands? Did the US's massive nuclear arsenal stop the attack on the twin towers or on the Pentagon? And was the response in these cases to nuke Buenos Aires or Kabul?
Sir Hugh Beach, former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of UK Land Forces,
who has this to say -
"Beach says that the Trident nuclear submarines, based on the Clyde and armed with warheads, should not be replaced but immediately scrapped."
"His call echoes demands from a series of other military leaders who want government action on nuclear disarmament."
""Britain cannot claim to have derived any direct security benefit from the possession ofnuclear weapons," he argued. "British nuclear weapons did not deter Argentina from attempting to annex the Falkland Islands in 1982, nor did they help Britain to recover them, despite the belief that a Polaris submarine was patrolling the South Atlantic."" (Thank you Alan for the quote.)
It seems to me that despite being a warlike nation, the UK has cut and cut its military spend (although still the 4th largest in the world). What has gone is the stuff they need to do the job they appointed themselves to do... be Americas's deputy when it comes to policing the world. Personnel have been dismissed, equipment reduced, bases closed. Scotland has been left almost undefended with fewer than 10,000 personnel in the country. And yet it has to house the nuclear submarines with all the attendant issues of security and radiation leaks, only 25 kms from the centre of Glasgow.
Can the UK afford this money?
Yes and no. The UK can afford whatever it wants to because it can "print" the money. It already has staggering debts, so what is another £200 billion? Clearly, of course, at a time when it cuts budgets for nearly everything else, when basic services that make people's lives bearable are being dismantled, it may seem a little "fur coat and no drawers" to be spending on a weapon that will never be fired.
So who is for it, who's against it, and why?
|Corbyn says he wouldn't use nukes.|
Tony Blair admitted that Trident was all but unusable, but to rid himself of it was to downgrade Britain. I always wondered why he didn't think the homelessness, hunger and poverty weren't downgrading Britain in the eyes of the world.
|The sooner he's in the Hague, the better we'll like it|