Wednesday 18 May 2011

No cutbacks for Trident folly

Today, the Tories finally announced the inevitable; they would begin rolling out the replacement of the Trident nuclear submarine programme. Despite the final decision supposedly being left til 2016, the government could not hide its glee at deciding to spend £3 billion pounds of our money on the first stage of the replacement programme

Estimates for the total cost vary, but could eventually be as high as £76 Billion. It seems that everyone must be prepared to face cuts..with the exception of the war effort.

With a nuclear weapons system is so clearly obsolete in the 21st century, it begs the question as to why both Blair and Cameron are so desperate for it. For them, it is the ultimate status symbol, a key device in being at the top table of the UN 'security' council.

But is not only costly to us during a time when core public services are under attack, but it is also a moral disgrace. The use of nuclear weapons is effectively the threat of epic mass murder, the destruction of the earth and of humanity. While countries like us carry on developing nuclear weapons, how can we persuade others not not enter the race? How can we even consider the use of them; Even if a 'dirty bomb' had gone off on 9/11, would that have justified the nuking of Afghanistan and Iraq? Iraq was subsequently proven to have had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, and in Afghanistan, how can you destroy civilians for the crimes of their leaders? The Nuclear option is just monstrous.

The Tories may be cheering at the news of Tridents replacement - but that shows them up for what they really are. They are prepared to cut back spending on hospitals and other vital public services, but not cut back on this wasteful, pointless act of military folly.

1 comment:

  1. I'm broadly with you on this one - I'm ambivalent towards nuclear weapons & able to be persuaded either way (I'm inclined to agree with your point of view at the moment). And I think continuing with such a costly venture at this time is a bad judgement.

    But you do seem to be suffering from a very severe case of selective memory! Just who was in power 4 years ago when the decision to renew trident was made? And who was it who signed contracts that commit us to paying for new aircraft carriers even if they didn't get built? And all this at a time when we getting deeper & deeper into ball-crushingly large amounts of debt.

    This government has made some draconian cuts to the MOD - losing 7,000 personnel over 5 years, whole RAF squadrons gone, and cancelling orders for new aircraft for the carriers Liebour committed this country too - so how does this "show them up for what they really are?" And then of course there is the ongoing costs of Iraq & Afghanistan - entered into by which government?

    And you seem to be conflating 2 separate debates (1) the morality of nuclear weapons (2) defense budgets.

    Like most "Peace" activists on the left, you seem to posses an awful lot of latent hatred & prejudice towards those who see differently to you. Hey, you won't even publish their opinions! (Don't worry, I'm not offended, most left-of-centre blogs do the same ... in the name of diversity & equality I think!).