Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Why Keep Trident?

I have strong feelings that sometimes the Governments of our countries don't give us a say on some policies because they know they wouldn't like the answer.
I would be very confident in predicting that if there was a referendum on the return of the death penalty, they would be erecting gallows in prison yards by the weekend.
Same with handing the bankers billions. A referendum would have said a firm no and many high street banks would now be occupied by Poundland shops.
That's why i think Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has hit a very plump nail square on the head with his plan, if elected, to rid ourselves of nuclear weapons.
Short of revenge if we attacked by a nuclear armed country, it is hard to think of a reason why we keep on pumping billions into keeping our nuclear arsenal and to be honest, the odds of us being attacked by one of the other 6 nuclear powers is remote in the extreme.
While it is true that we don't know what the future brings, it is also true that while we are making people redundant and closing public services, it seems folly to pay out billions for something just because of some event that is unlikely to happen at some unspecified time in the future.
By scrapping Trident, we free up £100 billion that would make things very much more comfortable now and more than half the £180 billion debt our country is currently struggling under.
The real problem seems to be that we would lose our seat at the top table with the big boys because we have very little else to offer apart from being in the nuclear club.
I don't know how much a comfort it is that we have nuclear missiles when you are clearing out your desk but i wouldn't have thought it crosses many peoples mind and it seems almost criminal to keep ploughing money into Trident when the country is desperate for funds.
And that's why we won't get a choice of whether to keep or scrap it.


Anonymous said...

indeed, why keep trident, just be like the french, canadians, australians, germans, and japanese and let us defend you too...


Nog said...

I'll have to be harsh here and agree with Q. Britain is going to be defended by someone's nuclear arsenal or it's going to get gobbled up at one point or another. It isn't as if the Russian military stays on its side of the Ukrainian border because of its fear of the imposing Ukrainian military.

You could make two different arguments here:
1 - Britain doesn't need (anyone's) nuclear weapons to keep itself on the map in the long term.
2 - Britain can rely on the American's nuclear weapons to keep it on the map and doesn't need any of its own.

If you argued #2 you'd be right, if you argued #1 you'd be wrong.


Cheezy said...

There's also #3: a.k.a. the "what will actually happen" option. One of the two main parties will continue to be the majority party in government for long after Trident runs out in 2020, and they will continue to maintain at least a bare-minimum independent nuclear deterrent for generations to come - starting with the current government's plan to replace the Vanguard class of submarines with a more modern flotilla. Trident won't necessarily have a 'like for like' replacement, but it will be replaced. And not by unilateral disarmament.