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Refining an existing capacity to make the rubble bounce and bounce

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, July 20th, 2016 - 80 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, International, Left, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , ,

HMS Victorious

Back in the 1970s and 1980s Nuclear War used to be the biggest threat to the future of humanity. I remember as a young person realising that I lived in a world that had 60,000 nuclear weapons and if a smallish number of them were let off it would be all over.

I can recall very strongly in 1980 when Ronald Regan was elected to the Presidency of the United States and put in charge of the big red button.  Margaret Thatcher was already in power.  I wondered not if but when the button would be pushed.

Then there was the election of the fourth Labour Government in New Zealand.  David Lange captured the hearts of progressive New Zealand when he declared New Zealand to be nuclear free, talked to a conservative Oxbridge student and mentioned how he could smell the Uranium on his breath and perfectly  described the absurdity of the nuclear deterrent by talking about refining an existing ability to make the rubble bounce and bounce.

Sure Lange then failed because he could not control Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and the other rogernomes but I am convinced that Lange’s intentions were good, but he was not up to the job of managing the Rogernomes’ thirst for neoliberal change.

Then the Soviet Union imploded because, amongst other things, the nuclear missile race destroyed its financial base and just in time the Americans claimed victory and then quickly wound back its own nuclear program before it also crashed and burned.

There are now 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, still more than enough to destroy the world many times over.   But at least the trend is in the right direction.

The issue was and still is a left right issue.  On the left is the insistence that the world’s resources are not poured into weapons of global destruction.  And diverting these huge resources into alleviating poverty or addressing environmental devastation could achieve great things.

On the right is the big swinging dick insistence that the most powerful should always win.  Considerations of poverty, environmental devastation and the mass killing of many humans are secondary.

This is one of those defining left right issues.  Supposed left wingers voting for nuclear weapons should immediately hand in their left wing membership cards.

This is why it is so clear that UK Labour has so many problems right now.  A recent Parliamentary vote on whether to spend an estimated £167 billion has just passed with a majority of Labour MPs including “unity” candidates Angela Eagle and Owen Smith voting in favour.  Corbyn and a minority of Labour MPs voted against it.  All strength to them.  The SNP also voted against it.  I continue to be impressed by their bravery and their commitment to principle.

Theresa May continues in her attempts to emulate Margaret Thatcher.  The death of a hundred thousand innocent civilians to her is not something of concern.  From the Guardian:

However, May attracted gasps during the debate when she made clear she would be willing to authorise a nuclear strike killing 100,000 people, when challenged by the SNP about whether she would ever approve a nuclear hit causing mass loss of life.

Intervening in her opening speech, the SNP MP George Kerevan, asked: “Is she personally prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that can kill a hundred thousand innocent men, women and children?”

May responded: “Yes. And I have to say to the honourable gentleman the whole point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to use it, unlike some suggestions that we could have a deterrent but not actually be willing to use it, which seem to come from the Labour party frontbench.”

Labour’s disfunction is clear to see.  Only a minority voted against the issue.

Corbyn himself provided very cogent reasons to oppose the deployment.  Again from the Guardian:

Speaking in the Commons, Corbyn said there were currently 40 warheads, which are each eight times as powerful at the atomic bomb that killed 140,000 people at Hiroshima in Japan in 1945.

“What is the threat we are facing that one million people’s deaths would actually deter?” he said, adding it did not stop Islamic State, Saddam Hussein’s atrocities, war crimes in the Balkans or genocide in Rwanda.

“I make it clear today I would not take a decision that kills millions of innocent people,” Corbyn told MPs. “I do not believe the threat of mass murder is a legitimate way to deal with international relations.”

On a related note Allie Eagle has withdrawn from the Labour leadership contest.  Her stalking horse role has been completed.

For those Labour MPs who voted for Trident they should hang their heads in shame.  Spending such huge amounts of public money on refining an existing capacity to make the rubble bounce and bounce in a very British way should be something that no left wing politician should do.  Ever.

80 comments on “Refining an existing capacity to make the rubble bounce and bounce ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    On the left is the insistence that the world’s resources are not poured into weapons of global destruction. And diverting these huge resources…

    What huge resources and are they the same resources as needed to relieve poverty?

    That’s not a trick question. It really doesn’t take a lot of resources to produce weapons, nuclear or otherwise, and the resources used don’t impact poverty. Use steel to produce guns but at the end of doing so we’ve still got a couple of million tonnes of steel available every year.

    What causes poverty is the misallocation of the resources we have. Instead of using our trees and steel to produce houses we’re selling them offshore as fast as we can in the mistaken belief that we need more money.

    And, no, I don’t support nuclear weapons.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      For Trident the estimated cost of the programme is £167 billion. That is £2,600 for every person living in the UK. That could alleviate a lot of poverty particularly if it was distributed to the poor.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        And this has always been the guts of it. There never has been any “shortage of money.” Everything that the 0.1% think is important gets funded, no matter what. They’ll take it from social housing or they’ll get the central bank to print more of it, or they’ll borrow the funds from China or Saudi Arabia.

        But whether its a billion pounds or ten billion pounds or a hundred billion pounds, no problem, because it’s the pet project the 0.1% want.

        Like that brand new $160,000 Merc shiny off the showroom floor. Sure, you could buy a three year old one for $110,000 and donate the $50,000 difference to the Red Cross. But why on Earth would you do something silly like that when the new one has the unique two tone anniversary paint colour and he upgraded steering wheel? (You’ll do the right thing and put a fiver in the collectors bucket though, to make up for it).

        After all, for the most part, to the 0.1% the poor are not worth funding. They are just powerless ignorant unproductive useless eaters. That’s why they’re poor. And they tend to smell.

        At the very best, some of the working poor might be able to do a few useful things for you like serve you in restaurants and service your Merc or your Porsche. That’s it. Otherwise, they’re just unruly thugs who sometimes need the occasional hosing with water cannon and tear gas to keep in line (literal and metaphorical).

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Could it though? Could it really suddenly bring into existence the necessary resources to alleviate poverty?

        Poverty is the result of the misallocation of resources but are the resources allocated to defence the ones needed to alleviate poverty?

        Your response is exactly what I mean when I say that money is now treated as the Prime Resource. The big problem with doing so is that it ignores the actual resources needed.

        • Colonial Viper

          Without considering anything else, energy is a massive resource which could be used to alleviate a big aspect of peoples day to day poverty – energy poverty.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And how much is used for defence against how much is needed?

            Would there be a better way to provide that energy?
            Personally, I’d go for a full renationalisation of the electricity network and generation, build a lot more wind-turbines and start putting solar power on housing starting with the poorest. I’d also make having a block of power each month to every household and business free. The charge for electricity above that amount would be the same for houses and businesses.

            Would the resources needed to do that take away from those used for defence? Or, as I suspect, is there enough to do both?

            • Colonial Viper

              Some good ideas there, Draco. I might nick some if you don’t mind.

            • maninthemiddle

              Solar power is not necessarily cheaper than ur current ‘conventional’ method (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9755423/Is-solar-power-worth-it). Not only that, but solar panels are an eyesore. Wind power is not only inefficient, but also has a number of other downstream health and environmental problems. Both solar and wind generation has traditionally only survived on subsidies, which is not a sustainable model.

              In NZ by far the most efficient solution is geothermal. Hydro is also efficient, and we have the generation capacity in place.

              Electricity prices in the region with the greatest population concentration have been remarkably stable for the past 3 years (https://www.powerswitch.org.nz/powerswitch/price-trends/graphs), and the current market is delivering both price savings and investment in future capacity, something the previous, regulated and cross subsidised, system failed to do.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Solar power is not necessarily cheaper than ur current ‘conventional’ method

                It’s significantly cheaper than fossil fuels as it doesn’t continue to use resources through its life time. It’s the financial system and the policies of government and the power generators that’s the problem as they make the more expensive solution look cheaper so as to protect their ongoing profit.

                Not only that, but solar panels are an eyesore.

                What a load of bollocks. It looks like any other roof. Personally, I think solar panels look good.

                Wind power is not only inefficient, but also has a number of other downstream health and environmental problems.

                Wind has the same advantage as solar in that it doesn’t use up resources during its life time and it’s getting far better and it has absolutely no health or environmental problems. That’s just more lies by RWNJs.


                In NZ by far the most efficient solution is geothermal. Hydro is also efficient, and we have the generation capacity in place.

                Despite living on the Ring of Fire geothermal energy is quite limited as it’s constrained by the ground water. Take too much water and the geothermal station dies never mind the damage that it does to the land as it subsides with the water.

                Hydro is probably one of the least productive forms of power generation and we’re out of places to put more of it. Good job it lasts so long once in place.

                I’m not against either but they’re not a panacea for continued growth in power use.

                and the current market is delivering both price savings and investment in future capacity,

                No it’s not. Prices have gone up again this year and they specifically went up for winter and the plans to keep Huntly going for another few years shows that investment in power isn’t what it needs to be.

                The previous regulated and state owned system did far better.

                Basically, everything you wrote was pure crap but that’s fairly normal as you can only see what your delusional beliefs in the current system allow you to see.

                • dukeofurl

                  You need large scale generators, either water or steam powered to create a stable grid. Wind power is asynchronous and solar isnt even AC and peaks when demand is low. No power in winter evenings from solar.
                  There are significant technical difficulties without a baseload generation. of course you could get around that by telling customers the supply is a lot less reliable ?
                  High voltage AC power is fairly complicated to generate and distribute almost instantaneously.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You need large scale generators, either water or steam powered to create a stable grid.

                    No you don’t – you need large batteries and we have some in the form of large hydro lakes. There’s also the fact that the wind will blowing somewhere and geothermal also works 24/7.

                    This is why the grid and the generation need to be state owned – so that all these things can be properly planned and integrated. Can’t do that with competing private operators.

                • In Vino

                  Good reply to maninthemuddle, Draco.

                • maninthemiddle

                  “It’s significantly cheaper than fossil fuels as it doesn’t continue to use resources through its life time.”

                  I never mentioned fossil fuels. This is about NZ’s power generation.

                  “What a load of bollocks. It looks like any other roof. Personally, I think solar panels look good.”

                  Matter of opinion. I personally think they look atrocious.

                  “Wind has the same advantage as solar in that it doesn’t use up resources during its life time and it’s getting far better and it has absolutely no health or environmental problems. ”


                  “The previous regulated and state owned system did far better.”

                  No it didn’t. It delivered a cross subsidised system with no competition.

                  Your ignorance of this subject matches your ignorance of others.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I never mentioned fossil fuels.

                    Yes you did – our conventional generation contains fossil fuelled generators.

                    I personally think they look atrocious.

                    That’s just your lack of taste.

                    quoting link:

                    These symptoms have been observed and documented by a limited number of scientists studying small groups of people, and the scientific community hasn’t conclude­d whether wind-turbine syndrome exists. There are also mixed opinions on whether wind turbines emit infrasound and if the amount is any more than that emitted by diesel engines or waves crashing on the beach [source: CleanTechnica, ABC Science].

                    Sounds remarkably like people searching for something to backup their preconceived notions.

                    No it didn’t. It delivered a cross subsidised system with no competition.

                    Which then produced a generation grid capable of delivering power across the nation. This was done by government because the private sector wasn’t doing it. Same reason why the state had to build our telecommunications as well. The private sector only became interested after the state had built it and they could get decades worth of work and resources for pennies on the dollar along with a captive market which they could screw over knowing that if anything went wrong the government would step in with huge amounts of cash – as it has to implement FttH.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Yes you did – our conventional generation contains fossil fuelled generators.”

                      Now you’r being dishonest. Coal is a minute portion of our supply. By far the greatest is geothermal and hydro.

                      “Sounds remarkably like people searching for something to backup their preconceived notions.”

                      That’s you opinion. You asked for evidence, I gave it. I’m not frankly interested in your opinion.

                      “Which then produced a generation grid capable of delivering power across the nation. ”

                      No, it didn’t. It produced power shortages and insufficient investment in future generation. The state owned system sucked. The current system is world class.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Now you’r being dishonest.

                      No I’m not – you are.

                      Coal is a minute portion of our supply.

                      I said fossil fuelled – not coal. And that makes up around 30% of our power generation which is not ‘minute’.

                      You asked for evidence, I gave it.

                      No you didn’t, you gave an article that described a syndrome that had the conclusion that there was nothing conclusive to say that the syndrome actually existed.

                      No, it didn’t. It produced power shortages and insufficient investment in future generation.

                      Ah, that old lie.

                      The brownouts stopped happening in the 1970s when power generation capability caught up with demand. I’d say that the exact same thing would have happened under private investment except that the whole reason why we got state power was because private investment wasn’t happening. If we’d left it to the private sector we still wouldn’t have enough power generation.

                      Same as by leaving telecommunications to the private sector we still don’t have FttH which should have started being rolled out in the early 2000s.

                      The state owned system is what gave us our present ‘world class’ system. The recent privatisation will see that decline as happens every time privatisation is used for essential government services.

                • Chuck

                  “Wind has the same advantage as solar in that it doesn’t use up resources during its life time and it’s getting far better and it has absolutely no health or environmental problems. That’s just more lies by RWNJs.”

                  Draco that is a misleading statement. You need to take into account emissions both direct and indirect. Indirect – arising during other non – operational phases of the life cycle for different forms of generation.

                  In regards to solar and wind they are not “carbon free” since CO2 emissions do arise in the life cycle of the system. Such as during extraction (raw materials) construction, maintenance and decommissioning.

                  Solar PV is the worst in this regard, wind / hydro / nuclear are the best.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    that is a misleading statement.

                    In what way?

                    In regards to solar and wind they are not “carbon free” since CO2 emissions do arise in the life cycle of the system.

                    Never said they were. Fossil fuelled generation also create CO2 emissions outside of being turned on and it’s far higher than that of renewables.

                    Solar PV is the worst in this regard, wind / hydro / nuclear are the best.

                    You want figure 4 on page 12

                    We go for all three renewables (excluding geothermal for now) because of the vagaries of their generation. Each one by itself is unstable but together the result is good enough to be considered stable. So it’s not a question of which one is better as we would be using all of them.

                    Nuclear is not a valid option because of the dangers involved both during operation and dealing with it’s waste afterwards.

                    • Chuck

                      Me: that is a misleading statement.

                      “In what way?”

                      “during its life time and it’s getting far better and it has absolutely no health or environmental problems”

                      Me: Yes – Solar/Wind do have environmental problems.

                      “Never said they were. Fossil fuelled generation also create CO2 emissions outside of being turned on and it’s far higher than that of renewables.”

                      Me: Yes you did say Solar/Wind have no environmental problems… as above. Agree Solar/Wind creates no CO2 directly, however they do indirectly…

                      Best renewable option is pyrolysis combined with carbon capture = negative CO2/KWH result. Solar and Wind have certain applications, and geothermal if local conditions suit.

                      I also do like the local generation option which I think you are for as well?…huge waste of resources to transmit over hundreds / thousands of km to end users.

                      Agree nuclear…because of the reasons you have outlined.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, after reading that a few times and getting nothing from it I can confidently assert that you’re thoroughly confused.

              • The New Student

                I’d rather ugly solar panels and vibrating turbines than die of cold. Thanks

                • maninthemiddle

                  They aren’t the only options. Hydro and Geothermal are by far the best and cleanest options for NZ.

            • Richard

              Energy is the key and its public ownership paramount. You’ve probably heard the arguments already, but advanced nuclear energy needs to be a large if not almost total part of the mix. All for getting rid of nuke weapons but if nuclear is ruled out of the energy equation, climate change will run away. You can’t cover the planet in solar panels and turbines.

              • Draco T Bastard

                We don’t need nuclear energy:

                If solar is 20% efficient (as it has been in lab tests) at turning solar energy into power, we’d only need to cover a land area about the size of Spain to power the entire Earth renewably in 2030.

                And that’s just solar. Throw in wind, hydro and geothermal and we’re pretty much covered.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Tell me Draco how are you going to get this power from Spain to Clutha.

                  Tongue in cheek of course but just pointing out the problem is way more complex than what you have posited. Generating power is one little step.

                  Spain has an area of 506,000 km2. That’s 506m hectares of solar by 2030. It’s 14 years to 2030. Let’s be generous and say total current installed PV capacity is equivalent to 10m hectares leaving another 35.4m hectares of PV to be built each year to 2030.

                  Can you tell me how many millions of hectares of PV are expected to be built this year?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    So, you’re saying that we need nuclear energy because we can’t build solar power fast enough?

      • dukeofurl 1.1.3

        Thats number based on Trident taking 6% of the annual defence budget to operate over its lifetime (30 years)

        Current defence spending is £35bill so that would be a bit over £2 bill, so would give ‘everyone’ £32 each year. Alleviate poverty , I think not.

        • Colonial Viper

          You’re a moron. Actually you’re not but why don’t you apply your brain for a split second.

          27m households in the UK. Bottom 10% of them socioeconomically = 2.7m households = £64/month per household.

          That’s the electricity bill sorted right there. Wouldn’t mean anything to you, but to those in poverty it’s a big deal.

          • dukeofurl

            It wasnt me that decided alleviating poverty would be fixed by giving ‘everyone’ a fixed sum. But once MS made the point I was happy to show it was a small sum over 30years. But even targeting the amount doesnt make much difference.

            For Trident the estimated cost of the programme is £167 billion. That is £2,600 for every person living in the UK. That could alleviate a lot of poverty particularly if it was distributed to the poor.

    • DoublePlusGood 1.2

      The resources come in the form of materials and personnel to maintain the nuclear weapons, the systems controlling them, the methods of delivery and so on. That is what ends up costing actual resources – and many of the materials and all of the personnel could be doing anything else that would actually help a country.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        Defending a country is,as a matter of fact, a necessity and thus it does help.

        And it uses those resources but would such a tiny amount really prevent the eradication of poverty?

        The steel used doesn’t prevent the growing of the food to feed people as there’s more than enough steel available. In fact, there’s so much steel available many steel mills are going broke because they can’t sell.

        Are the people in the defence forces needed to grow the food considering that it only requires about 2% of a nations population to grow enough food? Less than 1% for an effective health system and most Western nations have ~6% unemployment.

        • Colonial Viper

          It is thousands of the country’s smartest and highest skilled people spending day in day out building weapons of war instead of solving climate change and resource depletion issues which is the fucking waste Draco. Why the hell is this so bloody difficult for you to get.

          • Draco T Bastard

            There are people around that have control of armed nations that will attack unarmed nations.

            Why the hell is this so bloody difficult for you to get?

            • Colonial Viper

              Are you still talking about the replacement for the UK Trident SSBN nuclear weapons platform?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Are you? You specifically said “weapons of war” rather than nuclear weapons.

                Also, have you actually been following what I’ve been saying?

  2. Colonial Viper 3

    with a peacenik anti-military industrial complex, anti-war attitude like this, it’s clear why so many Labour MPs think Corbyn is an utter embarrassment to NATO and to special friend the USA, and needs to go ASAP.

  3. Jenny Kirk 4

    CV – where is the “sarc” info at the end of your comment ? ? ?

    • jcuknz 4.1

      A stupid comment anyway if you consider the likely result of flooding the ecconomy with money … making it worthless.

      Better would be to establish government owned business to employ the poor and build houses for them to either own or rent.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Flooding the economy with money doesn’t make money worthless, unless you direct it to consumption and not production.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Hi Jenny, I would have added the /sarc tag but as far as I can discern, this is what Corbyn’s detractors actually think about him in real life, on this issue.

  4. mac1 5

    ” I remember as a young person ……….”
    I must be a little older as I remember as a year 9 student listening to the Cuban missile crisis unfold on the radio at school and fearing the same outcome of which you write, mickysavage. Helpless dread, little comprehended.

    54 years later I read that the only person between us and a “nooclear holycoast” was a Russian political commissar aboard a nuclear-armed submarine with failed communications who refused to join in firing its weapons as its commander ordered.

    Helpless dread, better comprehended.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      I was 2 at the time 😀

      My father talked about how he left work and went home with the radio on waiting for it all to start …

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      And now, you have NATO moving its bases right next to Russia’s borders, placing equipment labelled “missile defence” but which will shortly (within 2-3 years) be capable of launching nuclear missiles to Moscow with a mere 10 minute travel time, and the US storing dozens of nuclear weapons at Incirlik in Turkey, a country which has politically suspended thousands of military personnel, police, finance ministry staff, and now 40,000 teachers, lecturers and university staff.

      • mac1 5.2.1

        “I hear they got a bomb in some secret place
        If set off at the wrong time just might erase
        Not only my farm but the whole human race-
        I hope to God the switchman ain’t a drinker”

        Philosophisin’ Blues- unknown singer

        Colonial Viper, one of the reasons why the Cuban Missile Crisis began was as a reaction to the presence of US missiles in Turkey directed at the USSR.

        We are being condemned to repeat history’s mistakes.

        • Colonial Viper

          Ah yes the Jupiter missiles.

          Only nowadays we have the likes of Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton parading through the White House, no one who is the calibre of JFK and Bobby Kennedy. So if anything, things are much worse than before.

          • dukeofurl

            The Kennedys were hopeless and Khrushchev out maneuvered them- he had a lifetime of practice.
            He got what he wanted from US , a non invasion of Cuba agreement and the removal of the jupiter missiles in Turkey.

            • McFlock

              aye, pretty close to the abyss, though.

              But I tend to disagree about Kennedy – most of his initial fuckups were due to Eisenhower-era deployments and operations, but after learning that the hawks in the pentagon were dangerous kennedy had a pretty good go at making them more rational. A question mark still hangs over “what ifs” in Vietnam, of course.

      • “And now, you have NATO moving its bases right next to Russia’s borders, placing equipment labelled “missile defence” but which will shortly (within 2-3 years) be capable of launching nuclear missiles to Moscow with a mere 10 minute travel time”

        And the worrying part is that the THAAD is a load of shit, whereas the S-500 is not. That’s gonna make the Americans even more likely to go for broke if they sense it’s getting serious.

    • joe90 5.3

      I recall my mother’s tears.

    • dukeofurl 5.4

      Its wasnt a political commissar of the B59 it was Vasili Arkhipov who was flotilla commander, other histories say it was less dramatic than presented.
      As the submarine only had a nuclear torpedo, its effects would have been localised to the very aggressive ships of US navy nearby.

      In 1983 a Soviet air defence officer saw their early warning system signal a series of 5 US missile launches, he correctly inferred it was a false positive.

      • mac1 5.4.1

        Thanks, dukeofurl. Wikipedia confirms your version.

        I would never want to be tested whether the Americans, having had a fleet of theirs nuked by a Russian submarine, would not have escalated to all out nuclear war.

        Since B59 was unusual in that its complement included the flotilla commander, who was required to consent to nuclear weapons usage, as well as the political officer, I wonder what the political officer would have done under the situation of just being there the captain and himself, as on the other submarines in the flotilla.

  5. shorts 6

    I fail to see this as a left / right issue – even in the UK a country that was lead to war in Iraq by a Labour Govt, a conflict that has and continues to claim many times more than 100,000 dead

    This is about fear, power and money… of which all side of the political spectrum are enamoured by

    The UK and world is very lucky to have someone of Corbyn’s stature in a position to at the least speak out against these weapons and conflicts

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Mainly about the $$$. The rest of it is just the sales pitch bluster and the marketing angle.

      Corbyn (and Sanders) to me represents the massive divide between what the vast majority of the electorate actually want, and what the Establishment Powers are willing to offer.

      • shorts 6.1.1

        sales pitch bluster – I like that… its that pitch that helps gain some power, espcially the fear angle

        Agree about the masses vs the establishment – masses want peace, good lives and all the stuff the powerful deny so many, cause $ and power

        • Colonial Viper

          Same general marketing formula you see everywhere: you are ugly/weak/wimpy/undesirable/unhappy/a victim/insecure/insufficient the way you are now…the world out there is competitive/dangerous/fast changing/unpredictable/uncompromising…so you need this [product/service/nuclear weapon system] in order to feel strong/beautiful/powerful/confident/safe/responsible/happy

          Start looking out for where you are being fed this (baby) formula and you will see it over and over again

        • mickysavage

          I see it as a left issue in that I see pacifism as a left stance. And Lange with his Methodist peaceful view of the world totally bought into it. Although it did take a while …

  6. Bill 7

    Neil Kinnock was the UK Labour Party leader who over-saw Labour abandon the position of unilateral disarmament sometime back in the 80s.

    Happily, that led a young Nicola Sturgeon to turn her back on Labour and join the SNP.

    I believe all SNP members of Westminster voted against renewal btw.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      A party of the principle and integrity that UK Labour should aspire to be.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      Yep they did. If I lived in the UK I suspect I would be a SNP member. If I lived in Scotland I would definately be a member of the SNP.

  7. Observer Toke 8

    Micky Savage

    . When you look at history from Queen Elizabeth 1st onwards , you will see that the cruelest and most ruthless, most militaristic race on earth has been the British.

    Unbelievable rape of 90+ Nations. Slavery of untold numbers. Nations still suffering from their wicked immorality as in New Zealand and Australia. Their appalling progrom of the Jews. Their savagery towards Celts. Their victimisation of children. Their hatred of non Anglicans and their continued persecution up to the present. All so they could conquer anyone beneath their feet.

    Then it is no wonder that the latest English woman in power would follow Elizabeth1st Life is of little value to the English.

    They have trained their offspring The Americans to war monger with total savagery on a colossal scale. No words can possibly describe their evil.

    God Bless Thatcher, Blair and May. For no one else will.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Quite right. A Scottish friend told me how the English evicted her forefathers off the land, burnt down their homes, and basically tried to ensure that her entire family would freeze and starve, they ended up trying to live off seaweed while they fled Scotland, all because the English wanted the farm land for themselves.

      The English eventually ended up doing this to the World.

      • Observer Toke 8.1.1

        . Colonial Viper

        It churns me up to hear of the suffering of the Celts. For they were slaughtered on a grand scale – just for the land. And written down as sub human.

        Of all the places I have set foot on – Australia causes me the most angst. The English declared that the OZ Continent was Terra Nullus. (Empty land)

        And a sixty thousand year old Civilization has been tortured, slaughtered, neglected, despised and hated ever since Captain Cook took the place for the Monarchs of gruesome England. The Queen of Untied Kingdom, the same queen being the Queen of Australia, doesn’t give a fig.

        The only people I know of who are sub human to any degree – are in fact the English and their offspring. Ask the boat people in their offshore Australian gulags. Ask their mentally destroyed Children too.

        • dukeofurl

          Its a bit of a myth that they were mostly ‘Celts’ That in itself is not accurate as there is Celtic language group, but not a ‘people’

          based on DNA markers they see it differently now

          “Scotland, he told the Edinburgh international book festival, despite a long-held belief that its ethnic make-up was largely Scots, Celtic, Viking and Irish, was in fact “one of the most diverse nations on earth”.

          As well most lowland Scots have English ancestry.

    • McFlock 8.2

      Oh bollocks. It has nothing to do with “race”, and frankly is barely distinguishable across cultures.

      The British happened to be better at it (than the Spanish or whomever) by historical accident – hell, much of that probably comes down to the vagaries of wind and tide in 1588.

      • Bill 8.2.1

        Aye. The weather on a late summer’s day in 1588 might have a lot to answer for.

        As for “the English” evicting Scots, well…plenty of Scots evicted Scots. T’was a class thing – funnily enough.

        As for “British” – I kind of appreciated the English woman on Kim Hill a few weeks back who asserted that she was English, not British, on the grounds that “British” was a particularly ugly colonial construct that no-one in their right mind would want to be associated with. (She worded it better)

        • dukeofurl

          It seems she has constructed her own indentity to suit her purposes without considering the origins.

          Previously it meant something different, but was probably a construct as well

          “During the Middle Ages, and particularly in the Tudor period, the term “British” was used to refer to the Welsh people. At that time, it was “the long held belief that the Welsh were descendants of the ancient Britons and that they spoke ‘the British tongue’
          Bradshaw, Brendan; Roberts, Peter (2003), British Consciousness and Identity: The Making of Britain, 1533–1707.

          The first Tudors of course had welsh ancestry,Owen ap Maredudd ap Tudur

      • Molly 8.2.2

        You are right on the “race” semantics, but substitute the words “prevailing culture”, and Observer Toke is fairly on the money.

        • McFlock

          Not really.

          The “prevailing culture” is typical of any of the cultures that were in a position to prevail over the last 400 years. The practises OT describes were/are typical whenever one society is more powerful than another.

          Compare the English with others – Belgian Congo, French Indochina, Portugese Brazil, even Japan’s co-prosperity sphere. The English were nothing special. their geography just gave them a head start when sea lanes suddenly became important for expansion.

          • dukeofurl

            The Incas werent so kindly to their neighbors either, NZ saw considerable inter tribal conflict in the period up to signing the treaty

  8. One Two 9

    Couching the issue as ‘left v right’ is largely an example of where conscious evolution remains trapped

    Those who have ‘the power’ to control political messaging and ensure the war machine remains dominant, are not ‘seen’ by the public. Only the representatives are seen

    The public, are allowed to discuss left v right without interferring in the steady march towards annihilation

  9. Chuck 10

    I wounder how different the World would be today if nuclear weapons did not exist?

    Would we of had a WW3 or even 4 by now? would have Western Europe been overrun by the USSR etc?

    A valid argument can be put up on both sides of the coin…nuclear deterrence or not?

    The superpowers were prevented from launching large-scale attacks on one another and were compelled to confine their conflict to threats on the one hand and to limited regional wars by client states on the other.

    • McFlock 10.1

      A surface argument, maybe. Until you end up considering, e.g. US vs Chinese soldiers in Korea, and the fact that the cold war was attritional mass production coupled with the sword of atomic damocles.

      Sure, nukes are expensive and can blow shit up, but both sides still spent trillions on conventional forces anticipating a European ground war as well. Fear stopped both sides having a nuclear war, but similarly fear brought us to the brink of it repeatedly.

    • mickysavage 10.2

      We have had numerous wars and many innocent people killed. It could have been worse. Someone could have pushed the button. All I know is that as long as nuclear weapons exist there is a chance that a nuclear war will be started. If we get rid of all of them there is no chance.

      • One Two 10.2.1

        “If we get rid of all of them there is no chance”….

        That’s as nonsensical as believing there would be no gun deaths if only people were, disarmed

  10. save nz 11

    Great Post. +100. Corbyn continues to impress with his logic. Nukes will not stop terrorism, in fact terrorists would want governments to use them! Chaos is their aim!

  11. swordfish 12

    British public Opinion on Trident

    Recent YouGov Polls

    July 2016
    What do you think Britain should do when Trident reaches the end of its useful life ?

    (1) Britain should replace Trident with a new, submarine launched nuclear weapon system
    ………..Total ………… Tory ………… Lab …………LD ………… Ukip
    …………..44% …………. 63% ……….. 35% ……….. 45% ……….. 64%

    (2) Britain should replace the submarines used to launch nuclear missiles, but no longer actually arm them with nuclear missiles
    ………..Total ………… Tory ………… Lab …………LD ………… Ukip
    …………10% ………… 11% ……….. 12% ………… 16% ………… 10%

    (3) Britain should get rid of its nuclear missiles and the
    submarines used to launch them
    ………..Total ………… Tory ………… Lab …………LD ………… Ukip
    …………..22% ………… 9% …………. 32% ………… 21% ……….. 8%

    (4) Combined (2)+(3)
    ………..Total ………… Tory ………… Lab …………LD ………… Ukip
    …………..32% ………. 19% ……….. 44% ………. 37% ………. 18%

    And which of the parties would you most trust to make decisions about the future of Britain’s nuclear weapons system, Trident ?
    Conservatives 33%
    Labour 13%
    Liberal Democrats 5%
    UKIP 3%
    None of them 24%
    Don’t know 22%

    April 2015
    Which of the parties would you most trust to make decisions about the future of Britain’s nuclear weapons system, Trident ?
    Conservatives 32%
    Labour 20%
    Liberal Democrats 5%
    UKIP 5%
    None of them 20%
    Don’t know 18%

    Jan 2015
    Britain’s current system of submarine launched nuclear weapons, known as Trident, is coming to the end of its useful life and will soon have to be scrapped or replaced. The cost of replacing Trident has been estimated at 20 billion pounds.
    What do you think Britain should do when Trident reaches the end of its useful life ?

    (1) Britain should replace Trident with an equally powerful nuclear
    missile system
    ……. Total ………….Tory ………….Lab …………LD ………….Ukip
    ……….. 25%……….. 39% ………..23% ………..5% ………. 40%

    (2) Britain should retain a nuclear missile system, but it should be
    less powerful and cost less than replacing Trident
    ……. Total ………….Tory ………….Lab …………LD ………….Ukip
    ……….. 31%……….. 38% …………33% ……….35% ……… 31%

    (3) Britain should give up nuclear weapons completely
    ……. Total ………….Tory ………….Lab …………LD ………….Ukip
    ……….. 25%……….. 10% ……….29% ………..50% ………. 15%

    (4) Downsize/Scrap (2)+(3) combined
    ……. Total ………….Tory ………….Lab …………LD ………….Ukip
    ……… 56%…………. 48% ……….62% ………..85% ……. 46%

    Don’t know

    June 2014
    Britain’s nuclear weapons system, Trident, currently costs around £2billion to maintain – some 5-6% of the defence budget. Recent Government proposals to upgrade Trident have been estimated to cost between £15-£20billion. Which
    of the following, if any, do you most agree with regarding Britain’s nuclear deterrent ?

    (1) Britain should replace Trident with a new and upgraded system
    ……. Total ………….Tory ………….Lab …………LD
    ……….. 27%………. 46% ……..11% ………21%

    (2) Britain should maintain Trident – there is no need to upgrade
    Britain’s nuclear weapons system
    ……. Total ………….Tory ………….Lab …………LD
    ……….. 25%………. 29% ……..21% ………27%

    (3) Britain should disband Trident and focus defence spending on
    conventional weapons and forces
    ………. Total ……………..Tory ………………Lab ……………..LD
    ……….. 36%……. 18% …..52% ……45%

    April 2013
    Which of the following statements comes closest to your view ?
    (1) The United Kingdom should order four new submarines to maintain its nuclear weapons system

    (2) The United Kingdom should try to find a cheaper system for keeping nuclear weapons

    (3) The United Kingdom should give up nuclear weapons altogether

    (4) Downsize/Scrap (1)+(2) combined

    Don’t know

    If the government decided there is no cheaper alternative ?
    (1) The United Kingdom should order four new submarines to maintain its nuclear weapons system.

    (2) The United Kingdom should give up nuclear weapons altogether

    Don’t know

    Thinking about nuclear weapons, please say how persuasive, if at all, you find the following statements
    ………………….. persuasive …….. unpersuasive …… Don’t know ……..Net persuasive

    (1) Having nuclear weapons makes the world more dangerous, not less, because we encourage other countries to get them by having them ourselves
    ……………………… 61% ………………….. 25% …………………. 14% ………………. +36

    (2) Nuclear weapons are still necessary today because some countries are building new nuclear weapons systems and others are trying to get their own
    ……………………… 58% ………………….. 28% ………………… 14% ………………. +30

    (3) Nuclear weapons help to keep the peace because they create uncertainty in the minds of potential attackers and make wars between the major powers unthinkable
    …………………….. 54% ………………….. 32% …………………… 14% ……………… +22

    (4) Nuclear weapons are unnecessary today because they don’t help us to face the major challenges of the 21st Century like terrorism, organised crime and scarce resources
    ……………………… 48% …………………… 36% ………………….. 15% ……………… +12

    (5) If the United Kingdom abandoned its nuclear weapons, then it could be seen as a less important country in the world
    ………………….. 46% ………………………… 38% …………………… 17% ……………. +8

    (6) The United Kingdom doesn’t need its own nuclear weapons to have influence because some other countries have a lot of influence without having their own nuclear weapons
    ………………….. 41% …………………………. 42% ……………………..18% …………. – 1

  12. AlZ 13

    Good thread Mickey. It wandered off a bit into poverty, energy and the savagery of civilized empire building and that is what nukes are about. The current era of “post truth” we are suffering fits well under the canopy of “the nuclear deterrent” which fitted nicely under that of “a defense” policy that has “preemptive strike” as it its first method. In news papers and board rooms and children’s cartoons the language of warfare is everywhere. Our cultures seem not to be able to take this last step out of the violent past and into a genuine peaceful and prosperous future.
    Up near the top right of this very page a bright red graph attempts to scare us into carbon reduction using “the nuclear deterrent” in a whole new horrible way.
    Fear is the worst motivator of all, the coarsest, reactionary, mind blanking,
    extremest generating and yet deactivating emotion. It used to have a place, two tribes square off and intimidate one another, one backs down, peace is maintained, the tribe finds another direction to expand its territory. How can this work with a hidden arsenal ( even secret uncountable submarine one ). With no “clear and immediate ” visible threat, it becomes , lies, bluffing, false reporting and accounting, (pentagon missing trillions) deceptive leaks to known and permitted spies etc gambling in a word and yet the intel industry is huge. Conventional warfare being threatened and even conducted under the nuke shadow is simply insanity, since winning a war is about which side can escalate the fastest, that does not even cover the lone mad person, religious nutters or accident. Any one who wants there to be a future has logically to side with Corbyn ( the deterrent works in reverse, “we want one too”) . Follow the money and watch the power. The dogs of war play us off against each other and laugh down the halls of every government.

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