Trident

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, April 15th, 2015 - 20 comments
Categories: Politics, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

Putting aside the soap of a UK General Election where the Tories and Labour Parties still seem to be fighting the SNP on the basis of Independence Referendum issues (there might be a post in the pipeline on that), an interesting development is unfolding vis a vis the renewal of Trident.

As background, the SNP have stated that Trident is a red line for them in the event of any formal arrangement between themselves and Labour post election. In a reflection of ‘official lines’, this has been taken to mean that any coalition or confidence and supply arrangement between the parties is ‘off the table’.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, a whopping 81% of  candidates from all parties contesting seats in the General Election who responded to a CND survey (500), are opposed to renewing Trident. The Scotsman (a right wing Scottish broadsheet) reports that 75% of Labour’s candidates oppose the renewal.

The same Scotsman news item linked above begins…

LABOUR’S shadow business minister, Ian Murray, has broken ranks with the party leadership over the renewal of Trident by stating that he would not vote for the renewal of the submarine missile fleet under any circumstances.

Interesting times…

 

Minor update on survey numbers added for clarity – Bill

 

20 comments on “Trident ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Your comment about 81% refers to 500 candidates ( of about 4000 in total) who answered the CND survey.

    Its definitely not 81% of all candidates and would not be 81% of those eventually elected.

    The reality is that an opinion poll of Scots shows a majority favouring Tident

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/if-scotland-became-independent-should-it-continue-to-host-trident-or-not

    I dont know which poll shows 75% of labour candidates comes from, but its likely to be over 50% since the last commons vote had 88 labour Mps voting against

  2. Paul 2

    The SNP are a breath of fresh air in politics.
    Grassroots politics supported by social media and websites fighting against the media establishment.
    The only sizeable party to oppose austerity and nuclear weapons.
    There will be a landslide in Scotland.

    The Labour Party in New Zealand could well learn from the fate of the Labour Party in Scotland, which is seen as betraying the interests of working people in the country and being beholden to the English banks and financial sector.
    If the Labour Party here continues in its support of neoliberal economics, it will go the same way…to the dustbin of history.

  3. Colonial Rawshark 3

    The UK’s beleaguered defence corporates need this multi-billion pound government welfare. I hope Trident goes through! Just cut a few more council flats to pay for it 😈

    • Paul 3.1

      I dunno.
      The Saudi invasion of Yemen must have got the arms industry in the UK salivating at the prospect of more deals with the desert tyrants.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        And those naughty Ruskies who keep sailing naval boats through the Channel and flying above it with long range strategic bombers!!! Mind you, that’s just Putin gently reminding the west that Russia ain’t Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya thank you very much.

        • Paul 3.1.1.1

          The US’s behaviour in Syria and then Ukraine has forced Russia and China into a strategic energy and financial alliance, which has also attracted Iran.
          How to turn potential friends into enemies, the good ole’ American way.

          • Wayne 3.1.1.1.1

            Paul,

            I think the US is trying to do a strategic deal with Iran, turning enemies into friends. Seems like Iran is of the same view.

            As for US behaviour in Syria, what exactly is that? Certainly not any serious intervention, except against ISIS, the bombing of which is indirectly helping Assad. The reality is that Assad needed no help to start his civil war, he did it all by himself. And by and large he has been able to continue the war without a lot of hindrance from outside powers (but with a fair bit of help from the Putin).

            • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1.1.1.1

              As for US behaviour in Syria, what exactly is that?

              Read the War Nerd. The US has no strong motive to defeat ISIS in Syria. In fact it is hoping that they will do the job to get rid of Assad which would simultaneously get rid of the only Russian friend in the region. That’s why the US hasn’t been seriously trying to get its nominal allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to stop supporting ISIS.

  4. McFlock 4

    I think many of the points for and against were covered thirty-odd years ago.
    Yes Minister/PM is the gift that keeps on giving.

  5. lurgee 5

    Why is Ian Murray seeking election as a Labour MP if he refuses to accept the party’s manifesto?

  6. adam 6

    Ohhh Ahhhh.

    It’s been a good information day this one. Lots of positives from here and across the globe.

    Thanks Bill, really enjoyed your post.

  7. millsy 7

    Trident is Britain kidding itself that it still rules the waves.

    • lurgee 7.1

      Politically, it is a bit more than that. I grew up in Helensburgh, right by the Faslane submarine base (I even got to deliver office supplies as a summer job!). It is economically important to the town, and a lot of towns in the Clyde firth. Aye, the Tories took away our ship building and gave us nuclear subs to look after instead. It might not be entirely coincidental, either. The ship building and re-fitting went down South, where there are also a lot more votes to be had for the Tories. Again, this may not have been coincidental.

      But believe me, there is nothing for Helensburgh and the other towns on the West Coast if the bases close. The towns will shrink as naval families move elsewhere. Businesses will close. House prices will plummet. Worst of all, the town will turn Tory as there will be no-one living there but rich buggers from Glasgow who are so loaded that these things don’t matter.

      It serves a similar purpose in other areas – Barrow-on-Furness will get to make the new subs, and that will mean a lot of jobs in Cumbria.

      There is a strong nostalgic element, but among people who aren’t senile Blimps, there is a real concern about the economy of some parts of Britain that are dependent on the military spending. I doubt any government is going to bother investing billions in the west coast of Scotland if there isn’t a nuclear submarine base there,

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        Not quite, the ship building didnt go south. Warships are still built on the Clyde, the nuclear submarines have been mostly built at Barrow.
        The new aircraft carriers are assembled and fitted out at Rosyth, the Clyde being too narrow. But sections have mostly come from Clyde ( as well as Portsmouth, Birkenhead and Tyne)
        The yards on the Tyne and at Belfast have mostly closed as well, just leaving the naval dockyards at Devonport and Portsmouth. They dont build ships any more, just overhauls.

        The nuclear base was established at Gare Loch off the Firth of Clyde from the beginning when the first polaris subs were built, and Clyde shipbuilding was still strong.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    The most amazing thing about Trident (and the need for an “independent” nuclear deterrent) is how it now completely distorts the UK’s defence spending, how it has wrecked Britain’s military R&D and how the nuclear deterrent poisons inter-service relations within the UK military.

    Firstly, replacing the nuclear submarine fleet will absorb up to a third of the sixty+ billion the UK spends per annum on military matters for 10-15 years and 15% of all spending over the next thirty. This is a staggering amount – it is about the same as Israel spends on defence. Trident means a country that has the fifth biggest defense budget in the world has a stunted army, a truncated air force and a shrinking (conventional) Navy. All so Britain can maintain an “independent” nuclear deterrent and with it cling to the fantasy that it is still a great power.

    Secondly, Trident – actually, the entire nuclear deterrent – has proved ruinous for the UK’s military R&D and infrastructure with all sorts of programs being proposed, cancelled and generally chaos reigning.

    Thirdly, the history of the British nuclear deterrent goes a something like this – in the fifties it was the job of the RAF with it’s nuclear V bomber (Valiants, Victors and Vulcans) force and with the advent of the ballistic missile submarine it became the job of the RN. Whoever has the nuclear deterrent has the bulk of the money. The Royal Navy knows this, so will do whatever it takes to hang on to it, even though that means the Royal Navy’s surface fleet has been ruinously run down. Next in the queue for cash is the RAF, a service notorious for it’s Trenchardian insularity and one eager to wrest the primary nuclear deterrent back from the Navy given half a chance. Finally comes the army, which now sits at a paltry 82,000 men (plus reserves) and which has suffered from being for the last 25 years the cinderella service. These economic realities has entrenched into the British military branches (which already suffer from a very British excessive innate conservatism and inter-service xenophobia) a deeply Balkanised inter-service rivalry for funding which is a disaster when it comes to making rational funding choices – just witness the fiasco of the two new six+ billion pound RN aircraft carriers, one which will be immediately mothballed for want of funds to operate it and neither of which will a proper airwing to fly off them until at least the middle of the next decade!

    And all so the Tories can lustily sing “Rule, Britannia” at the Last Night of the Proms and still believe the words.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      and neither of which will a proper airwing to fly off them until at least the middle of the next decade!

      Part of that being the UK’s involvement in another expensive and behind schedule debacle: the US F-35 Lightning II.

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