Monday, 12 March 2007

After Trident: Time To Grow Up

Trident was at least useless only in its own ostensibly defensive terms, whereas any new programme would be useless in any terms whatever, in addition to the fact that nuclear weapons (like radiological, chemical and biological weapons) are morally repugnant simply in themselves.

They offer not the slightest defence against a range of loosely-knit, if at all connected, terrorist organisations pursuing a range of loosely-knit, if at all connected, aims in relation to a range of countries while actually governing no state. Where would any such organisation keep nuclear weapons in the first place?

Furthermore, the possession of nuclear weapons, in addition to offending against Islamic (and much other) theological opinion, serves to convey to terrorists and their supporters that Britain wishes to "play with the big boys", thereby contributing to making Britain a target for the terrorist activity against which such weapons are defensively useless. It is high time for Britain to grow up.

Britain's permanent seat on the UN Security Council could not be taken away without British consent, and so does not depend in any way on her possession of nuclear weapons; on the contrary, the world needs and deserves a non-nuclear permanent member of that Council.

Most European countries do not have nuclear weapons, and nor does Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Are these therefore in greater danger? On the contrary, the London bombings of 7th July 2005 were attacks on a country with nuclear weapons, while the attacks of 11th September 2001 were against a country with by far the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. The only "nuclear power" in the Middle East is Israel; is Israel the most secure state in the Middle East?

It is mind-boggling to hear people go on about Iran, whose President is in any case on the way out, is in any case many years away from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and in any case only wants one (if he does, and see above about Islam) to use against the only Middle Eastern country that already has them. What does any of this have to do with us?

A new nuclear weapons programme could only be commissioned on grounds purely ideological in the most irrational and doctrinaire sense of the word.

Nor would any such programme represent or effect national pride or independence, but rather the wholesale subjugation of Britain's defence capability to a foreign power (however friendly). That power maintains at least no less friendly relations with numerous other countries, of which almost none have nuclear weapons.

Diverting enormous sums of money towards public services, and towards the relief of poverty at home and abroad, precisely by reasserting control over our own defence capability, would represent a most significant step towards One Nation politics, with an equal emphasis on the One and on the Nation.

1 comment:

  1. Did Clinton fire her first shot?

    This is from the NY Times on Al Gore. Looks like he is preparing to run for president and the Clinton camp is worried.

    From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype