Westminster politics are currently jumping from one major what-the-fuck to the next. The one I’m hugely upset about right now is the Trident renewal, which was endorsed with huge majority in the House of Commons tonight.
After the SNP leader in the Commons repeatedly asked the question about the total cost of the renewal, he eventually got an answer: £179bn. Yes, one hundred and seventy-nine billion!
There are shed loads of better options to spend such a ludicrous amount of money on: NHS; keeping a war chest for when Britain actually exits the EU and sees its economy tank; pot holes on British roads (which probably cause more injuries and fatalities than any terrorist attack on British soil ever will); education; science & research (projects already on hold after Brexit vote); and many many more.
Instead, a completely dysfunctional so-called opposition has supported the government on the Trident renewal. After watching large chunks of the debate in the Commons live, my impression was that the opposition has mainly voted in favour of it, because Corbyn did not. It’s another abyssmal failure of Westminster, and another example of politicians caring more about whatever questionable agenda they may have, than they care about the country. (This is further supported by the fact that for large chunks of the debate, hardly 1/3 of MPs deemed it necessary to attend.)
The main argument is of course that Trident is supposedly keeping us safe, because we could retaliate against nuclear strikes in a like-for-like fashion, or an eye for an eye. That’s also the reason why one of the submarines is at sea at any given time, in an undisclosed location. The UK could strike back, even if the whole country was wiped out. Sealed orders for such a scenario are on board the sub.
Now, let’s think about the usefulness of this scenario for a moment, which is also the only possible scenario, because the UK will certainly not ever use Trident as a first-strike measure.
Let’s say a country like North Korea, which is quite likely the only country in the world stupid enough to take any chances, would send nukes to Britain (assuming they even had the capability and their nukes don’t fall into the ocean just off their own coast). We will be obliterated. End of. Trident will then do the same to North Korea. Great. Take that you bastards! Problem is, we won’t be around to celebrate it. So what’s the fucking point?
Some may say they will never attack us because we have Trident; that’s the idea of a deterrent… deterring them. Of course. But we are also in the NATO. Any act of war against the UK will automatically turn the NATO against the agressor. The US, also in the NATO, are more than happy to teach the Norks a lesson. They are also more experienced in the art of obliteration by nuclear means. Let them do and celebrate it. It makes absolutely no difference for — then Fallout 4 landscaped– Britain. The combined force of the NATO is a way more effective deterrent than any single nation’s nuke will ever be.
So in short, Trident is a complete and utter waste of money. And if it’s about jobs related to its production and maintenance, affected workers can very easily be re-skilled and put into jobs elsewhere. There’s a lot of good things you can do with £179bn.
It is also worth noting that the PM, Theresa May, was touting unionist rhetoric only days ago. Yet, the Trident renewal has massively fuelled the fire that is Indyref2. 58 out of 59 Scottish MPs in Westminster have voted against the renewal. But parliament has spoken, and unless Scotland becomes independent, it will always be outnumbered and trampled upon.
If I had any say in the SNP (I’m not affiliated with any party), I would push as hard as possible for Indyref2 now. Westminster has never been more helpful in enabling it.