That vote tomorrow
Tom Watson MP makes the case for voting with the Government on Trident replacement with complete clarity and common sense on his site.
In 50 years time when the very submarines being decided on now are still the basis of our national security we may well have cause to thank him and others for taking a tough political call under a lot of pressure.
At the same time, the integrity of (most) of the MPs voting the other way and the sincerity with which they will argue their case are not in question.
Looking down the list of MP signatories of the rebel amendment I can see Frank Dobson, my boss in my first real job as an Agent, who was kind enough to speak at my adoption meeting at the last General Election; and Doug Naysmith who was my friend and mentor in politics in Bristol when I was a student, and whose campaign in Bristol NW in 1992 was my first - and most painful - General Election campaign. Neither of them would vote lightly on such an important issue - they believe they are doing the right thing.
Unilateralism vs. multilateralism was the key fight that inspired me to start going to Labour Party meetings in 1988 (I hoped I could help Neil Kinnock get his policy review through against CND by turning up to Canterbury Branch LP - I'm not sure I had that much impact).
I know that the Labour MPs voting on this tomorrow will all feel they are doing the right thing, which ever way they vote. I hope the majority of them listen to Tom (and the frontbench) and make the right call. This one is too important to get wrong.