A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I'd prefer four not three. In fact five would make me feel more comfortable. My logic being that if you are spending £20 billion on a national strategic deterrent you might as well spend the extra few billion on a couple more boats to carry it as it is a bit silly to have said deterrent temporarily disabled if one of them has a crash and needs repairing - the total of four boats was always said to be the minimum needed to guarantee keeping one at sea all the time.

Though in fact I still haven't got over the abandonment of the "two power standard" for setting the size of the Royal Navy in 1912 i.e. equal to the next two biggest navies combined (some typical Liberal Minister called Churchill was running the Admiralty then).

I don't buy the "contributing to multilateral disarmament" argument. No one took any notice, let alone cut their own arsenals, when Blair cut the number of warheads from 200 to 160.

I would be interested to know why France considers it needs and can afford 300 warheads carried by a combination of four SSBNs and 60 airplane-launched nuclear missiles for its force de frappe. Maybe they anticipate someone being a future strategic threat that we don't.


Blogger Paul said...

Do you really think we need a nuclear capability so not to be outdone by the French?

6:01 pm, September 23, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you stop talking silly stuff.

Get back in the bath and play with your ducks.

6:01 pm, September 23, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

How about none - that's the most sensible amount.

There is no justification for a so-called 'independent' nuclear deterrent which is entirely controlled by the Americans in any case.

Savings need to be made, and defence is a prime area to do so.

6:06 pm, September 23, 2009

Anonymous Ticonderoga said...

Wow - a sensible post by Akehurst! What a shame the mentalists running the Labour Party are cutting our defences to the redline and beyond...

6:51 pm, September 23, 2009

Blogger Jason arneil said...


I really have never understood why we need to have this capability, but countries like sweden, and norway, and denmark, and the netherlands, and spain, and new zealand, and australia and how ever many hundred more don't?

Are they less safe than us?

Total. Waste. Of money.

7:29 pm, September 23, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


it's about chosing whether the UK's role, status and power in the world should be anywhere near those of other nuclear armed powers or not. One list has China, Russia, the USA and France on it. The other has the - in many other ways wonderful - countries you name on it. If you can't deter nuclear armed bullies from threatening you, you don't have as much freedom of foreign policy action.

I find the idea of a world where Russia and China have nukes and we don't terrifying. We should keep a deterrent all the time any other state has such weapons.

9:08 pm, September 23, 2009

Anonymous tim f said...


How many submarines, and how many warheads do you think would be too many?

10:09 pm, September 23, 2009

Anonymous Ben said...

The comments of complete muppets like Merseymike rather give an indication of how and why electoral defeat will be a disaster for us - because the mentalist left will take over the asylum and start talking absolute crap about the achingly fashionable wet liberal cause du jour instead of considering rather more weighty matters concerning national security and the defence of the state.

Words can't really explain the visceral sense of contempt that I feel for such ahistorical myopic cretins. It is as though the entire span of world history for these people begins in 1991 and ends in 2001.

David Cameron has a stronger understanding of the national interest than the Greens and Liberals and their fellow-travellers within the party. These people cannot be allowed to take over.

1:03 am, September 24, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke: I definitely think that the UK should not have that so-called status or power, because we are no longer a major world power as much as we might want to keep up memories of empire. Neither do I want us to be.
The sooner we recognise this, the sooner we can give up illusions of grandeur and the wastage of money it leads to.
As for France, their relationship with NATO has always been limited and the Gaullist ideal always included the 'force frappe' - such memories linger on. Even the French Communists supported the 'worker's bomb'.

This is a serious discussion, though, and I think that loss of 'foreign policy action' is something I would welcome. I'd rather we took as little part in 'foreign policy' as possible, all told, given that it appears to mean following the Americans in various misadventures. he lnterventionist creed is, in my view, a mistake, and it will be interesting to see how both Obama and the next government - almost certainly Tory - respond.

As for Ben's post, I trust he will soon be following his chum Cameron in his 'national interest' whilst a post-election labour looks towards a renewal of the centre-left in conjunction with radical liberals and greens.

1:28 am, September 24, 2009

Blogger Steve Horgan said...

You are, of course, quite right. If you are going to have a nuclear deterrent then you need one that works. Salami-slicing it as a negotiating ploy is only credible to people who really don't understand the issues at all.

I was just thinking what would be happening if chaps like you were running the Labour Party, and then I remembered: chaps like you did used to run the Labour Party and won three general elections on the trot.

3:56 pm, September 24, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

But they don't make us safer? They are a deterrent and that's all. Tuff choices to be made and I'd prefer the government to concentrate on keeping our troops safe on the ground in Afghanistan and making sure we carry on funding schools and hospitals.

The reality is this government has spent all the money made over the last 10 years on two illegal wars and lots of useless schemes. The first sign of recession they start cutting back on spending when in fact they should have saved to safe guard public spending.

What is the point of investing in public services only to remove that investment. We are going to end up virtually where we started.

While I agree with the government on cutting our nuclear fleet, I don't agree with the cuts planned for education. Brown has lost the spending argument and fallen into a trap laid by the conservatives. He is totally lost.

4:32 pm, September 24, 2009

Anonymous Ben said...

You are a pathetic waste of space and not even a member of the Labour Party, Mersey Mike.

Get over yourself, you sad sack of self-important whining nonsense.

Left wing?


Insinuations of lack of party loyalty?

Have a go joining it in the first place, you hypocritical bloviating wankstain.

People like you make me feel physically sick.

4:46 am, September 27, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

That's really quite a relief, Ben, given your ability to debate rationally

I'm sure you won't reject my vote should I decide to give it to Labour next time.

As for re-joining the Labour party, I think that would be difficult whilst I feel somewhat ambivalent about its policies. never was keen on 'my party right or wrong'...comes of having a brain.

1:45 am, September 29, 2009


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