A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, the Labour Party and Hackney - 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.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Guardian letters page

Me, on Trident renewal, in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/labour-recycles-trident-debate

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something marvellous about writing a letter in that tone while criticising divisiveness.

7:41 pm, June 22, 2013

 
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Labour needs to recover what is in fact its own social democratic tradition, with considerable crossover to British paleoconservatism.

Gaitskell’s Campaign for Democratic Socialism explicitly supported the unilateral renunciation of Britain’s nuclear weapons, and the document Policy for Peace, on which Gaitskell eventually won his battle at the 1961 Conference, stated: “Britain should cease the attempt to remain an independent nuclear power, since that neither strengthens the alliance, nor is it now a sensible use of our limited resources.”

Far from representing national pride or independence, our nuclear weapons programme has only ever represented the wholesale subjugation of Britain’s defence capability to a foreign power. That power maintains no less friendly relations with numerous other countries, almost none of which have nuclear weapons.

Like radiological, chemical and biological weapons, nuclear 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, with the possible exception of our supposed ally, Pakistan. Where would any other such organisation keep nuclear weapons in the first place?

Furthermore, the possession of nuclear weapons 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 those 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 the 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. What does any of that have to do with us?

There could not be bigger and more unwise spending, or a more ineffective example of the “Big State”, than nuclear weapons in general and Trident in particular.

Diverting enormous sums of money towards the civil nuclear power that is the real nuclear deterrent, towards public services, towards the relief of poverty at home and abroad, and towards paying off our national debt, 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. It is what Disraeli would have done.

Ed Miliband, over to you.

12:20 am, June 23, 2013

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Luke seriously suggesting that Labour would have won in 1983 and 1987 if it had supported nuclear weapons?

Labour lost in 1992 despite its support for nuclear weapons and what about 2010?

It is interesting that John Woodcock says Trident procurement will safeguard 13,000 jobs.
But, given a likley procurement cost of around £25 billion, that works out at a truly astronomical
£2 million per job!

We should reject his blatant pork barrel politics, and Luke's nuclear superstition, in favour of nuclear disarmament.

4:23 pm, June 24, 2013

 

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