Trident – a wasted opportunity


It was extremely disappointing to see the remarkably low turnout yesterday to debate renewing the Trident Nuclear weapon system, especially as it comes with a price tag of £100 billion!

Not surprisingly as a Defence minister and Conservative Anna Soubry voted in favour of the renewal. What was more concerning is the lack of Labour MP’s in attendance and the vast majority if those who did attend also voting with the Tories in favour of renewal. Needless to say Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was in attendance and Voted NOT to renew.

It was only last week that Labour and the Tories also voted for £30 billion of more austerity. £100 billion would virtually re pay the portion of the deficit being addressed by austerity.

Nuclear weapons have no legitimate purpose. Their use would be illegal under virtually every conceivable circumstance as huge civilian casualties would be unavoidable. Nuclear weapons kill indiscriminately and the radioactive fallout from their use know no geographical boundaries and therefore affect the entire planet.

Senior military figures including Field Marshal Lord Bramall, General Lord Ramsbotham, General Sir Hugh Beach and Major-General Patrick Cordingley have questioned the long-term consequences for the military and the defence equipment budget if the Trident replacement was pursued. When we face a situation where our armed forces are left without basic equipment and are made redundant how can £100 billion be justified on a weapons system we all must pray is never used.


The main argument for retaining a nuclear system is as a deterrent. A deterrent to what? The rest of continental Europe with the exception of France do not have a nuclear ‘deterrent’ and I do not see they are facing threats from nuclear warhead holding countries and so why would we?

It’s interesting to note that the existence of nuclear weapons had no effect on the Korean war, wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, the invasion of Kuwait, the invasion of the Falklands, the Sunni/Shiite war in Syria and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, to name but a few. It also has no effect of the threat we face from ISIS so what exactly is being deterred?

Deterrence is a self-sustaining policy that will only lead to escalating military expenditure. Deterrence with weapons of mass destruction relies on an unconscionable threat.

The Green Party is clear on its stance on nuclear weapons;

The Green Party rejects any reliance on nuclear weapons. This rejection means that we will decommission UK’s own nuclear weapons and insist on the removal of US nuclear bases. No further research will take place into nuclear weapons and the export of nuclear technology will be stopped. Ships carrying nuclear weapons will be banned from British ports.

The £100 Billion pounds committed expenditure passed by Labour and the Tories yesterday could have helped to fund our Crisis hit NHS, our education system, could have ended austerity in fact in could have done so much instead it has been spent on a weapons system the vast majority of countries in the world live safely and happily without and that if ever were used would mean the end of civilisation as we know it today. Nuclear weapons do not deter wars carry on throughout the world against nations with and without a nuclear system, its time to say no more and to abandon our nuclear warhead system and encourage those countries that still retain them to do the same.

David Kirwan – Broxtowe Prospective Parliamentary Candidate     Twitter @davegaz

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