Tuesday 28 February 2012

Tuppence a bomb

The Sunday Times carried a large article (protected by their paywall) on the Lib Dems’ proposal for a cheaper replacement for Trident, under the dismissive headline “tuppenny Trident”.  Contrary to the impression which a number of Lib Dem politicians have tried to give over a lengthy period, which is that the party is opposed to nuclear weapons, it seems that they are only really opposed to expensive ones.  As long as they can get cheap ones, then they’re quite happy to support the development and deployment of a new generation of nuclear weapons.
To say that their alternative proposal would only cost tuppence is an exaggeration to say the least; their proposals would still mean spending billions of pounds on weapons of mass destruction rather than using the money for peaceful economic development; it’s just a smaller number of billions. 
For that, they’d get slower, shorter range missiles.  To the extent that such weapons actually deter anyone at all – and I certainly don’t believe that they do – it seems that the Lib Dems are setting their sights somewhat lower in terms of who they want to deter.
There is also the little matter of the illegality under international treaties of developing and deploying a new nuclear weapons system, but it seems that the Lib Dems, just like the Labour and Conservative parties, believe that international treaties are things which only apply to other people.  And all three parties appear to be convinced that possessing bigger sticks that the other kids is the way to ensure ‘influence’ in the world. 
It’s an outdated view of the world, but one which is hard to shift.  And in the meantime, our taxes will continue to be spent on unnecessary and useless weaponry in pursuit of that outmoded view, whichever of the three parties exercises power in London.


Anonymous said...

If you have library card, and you register with http://librarywales.org/ (current and valid library card will be needed) you can view text based articles of most newspapers, including Sunday Times for free. Another great reason why we should use the local library.

Unknown said...

While WMD are literally useless, (we can't use them without being wiped out ourselves), the huge and increasing amounts of money that are being spent on real and present threats from terrorists come out of a different budget, and so are not weighed against WMD when prioritising spending. They should all come under the MoD.

BTW, I love the new Devo+ movement in Scotland, because before they know it, they will be reduced to just defending the retention of WMDs very close to the largest concentration of population in Scotland. Good luck with that!