.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, April 05, 2013

Finding an alternative to Trident

Despite being in a Coalition Government there are issues on which the Liberal Democrats remain apart from the two main parties on a point of principle and, I would argue leading the agenda. The most obvious of these issues is the replacement of Trident submarines, a programme that both the Conservatives and Labour are commited to and which has generated new headlines recently because of the tangential issue of North Korea.

The Prime Minister seems determined to link the two issues and, as the Independent reports is prepared to publicly criticise and misrepresent the Liberal Democrats for their failure to agree with him. He has questioned how anyone can "seriously argue" that now is the right time to surrender our deterrent, when the threat is "evolving". The threat though is not very well defined and in my view, has the same status as the mythical weapons of mass destruction which Tony Blair used  as an excuse to conduct an illegal war in Iraq.

Fortunately, we have Liberal Democrats MPs of the calibre of Sir Malcom Bruce to respond. he said: "We do accept the case for a nuclear deterrent and we are not in favour of unilateral disarmament. We are saying we shouldn't replace Trident on a like-for-like basis but we are looking at alternative nuclear deterrents once Trident has passed its sell-by date.

"But we also recognise that the cost of a nuclear deterrent is extremely high and there are many people inside the Ministry Of Defence and the armed forces who desperately want to ensure that we have the latest and most up-to-date conventional equipment and would be extremely concerned if that was prejudiced by a very heavy commitment to a budget for replacement of a nuclear deterrent which by definition is not used, as opposed to weaponry which they need. If that's compromised then other defence commitments would be undermined."

This is one issue that we will not and need not compromise as part of the coalitoin government.
Another example of sitting on the fence. "We want a cheaper nuclear deterrent!"

Like on most of the other issues, I suspect that Clegg, Cable et al will fall off the fence on the Tory side. Why do I think that, because they are very precariously balanced between a rock and a hard place - unpalatable policies among the LibDem faithful and the likelihood of electoral annihilation.

Now, House of Lords and electoral reform... why do these come to mind so readily?
A cheaper alternative???? Don't make me laugh - a pass leader (Menzies Campbell)of the Lib-Dems dissed the cheapest option: nuclear bombs - which can be recalled unlike Trident ICBMs which pack multiple independently pre-targetable nuclear warheads which act like swarms.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?