If a Conservative or a Labour government is elected they will, in the lifetime of the next parliament, commission a replacement for the UK operated, US controlled Trident nuclear weapon delivery system. A strong SNP contingent at Westminster may vainly vote against this, but it will go ahead nonetheless. The SNP are attacked for being willing to leave the UK defenceless against nuclear attack, and I find it odd that they, nor any other opposition party, endorses the purchasing instead of an anti-missile defence system. During the 1991 Gulf War Saudi Arabia was defended with some success from Iraqi SCUD missile attacks by the deployment of Patriot missiles. These missiles were designed to take down enemy missiles in flight, protecting Saudi cities and citizens from attack without the need for immediate and massive retaliation. Other countries such Israel and India already use other similar methods. The UK could be protected by a Patriot style system, a truly defensive and morally acceptable method of defending our shores. It does have one large downside of course. It would see the UK without an offensive nuclear capability and thus without a seat at the top table internationally. That is the real reason why it is a solution that will never be adopted, and why this and future generations will continue with unnecessary austerity under the shadow of nuclear mutually assured destruction.