Tag Archives: Jackie Baillie

Trident: Call It What It Is… The British WMD Programme

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Photo: commonspace.scot

Tomorrow the Westminster Parliament will debate and vote on whether to renew the British Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Programme, commonly known as Trident. Now I’m not saying the euphamism Trident makes it any more morally acceptable, but it helps mask the reality. Saying “I support Britains WMD Programme” would go down at the dinner table like a cup of cold sick. WMD’s are for foreigners, evil despots and tyrants. Supporting “Trident” on the other hand is patriotic, responsible, safe and righteous.

Baillie Trident

The MOD says that Trident supports 520 civilian jobs

Trident supports British jobs. The number of jobs depends on the sources you listen to. Labour MSP Jackie Baillie claims that over 11,000 jobs are dependent on Britains WMD Programme in the Faslane area and beyond. The MOD has said that their are 520 civilian jobs at Faslane. The MOD figures are verifiable, Ms Baillies figure is not and expands at every turn, having gone from 7,600 to 11,000 in the blink of an eye.

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I say that Trident supports 11,000 jobs.* Only one of which matters to Jackie…

I myself worked on the construction of Faslane in the late 1980’s. I was employed building the office blocks which would house the administrative side of the base. I was witness to the horrific waste of public money which went on there. On one occasion a naval officer came in to where we were working and ordered that a recently tiled kitchen area be redone as he “didn’t like it”. He wasn’t paying, so what the hell. That was simply one example, and if that attitude is still prevalent it’s an indicator of where the final cost will be: far higher that the estimate. Jumped up Admirals are always free with other peoples money.

Like I say, I worked in construction. You can attribute many unrelated jobs to Britains WMD programme if you put your mind to it. Delivery drivers, local shops, pubs, transport, stationery and office supplies, you can extend this to the nth degree. It still doesn’t make it morally right.

In the Second World War the Nazi’s had a network of death camps across Europe. They too employed people, they were supported by a network of other industries which fed off them; the railways which delivered the prisoners, the need for food, fuel and supplies, the staff who worked there and the families who lived nearby and who also turned a blind eye to what was on THEIR doostep. No one would have discussed death camps and mass exterminations, these were “bath houses”, “special installations” and “actions”. No one in their right mind would suggest that death camps should be kept because they were good for the economy, so why would anyone try the same line with Weapons of Mass Destruction? Backing Britains Trident WMD Programme should be as socially unacceptable as backing concentration camps as a job creation scheme. So why is that not the case?

Using the right language avoids the need to actually address what you are dealing with. Trident is a holocaust programme for killing hundreds of thousands of people in the blink of an eye: the Nazi dream of industrialised killing is writ large for the modern age. Britains WMD Programme should be called out for what it is; a mobile WMD threat against other countries and a guarantee of a seat at the international top table for the shrinking remnants of a dead empire.

Britains Nuclear Deterrent failed to deter Argentina, it failed to deter the IRA and will fail to deter in future. With a No First Strike policy it’s not a deterrent, it’s a weapon of retaliation, of revenge.

If you want to create jobs, build infrastructure, build housing, build hospitals. Employ builders and teachers and doctors. Invest in useable conventional armed forces whose job is to defend us, not a nuclear armed one whose job is to implement aggressive British foreign policy abroad. If you did all of that you still wouldn’t have spent a fraction of what a new generation of WMD’s would. Given all these arguments, why aren’t Labour MP’s and MSP’s demanding investment in peace, instead of investment in fear?

Cap In Hand

Letter To The Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser, 11/10/15

Airdrie and coatbridge Advertiser, 07/10/15

Airdrie and coatbridge Advertiser, 07/10/15

Dear Sir, 

If I say something which is patently false over and over does that make it true? This seems to be Anti-Scottish Labours latest tactic, and seems to be working as well as the previous ones, and by that I mean it can easily be disproved by any reasonably intelligent adult within a few minutes.

Ursula Craigs letter in last weeks Advertiser made the claim that because the current Scottish Government had a £350 Million budgetary underspend in the last financial year they are somehow withholding money from areas where it is needed to exaggerate the effects of austerity so that Westminster can be blamed. One of the problems in trying to run a country which voted not to stand on its own two feet in the world is that finances are “pooled and shared” and without real tax raising powers there’s little that can be done to change things. Our wealth goes south to Westminster and we get a bit of it (not all of it mind) back to spend as we see fit. 

Imagine if you will that the Scottish Government managed to budget right down to the last penny. What reserves would it have to deal with emergencies? Where would the money come from if there is an exceptionally severe winter and the country grinds to a halt because the grit has run out and there is no cash to procure more? Where would the cash come from if there was a medical emergency which required the purchase of a huge amount of vaccine? Where would the money come from if Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems teamed up to force through a major construction project in our capital city, only to mismanage it to such an extent it needed someone to bail it out? Would people be happy if the Scottish Government had to go cap in hand to Westminster saying “We’ve spent our allowance, please Sir, can we have some more?” Because that is exactly what would happen if every last penny was spent. The Scottish Government, no matter which party controls it, cannot borrow money as other countries do. It cannot create or raise taxes as other countries do. It can simply cut and reallocate its pocket money. 

In it’s time in power Labour managed to create a peak budgetary underspend of around £718 million pounds; that’s over twice the amount of cash that the SNP have in reserve. In fact a smaller underspend indicates that the SNP Scottish Government are squeezing more out of the budget and making sure that more money makes its way to where it is needed than the previous Labour dominated administrations did. Which is why it’s a bit rich to see so called political heavyweights like Jackie Baillie talking mince on this subject to any media outlet which will carry her words. This is the same Jackie Baillie who complained that the Scottish Government would have no money for emergencies “in case Orkney sank”. Only last year was she herself reported to have claimed a whole fifth of the total annual expenses of all other MSPs COMBINED for food and drink for hosting meetings. It would perhaps be more fitting if Ms Baillie stopped talking Scotland down and at the same time reined in her own out of control spending. She campaigned for a pocket money parliament, it’s time she started pulling her weight to make it work. 

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy,

 

Tom Clarke MP, Oil Fund and Election 2015 (Advertiser 11/01/15)

Letter to the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser:

Dear Sir,

The glee which Tom Clarke revels in over the latest oil prices was barely concealed in his column in last weeks Advertiser. By his estimate around 35,000 jobs are now under threat of being lost. Yet these are 35,000 jobs which we were told by the likes of Mr Clarke and by his cronies in the Tory Party that would be safer under the “broad shoulders” of the UK. Well here we are, apparently not so Better Together. The crisis is here and those broad shoulders are shrugging and saying it is up to the SNP to come with a solution.

What is even more sickening is when the likes of Labour’s Jackie Baillie try to make capital out of this by demanding that the SNP set up a resilience fund to help cope for times when the oil price slumps. Ms Baillie has spent much of the last two years campaigning against an oil fund. Indeed a mere five months ago she on behalf of the Labour Party was stating that creating such a fund would strip money from essential public services. This clearly demonstrates that the problem with telling lies is that you have to remember which lies you have told, otherwise you end up contradicting yourself.

Since the 1970’s successive Labour and Tory governments have refused to set up any such fund, so why call for one now? The 1974 McCrone Report which was also covered up by successive Labour and Tory governments recommended setting up an oil fund, so again I wonder, why call for one now, and why call for one from a government which doesn’t actually control that revenue stream? The answer is simple. On May 7th Mr Clarke and all his colleagues are facing annihilation at the polls. Labours actual membership figures are so low that they will not release them while the SNP are now the 3rd largest party in the UK. You can almost smell the fear from Mr Clarke and his colleagues because this is a horror movie scenario for them. One by one they wait to be picked off, not knowing who is safe and who is next for the chop, so they run around wildly, panicking and shouting nonsense.

Mr Clarke’s last statement in his column was that the Scottish people aren’t daft. He’s right in that respect. We aren’t daft enough to fall for the flip-flopping lies that the Red Tories are throwing around, we aren’t daft enough to believe that voting Labour will keep the Tories out (which it didn’t in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992 or 2010) and we won’t be daft enough to vote Labour on May 7th.  

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy,