Tag Archives: Trident

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?

Letter to The National: Trident and Trolls

Submitted to The National, 07/11/15

Dear Sir,

I read Keith Howell’s letter in The National where he said those MSP’s who supported Trident should not be seen as pro WMD, but as multilateral disarmists, and I noted Brian Quails response where he states that Mr Howell’s view is “hideously wrong”.

Readers should perhaps be aware of Mr Howell’s history. He regularly points out his perceived evils of Scottish nationalism to newspapers across Scotland and the globe: In 2014 he personally took out a full page advert in the Metro newspaper where he railed against Scottish independence, he runs a hardline unionist website, where he describes himself as a “moderate provocateur”. I feel that I would not be wrong in saying that rocks would melt under the sun before he found a positive case for anything which advanced the cause of Scottish nationalism or indeed was complementary of any policy advanced by a nationalist party, and that The National would in future be better using the room wasted on his words, which are at all times against the very cause which brought this paper into being, to continue to print views which collectively discuss how we can shape and bring about a better Scotland.

If I want to read views such as Mr Howells there are plenty other newspapers I can read, and I choose not to. Mr Howells actions in writing to the National are the same as those people who seek out online pro-independence discussions to disrupt them, in modern parlance ‘trolling’. The National should remember the number one rule in this sphere: do not feed the trolls.

Yours,
James Cassidy

 

Why Scotland Needs Trident

Letter to The National, 30/09/15

Dear Sir,

Having been a long time opponent of Trident, I have now come around to the view that rather than ditching Trident, Scotland must instead have its own independent nuclear deterrent. I had a discussion with a pro-Trident unionist recently and I thought I had made a good case, pointing out that as an independent country within NATO and the EU we were unlikely to have any fears of invasion. “But what about Ukraine?” he cried. I pointed out that the situation in Ukraine was completely different and could not be used as a comparison to Scotland: “It’s not as if we have a nuclear armed country bordering us which has hankerings for its former days in control of a vast empire, which would like to take over our resources and which is led by a man who thumbs his nose at international law” I said. It was of course at this point that I realised the complete folly of my argument, and see that of all the countries in the world that need nuclear protection, an independent Scotland would be top of the list.

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy

Pamela Nash, Nukes and Gender Inequality (Advertiser 27/01/15)

 An edited verion of this letter appeared in the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser

Dear Sir, 

Was I alone in spotting the delicious irony displayed in last weeks Advertiser, where on one half of the page Labour MP Pamela Nash was bemoaning the plight of women across the UK suffering due to the gender pay gap, while on the other half of the page it detailed how Labour run North Lanarkshire Council was dodging its responsibilities and trying to diddle women out of money they were due as they had been paying them less than men? Labour MPs and MSPs are on a daily basis appearing to be a parody of the well known Iraqi Gulf War Information Minister Comical Ali, who was well known for making statements completely at odds with facts. Take Pamela Nash (someone PLEASE take Pamela Nash!) for example. Stuck on transmit, she never responds to questions from difficult constituents and has actually closed off the facility to comment from her website. She has in the past claimed that she voted against the bedroom tax (she was in Austria at the time), that she has voted against the Tories austerity (she voted for it) and that she has voted against fracking (she abstained). I honestly am starting to feel embarrassed for her. Every time she takes to social media the public are shooting down her claims within minutes. I’m just waiting for her to state that “there are no claims of impropriety between North Lanarkshire Council and Mears…”

These pronouncements pale into insignificance when you read her website where she has made a statement regarding why she has done her bit to rid the world of nuclear weapons by voting to buy more. Her conscience, last seen many years ago heading off in the opposite direction, would not let her leave the people of Airdrie and Shotts at the mercy of the Russians and the North Koreans. I wasn’t aware that Vladimir Putin had his eyes on Airdrie. Perhaps he’s after the football stadium, while Kim Jong Un is after the John Smith Pool. It certainly can’t be for our heavy industry, our manufacturing base or our rich mineral wealth. As any old military hand can tell you, the threat comes from capability combined with intention. Russia has capability, but no intention. North Korea perhaps has intention, but no capability. Ms Nash is selling us a lie based on the creation of a climate of fear. The retention, and indeed renewal of the UK’s nuclear arsenal is intended to keep the UK at the top table internationally, nothing else. This was at the heart of the Better Together ideal, a nuclear capable UK strutting on the world political stage. If continued austerity is the price they have to pay, then they will happily pay it. And by “they” I mean “us”. Any thoughts of the SNP propping up a Labour government in exchange for their scrapping of Trident can therefore be put to bed now, as I have no doubt that the Labour Party would see a coalition with the Tories a more acceptable venture. Pamela Nash and her colleagues will tell you that they are aiming to win a majority government. I could tell you that I will be crowned Mr Universe. Truth is, neither of them will happen, and the latter looks more feasible. We have a simple choice in May. Vote Labour and get an opposition who repeatedly fail to oppose, or vote SNP and get an opposition who will be speaking up for us at every turn. As for me, I’d best get to work on my abs… 

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy,