trident – or better ways to spend £20bn

now this is an odd one, Tony has announced that due to the terrorist threat we need to maintain and upgrade (albeit to a lesser extent) our super dooper multi-multi-megaton-warhead-bearing submarine delivered nuclear ‘deterrent’. the reasoning ? well I’ll quote:

“it would be unwise and dangerous for Britain, alone of any of the nuclear powers, to give up its independent nuclear deterrent.”

 “it is not utterly fanciful” to “imagine states sponsoring nuclear terrorism from their soil”.

I have three problems with this course we seem to be being steered upon :

The deterrence premise is fundamentally flawed 

I can’t believe is there anyone who actually thinks ( and I include the leaders of these sponsoring powers ) that Britain would consider a retaliatory let alone pre-emptive nuclear strike against  another nation to defend ourselves against an actual or perceived threat. no British prime minister would dare risk such a strike as they would be roundly condemned probably hounded from office and would leave a truly monstrous legacy. if anyone did consider such a course they are patently insane and should not be allowed access to such power.

As world diplomats we need to appear consistent 

How can we be so hypocritical to  insist that other countries do not strive to acquire a nuclear capability when we feel it’s so important that we have one? politicians in the UK still insist on referring to us as a world power, I’m not sure that we can lay claim to this anymore as to be honest most of what we do can have little effect on theworld as a whole – sure we hang around with the big boys and rubber stamp their descisions but does anyone actually listen. if we have a role it’s as the world diplomatic corps and we need to appear balanced and impartial. having a medium sized stick and hanging around with the biggest boy in the playground does nothing for us,better to be the peace maker.

it’s appalling value for money  

if we’re really worried about deterrence we should take the £20bn and invest it in improving the lot of persecuted people around the world, as we are all supposed to be petrified of moslem extremism a mere £100m  put into improved sanitation and healthcare in Ramallah would go far further than 20 times that spent on a cold war weapons system better suited for levelling cities than taking out suicide bombers.  Unlike other courses of action philanthropy goes a long way to neutralising threats from within and without and has no restrictive effect on the british populace.

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