Tag Archives: trident

Is Trident’s successor a white elephant?

On Saturday afternoon Spring Conference debates motion F11 “Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons” which actually endorses the government’s plans to replace Trident with Successor at a cost of £200 billion, twice the original estimate.  The motion also talks about developing multilateral negotiations and ending Continuous-at-sea Deterrence (CASD) but in essence it supports a like-for-like deterrent, which we opposed through the coalition years.

I was on the working group which drafted the report which this motion approves, but I don’t agree. I’m tabling an amendment which agrees with most of the motion’s analysis and call for beefing up negotiations but also calls for Trident to be phased out and NOT replaced.

Many party members have long supported ending the UK’s nuclear weapons but others have placed their faith in nuclear deterrence on balance.  People may feel the global security situation inclines them more than ever to support replacing Trident with the Successor programme.  The argument can be summarised as “Oh my God, Putin !, Oh my God, Trump !  We better have our own nukes”.  I originally felt that the party’s latest working group on the subject was a waste of time.  Nothing had changed.  But I was wrong.  

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments

Labour blocks Trident debate to avoid embarrassment for Corbyn

As if there wasn’t going to be enough fun and games at Labour’s Conference next week, it now appears that they will not get the chance to debate the thorny issue of Trident, which will no doubt upset a lot of people.

Motions on both sides of the argument, including one submitted by a Scottish Labour constituency called on conference to note that cancelling Trident would “result in thousands of redundancies” at “world-class engineering centres” in Barrow, Derby, Faslane and Rosyth.”

A motion from the area which most benefits from the jobs created by the submarine base at Faslane in favour of renewal was rejected.

From the Mirror:

The move follows fears that Mr Corbyn, a former vice chair of CND and a long-standing opponent of Trident , would have lost if the issue was pushed to a vote.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Have party members come any closer to a common view on nuclear weapons?

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. 741  party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Nuclear weapons have always been a tricky issue for Liberal Democrats. In Bournemouth last year, the vote on whether to renew Trident was knife-edge close. We’ve been fudging the issues for years and the day of reckoning approaches. The Bournemouth  debate resulted in a working group being set up to fully investigate the possibilities.  They outline five options in a consultation paper here.

The first 3 options provide for some sort of nuclear weapon. They are supported by 59.11% but only 23.62% support like for like replacement.

Continue with the successor programme to Trident  23.62%

Contingency posture (partial replacement) 25.37%

Airborne Deterrent 10.12%

The two options which don’t involve having nuclear weapons are supported by 40.89%

Virtual capability 9.31%

Zero option 31.58%

Does this mean that the divide is growing? We’ll have to wait till Spring Conference in York to find out.

Here are some of the comments people made:

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

How nuclear weapons violate your rights

 

Most of us have an idea how nuclear bombs work; history has taught us just how destructive they are. However, the argument still persists that world peace can only be achieved when the most powerful nations have enough of them to guarantee upon each other, mutually assured destruction. At this present time, with the renewal of Trident firmly on the Government’s agenda, I feel now is a good time for people to express their views on the morality, legality, and practicality of utilizing nuclear weapons.

The after effects of detonating nuclear bombs are well documented. The fallout unleashed by current nuclear weapons would create an environment that is so radioactive that future generations of people will almost certainly be affected by it. This situation leads to a challenging question: If generations that had nothing to do with a war that was fought at a time prior to their birth, but suffer the effects of that war even after it has ended, then is that not a catastrophic infringement of article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that states: ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family’ (Un.org, 2016)? If you have to suffer radiation poisoning through no fault of your own, through actions that took place before you were born, then how can it be said your right to a healthy life is being protected?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 38 Comments

With his Trident stance Corbyn shows himself to be no fan of ‘new politics’

Few words stir the heart of the politically interested than ‘a new politics’, and quite right too, for who on earth wants the status quo?

But the utterer of that rather normative phrase is immediately pitched a political challenge, to keep on board those who are the bedrock of their support, while also delivering something challenging enough to be new.

Jeremy Corbyn is a man with far less personal ambition than he has integrity and honour, and that may be ‘new’ for a politician in the UK right now, but it is not enough to qualify as ‘new politics’.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Labour and Trident

I would have thought it almost impossible to come up with a Trident policy dafter than the one the Liberal Democrats were saddled with at the last general election, but Jeremy Corbyn and his trade union colleagues seem to have done just that. They are seriously proposing buying the submarines but no warheads. The submarines are to be a job-creation scheme to satisfy unions who care more about their members’ jobs than about the overall national interest. These giant submarines are the main cost of the Trident renewal program, £16bn for the four of them? Who knows exactly?

Posted in Op-eds | 29 Comments

Words I can’t mention

 

I learned a valuable lesson on LDV last week and that is that there are some words so emotionally charged that their mere mention provokes a pre-programmed response more incendiary than the sight of a cat to a Staffy. So while I wanted to talk about the Lib Dem take on populist green causes I naively opened my piece with a discussion of the F-word and at that point lost my audience. I won’t make the mistake of stepping on that particular land mine again, you know the one I mean, the issue of vulpine persecution, Basil Brush meets the Hound of the Baskervilles?

Another topical tantrum trigger, one that is splitting Corbyn’s Labour party this week is the T-word – Neptune’s toasting fork (7 letters). No, I can’t say it for fear of unleashing a figurative Armageddon on the terrors of the real thing and blowing any chance of getting to the punch line.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 26 Comments
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