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.

It also spares the Labour leader from having to take opposing sides to his union backers who are in favour of retaining the country’s fleet of nuclear submarines.

It’s interesting because Scottish Labour debated the renewal of Trident last year and now has policy against it. At UK level, policy is still for renewal. Jeremy Corbyn would like that to change.

I suppose having the debate might expose a split in their party, which would be a terrible shame because we all know how very united they are on everything else.

Industrial supplies of popcorn will be required for those of us watching the events unfold.

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7 Comments

  • There are arguments for and against Trident. What makes no sense is the Lib Dem “split the difference” policy of keeping trident but reducing the number of submarines carrying trident. To have them not 24/7 makes no sense at all. If you believe Trident is necessary – I assume you’d also believe our enemies would not give advance notice.

    Instead of sneering at Labour – the Lib Dems need to sort out their own nuclear policy

  • The anonymous posting above is more than unfortunate. So far as the Liberal Democrats are concerned, the notion of ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’, comes to mind.

    When I first joined the Party in the early sixties we were opposed to the “so called independent nuclear deterrent” : (quote, Jo Grimond). The issue has been a running sore ever since the seventies and the official position now is neither fish nor foul. It was made more complex with the rise of the SDP.

    I was at Bournemouth twelve months ago and there was a real unhappiness that the issue was effectively pushed into the long grass with a lot of arm twisting behind the scenes – and on the platform – by the party establishment…. It has left a lot of bad feeling.

  • Are we really that hard up on specialist engineering jobs that unemployment comes into whether we should keep, reduce or relinquish trident? Why don’t we try investing in something that will have a lasting positive impact?

  • Given the title of this article on its own, I wonder if I should just say “Am I supposed to be surprised?”. Hmm.

  • Dave Orbison 22nd Sep '16 - 7:35am

    I’m not sure the anti Corbyn narrative to this, consistent with their stance throughout the Labour Leadership election, is reliable. By split does the Mirror suggest there is a difference of opinion on this important issue? Well of course there is a difference of opinion as there is with the LibDems see LDV. The relative proportions as to each side of the argument are irrelevant.

    Next it is suggested that Corbyn would ‘lose’. Well that’s OK why should any party have to fall in line with the leader’s view on everything. What would be democratic about that?

    Ironically the antiCorbyn faction had been boasting of their control of conference proceedings only a week or so ago. Given their self-destruct mode that is operating by some in the Labour Party why would they pass on another opportunity to embarrass Corbyn.

    Labour certainly have a lot to do to get their house in order. Corbyn is committed to giving the membership a direct say in determining policy – this being one a source of much consternation by the PLP.

    I welcome Corbyn’s commitment to democratisation of party policy. I hope the LibDems will go down this road too. As for Trident I recognise the sincerity of everyone with differing views.

    Perhaps post Brexit we should learn to try and keep the debate focuses on the scrutiny of arguments of either side rather than trying to use it to score the odd (in every sense) party political point. Good luck with the debate in the LibDems when it eventually comes round.

  • Dave Orbison 22nd Sep '16 - 7:39am

    Apologies for typos -too early in the morning.

    In last para I meant to say “… keep the debate focussed on the scrutiny of arguments …”

  • Bernard Aris 26th Sep '16 - 8:58pm

    Just watch the BBC News this monday (26th of September, 18.00 hours GMT):
    The PLP Defence Spokesman at the Labour Party conference is reported to have thrown a tantrum when party forces at the last moment forced him to alter the text of his conference speech about Trident. Standing ast the rostrum, he was waffling on both sides of the argument, as far as I could make out.
    According to the BBC, this leak has promptly overshadowed the “red call to arms” by the shadow chancellor proclaiming “SOCIALISM” as the cure-all against toryism.
    In my eyes, the leaking of this rumour reminds everybody of the “briefing war” that went on between Mr. Blairs No. 10 and Mr. Browns No. 11 Downing Street, and people who remember the 1970’s and ’80’s remember the briefing wars between Militant powerhouses like Liverpool and the GLC and the moderate wing of Labour.
    And the Dutch press is full of death threats and antisemitism being on the rise in the Labour Party since Monumentum got organized… and Corbyn condoning such “comradely behavior” because it is his side doing the stone throwing…

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