Tag Archives: nuclear weapons policy working group

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

The ethics surrounding the nuclear weapons debate

Members of the Nuclear Weapons Working Group are presenting their personal views as part of a wider consultation process into the party’s future policy on nuclear weapons. The full consultation paper can be found at www.libdems.org.uk/autumn-conference-16-policypapers and the consultation window runs until 28 October. Party members are invited to attend the consultation session at party conference in Brighton, to be held on Saturday 17 September at 1pm in the Balmoral Room of the Hilton.

The UK’s options for the successor to Trident are (boiled down to essentials):

  1. Same as now – nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines, only new.
  2. Keep most or all of the kit but stop continuous nuclear armed submarine patrols, unless circumstances change.
  3. Shift from missiles in submarines to bombs dropped from aircraft.
  4. Don’t keep nuclear weapons but do keep the expertise and the radioactive materials needed to make them, just in case.
  5. No nuclear weapons. Unilateral disarmament. The zero option.

I have been invited to write about these options in the light of ethical and humanitarian concerns.

Nuclear weapons are not really weapons of war. They are beyond war. They are means of annihilating life as we know it on this planet. There are about 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world today, which in a full nuclear conflict could comfortably exterminate us all.

They are so destructive that their use in pursuit of a traditional victory is impossible. They are not made to be used, but to make threats with. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 11 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarexpats 16th Jan - 11:13am
    Joseph Bourke 15th Jan '19 - 11:52pm.... The sale of council homes has been a major cause of homelessness and high rents; in short, a...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 16th Jan - 11:13am
    @ Chris Moore, PS Forgot to add that Energlyn Chruchill, the author of the second link makes the same point in the article: "The Liberal...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 16th Jan - 11:11am
    Glenn, how effective any business is in meeting the needs of its customers comes down to the quality of management and the culture of the...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 16th Jan - 11:05am
    @ Chris Moore, "What is this bullshit about Lib Dems and Remainers not showing an interest in what goes on elsewhere in the EU? "...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 16th Jan - 11:02am
    @frankie "I don’t have to claim I’ve been hacked" @Glenn "That really was not me. I didn’t say I was hacked." See also: "Martin" at...
  • User AvatarNigel Jones 16th Jan - 10:53am
    Maybe it was a cracker of a speech within the context of the House of Lords and would have gone down really well among Liberals...