Hedgehog of mass destruction

Labour in Scotland has passed a resolution against renewing the Trident weapons of mass destruction, Labour in Scotland is now officially against renewing Trident but its leader is in favour. Meanwhile UK Labour is officially in favour of renewing Trident but its leader is against. It’s perfectly straightforward, and another step backward in Labour’s attempts to make sense to the electorate of Scotland. Labour’s now got all the nuclear bases covered, yes, no and maybe. The party is as all over the place as a hedgehog that’s been playing on the M8, only with rather less integrity. Still, at least their heart is in the right place, splattered on the asphalt and being ground into the dirt.

There are still influential voices within the Scottish party who want to renew Trident. Jackie Baillie wants to spend billions on a weapons system that can blow up half the planet because of jobs, which is a bit like encouraging the hedgehog to cause a multiple collision on the M8 motorway because it gives the emergency services something to do, a hedgehog of mass destruction. Jackie’s not very clear on how many jobs depend on renewing Trident, this week it’s 13,000 but a wee while ago it was 11,000, although her erstwhile colleague Ian Davidson claimed it was 22,000. The MoD themselves say that only 520 civilian jobs depend directly on Trident, the others employed making us safe by threatening global destruction are service people who don’t live locally.

Let’s be kind and take Ian’s figure of 22,000 – which is clearly as inflated as Labour’s membership statistics in Scotland, or as the BBC’s estimation of John McTernan’s talents. Since it was reported recently that the cost of Trident renewal is likely to be in the order of £167 billion, that means that each one of these 22,000 fantasy jobs costs £7,591,000. If Jackie had proposed a motion to bung the entire population of her Dumbarton constituency a million per head instead, no one would be caring about the jobs, the country would save over £100 billion, there would be no weapons of genocidal mass destruction on the Clyde, and Jackie would pretty much guarantee her perpetual re-election by the grateful and well-heeled populace of her constituency who would never need to work on the minimum wage as security guards at Faslane ever again. It would be a win-win-win, at least for everyone except people who prefer numerate MSPs. But we shouldn’t complain too much. As things stand, Jackie’s probably going to lose her seat – unless she’s blagged herself a place on the list as it is rumoured that Magrit Curran has.

There is no moral defence of a weapon which is designed to evaporate cities. And anyone who claims that they support the renewal of Trident because they believe in multilateral disarmament doesn’t understand the meaning of the word disarm. You don’t disarm by buying more and bigger and bangier weapons. It’s a good thing that Labour in Scotland has – finally – come out against Trident, but the party’s position on the issue remains as confused as Magrit Curran and her belief that losing one of the party’s safest seats doesn’t mean that the public are sick of her and her sense of entitlement.

During the referendum campaign, Labour spent as much energy as is contained in your average Trident warhead informing the people of Scotland that if we got rid of Trident then we’d be cast out of NATO and would have no protection against maurading North Koreans or space aliens from Alpha Centauri. Apparently advanced extraterrestrial civilisations with technology thousands of years in advance of our own are going to be deterred by our nukes. It’s a bit like believing that a modern army with all its up to date weapons is going to be threatened by a teenager throwing a rock – a proposition which is only taken seriously by the Israeli Defence Forces and US Police Departments.

Still, it’s nice to know that Labour no longer believes that Scotland will be thrown out of NATO because we want to get rid of nukes, even though personally I’d prefer we were not NATO members. Yet another of Project Fear’s scare stories falls apart, and we learn that independence wouldn’t have been the cataclysm promised by Labour’s George Robertson – who has recently taken to voting alongside the Tories to strip the poor of tax credits because if there isn’t going to be a nuclear cataclysm he’ll make sure that the punters face a financial one instead.

It’s good that Labour in Scotland is now officially opposed to Trident renewal, because it shows that there is no doubt about what the Scottish consensus is. But it’s purely symbolic. The truth is of course that it makes no difference that Labour in Scotland is against Trident, just as it makes no difference that the SNP and the Scottish Government are against it. All it does is to reinforce the point that Scotland doesn’t get what Scotland votes for. 83% of Scotland’s MSPs are either opposed to Trident renewal or belong to parties which have passed motions against it. 96.6% of our Westminster MPs are either opposed to Trident renewal or belong to parties which have passed motions against it. That’s as strong a mandate as you’re going to get in a country which, despite Unionist protestations to the contrary, is not an SNP one party state.

It makes no difference though, because we do live in a one party state – we live in a Westminster establishment one party state. Scotland will get what the Tories we didn’t vote for tell us we’re getting. That’s what a No vote meant. A No vote meant we get no say on Trident. A No vote meant we get English Votes for English Laws and a majority of non-Scottish MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee. A No vote meant nukes on the Clyde. A No vote meant Labour could continue to lie to the voters about what’s devolved and what’s not. But we’ve wised up, we know how to get rid of Trident from the Clyde – and it doesn’t involve voting for Jackie Baillie and her pals.



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21 comments on “Hedgehog of mass destruction

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    You should join up with Chris Cairns, between you, your word painting could be wrapped in a Cairn’t toon on any non Unionist newspaper…. er

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Great idea, B the P.

      Have ordered your new book, Paul.

    • Justin Fayre says:

      After reading the ‘new old Sunday Herald’ today and in particular the error ridden piece by the deputy editor re Michelle Thomson,(a piece that wouldn’t be out of place in the Daily Sneer), I think the non unionist media has just been reduced by 50%

  2. mogabee says:

    “Hedgehog of mass destruction”…Wordsmithery of the highest calibre!

    I too have ordered your new book, can’t wait to read it.

  3. Steve Asaneilean says:

    The decision regarding Trident renewal will be made at Westminster.

    At a UK level (Not) Labour voted in favour of renewal (through the back door) at their annual conference.

    Their UK leader is against renewal but has only two options when it comes to the vote. Either a whip in favour is imposed in order to uphold conference (and therefore party) position or a free vote is allowed.

    Whatever way Corbyn votes his position is surely untenable. If he votes in favour or abstains he is clearly hypocritical and cannot contend he has a right to remain leader.

    If he votes against then at best he is voting against the party’s official position as decided at its UK conference. At worst he is voting against a whip that he himself as leader must have endorsed. So again his position is untenable.

    All the Tories need do now at Westminster is hold the renewal debate ASAP and Corbyn must be a goner.

    Likewise all Scottish Government needs to do at Holyrood is force a vote on renewal and if Kezia votes for renewal or abstains and does not reflect the wishes of her so-called autonomous party her position too must be untenable.

    As for ordinary punters trying to get a grip on where (Not) Labour stands on the issue? Well they’d get a more accurate answer tossing a coin. And as things stand that coin has more chance of being elected to Holyrood than your average (Not) Labour constituency candidate.

    And don’t get me started on the democratic abomination that is the Holyrood list nonsense.

    • Pam McMahon says:

      “Likewise all Scottish Government needs to do at Holyrood is force a vote on renewal”.
      Sadly, Trident is a reserved matter and cannot even be discussed in Holyrood. Obviously this makes the SLab vote even more ludicrous, because it’s Westminster colleagues will decide the official Labour party position.
      Imagine spending the whole day in Preth expelling hot air and posturing, and not even being in a pub!

      • Guga says:

        “Trident is a reserved matter and cannot even be discussed in Holyrood.”

        Whilst Trident may be a reserved matter, I fail to see why it cannot be discussed in Holyrood. Surely the Scottish parliament can discuss whatever it wants, reserved or otherwise. We know that the English government system is not a democratic system (24% vote for the current Tory government and 900 odd unelected Lards in their club) but we, in Scotland have a democratic government which can discuss whatever it wants.

  4. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  5. macart763 says:

    Great post Paul.

    They’re in a pickle right enough.

    So morally defensible –

    Voting to retain a union which will force the sighting of wmds against the wishes of your electorate and those of the majority of your party in Scotland.


    Independence, whereby you will be in perfect sync with the electorate and the current party of government and ensuring that these weapons are removed from Scotland. This has the added bonus of returning some credibility to a very tarnished reputation and the possibility that your party may be of further service and relevance to the future of the electorate.

    Time to make a decision Labour. Who do you serve? The people or the establishment and yourselves.

    Tick tock, May isn’t so far away.

    • Mac, Partick Thistle have more chance of winning the Champions League, than the Labour Party have of serving the people of Scotland. They have forgotten the principles on which their once great political movement was founded, and until they recover them, if ever, they are doomed, and for me it can’t come soon enough.

      • macart763 says:

        The vote made a nonsense of the entire BT referendum campaign and made the devo settlement talks both pointless and redundant at the same time.

        Frankly I’m beyond caring as far as the Labour politicians are concerned, the sooner they are part of history the better. As for Labour voters and members who may actually have meant what they said in that Trident vote? They have to see what their vote means in terms of devolved powers and the constitutional status.

        Now we find out if this is gesture politics or a sea change in the rank and file.

  6. Hetty says:

    Given the fact that liebour don’t seem to know their arse from their elbow, they cannot be trusted with anything other than making the tea.

    Get a grip labour, and take the only rational, logical stance by protesting and voting against the abomination that is these horrendous weapons of mass mass mass destruction.

    Do these people ever think of their children and grandchildren?

    We all know that slab are hoping for a revival in Scotland by pretending to be against, but the people will not be conned again.

  7. Grizzle McPuss says:

    “cataclysmic” is the word we are all looking for, I think?

  8. kat hamilton says:

    feel its all an act with scottish labour. knowing they are totally mistrusted and out of step with the scottish electorate they will try any tactic to curry favour and pretend they have scotlands interests at heart. true con merchants and dangerous with it. hope it will be the same as the may elections, turfed out on their ear with no comeback ever..

  9. douglasclark says:

    I shall feel so much better knowing that my extinction by Russian missiles of the atomic variety were not, in fact, stopped by Kezia Dugdale.

    No, I won’t.

  10. smilingvulture says:

    World Nuclear Red Button Panic Day

    who’s high risk?yep the countries that hold the weapons,targeting each other

  11. Guga says:

    The current and former English governments are still living in the past. They, and their Scottish quislings, running dogs and lackeys, think that by possessing nuclear weapons they can sit at the table with the big boys. This despite the fact that they can’t even use these nuclear weapons without the permission of their American masters.

    They continue to think that the Empire and the Raj still exist but their actions in taking their orders from their American masters shows them to be the tame poodles of the Americans.

    Likewise, the continued membership of NATO is only at the behest of the Americans, as is the continual attacks on foreign countries that are no threat to us, and again illustrates their sycophancy and poodle demeanor towards their American masters.

    In this regard, I hope that the Scottish government, when we become independent, intends to give the Scottish people the opportunity to have a referendum on NATO membership, as well as referenda on continued membership of the EUSSR and on keeping the German monarchy.

  12. I’m amazed there are people in Scotland who believe they get to decide whether they want to be in NATO or not. It’s US who decides. And that doesn’t mean ‘us’ as in Porky Cameron and Co, but US, as in US of A.

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