A fantasy Commons debate for a fantasy deterrent

On Monday the House of Commons debated the renewal of Trident. It was entirely predictable that the House would vote to renew the weapons of mass destruction. It was entirely predictable that all but one of Scotland’s MPs would vote to oppose it but Scotland’s going to get Trident anyway. And it was entirely predictable that most Labour MPs would use the occasion as an opportunity for attacking their own party leader instead of opposing the Tories.

It wasn’t really a debate of course. Debates imply that some participants are open to changing their minds. But then the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent is neither independent nor a deterrent, so a pretend debate on a pretend independent deterrent was perfectly appropriate.

What transpired in the House of Commons on Monday is what Westminster politicians mean when they tell us that remaining a part of the UK gives Scotland certainty. We can be certain that the second rate politicians who lead the Tory party will happy spend £200 billion as an ego boost so they don’t have to come to terms with the fact that the UK is a second rate power. We can be certain that the Labour party is as effective in protecting the nation as the uselessly expensive Trident missiles that they’re so fond of. And we can be certain that Scotland is going to get screwed over.

Our caring sharing new Prime Minister, the one who wants to represent the human and humane face of Conservatism, didn’t hesitate to say Yes when asked whether she’d press the nuclear button and condemn millions of civilians to evaporation, and millions more to long painful lingering deaths. A woman who has participated in a government which has destroyed workers’ rights and opportunities and presided over the explosive growth of foodbanks is all of a sudden posing as the champion of jobs.

Faslane costs Scotland jobs. In exchange for the 520 civilian jobs which the MoD admits the base creates, the MoD insists that the oil reserves in the Firth of Clyde remain unexploited. Scotland could have enjoyed a West coast oil boom during the 1980s, but it was prevented by the direct intervention of the MoD who didn’t want oil companies interfering with the passage of their precious nuclear submarines. All the focus on the BBC is on the jobs at Faslane, allowing talking heads to quote the fantasy figure of 12,000 jobs, a figure which includes several thousand military personel who do not live locally, a figure which rises every time the BBC report on the issue. But they never discuss the real high skilled high value jobs that the existence of the nuclear base prevents from being realised. And the never discuss the immense damage that radioactive pollution could be doing to a coastal area right next door to the largest city in Scotland.

The impression beloved of Westminster politicians that the UK is a world power is as laughable as the idea that Alberto Costa MP is a serious politician. For those who are unaware of the existence of Alberto, I can only say what lucky lucky people you are. He’s the Scottish born Tory MP for South Leicestershire, who has enthusiastically adopted oleaginous toadyism as a career path. Every time the mental scars of Alberto’s last appearance on our telly screens begins to fade, he pops up again with his wee fat face like a bursting plook. His contribution to the Trident debate was to remind opponents of renewal that we must renew Trident because nuclear weapons can’t be uninvented. Next week Alberto will be arguing for the renewal of the UK’s stocks of iron maidens, thumb screws, chemical and biological weapons, and those Klackers which were so effective in breaking the arm bones of 1970s school children.

Labour MPs took it in turn to stand up and interrupt their own leader’s speech against Trident renewal to side with the Tories. What about the jobs? They cried. As though a ruinously expensive weapon of mass destruction was really a job creation scheme. Because the most effective and useful way of spending over £200 billion of taxpayers’ money on creating employment is to spend it on missiles that can blow up half the planet and render the other half as much as a desolate wasteland as an Angela Eagle mass supporters’ rally. Trident is a job creation scheme, it’s just that it’s a job creation scheme for former defence secretaries, directors of defence companies, and the boards of the banks who loan the money and profit from the weapons’ construction.

Labour’s Vernon Coaker tells the House that threats like ISIS are a reason why the UK needs its nuclear deterrent. Because if some madman decides to drive a lorry into a crowd of people the best way to stop him is with a nuclear missile fired from a submarine. Vernon thinks that renewing Trident is so important that it’s worth any cuts to public services it might cause. One after another Labour’s discredited MPs stand up to mouth their nonsense, supporting the Tories instead of supporting their constituents.

The independent nuclear deterrent of the United Kingdom is every bit a ruinous fantasy as the reveries of a heroin addict. The UK keeps paying through the nose for its expensive nuclear medicine to stave off the harsh reality that its life is going nowhere except down the tubes, and it has no future except one of decay and irrelevance. Trident is a 20th century weapons system designed to counter a 20th century threat. The world has moved on, but the British state hasn’t. It’s still desperately clinging on to the glory days of the early and mid 20th century when the UK was still a player on the world stage and not an embarrassing and xenophobic little island perched off the north west coast of Europe, a mini-me America without the weather, the resources, or the clout. A country that can’t afford to be in Europe, that can’t afford to cooperate with our neighbours, but which can afford the weaponry to blow them off the face of the Earth.

If you want to know why so many people hold Westminster in such utter contempt you don’t need to look further than today’s Trident debate. Guff substitutes as fact. Idiocy takes the place of reason. Simple minded platitudes are proferred as profundities. One after another Tories and Labour politicians got up and spoke of the need to spend hundreds of billions on a useless weapons system which pollutes and endangers all of Scotland, and whose sole purpose is to make those self-same politicians feel important.

Audio link to this blog, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/a-fantasy-commons-debate-for-a-fantasy-deterrent-wee-ginger-dug-18th-july-2016

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33 comments on “A fantasy Commons debate for a fantasy deterrent

  1. Dan Huil says:

    Once again Westminster displays its true attitude about Scotland and the people of Scotland. Once again the people of are being subjected to britnat lies and deceit. Once again the britnat media gleefully broadcasts these lies.

    For god’s sake people, how much more britnat shit are you willing to have heaped upon you? Scotland’s independence must be regained, and soon.

  2. Let me propose a simple calculation. Find out how much the nuclear weapons programme has cost the UK government year by year since 1945. Add 1945’s one year UK treasury interest rate to the 1945 espenditure, then add 1946’s expenditure to get the 1946 running total. For each year add on that year’s expenditure to the running total, gross up that running total according to the interest the UK Government is payingto borrow it, and repeat.

    But to stay merely in .the present, £200 divided by 12,000 (if you believe that last number) gives £16.7 million per job. It would be enormously cheaper to pay every persoin employed at Faslane twice their present salary to stay at home and do nothing, on full pay, until they retired or decided to leave the area.

    Why do people accept the argument that government expeniture creates jobs only when those jobs invole utterly useless (or worse) military hardware? And often enough, exactly the same people who argue that governent expenditure on useless things like health or education or poverty relief actually destroys jobs, because it leaves less money available for “real” productive activity?

  3. The inmates have taken over the asylum, encapsulated completely in the Prime Minister’s answer to George Kerevan’s question.

  4. Andimac says:

    Tory MP and T.A. Officer (that’ll make him an expert in global defence matters), Tom Tugendhat said Trident’s “second-strike capability” means a country cannot attack the UK without knowing it will also be attacked. “That is the ultimate guarantee of sovereignty and ultimate guarantee of security”, he told MPs.
    This sort of overlooks the point that a second-strike launch means the U.K. has already been effectively annihilated, a smouldering radioactive charnel-house with millions dead or dying. I’m sure none of the victims will be too upset about their vaporisation knowing that our sub has launched Trident as a reprisal. Killing millions of “the enemy” – whoever they may be – will certainly teach them not to annihilate us, except, of course they already will have done. I remember, from the bad old Cold War days that chilling acronym, MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction. We could now use the same letters to describe the majority of Trident-renewers at Westminster. MAD – Mentally Aberrant Delusionals. But no need, just MAD will cover it.
    And these people are in charge of the country. They’re as big a threat as the bloody missiles.

  5. Jan Cowan says:

    The Labour Party is finished. Swan Song.

  6. Cliff Purvis says:

    I am sure that tridents predecessor Polaris was first offered to the French, they turned it down so the UK snapped up the chance. De Gaul the then French president declared “there goes The UKs independent deterrent.

    Cliff Purvis


  7. Albawoman says:

    I listened to the media over the weekend. There was no sense of debate as to the wishes of the majority of the Scottish people to have nuclear weapons removed from our country.

    Our children remain on the front line. I am so angry that we cannot protect our children from such abuse.

  8. Campertess says:

    It was nice to hear the pm stutter when she was asked for the 2nd time what the total cost would be.

  9. I’ve just typed a scathing attack on BBC’s Reporting Scotland’s farcical coverage of Trident and the 12000 jobs fallacy. When I tried to post the fairly detailed comment, I was directed to ‘Mmm..this site cannot be found’
    My comment has disappeared into the Ethernet.
    I wonder what combination of ‘Trident and MOD Navy’ word bingo alerted GCHQ to pull my post?
    Or am I being too paranoid?
    Who’s that banging on my door? It’s four in the morning FFS.

  10. Macart says:

    Every election confirms the Scottish government’s mandate to refuse those appalling weapons housing on Scottish soil. It won’t matter a jot.

    When they vote, Scotland will once again find that ‘partnership’ means sit down and eat your cereal.

    The next and already redundant generation of weapons of mass delusion will be foisted upon a country that rejected them. 520 jobs? The basing of Scotland’s conventional SDF at Faslane and Coulport would have more than secured the area’s employment and long standing relationship with the defence industry.

    £200bn is quite a sum. How many jobs could that generate? How many projects could it fund? How many mouths could it feed?

    In this time of ongoing austerity. A time where Brexit has taken the UK to the brink of yet another recession and that massive already existent debt ain’t getting any smaller, spending £200bn on what is effectively an entirely useless and technologically redundant weapon of mass murder is nothing short of madness. That it is done without the express permission of the host country makes a complete mockery of the term ‘better together’.

    When next the Scottish Government asks our permission to change this arrangement, bear tonight’s vote in mind. Bear in mind Chilcot, Brexit, the Scotland bill, EVEL and broad fucking shoulders.

    • But, Macart, George Freeman, that ‘Independent’ Argyll and Bute Councillor, (aye, right) was the only politician quoted on BBC Reporting Scotland, reminding us all that 10,500 jobs relied on keeping Trident at Faslane, with another 2000 jobs coming next year when Devonport ditches its nuclear powered subs onto Faslane as well; keeping all England’s nuclear eggs in one ‘relatively remote’ base just north of Glasgow, that barren waste created by 50 years of red blue and jaundiced Tory policies.
      What Councillor Freeman does not point out is that most of the jobs are ‘behind the wire’, made up of Navy and MOD personnel posted to the remote colony of Western Scotland from England. They live on the base, and their every need is catered for ‘behind the wire’.

      His Helensburgh constituents may supply catering staff to serve breakfasts in the dining hall, or as general labourers and handymen.
      The BBC PQ Unionist Unit also quote ‘a recent poll’, no source given lest we check their facts, as 42% of Scots(?) want to remove the WMD, 43% to retain them, and 14% (whit happened to the missing 1%?) DN’s. I must have missed that one.
      ‘Is she prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that would kill 100’s thousands of innocent men women and children?’ May was asked.
      ‘Yes.’ was her cold dead reply.
      I worry that Little England is going to be our nearest neighbour come Independence with heartless warmongers like May Davis Fox and Johnson in control Down There.
      BBC Scotland is beyond parody.
      SNP announce £41 million a year for 10 years to strengthen flood defences.
      BBC interviews two local business people down in Dumfries..SNP BAD..it was all their fault. Cumbria Council and the English Government were great, but Holyrood shite. Mundell’s patch. Mmm..
      Poisonous drip drip drip of Unionist Elitist propaganda from the heart of Glasgow as usual.

      I digress. It is an obscenity to spend billions on this Wicked Ungodly weapons system.
      Where are the Holy Willies on this? This woman would massacre hundreds of thousands of innocents.
      Do those who hide behind their churches synagogues and temples approve of this affront to their god?
      Not a cheep from the Established religions. No surprise there.
      Of course, they are part of the Establishment Elite. Not the time to be rocking the boat is it?

      • Macart says:

        The result of the vote was never in doubt Jack. One country forces the housing of weapons of mass destruction upon another.

        Better together…

  11. […] Wee Ginger Dug A fantasy Commons debate for a fantasy deterrent […]

  12. Thomas Valentine says:

    Let’s write the whole number out properly.
    £200, 000, 000, 000.

    We can be certain that stripping that much out of the economy will simply by depriving medical service, ambulances, paramedic and general medical training; KILL MORE people than terrorist have or ever have.

    At some future date a family will die at the scene of an accident because the state lacked the resources to save them. It took their money and spent it on a useless obsolete weapon that if ever used would see a retaliation that would turn this island into a sheet of dirty black glass.

    Mind you a Stalker Marine Drone would probably have destroyed it before anyway.
    Perhaps they should call the new submarines the Arizona class. Like the USS Arizona costs a lot of money and destined to be knocked out by a weapon that costs a pittance is comparison.

  13. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Firstly the ridiculous position of the pro-Trident (Not) Labour politicians is beautifully and perfectly skewered by Stu over on Wings.

    Secondly, to my eye the desire to have nuclear weapons is simply illogical.

    There are only two choices to be made if you have nuclear weapons.

    Either you are prepared to use them – in which case we all be dead; or you are not prepared to use them – in which case why bother having them?

    It really is as simple as that and always has been.

  14. Andimac says:

    As we’ll get them whether or not we want them and they’ll be based on the Clyde (unless, of course, we’re independent before Barrow builds them), can we get to name the new subs? The present Vanguard-class (Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, Vengeance) will give way to what’s currently being called Successor-class. My suggestions are Stupid, Silly, Senseless and Scunner.

  15. Angry Weegie says:

    A nice shiny bunch of new subs to make our pols feel really important.

    I wonder, however, whether some of them will feel more than important. How many will feel richer because of this decision. How many will personally benefit from a share of the £200bn.

  16. Dointhebiz 1 says:

    I really wish there was an up-vote option here, some of the comments are brilliant 😀

    Let’s not forget that that £200 billion on these obscene weapons is over decades, but there’s very little mention of the £250 billion used to steady the pound immediately after Brexit? When can we expect the bill for that?

    My arguments over Trident have always been: Why are there only 3 member states out of 28 that possess these weapons? Are the other 25 any more vulnerable because they DON’T have them? IF our ‘stick on hairy chest’ is protecting all NATO member states, then why are those countries not contributing their fair share? In fact, why are those members states not servicing, hosting and allowing the use of their Ports for Trident as they’re obliged to do with American WMD under NATO regulations?

  17. Saor Alba says:

    Paul, I have to disagree with one comment.
    The UK is NOT a second rate power.
    It is at most a fifth rate power.
    These dandelions are living in cloud cuckoo land.

    I agree with everything else.

    Power to your elbow my friend.

  18. Iain says:

    58 Scottish MPs voted against renewal. They were supported by only 59 MPs from the rUK. Who cares what the natives think? Welcome to Northern Rhodesia.

  19. scrandoonyeah says:

    I’ve got the answer: The fools in Westminster give the £200 billion to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Government tells the world that Scotland will take the hit when the time comes..it’s a win win for Scotland cause we are going to get it anyway (nuked) but we will be £200 billion better off meantime….

  20. Anne says:

    I agree with everyone who comments on this and other pro-indy sites for the most part,but face it we`re preaching to the converted.If we all managed to change just one other person`s thinking and they did the same and so on, independence for Scotland would be achieved.

  21. Macart says:

    472 for – 117 against and 58 of the latter were Scottish MPs. That’s 58 of 59 Scottish MPs, almost Scotland’s entire representation to the Westminster parliament and basically the mandate of the Scottish electorate ignored.

    For ‘partnership’ see under sit down and eat your cereal.

  22. Sooz says:

    Over £200 billion to waste on a pile of hardware, when a recent report says that military recruits are being sent out to the front line UNTRAINED – basic trained but untrained in the tasks they will have on the front line – because of MoD cuts.

    Over £200 billion wasted on a pile of hardware, when the country is on its knees, hammered by wave after wave of austerity and more to come.

    Over two hundred billion pounds wasted on a weapon that would destroy millions of lives and which Theresa May says she would use to do exactly that.

    Over £200 bloody billion wasted on a pile of bloody hardware, when we have £1.5 trillion debt, a deficit that isn’t being reduced, and apparently it’s too expensive to remain in the EU.

    What a load of steaming, unadulterated shite.

    We are a target, because we have nuclear weapons, which is exactly what Hammond said about North Korea. The sooner we’re offski, the better for all of us in Scotland, and the sooner we can tell Westminster to take their nuclear weapons and shove them up where the sun don’t shine the safer we’ll all be.

  23. Angus Skye says:

    £200 billion. Working population £38 million. So this obscenity will cost each and every one of the working population over £5,200, not far off a pensioner’s entire annual income.

    Here’s another few figures that shock; source the BBC:

    Number of overseas territories in which domestic armed forces are located –

    USA – 10
    Russia – 20
    UK – 80.

    In the words of Pete Seeger, “when will we every learn?”.

  24. Les Bremner says:

    Devonport… Now, it was a while ago (1994 in fact), but I have a recollection that Rosyth was being closed down as a Royal Navy facility and things were being moved to Devonport. It was then discovered that the geology was not suitable for nuclear subs. and a huge amount of taxpayers’ money was spent in making it possible.

    If my recollections are correct, then the abominations can be put in Devonport.

    • Les, there was an Royal United Services Institute, (R.U.S.I) report published just before the Scottish Referendum which concluded that it was perfectly feasible for the submarines to be relocated to Devonport (Plymouth). And the estuary of the river Fal, north of Falmouth, could accommodate the storage of the nuclear warheads, replicating Coulport.
      Of course the sting in the tail was that because of the risk to the population of the Plymouth area, some 260,000 people, it wouldn’t be tolerated. But of course it’s perfectly O.K for us to have it sited on our doorstep, as we don’t matter.
      For the umpteenth time we are being treated as serfs, and why more people don’t realise this is a mystery to me.

  25. Walter Hamilton says:

    When Angus Robertson stood up to speak the majority of the house headed for the bar until it was time to trek into the lobby. All these SNP talking to themselves, time for the SNP to wake up to the fact that we will never be given oxygen, Independence is the only way forward from here.

  26. Connor McEwen says:

    Wee dutch boys finger in the flood dyke comment.
    Ginger Duggers know it but, ARMS LOBBYISTS from Uncle Sam pay through the nose for under the desk influence on MP’s and their voting intentions. JIST SAYIN LIKE MIBBEES AYE AN MIBBEES NAW

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