Scottish Politics and Nuclear Weapons

Support among the voters for maintaining Trident has been on the decline in Scotland for many years. An opinion poll in 2013 showed support for a Trident replacement at a mere 14%. A more recent poll taken in 2014 showed that only 7% strongly agreed with the proposition that Trident should remain in Scotland if there was a yes vote in the referendum while 17% strongly disagreed. This would suggest that a party in favour of getting rid of Trident and not replacing it would have a better chance of succeeding in Scotland.

The SNP have been against Scotland hosting Britain’s nuclear deterrent for as long as I can remember and they have made not replacing Trident a major policy goal. However it appears that Labour and the Tories are somewhat confused. On the 3rd of March the New Statesman’s rolling politics blog published and exclusive saying that 75% of Labour PPCs oppose Trident renewal. I can hear the cheers from CND as I type. On the face of it this would be a good thing for the Scottish Labour party to shout from the rooftops. But I hear not a thing; Labour will continue to support a UK nuclear deterrent.

Conversely on the other side of the fence, the conservatives web site also contains a page about the same story but with a very different slant. They are horrified. This begs a question. If as they say the Tories want to return more Scottish MPs to Westminster then perhaps they need to rethink their attitude. But no, they simply use the NS survey as an excuse to threaten dire consequences if Labour with SNP support manages to form the next government. They contend that “The prospect of Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond in Downing Street, giving up Britain’s last line of defence, is all too real if the Conservatives don’t win the election.”

Personally I loathe nuclear weapons wherever they are situated and I wonder what difference it would make if the UK just got rid of them. Oh but “they have kept the peace since the second world war” I hear you cry, ”Mutually Assured Destruction has been the corner stone of foreign policy for half a century.”

Mutually Assured Destruction , MAD is just that – mad. Kept the peace? Lets count up how peaceful, Korea, Suez, Vietnam, Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Afghanistan again, Ukraine, these are just some of the wars between countries. There has been innumerable smaller civil conflicts, some of which the west has been involved in and some not.

Check out this page on the net.

Then ask yourself again do we really need to spend upwards of £70 billion pounds on a new weapon of mass destruction? Or could we find better things to do with our cash?

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My work background is in operational meteorology and in my career I have been involved in forecasting for everything from bananas to jumbo jets.I joined the Met Office 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport. After training as a forecaster, I worked as an Operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, I moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and STV broadcaster till 1988. He then took up a post as Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, then Senior Forecaster ITV where I qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became Head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of front-line management for Southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office Chief Advisor for Scotland & Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh. I retired in September 2014. My one claim to fame is once performed a comedy sketch on TV with Manuel (Andrew Sachs) from Fawlty Towers in support of Comic Relief.

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