Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Nuclear Deterrent”

Putting the Submarine before the Missile

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested the UK could keep its Trident submarine fleet but without carrying nuclear warheads.

The Labour leader told the Andrew Marr show that protecting defence jobs was his “first priority” and there were “options” for doing this while taking a lead in global nuclear “de-escalation”.
BBC News Website, 17 January 2016 : Corbyn: UK could keep Trident submarines but without warheads

This strikes me as being as stupid as putting the cart before the horse! Without the nuclear missiles the justification for these exceptionally expensive submarines disappears.

It also worries me that it appears that the Labour leader is prepared to build these white elephants (for that is what they will be under a Corbyn Government) purely to protect the jobs of Unite members. There has to be a better way of spending the money. Read more…

Labour “split the atom” policy

“Renewed Labour” is going through growing pains:

No doubt the UK Conservative party will try and make hay with these developments – but then they tend to go for the “easy” short-term debating-club win rather than look at the strategic picture and the danger these developments could present. Read more…

Corbyn would not press the button

This morning, Mr Corbyn told me explicitly, indeed with some irritation, that there was no way that he would ever use nuclear weapons because they are “immoral”. …

His position on ruling out taking such action as a last resort has immediately been criticised by not one, not two, but three of his shadow cabinet.

They haven’t just rejected his view, but are angry that he has pre-empted the results of the policy review he wants the party to carry out.
Laura Kuenssberg, Political editor, BBC News Website, 30 September 2015 : Risks for Corbyn over nuclear stance

Why is this such a surprise – or are “honest politicians” meant to become dishonest on being elected? Read more…

Trident as a job sustaining scheme

So Labour is not going to even discuss Trident renewal.

Some trade unions are against scrapping Trident because it will cost jobs but Mr Corbyn says Britain should ditch its “weapons of mass destruction”.
BBC News Website, 27 September 2015 : Labour conference: Delegates will not debate Trident

This unfortunately speaks volumes about Labour and the Unions. Read more…

A Programme for the Majority?

Just imagine the following programme for government:

  • Reform
    • A shake up of Westminster
    • Abolition of the House of Lords
    • A fair voting system
  • Public Services
    • No tuition fees
    • Educational Maintenance Allowance including part-time college students
    • The NHS in public hands, halting the tide of NHS privatisation
    • Abolition of prescription charges
    • Explicit protection for the NHS on the face of the TTIP agreement
  • Fairness
    • Pensions that protect our older people.
    • A decent welfare system that helps people into work
    • Eradication of working practices that have no place in a decent, modern economy
    • a Living Wage nation
    • Strengthening of the law against domestic abuse – speed up the court process, give more support to victims, and expand schemes to help offenders change their behaviour
    • Gender Equality: Removal of Systemic and institutional barriers – the pay gap, occupational segregation, a lack of affordable childcare and, sometimes, just outdated attitudes
  • Other
    • No new generation of Trident nuclear weapons
    • Deficit reduction but not slash and burn austerity
    • Stay in Europe

If we could break the internal coalitions in the old elitist parties, could we envisage a parliamentary coalition to support this programme? Read more…

Drumbeats from North of the Border

This week (27 November 2014) has seen the publication of the Smith Commission‘s proposals – seen by many as the first stage in delivering the three Musketeer’s Vow to the Scottish People.

Whether it proves to be an effective response to the apparent desire of the Scottish people for more autonomy is yet to be seen.

It does however set a critical and crucial drumbeat to which all in the UK must respond. Read more…

Unconsciously Uncoupling the United Kingdom

I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable about the approaching Scottish Independence Referendum.

I write as a typically mongrel Briton with ancestors from Scotland, Ireland and England (yet to discover any Welsh). I live just south of the border, so I have no vote. Without grandparents born in Scotland, I will not have any post-independence right to Scottish citizenship. I will have significant “foreign” roots and foreign cousins.

Salmond has played his campaign with great skill whilst the Anti/No Campaign/”Better Together” group seem (from this side of the border) to have little traction and no consistent coherent message.

I don’t want to see an Independent Scotland but I am becoming convinced that independence is best for those living in Scotland. Read more…

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