Part of letter to our MP, David Maclean:
I am writing to urge you to vote against Trident renewal this week, primarily because it sends the wrong signal in a world where we have already lost moral authority. If we commit to renewing, then it will give the green light to other countries who don’t feel that they can trust the international community.
I see the West’s unfair handling of the Palestinian situation as the fatal flaw in our foreign policy. The crucial test is whether something is fair – all our dealings with the Arab world over the last 60 years have been unfair or hypocritical, ie supporting undemocratic oil kingdoms, and the unequivocal support of Israel in an attempt to make up for failing the Jews during the Second World War. Who can be surprised that the Arab world and many others do not trust us and take the wrong message from our tragic invasion of Iraq. We need to unravel our selfish foreign policy and what better way than to do the right thing as regards nuclear weapons.
Our nuclear deterrent is an expensive fig leaf, never to be used. I understand that we couldn’t use it without USA approval, so why not rely on the USA’s nuclear fig leaf? The cold war showed that Mutually Assured Destruction of an escalating arms race is a waste of time and money. We need to concentrate on the threat of Global Warming, not bicker amongst ourselves - we won’t fall apart if we don’t have an enemy to hate. The time is ripe to show that we can take the obvious sensible course - ridding the world of nuclear bombs. Building trust throughout the world can only be done by taking (very slight) risks such as this. True attempts to build trust throughout the world might eventually win people’s hearts and minds.
Many other important countries in the world don’t have nuclear weapons, yet they are at the top table. It could be said that having nuclear weapons makes us more of a target for disgruntled terrorists.
On a more prosaic level, I understand that Trident renewal would break the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is also very expensive. Our current predilection for interventionist wars would suggest that money is needed for conventional forces. Failing that, using the money to boost our aid budget might also win hearts and minds.
At the very least, put off the renewal decision for a few years. Or abstain?