Later, sometime next year, our erstwhile MPs are going to decide about proceeding with the full Trident replacement at an enormous cost, that is likely to bankrupt this Country.
The current Trident 1 has been operational only half a dozen years more than it took to get it into service in 1994, when it replaced its predecessor Polaris (operational 1968). The Labour party was strongly against Trident 1 but seems currently to be in favour of its replacement Trident 2 (but new Leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to change that, eh?). Some Unions want it because it will provide some jobs for their members – sound thinking, eh? We should continue in the nuclear club despite the crippling costs and extreme dangers to appease a thousand or so workers, perhaps? [Before Labour either confirm or change their mind, it will all be done and dusted anyway, and there is no way they can cancel the project in five years time, is there?].
Before the MPs get into the debate though there are some pertinent questions that they should be asking themselves before they vote, don’t you think?
Like, amongst other things –
- to what extent did Trident predecessor help us to ‘luckily’ recover the Falklands from Argentina in a ten week war thirty-three years past?
- what did having Trident predecessor contribute to throwing Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait by Coalition force twenty-five years ago?
- why didn’t having Trident or its predecessor stop Israel, India, and Pakistan from developing nuclear weapons of their own (and Iran trying to) in breach of the international ‘non-proliferation’ requirement?
- where was Trident in the equation when we invaded Afghanistan fourteen years ago and we are still a bit involved?
- what use did we put Trident to in the ‘shock & awe’ destruction of Iraq and regime change, just a dozen years ago, however that has worked out?
- what part has Trident played in our overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya four years ago, whether you agree with that or not?
- what was Trident predecessor doing twenty-seven years ago, when wreckage of the out of London USA bound, bombed Pan-Am airliner hit Lockerbie and was scattered for a mile around only a hundred miles from its Clyde base in Scotland?
- what part is Trident taking in our current critical fight with ISIS in Syria & Iraq?
- what deterrent is Trident placing on North Korea‘s determination to develop deliverable nuclear warheads?
- how will Trident stop ISIS and the other terrorist groups intent on atrocities here and destruction of our multi-cultural society in Britain?
- when did Trident predecessor, or Trident itself when it came along, assist us in resolving the Northern Ireland Troubles when they started some forty-five years ago and went on until 2001?
- who exactly will be stopped from attacking or invading us in Britain when in fact they have no incentive to do so – if we have no Trident and since already we have absolutely no assets left worth stealing?
- where was there a role for Trident in savage austerity cuts to our armed forces and overstretched police
- how did Trident or its predecessor prevent the destruction of our coalmining industry, our steelworks, our textiles, our comprehensive railway network, our shipbuilding legacy, our manufacturing industries, and all the rest?
- what in 1980 when voted for by MPs, was the estimated total cost of the current Trident 1 system, for procuring it (only £5 billion, eh?) and what will be the real total cost of doing so and actually running it until 2028 (£15 billion already so perhaps £70 billion?)?
- What will be the full final cost of Trident replacement then over say a forty year lifetime? The proposers lie when they say it will all cost only some twenty or so billion pounds (as they conveniently ignore both upkeep plus capital costs and inflation, don’t they?), because we all know that it is likely to cost the Defence budget probably fivefold that, in the long term (some estimate eight times plus). Furthermore, MOD defence procurement has a dreadful track record of going widely over budget on large scale projects (indeed so bad that some get cancelled) – and you don’t get bigger than this, do you?
But don’t worry everybody our MPs always make sound sensible Defence decisions, don’t they?
Like, scrap all our aircraft carriers that can take combat aerial power to any part of the globe (well why not – as a supposedly maritime nation, we have got rid of the bulk of the rest of our Navy anyway). Oh dear, they think, better build a couple more then – the first though won’t be ‘operational ready’ for another five years even now (and we may sell-off the second one – half price to ISIS perhaps?).
Problem, we also got rid of all our carrier sea-going planes, so when the first carrier is ready in 2020, it has no jets to go on it, as our ‘white elephant’ new American jets are a decade late already – software issues, equipment reliability factors, fuel tank problems, flight controls faults, helmet displays combat deficiencies, lightning strike risk dangers, logistic facilities troubles, hence delivery to our Navy won’t be ready for another seven years – if then. So far we have ordered only a handful of the 36 carrier capability – and a reduced poor spec version at that. It is possible that the Navy won’t even have enough sailors to man one carrier sufficiently (never mind two), and almost certainly they won’t now have the escort vessels of destroyers and frigates to protect it, nor the supply vessels to support it, eh?
Even our wonderful icon Harrier jump-jets were deemed surplus to requirements, so had to be disposed of – who would want such rubbished redundant stuff – a poor defence impoverished country perhaps? No silly, the United States snapped them up of course, didn’t they?
A solution to the bright minds of Westminster sprang to mind – stuff half a dozen helicopters on the first carrier to pretend it has got real airpower, and it will look good – they can’t use the purpose-built expensive carrier flight deck because they take-off and land straight up and down, don’t they? [A helicopter against a Russian MiG or a Chinese A-10 is like a sparow against an eagle , wouldn’t you say? It is reported that we might even ask the American Marines if they would like to use their F35 combat planes off our first carrier?
[We can’t have a new Trident AND a proper Army, Airforce or Navy, can we – be realistic people, eh? Still want to retain an independent nuclear deterrent, deliverable by submarine, everybody?].