David Cameron is getting ready to spend six times the annual budget of the whole of Scotland refitting Britain’s nuclear arsenal on the Clyde. While he continues to tighten the purse strings on us we have to ask what these WMDs will really cost.
The English premier David Cameron is right now making final preparations to put his government’s case to Westminster for the renewal of the Trident weapons of mass destruction fleet which is based at Faslane near Glasgow. CND Scotland (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) has released figures taken from various state sources stating that the total cost of renewing the fleet has risen to over £205 billion. Putting this number into perspective, the entire budget of the Scottish government for 2015-16 is only a fraction over £30 billion. This means in effect that in buying these weapons – which we have never in the past needed – the Westminster government will be paying almost seven times the amount that it takes to run the whole of Scotland.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! So when Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale are spending the duration of the next parliamentary term whining about how the Scottish government is using the funds that Westminster continues to undercut we should be thinking about this. With London’s imposed austerity cutting ever deeper into the ability of Scotland to look after the young, the sick, and the old, Cameron is about to blow over £205 billion on unusable nuclear warheads. Let’s be thinking about this when the Tories are telling us we are spending too much on the welfare of real human beings. Replacing these weapons lies at the very heart of everything that is wrong – immoral and sinful – about being part of the United Kingdom.
British state propaganda has concentrated for years on the threat of terrorism, and the hyper securitisation of the British government hasn’t succeeded in reducing this “threat level.” So, supposing for a second that the threat is real, we have to be aware that 2.5 million people – Scottish people – live in the blast zone. That’s half of Scotland’s population vaporised in the event of a successful strike on the base. There’s a damn good reason this installation isn’t parked on the Thames. It isn’t only austerity that lets us know that Scottish children are less important to Westminster than those of our southern neighbour, and by continuing to attack civilians in Syria and sell weapons to Saudi Arabia to use against the people of Yemen David Cameron isn’t doing much to make this any less of a risk.
On top of the repugnancy of spending so much on weapons of war, and the real and significant risk these weapons pose to Scotland, we can’t avoid the fact that they are weapons of a by-gone age. The Cold War – the monumental fiction that it was – is over. War between large states has increasingly become a thing of the past, and nukes can only be used against states. Not that they ever did, but they serve no purpose other than to keep London’s feet under the table at NATO, to keep the likes of Cameron in the club. What we should be thinking about is whether we want to be treated this way, as Westminster’s atomic dustbin. Scotland is a body, and this is a violation of its integrity.
Scrap Trident protest: David Cameron in Scotland