The Trident Test 310

The Rochester By-Election further destroys the intellectual case for the BBC’s decision that only male party leaders who support Trident can debate on TV before the UK general election.

The Greens got five times as many votes as the Lib Dems in Rochester, and are ahead of them in several recent national opinion polls. I do not posit the support of Trident as the criterion for inclusion, in any sense as a joke. Support of Trident stands as a good marker for adhesion to the neo-con establishment consensus. The establishment is simply not prepared for more radical views to be put before the public as a serious choice. UKIP is the chosen right wing vehicle into which disillusion with politicians should be channelled.

The BBC justification for including UKIP is that they have shown a “substantial increase in electoral support”, and the BBC argue that the Greens have not done so. There are two major problems with this argument.

The first is that UKIP’s “massive increase in electoral support” has been massively boosted by a huge amount of publicity given to UKIP for the last two years, especially by the BBC. The BBC is citing the effect of its own propaganda as justification for continuing that propaganda. If the Greens had been given as much publicity as UKIP, the electoral climate would be very different.

The second is that this appears to be a one way argument. If UKIP’s massive increase in electoral support can get them included, surely the Lib Dems total collapse in electoral support should get them excluded? The injustice of including the Lib Dems and not the Greens, when the Greens are beating them not just in opinion polls but in real polls, cannot simply be brushed aside.

We then have the SNP. There is a very real possibility that the SNP will have more MPs than the Lib Dems after the next election. Indeed, one recent opinion poll put them ahead of the Lib Dems in polling across the entire UK, even though all those SNP voters were just in Scotland. For the BBC to push so hard the line that we are “Better Together”, and then exclude the party supported by the plurality of Scots from UK debate, is an irony only the BBC cannot see. That some viewers of a UK debate would have no opportunity to vote SNP, would not remove their very real interest in understanding and questioning the views of what will be a major component of the parliament which governs them.

The Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP have female leaders and are anti-Trident, a symbol of their broad radicalism. All are, to use that crude measure, to the left of the parties which will be included. To be in, you have to be led by an identikit posh male and support Trident. That is the BBC test.

310 thoughts on “The Trident Test

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  • Mary

    Donny Darko And Brown signed the cheques for BLiar’s wars of course.

    I always thought it remarkable that he, Prescott and BLiar all stuck together from 1997 until 2007. Did they all have something on each other? I bet Prescott knew a lot.

  • Resident Dissident

    Donny Darko And Brown signed the cheques for BLiar’s wars of course.

    Seems a little unfair on Donny Darko.

  • Mary

    It’s like having one of those bluebottles buzzing round the room. Where’s the fly spray?


    Donny Darko. Brown signed the cheques for BLiar’s wars of course.

  • Macky

    Resident Dissident; “I never said it was or wasn’t – it isn’t, but then neither is contempt for ordinary people, support of extreme nationalist or religious viewpoints, support of those who mafia style economies or have no respect for human rights”

    Translation, a “Socialist” for Resident Dissident seems to mean the following;

    “contempt for ordinary people” = Supporting any of the three main political parties.

    “support of extreme nationalist or religious viewpoints” = Seeking to excuse &/or justify the neverending obscene Israeli crimes.

    “support of those who mafia style economies” = supporting Corporate bribed & corrupted Western Governments.

    “have no respect for human rights” = Overlooking/excusing the murder of countless people in the Middle East”

  • John Goss

    From a man who already has little credibility to quote from (ir)RationalWiki as a creditable source sinks his street-cred to gutter level.

    Global Research gets things right and has respectable contributors, like Felicity Arbuthnot, Professor James Petras, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Professor James F Tracy, Tony Cartalucci, Binoy Kampmark and Craig Murray to name but a few.

    You do make yourself look stupid RD. It’s no wonder people have no time for you any more.

  • Resident Dissident

    Seeking to excuse &/or justify the neverending obscene Israeli crimes.
    Overlooking/excusing the murder of countless people in the Middle East

    Where – is that really the best you can do. Just put up or shut up you twerp.

  • Mary

    R2D2’s lie is that I link to GR so often. ‘Very occasionally’ would be accurate.

    End of your filling up the blog in the manner of H please.

  • Macky

    Resident Dissident; “Just put up or shut up you twerp’

    Sorry, I don’t need to waste my time in veriying what everybody already knows, your pro-establishment supporting, anti-Semitic smearing record here reveals all.

  • lysias

    I wonder what Israel had to say to leaders of Sinn Fein and the Spanish Podemos Party. (Pablo Yglesias is identified in the article I recently read about Podemos as the leader and one of the founders of Podemos.)

  • lysias

    Godless Communism no longer rules Russia. Whatever may be said of the government there, it is more Christian than the governments we have in Western countries. A cold war against it makes no sense. The plutocrats may want it, but why should the common people support it?

  • Resident Dissident

    Earlier in the day John Goss was claimimh he came from a generation of anti-racists. By the end of the day he was linking to this (I quote an extract only)

    Returning to the main topic, all RationalWiki™ users are one or more of the following:
    Basement Dwellers

    For this man to any longer proclaim he is against racism or a socialist is I’m afraid no longer tenable – his natural political home is clearly in the BNP, EDL or similar.

  • Resident Dissident

    Macky yet again fails the test of providing evidence to support his ridiculous assertions.

    Like Mr Goss he fails to understand that there is a line between anti-Semitism and attacking the actions of the Israeli Govt – whether this is deliberate obfuscation or stupidity I am not quite sure on Macky’s part.

  • Resident Dissident


    “Sorry, I don’t need to waste my time in verifying (sic)”

    Why break the habits of a lifetime – prejudice is all a good prosecutor requires eh!

  • Resident Dissident


    “End of your filling up the blog in the manner of H please.”

    Who on earth do you think you are telling how and when people should post – and then constantly failing to engage when people have the temerity to disagree with what you are saying??

  • BrianFujisan

    lovin this piece on blair save the children Pong gong

    BY Felicity Arbuthnot @ Global Research –

    ” Blair was Prime Minister (May1997-June 2007) and Leader of the Opposition (July 1994 – May 2007.) In both roles he emphatically endorsed the Iraq embargo, thus the silent monthly infanticide. Madeleine Albright in trousers. Iraq’s new born and under fives for her were:

    “ … a price worth it.”

    Then came the 2003 dodgy Downing Street dossier used by Colin Powell at the UN for the invasion’s justification, the subsequent perhaps one and a half million deaths in a country where near half the population were children – the rest is holocaustal history.

    Between Madeleine Albright’s admission (12th May 1996) that “over half a million children had died” and Blair’s tenure between 1997 to the invasion, six years later, a further near half a million children died (do the maths.) Yet Save The Children – whose commitment “No Child Born to Die” is at the top of each page of the charity’s website – honour this tyrant…..

    Felicity’s Piece includes this letter

    Dear Save the Children,

    I am outraged that “Save the Children” has seen fit to contribute to the impunity, whitewashing and rehabilitation of one of the most serious war criminals of our time, Tony Blair, by awarding him a Save the Children Global Legacy Award. As Prime Minister, Mr. Blair was warned consistently and repeatedly by FCO legal advisers that to invade Iraq would constitute the crime of aggression, which the judges at Nuremberg called the “supreme international crime” because it “contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” In Mr. Blair’s case, the “accumulated evil” now includes hundreds of thousands of people killed, cities and villages reduced to rubble and the destruction of an entire society.

    This award is especially horrifying coming from Save the Children, because Mr. Blair is legally culpable in the deaths of tens of thousands of children killed in Iraq, mainly by coalition air strikes. The most thorough epidemiological study of excess mortality in Iraq as a result of the invasion and hostile military occupation found that American and British aerial bombardment was the leading cause of violent death for children in Iraq between 2003 and 2006.

    I am bccing this email to about a thousand people, and I hope that all who receive it will take note and, in future, direct their efforts to help children to … other organizations who are not complicit in whitewashing the mass murder of children in Iraq.

    With all due (but greatly diminished) respect

    Nicolas J S Davies

    Author of “Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.” (15.)

    Full exellent piece @ –

  • Resident Dissident

    “From a man who already has little credibility to quote from (ir)RationalWiki as a creditable source sinks his street-cred to gutter level.”

    Given the contents of link you provided to support this claim I am expecting an apology. I would also expect the mods to remove the link because of its clear racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic content.

  • John Goss

    “Godless Communism no longer rules Russia.”

    True. Religion is practised freely. Putin is a Christian. He has proved this by turning the cheek to the US slap in the face when it removed the legitimately-elected government of Yanukovich and replaced it with the coup that brought civil war to the country for the first time since the Second World War. There was discontent before. There is discontent in the UK too. Hopefully there will not be a civil-war. I would much prefer to see democracy (without the bought candidates) than civil war. It is not just the 4000 (mostly civilians) killed in Ukraine but also the thousands of conscripts (mostly military) killed in this senseless war that Putin does not support, but Obama, does.

  • John Goss

    “Given the contents of link you provided to support this claim I am expecting an apology.”

    I think Dickens should have written a book about your expectations.

  • N_

    For the BBC to push so hard the line that we are ‘Better Together’, and then exclude the party supported by the plurality of Scots from UK debate, is an irony only the BBC cannot see.

    I voted No, but I agree with this statement.

    I’d note, though, that the majority of Scots voters rejected the main plank of the SNP’s platform. That’s important.

    So is the fact that a large proportion of Scots supported it, including a majority of voters in Scotland’s largest city.

    And I object to the term ‘UK debate’. It’s about time for more people to differentiate between the country (Britain) and the political regime (the ‘kingdom’).

    It’s not hard, surely? You’ve got France, and you’ve got the Fifth Republic. You’ve got Germany, and you’ve got the Federal Republic. You’ve got Denmark and you’ve got the Kingdom of Denmark.

    Referring to the country Britain as ‘the UK’ is political propaganda in favour of the monarchy.

    All should be welcome in the debate to make Britain a better place, which obviously requires updating and renegotiating the relationship between its constituent four countries and the central authorities. That includes the SNP.

    Let’s put the referendum behind us, shall we? It was won by supporters of the Union. Let the Union remain. And for goodness sake, let the stinking principle of having a hereditary head of state be up for question. And let’s not use terminology which assumes the principle of monarchism as a given.

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