Forget Faslane 185


With this country’s massive needs in housing and renewable energy, it is typical that the only public spending announcement the Tories wish to make is on more potential for death and destruction at Faslane. The politics of the ludicrous claims on employment creation are risibly transparent. Don’t vote SNP! Don’t Vote Corbyn! This is not an industrial or a services economy, its the WMD economy.

I was frustrated during the referendum campaign by the mealy-mouthed response to the unionists constant carping on about job losses at Faslane. Chucking out Trident will cause job losses. Good. Doing evil should not be sustained as a job creation scheme.

It is like arguing to keep the Spanish Inquisition going because of the workers it employs. Woodcutters gather the material for the burning alive of heretics. Skilled workers lay the faggots and construct the bonfires. Blacksmiths forge fetters and implements of torture. Then the torturers themselves have good steady jobs, and what of the clerks who write down the confessions? Ending the Spanish Inquisition would cause economic disruption.

I think that pushes the parallel far enough, but it is a sad comment on our moral relativism that anyone is allowed to talk of employment at Faslane as a bonus without being roundly ridiculed and socially shamed. As usual Osborne’s numbers are a trick of mostly totaling existing plans over a lengthy period. But even if this was genuine investment, he should be told where to stuff it. Scotland must not be a WMD based economy.


185 thoughts on “Forget Faslane

1 2 3 4 7
  • Mark Russell

    “It is like arguing to keep the Spanish Inquisition going because of the workers it employs. Woodcutters gather the material for the burning alive of heretics. Skilled workers lay the faggots and construct the bonfires. Blacksmiths forge fetters and implements of torture. Then the torturers themselves have good steady jobs, and what of the clerks who write down the confessions? Ending the Spanish Inquisition would cause economic disruption.”

    Good analogy. Another might be our steadfast commitment to polluting and destroying our atmosphere. We appear oblivious to the fact that only a few miles of air distinguishes our planet from any other that we’ve found so far and without our atmosphere there can be no life. Yet we continue to burn fossil fuels, pollute the oceans, deforest huge tracks of land – all for the sake of money. There is little hope for humanity, Craig, when the priority is the economy – Trident included – over all else.

  • Pan

    @Dr Paul

    31 Aug, 2015 – 1:49 pm – “One can’t fire a Trident missile unless you have the requisite codes: and these are provided by the USA. In short, London has to ask Washington’s permission to fire one. … The British nuclear weapon capability is basically a massive subsidy to the US defence industry.”

    Now there’s the truth!

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    31/08/2015 2:24pm

    Easy to say, you’re not starving to death, I take it, or watching your family starving to death.

    I am fortunate, in that I am not in a position to have to make that decision.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Mary

    ‘Nuclear Missiles “Leased” to British Navy

    The US “leases” submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles (SLBMs) to Britain for use on its four giant Trident submarines. We’ve done this for two decades. The British subs travel across the Atlantic to pick up the US-made missiles at Kings Bay Naval base in Georgia.

    Helping to ensure that US proliferation involves only of the most verifiably terrible nuclear weapons, a senior staff engineer at Lockheed Martin in California is currently responsible for planning, coordinating and carrying out development and production of the “UK Trident Mk4A [warhead] Reentry Systems as part of the UK Trident Weapons System ‘Life Extension program.’” This, according to John Ainslie of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which closely watchdogs the British Tridents — all of which are based in Scotland, much to the chagrin of the Scots.

    /..
    May 27, 2015
    Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: Made in the USA
    by John Laforge
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/27/nuclear-weapons-proliferation-made-in-the-usa/

    ~~~~

    I am always disturbed at the mention of Lockheed Martin, knowing that the British census operation was outsourced to them by Brown in 2008.

    ‘Boycott the UK census over links to Lockheed Martin, protesters say
    We’re ready to face £1,000 fine, declare anti-war protesters in row over role of US arms firm Lockheed Martin in data gathering

    19 February 2011

    People are being urged to boycott next month’s UK’s census because the US arms manufacturer responsible for Trident is involved in gathering the information.

    Protesters say they are willing to break the law and face a £1,000 fine and a criminal record by refusing to fill in the 32-page questionnaire. Resistance to the decennial census is growing as a coalition of anti-war groups, pacifists, religious organisations and digital activists begin raising public awareness about the role of Lockheed Martin, America’s largest arms manufacturer.

    The company, which makes Trident nuclear missiles, cluster bombs and F-16 fighter jets, won the £150m contract to run the census on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).’

    /..
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/feb/19/census-boycott-lockheed-martin

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    31/08/2015 2:24pm

    No, of course they are not angels, they are human beings who have to make hard decisions about what they do. If the decision is between working in a nuclear facility or being unemployed, or uprooting a young family and having to move somewhere miles away from your loved ones, or whatever, then I do not feel that I am in a position to condemn someone for taking the vastly easier option. What right have I to do that? I’m a fallible human being just like any other person.

    No, they are NOT demons, Pan, nor demigods like you, they are simply mixtures of good and evil, like all human beings, they have to make decisions like all of us, perhaps none of which have happy consequences.

    Governments are there, or should be there, to make the better decisions easier for people. In large part that is what democratic government is supposed to be about.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Pan

    @John Spencer-Davis

    31 Aug, 2015 – 2:35 pm

    “Easy to say, you’re not starving to death, I take it, or watching your family starving to death.”

    Easy to say? Yes, maybe. But it is a principle I hold.

    I happen to be no stranger to self-sacrifice, and I consider a life without principles not worthy of living.

    I would also have more gumption than to sit around and ‘watch my family starve to death’.

    How absurd to suggest that there is no alternative.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    31/08/2015 2:44pm

    “I would sooner starve to death than work for an industry that is responsible for the killing and maiming of innocent men, women and children all over the globe.”

    You are the one who presented those as alternatives, not me. So don’t lecture me on what is or isn’t absurd.

    John

  • Pan

    @John Spencer-Davis

    31 Aug, 2015 – 2:47 pm

    I said: “I would sooner starve to death than work for an industry that is responsible for the killing and maiming of innocent men, women and children all over the globe.”

    You said: You are the one who presented those as alternatives, not me. So don’t lecture me on what is or isn’t absurd.

    I do not present starving to death as an alternative – merely as an indication of the strength of my resolve.

    I am not ‘lecturing’ anyone. I am simply stating my point of view. If you don’t like it, you can say so, but there’s really no need to sink to sarcastic name-calling (“demigod”?!).

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    2:56pm

    “Demigod” was a little bit of humour based on your name. Could you not see that?

    John

  • Pan

    John Spencer-Davis

    31 Aug, 2015 – 2:43 pm

    “If the decision is between working in a nuclear facility or being unemployed, or uprooting a young family and having to move somewhere miles away from your loved ones, or whatever, then I do not feel that I am in a position to condemn someone for taking the vastly easier option.”

    So let’s just give up on even trying to do the right thing, shall we? Let’s just take the easy option!

  • Republicofscotland

    Well said Craig the lie that Faslane supports 10 of thousands jobs has and still is perpetuated by the unionist parties and press.

    However very little time and coverage is given to the huge reductions of conventional forces in Scotland, and across the UK as a whole.

    Osborne has all but declared his governments intention to renew the monstrosity that is Trident by indicating a extra £500 million pounds will be invested in Faslane to help support Trident and no doubt access for the nuclear subs.

    Meanwhile just under 50,000 people have died after being removed from their ESA benefits, whilst around 3000 have also died following the removal of their DLA benefits.

    What kind of British government would let WMD’s take precedence over its people, is that the kind of government we want?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    31/08/2015 2:56pm

    “How absurd to suggest that there is no alternative”.

    That was quite clearly aimed at me, when you were the one who brought the dichotomy up in the first place. So, yes, you were lecturing me, and I don’t like it, and I do say so.

    John

  • Pan

    @John Spencer-Davis

    31 Aug, 2015 – 2:58 pm

    ““Demigod” was a little bit of humour based on your name. Could you not see that?”

    Of course I could. I just found the context rather humourless.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    31/08/2015 2:59pm

    No, not at all. For example, Corbyn doesn’t want Trident, but he’s not yelling that people who work in the Trident facility are demons. You need to recognise that not everyone is a saint, and some people prefer not to starve to death rather than do something against your principles, and that it is a lot easier to work with someone’s self-interest (for example, by giving financial assistance to get another job) than work against it.

    John

  • Pan

    John Spencer-Davis

    31 Aug, 2015 – 3:02 pm

    I said: “How absurd to suggest that there is no alternative”.

    You said: “That was quite clearly aimed at me…”

    I wrote in reply to you, but I use the term “absurd” to describe the concept of their being no alternative, not to you, John!

  • nevermind

    No it was not your link,John, just the fact that the NNPT is unworkable and somewhat stale with inaction.
    How long will it take for a rogue country with nuclear weapons to be persuaded by its ‘backers’ and financiers to join the NNPT club? 10 years?

    How long (is a piece of string) will it be before Israel puts its nuclear ambitions on the table and starts talking peace?

  • RobG

    The United Nations has stated that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would violate various articles of international law, including the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions, the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The UK presently has about 200 active warheads, all thermonuclear. The total megatonage is a state secret. A guesstimate would be a total yield of somewhere between 700 and 1000 megatons, which, if cities are targeted, is enough to incinerate at least 100 million people.

    In my opinion the concept of the ‘nuclear deterrent’ is totally crazy. What MAD actually means is that the world has to be constantly on the brink of total annihilation in order to prevent war between major powers, but what happens if one of those hair-triggers goes off accidentally? (it’s almost happened a few times). That would be it, no going back, ‘the end of the world’. To take such an appalling risk with the fate of the Earth really is mad.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    31/08/2015 3:08pm

    Okay, then. Misunderstood you, not unreasonably, I think.

    Of course there are alternatives – there always are. It’s the job of government in pursing national policy to make those alternatives as palatable as it can.

    John

  • Republicofscotland

    The maximum amount of jobs Faslane will or may support is around 8000, the other jobs are mainly outside contractors scattered around the UK and beyond.

    After Scotland becomes independent Faslane will become a conventional naval base for Scotland, which will support thousands more jobs across the board.

    William McNeilly has blown the whistle on Faslanes lax and makeshift security. Mr McNeilly also highlighted the dangerous practices of switching off alarms because they go off with such frequency,and many other worrying aspects which could lead to a catastrophic incident.

    Of course the MoD deny all of Mr McNeilly’s claims,a stance that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    The reality is that Scotland has been hit by continued, disproportionate cuts to our defence footprint – with less than 10,000 defence personnel. Axing of air bases such as Leuchars, for example, have seen Fife badly hit with a reduction from 1,770 personnel to just 570 since April 2012.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/500m-for-faslane-osborne-has-the-wrong-priorities.7012

  • Pan

    @John Spencer-Davis

    31 Aug, 2015 – 3:06 pm

    “Corbyn doesn’t want Trident, but he’s not yelling that people who work in the Trident facility are demons.”

    Of course not. I’m certainly no politician, but I can still recognise that that would be political suicide.

    “You need to recognise that not everyone is a saint.”

    Oh, I do! I’ll be the first to admit to being no saint.

    But really you are setting the bar for ‘sainthood’ rather low, in my opinion.

  • RobG

    Maybe once Faslane has been closed down they could turn it into an End Of The World-Land theme park, to keep the people there employed.

  • Pan

    John Spencer-Davis
    31 Aug, 2015 – 3:12 pm

    “Of course there are alternatives – there always are.”

    Thank you!

    “It’s the job of government in pursing [sic] national policy to make those alternatives as palatable as it can.”

    That’s a moot point, considering the government will not even consider any alternatives.

  • Republicofscotland

    “But if people lose their jobs due to benign policies you don’t just say “tough luck”. They’re not demons for working where they do. They should receive proper assistance.”
    ____________________

    Speaking of tough luck.

    Try barking up this tree John, at least those at Faslane are able bodied enough to find a new job.

    A severely disabled young man who is unable to talk, read or write and needs round-the-clock care from his mother is the latest target in Iain Duncan Smith’s campaign against Scotland’s most vulnerable.

    “I was really upset when the form came through the door. I called up the DWP and asked them why they would send it out to someone like my son when he is supposed to to get DLA for life and they told me it was tough luck, that it’s just the way it is and I would just need to fill out the form for him just like everyone else.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/he-cannot-talk-read-or-write-but-tories-want-severely-disabled-stuart-chester-fill-in-20-page-form-to-keep-benefits.6995

  • writeon

    Osbourne could have, and his ancestors probably did, make similar arguments about the economics of retaining slavery as a vital economic system, and that its abolition would cost jobs and damage the economy. Some jobs are not worth it for society, like, for example, the position of hangman. I feel sorry for the hangman and his family, but, really, do we want to employ hangmen? Surely, in a rich society there must be alternative form of employment?

  • Winkletoe

    Commenter above ^ ^
    “Chucking out Trident will cause job losses. Good.”
    Not good at all. Imagine being one of the people put out of work.

    Whoooosh!
    (The sound of Blogposter Murray’s point completely evading the above commenter’s cognitive interception. (Or perhaps he didn’t even read it but simply fixed a miscomprehending eye upon one sentence.))

  • writeon

    Closing Faslane will probably create more jobs than keeping it open, over the longterm. For example, the massive clean-up of the area for radioactive waste could take decades and cost billions by itself.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just avoiding the issue of runaway expenditure by all states, especially nuclear-armed ones, on war-making.

    Even Japan, which allegedly doesn’t have nuclear weapons, is increasing its expenditure on weapons the most ever to meet the alleged China threat, though Beijing is just trying to establish a more level-playing field with the surrounding US carrier groups, and its own island creation, like the one off South Korea’s Jeju Island.

    if this rabid arms race doesn’t stop soon, mankind as a species will be on its way out.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Pan
    31/08/2015 3:19pm

    [sic]

    Bad manners. I don’t do that to people. Make sure everything you write from now on is letter-perfect, won’t you.

    John

1 2 3 4 7

Comments are closed.