By nearly having an intercontinental ballistic missile and not quite nearly having a nuclear warhead and detonator small enough to fit on it, North Korea has brought its military technology almost to the point of being just sixty years out of date.
The panic this has caused is not unjustified, as nuclear weapons are a terrible thing. Hundreds of thousands of column inches have been deployed by mainstream media all round the world. This from the Economist is a fine example of the top intellectual thinking upon which the elite consensus prides itself.
It is also a perfect exemplar as it illustrates a defining characteristic of all this week’s analysis following the North Korean missile test. Nowhere at all does it mention Trident missiles. Nobody does, because they are obviously a total irrelevance and in no sense enter the calculations of Kim Jong Un.
When the establishment writes serious stuff about North Korea, they never ever mention Trident, because they would look stupid.
Yet strangely, when they write about Trident, they always mention North Korea. We need Trident, they say, to deter rogue nuclear states like North Korea.
Extraordinary, isn’t it. Apparently we have no need at all to worry about nuclear attack from North Korea, because we have the perfect deterrent by spending an astonishing amount of our national income on Trident missiles.
Except when people actually think about North Korea, when they realise that Trident is as much use as a chocolate teapot.
It is exactly the same with ISIS/Daesh. Nobody writing any of the millions of articles about ISIS/Daesh has ever written “but you don’t have to worry about them because we have Trident missiles.” Because they would look very, very, stupid.
But when Trident is under discussion, we hear it defends us against, err, North Korea and ISIS.
Now they throw in Russia. In all the reams of analysis of Putin’s Russia, nobody has ever been crazy enough to argue that nuclear attack on the UK (or even conventional invasion of the UK) is something Putin would wish to do. Because to claim that would look absolutely stupid. Plainly the desire of Russia to attack with nuclear weapons is at absolute zero. Anybody writing otherwise would rightly be written off as crazed.
Yet the Trident argument takes place in an entirely isolated political bubble, in perfect quarantine, in isolation from reality, where the elite are allowed to stand there and say it protects us from North Korea, ISIS and Russia and the mainstream media pretends this is not absurd.