Mhairi Black on Trident 126


Note that the government benches are almost empty. The people who bothered to be present and listen to the debate were overwhelmingly those who voted against Trident. With all Scotland’s MPs but one opposing, this is yet another reason to get a move on with Indyref2. I don’t share the criticism of the Tories for calling this debate and vote – it helpfully clarifies that the representatives of Scotland are treated with contempt, and that the Blairite majority in the Parliamentary Labour Party are in hock to arms industry interests.

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126 thoughts on “Mhairi Black on Trident

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  • Clark

    Not much to add to Mhairi’s speech, except that the UK never earned that permanent seat on the UN Security Council because the UK’s supposed H-bomb was a fake, just an A-bomb with some tritium hidden inside to fake the isotopic signature, though it did cause that bloody great cloud of contamination over Cumbria as a result of the Windscale Fire.

    • Kempe

      The UK has been a permanent member of the UN Security Council since it was founded in 1945. The only member that was a nuclear power then was the US. If Ms Black thinks being a nuclear power is a pre-requisite to membership of the UNSC she needs to sack her researcher.

      • Alex Birnie

        The U.K. WAS a permanent member of the UN security in 1945, because of the circumstances that prevailed at the time – militarily and politically. Are you seriously suggesting the the U.K. would retain its seat, if it gave up nuclear weapons? Please argue honestly, rather than using smoke screens like this…..

        • bevin

          And China? Represented by the KMT Taiwan regime for many years? Which did not have atomic weapons until a late date?
          Or France, which, similarly, acquired its bombs relatively late?

          The UK, France, China, the USSR and the US were the principal allies in 1945. That is why they were on the Security Council.

          Kempe is right, for a change.

      • Clark

        Only the five Permanent Members of the Security Council hold veto power, and are also identically the five Nuclear Weapons States as defined by the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

        I think the realpolitic is that each government holding veto power needs H-bombs to back it up, or there would be no practical reason for other countries to respect the veto system at all. Conversely, the veto gives each Nuclear Weapons State an alternative to escalating hostilities to the point of actual nuclear attack.

        • bevin

          I think that you are wrong: UNSC membership is unrelated to possession of nuclear weapons. The reality is that the UK does not have the H Bombs to back up anything? It is merely a part of the US delivery system.

        • Clark

          The UK has H-bombs, nominally independent. The five Nuclear Weapons States of the NPT are the five permanent members of the UNSC. You may think that’s a coincidence but it doesn’t look like one to me.

          The UK had to explode an H-bomb by a certain date to demonstrate “technological equivalence” with the US, in order to be included on a major treaty, but one of the Windscale piles caught fire before enough tritium could be produced, so the UK faked an H-bomb explosion instead.

      • Clark

        Kempe, if what you say is so and the UK could retain veto power without nukes, there is even less reason for the UK to maintain nuclear weapons.

        The best thing the UK could do would be to disarm the nukes, setting a wonderful example internationally, save masses of money and at long last elevate itself to the moral level of former White South Africa and Gadaffi’s Libya.

  • Eric Smiff

    Mhairi Black is my MP but she doesn’t represent me. I don’t vote for a Murdoch pawn. She’s a daft, wee, middle class lassie from an up market estate called Ralston (about a mile 1/2 from me) . In addition to being his daughter’s election agent, her (Svengali) father owns a UK wide business with 5 English regional managers (none in Scotland). That’s him on the left below.

    http://live-n-learn.co.uk/home/meet-the-team

    She’s pawn of her father, a disillusioned New Labour voter who only joined the SNP in 2011, taking her with him. A very sad story. The fact that he is described as a retired school teacher in the mainstream media tells you that she is part of the establishment.

    • Clark

      Whatever; she speaks good sense on Trident. 200 billion and the best we can hope is that it’s a complete waste of money.

      • Eric Smiff

        Trident is simply a tribute paid to our American Military Industrial complex masters. We don’t even have independent control.

        • Neil Anderson

          Then why does the UK government claim that we do? And not just Tory ones, yer labour wan’s tae.

      • Rose

        Well Mhari speaks for me too and I deplore the fact that her good sense was not listened to by more of our paid representatives.

        The “threat to jobs” mantra goes up every time the subject of disarmament is raised and she took it on. Surely the brilliant engineering and scientific brains currently put to work in the manufacture and deployment of obscenities like Trident wold be better directed towards solving the problems of nuclear waste and climate change and developing technologies that benefit us all. Without wanting to come over all biblical – beating swords into ploughshares. Thus the bulk of the war industry work force could be gainfully and profitably (in the best sense of that word) employed.

        I suppose the problem then would be what to do with the plummy voiced and gilded inhabitees of the upper echelons who are employed to tell us how much we all need to be very afraid of….well, like Sybil Fawlty’s mother…everything really.

        Like all endangered species we should cherish them. Here’s my idea: build a huge safari/disney park, or take over one of theirs and let them live out their final years playing at kings and queens, bowing and scraping to one another, giving their opinions on the price of fish and boring each other rigid in their fantasy ego-obsessed world. The rest of us can get on with the exciting business of living fully, and trying to create a proper world where we all look out for one another.

        • Clark

          Campaign Against the Arms Trade – Arms to Renewable Energy:

          https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/arms-to-renewables

          CAAT’s research shows that a move towards offshore wind and marine energy could produce more jobs than the entire arms industry.

          These jobs would provide alternative employment for arms trade workers. Like arms, the renewable energy sector is highly skilled. It has a similar breakdown across broad categories of skill levels and employ many of the same branches of engineering.

          There would also be appropriate work available in most areas where arms workers are located, with tens of thousands of supply chain jobs that could be located anywhere in the country.

          These would be better jobs for the workers and for all of us: jobs in an industry which is growing not declining, which create a safer, rather than a more dangerous world.

        • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

          Rose

          “Like all endangered species we should cherish them [ie, the “upper echelons”]. Here’s my idea: build a huge safari/disney park, or take over one of theirs and let them live out their final years playing at kings and queens,…etc,etc”

          _____________________

          Would you care to quantify the number of people falling under the expression “the upper echelons”?

          To the nearest 10000 would be OK.

          Thanks.

    • Eric Smiff

      She isn’t just a product of her father’s political ambitions, she is a product of his motivational system.

      Alan Black

      “I felt there was a need for motivational workshops that were grittier and more practical. Making students laugh and feel great about themselves for a couple of hours was not enough. Resilience and sustainability has to be part of the package. I am proud that we manage to deliver all of these elements”.

      http://live-n-learn.co.uk/home/meet-the-team

      She is a clearly (personally) dysfunctional girl who should not be making speeches in the house of Commons at her age. She’s been programmed by her father.

      • Jim Gallacher

        Eric the demented on mastermind answering questions on a 19 year old girl and what he thinks she is like. grow up and get out more.

      • Leonard Young

        Eric. You seem to have a large chip on your shoulder about her. So what if she was (is) “dysfunctional”. Tell me whether you functioned perfectly at her age. And I could not care less who her father is, or what her background is. I listened to her speech and it made more sense than almost all the other speeches I heard. Your rants sound like gratuitous white noise. Please address the issue not the person.

    • Tony M

      And to think those houses along Glasgow Road, built by Mactaggart & Mickel I think went new in the forties for about £500 quid. Are probably in lottery winner territory now. But the east end of of Paisley, around Seedhill and where the council and K division HQ now stand were once really dense and slum-like conditions at one time. I take it you were a fan of financial shenanigans whizz-kid (not) son-of-the-manse Douglas Alexander then from leafier still Bishopton or the ‘Lady’ Botox Adams political mafia, or Gordon McMaster who played dominoes with his dad in the Hagg Bar, and would get bottles of whisky sent up by taxi from the Paddock Bar to his home. Or perhaps you recall the late Norman Buchan?

      • Eric Smiff

        She lives in a modern part of Ralston, a middle class suburb, similar to most of Bishopton.

        I wouldn’t endorse any of those people. I was a member of the Labour party in the early 1980s in the same branch as Foxbar hard case Alan Adams (MP), a man with all the warmth and charm of an East German border guard. I have never voted in a national election. I do not support the Labour Party.

        I contributed to a local anarchist newspaper back then and was a member of the claimant’s union.

        I’d love to know what happened to Gordon McMaster, mind you.

        Douglas (and Wendy) was a member of this

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British-American_Project

        • Tony M

          But what does any of that have to do with what she thinks, says and does? Which matter the most. I haven’t seen the video, and won’t as I’m using a text-based browser. I expect the entirely rational conclusion she’s come to is that Trident is minging. I’d be worried at her age she doesn’t realise just how rotten and corrupt the system is, it is beyond most people’s imagining, and, luckily for her, escaping being kicked in the teeth relentlessly by it, might never come to realise it fully. I don’t think a parliament of old-fogeys would be too great either. They’d forget what they’d come in for, and want fruit trifles at all hours.

          Give this young woman a break, for crying out loud, she doesn’t need or deserve this crap, alI I hear is good from people whose opinion I respect and are in far better positions to offer it. It smells like misogyny and ageism to me. We need a mix of people to represent everyone. The Scottish National Party having Westminster MPs at all, should be a temporary affair only, given the trajectory. Unlike other parties too, sitting MPs, MSPs etc. face continued reselection and if they’ve become full of it, local members I reckon won’t be shy in puncturing their bubbles and bringing them down to earth with a bump.

    • craig Post author

      Eric,

      I spoke alongside Mhairi on platforms for Independence. She is a really nice person with a great sense of humour and of self-deprecation (I am sorry to say I once, exhausted, nodded off during one of her speeches and rather than be insulted she found it hilarious). I don’t know anything about her family background, though it seems to me she is uncomplicatedly happy. My impression is that she learnt a lot of her politics from Jim Sillars.

      She is putting her position as an MP to great use. That is what counts.

      • Eric Smiff

        Craig

        I only have a single fundamental issue with her and that is her age. An immature girl influenced by a politically ambitious father and elected through the power of Rupert Murdoch to be an MP when she is just a teenager It’s outrageous for her and the people of Paisley.

        • Tony M

          What are Murdoch’s titles circulation in Scotland in total, a hundred thousand or so if they’re lucky? And the last thing any independence supporter would do would be to prop up the toxic hostile lamestream media, particularly and especially not that of Rupert Murdoch. Your theories wont hold, infact they’re preposterous and just plain wrong, maliciously so.

          Of course Renfrewshire has become the seat of Orangeism/Unionism, in retreat and I think that’s where you’re coming from. Hence your pathological aversion to the truth and planting of such ludicrous smears as those we seen above.

    • Chalks

      The business her father co-owns isn’t exactly Lockheed Martin for Christ sake.

      He is a retired ex school teacher as well….no lie there I am afraid.

      And you might find many people are disillusioned New Labour voters who now vote SNP, this bulk of people are what as led the Yes movement to be on the verge of independence, it’s the brutal realisation that Blair and Co gave people that politicians can do whatever they want and to whomever (the people of Iraq) that led New Labour or Old Labour voters away from them, castigating the girls father isn’t a good idea as many many people are from the same boat. It’s the current ‘New’ Labour voters you should have a problem with.

    • Jim Gallacher

      Every so often I read something that reinforces my belief in Scotland. Eric’s comment is so understandable, I would not judge him on his background or his family, but I reserve the right to judge him on his very inappropriate comments. Sir you are a dick. Scotland will leave you are your like minded friends behind Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

  • Jermynstreetjim

    Jim Gallacher: Jim, (but I reserve the right to judge him on his very inappropriate comments. Sir you are a dick.) at the risk of dwelling on further ad hominem distractions, I would caution, that there is more to our collective existential experience within and outwith the parochial portals of pejorative Paisleyite propositions, political or more prosaic, than the risible concerfs for what may or may not constitute ‘inappropriate’, or petty penile preoccupations, don’t you think…. ?

  • Jermynstreetjim

    Jim Gallacher: Jim, (but I reserve the right to judge him on his very inappropriate comments. Sir you are a dick.) at the risk of dwelling on further ad hominem distractions, I would caution, that there is more to our collective existential experience within and outwith the parochial portals of pejorative Paisleyite propositions, political or more prosaic, than the risible concerns for what may or may not constitute ‘inappropriate’, or petty penile preoccupations, don’t you think…. ?

      • Jermynstreetjim

        Not at all, Sir. Just pedantically, and priggishly precise, in matters of self-recrimination, concerning our (very) ‘Senior Moment’ typographical errors……

  • Tony M

    I can recall Buchan visiting our Modern Studies class to talk about his work as an MP. I don’t think MPs would be allowed anywhere near a school these days, without sparking an alert. MPs should of course be inarticulate oafs, raised under a wet sofa dumped by the River Cart.

  • Resident Dissident

    “it helpfully clarifies that the representatives of Scotland are treated with contempt”

    What about the Scottish electorate’s views on the subject – are they really as one sided as their supposed representatives, or can those who believe Trident should be replaced just be treated with contempt and dismissed as stupid by the arrogant?

  • Noonereally

    She’s brilliant, isn’t she! I hope this goes viral like her maiden speech.

  • Burnt

    The twentieth century, despite its innumerable wars and genocides, is really beginning to look like some golden age of enlightenment, compared to the new century. (I suppose the nineteenth century looked like that to those living through the 1920s).

    It’s just mind-boggling what people will allow their leaders to do, how they will roll over every time they are told to.

    Those in favour of Trident are either extremely stupid or incapable of feeling. They are not good enough to be called animals, and ought to suffer a forced relocation to the Bikini Atols.

    I know Corbyn is trying to be democratic, political and anti-authoritarian, and all that nonsense, but this might be the turning point for me, as he is just not strong enough to turn around, purge the scum from his party, and hire decent people like Black. What is it? That there are so few decent people like Black left?

    • Burnt

      If there are not massive demonstrations now, I might just lose the will to live.

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): The only one that likes change is a wet baby.

      In the real world, change management is a process. Corbyn cannot forcefully light the lamp of wisdom of fools. He can’t innocuate them with some drug of enlightenment.

      However, he continues to do ‘the right thing’ in my observation, as practicably as possible. I hope he doesn’t let the hyenas overpower him. The rest is up to the deeper intelligence, and instincts, of the membership as is obvious from the many good people who have commented here. This play of life is critical, crucial. ‘Win’ or ‘lose’ Corbyn is here to stay on the political stage of this country. Sometimes destruction is the mother of creativity.

    • fred

      “Those in favour of Trident are either extremely stupid or incapable of feeling. They are not good enough to be called animals, and ought to suffer a forced relocation to the Bikini Atols.”

      I think there are good arguments on both sides.

      I don’t think there is anyone pro nuclear war, there are some people who are anti conventional war.

      My grandfather fought in WWI, my parents in WWII, my uncle was in a Japanese POW camp. Fifty years ago I was very much against nuclear weapons as were most young people then but as time has gone on and Europe hasn’t been plunged into total warfare for over sixty years I’m realising it isn’t just as cut and dried as I once thought it was.

  • scexit uk

    58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs vote against weapons the UK doesn’t need, can’t afford and doesn’t even control.
    Scotland gets to house them near our largest population centre despite the near unanimous opposition of Scottish MPs.

    All 59 of Scotland’s MPs supported Remain, yet we’ll be taken out the EU.
    All, precisely all, the amendments to the Scotland Bill in 2015 that were put forward by the party with 56 of the 59 Scottish MPs were outvoted by MPs from English seats. In complete contrast English Votes For English Laws was introduced. In other words, Scottish MPs are outvoted on Scottish legislation and yet denied votes on English legislation even if it affects Scotland’s budget.

    • fred

      “58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs vote against weapons the UK doesn’t need, can’t afford and doesn’t even control.”

      I know it’s frightening isn’t it. More like a cult than a political party.

      • Neil Anderson

        They were representative of 3 political parties. Admittedly, 56 to 2. But that’s democracy, isn’t it?

  • Craig Elliott

    On the subject of call indyref2 now, I feel Nicola Sturgeon can’t do anything until Article 50 Brexit is invoked.
    1) Scotland announce Indy referendum which Westminster can then use as an excuse not to invoke Article 50 citing it will breakup UK.
    2) Article 50 not invoked brings us back into same scenario where Westminster say we won’t automatically get back in EU as theoretically UK still in it.
    3) EU might go back to being unsympathetic to Scotland if they think UK might no longer leave.
    4) EU likely to rubber stamp Scotland’s automatic accession into EU to punish UK ONLY when Article 50 invoked.
    5) Calling referendum whilst Brexit not invoked may lose tide of voters who would only go over to Yes if UK were definitely leaving EU.

    Only once Article 50 invoked, will the shackles come off and then we can go for it.

  • michael norton

    not quite off topic

    “They’re getting ready for war”
    FRANCE on brink of bloody civil conflict, warns politician
    FRANCE is on the verge of a civil war due to seemingly inexorable rise of extremism, a French politician has warned.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/690729/france-civil-war-jonathan-miller-nice-attack-extremism-marine-le-pen

    Now FRANCE is also, like the U.K. armed to the teeth with Nuclear weapons.
    But nuclear weapons will not help the FRENCH defeat trucks mowing people down,
    or supermarket massacres, or arabs cutting the head of their boss off and impaling that head on the fence of a gas plant, then trying to drive the firms van ( with the corps of his boss inside) attemping to set of explosions of the gas tanks.

  • Burnt

    Welcome to the brave new world of escalated violence.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/19/north-korea-launches-three-more-ballistic-missiles

    We see it in everything from random axe attacks to the rise of loonies like Theresa May. After all, if your supposed role models behave like mass murderers, don’t be surprised when members of the public follow suit.

    The sad thing about England is that you don’t even need a dictator to run the country like one, as the whole of Westminster is set up to bludgeon democracy and support a dictator.

  • scexit uk

    There are quite a few similarities in the arrangements of the UK and French nuclear weapons systems. Both states house their nuclear naval bases in Celtic nations, Scotland and Brittany. Both these nations have similar populations. Scotland 5.3 million. Brittany 4.5 million. The bases at Faslane and Brest are similar safe distances from the state capitals. Faslane about 400 miles from London. Brest about 320 miles from Paris.
    Neither the people of Scotland or Brittany have any say in whether these weapons should be housed in their countries.

    Both systems are purely for the satisfaction of overweening national pride as well as servicing the West’s military industrial complex.

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone)

      Well said in the last sentence.

      Nuclear weapons, in my simple view, are Evil, full-stop. I don’t see even the beginnings of a rational, sane argument.

  • scexit uk

    The number of SNP MPs who voted against Trident renewal was more than the number of UK Labour MPs who voted against.

  • Node

    I’m impressed by the theatrical debating style of Angus Robertson, SNP defence spokesman. In the same debate, Robertson stated he had repeatedly asked for the true
    cost of Trident, but ….

    “….we are none the wiser. We’ve asked again …. and again …. and again …. and I’m looking at the defence secretary …. again …. and he has the opportunity to intervene on me now …. again …. to tell the house, to tell parliament, how much money his government [camera cuts to Tory benches for a shot of sheepish defence secretary] …. wishes to invest in the successor programme …. [Robertson opens his arms wide to invite a response from defence secretary, then shrugs] …. update came there none.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJMCvYsmR28

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Yes to all. She’s a damn good speaker, and she covered most of the salient points. Delighted to see that investment in renewable energy and engineering were on her list of alternative uses for the money…money which does not exist, of course. The prime argument against Trident is that we cannot afford it. We can’t even afford a force capable of defending the UK from conventional attack, which should be the priority. In strategic terms*, wouldn’t we be better providing increased, effective, conventional support for NATO as a quid-pro quo for use of the US nuclear umbrella? In any case, as submarine detection technology continues to improve, the point will arrive where submarines are just as vulnerable as static launchers, and it may not be far away. We might be just as well pouring resources into 1912-vintage Dreadnoughts in that case.

    * by their responses to this shall ye know the Russophiles…

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone)

      Baal just left you a reply on your Chilcot comment re the potential for a legal case.

    • bevin

      I’m not sure why anyone should be ashamed of Russophilia?
      Paranoia though is another matter. And the curious idea that Russia, as opposed to any other country, poses a threat to the UK either result from russophobia-an affliction which is shameful- or paranoia.
      The truth is that the UK and Scotland would both be better off-in every sense- outside of NATO.
      As to the US ‘protecting the UK’ with its nuclear weapons, this too is nonsense. The US is using Airstrip One as a base for its aggressions with a view to establishing global hegemony. All the UK gets out of the deal is priority targeting from those threatened by the US.
      That includes Russia, of course, which means that, according to your argument, the UK needs US protection because US bases make it a likely target in the event of the US attacking third parties.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        And the curious idea that Russia, as opposed to any other country, poses a threat to the UK either result from russophobia-an affliction which is shameful- or paranoia.

        That’s a refreshing POV, Bevin. But I am a little unclear about why Russia has been arming itself to the teeth over the last 20 years or so if it doesn’t want to threaten, or at least intimidate someone. Of course, you may say that this merely represents a sensible defence to the perceived threat of US hegemony. Sure. That’s our argument, too. Just replace’US’ with ‘Russia’ .

        I think serious attention to the idea of nuclear disarmament, by both sides, on a reciprocal basis, might be the way forward: at one time this even looked possible, but since Putin took over, it seems to have been sidelined. Until that happens, deep mutual suspicion has to be a given.

        • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

          I second Baal’s comments.

          His post reminds me of a question I asked of one of Putin’s useful idiots on here, which ran roughly as follows:

          “As you have said that the West’s military capabilities are for aggressive purpose, do you believe that Russian military capabilities are intrinsically peaceful?”

          Needless to say, there was no answer.

        • lysias

          Only one country has ever used nuclear weapons in war against another country. The country that did this was not Russia or the USSR.

  • Mark Golding

    Many a vacant seat in the lower house most probably because our representatives are calculating their expenses and toting up their second house rent…

    Trident is all about treasure, gravy, capital, wads of dough.

    Laughing all the way to the bank

    Aside from financing state-owned Russian companies like Rostec State Corporation (heavily involved with the country’s military) via their funding of, and credit trading with, Rostec financiers Novikombank, these banks have directly financed the Trident equivalent in Russia.

    The Dolgorukiy class submarine programme is Putin’s very own Trident. Made by a company called Sevmash, it’s financed by the state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) development bank. In turn, VEB bank is financed by a consortium of international banks. These include, of course, Barclays and HSBC.

    Essentially, UK multinational banks are playing one big game of “Battleships”, funding both UK and Russian nuclear weapons programmes. Except no missiles will ever be fired, and a winner will never be declared – because that would be unprofitable.

    But the most shocking aspect of this is one financial institution so far not mentioned: the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

    RBS are also financiers of the VEB bank who fund Russia’s nuclear submarines – and they also invest or part-own seven companies directly contracted to Trident. What is most deplorable about this is the fact that RBS is, of course, state-owned – we bought a 79% majority stake after the 2008 financial crash.

    In layman’s terms? We, the public, pay for Trident directly via taxation. We also paid for RBS, directly through taxation. In turn, RBS directly fund (with UK taxpayer money) our “enemy’s” nuclear weapon systems.

    Essentially, the UK taxpayer is paying for both sides in this perceived nuclear stand-off.

    http://www.thecanary.co/2016/07/18/truth-trident-shocking-fact-turn-us-paying-nukes/

    And nobody gets it…

    • nevermind

      thanks for that insight Mar G. veryy interesting to see how these money starved, chocolate money tossing banks are trying to get Russian hard currency.
      And if they build subs that need financing, so be it, as long as we can lay our hands on their money.

  • YouKnowMyName

    I’d just like to add to Mhairi’s parliamentary comments on Trident the following rants –

    concerning cybersecurity – this IS a big worry for the nuclear delivery system – ‘skilled hackers’ (russians) (or gchq pretending to be russians) or russians might disable or actually trigger the launch of the next generation of trident. (previous US permissive action link nuclear codes have had the complicated cybersecurity password set as “00000000”)
    http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/24525/From-1962-until-1977-the-US-nuclear-launch-code-was-0000000

    As many RN frigates (still) use Windows 2000, I wonder if the Trident boats that we are now getting will have upgraded to Windows XP, or perhaps Windows Vista, what could possibly go wrong? Windows TEN does not support your new TRIDENT peripheral, please restart your defence policy
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/05/windows_for_warships_hits_type_23s/

    The RN also announced today that it has run out of money to do normal naval things, WTF will they do to get the $[RND: insert large 10^9 number here]
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/19/royal-navy-drones-sunk-by-cuts/

    The Navy’s three-year-old fleet of ScanEagle drones which has tracked drug gangs, pirates and people smugglers is being axed, and cost-cutting means there is no budget for replacements.

    The ScanEagle aircraft, which was described by the Ministry of Defence as “crucial” and “game-changing” when it was bought in, will leave service next year. . . [this] aircraft was urgently rushed into service with emergency Treasury funds, but these will dry up next year with no money found for a new generation. The cuts mean the Navy is now expected to be without ship-based drones for at least two years, sources said.

    The ScanEagle, which has cost around £60 million, is launched from a deck catapult and can stay aloft for up to 10 hours, beaming back footage to the frigate.

    In 2014, Philip Hammond, then Defence Secretary, said it would “play a crucial role in operations and humanitarian missions not only in the Gulf but also on Royal Navy vessels right across the globe, further underlining our commitment to invest in innovative capabilities”.

    if we can’t afford a bl00dy toy aeroplane, how can we afford american fireworks?

    No-one picked up on the fact that as we do nuke weapons development with France, so why not share a platform with them? I mean seriously MOD? Brittany has some nice sea-food restaurants for when you can afford the budget to travel as far as France.

    • Je

      We have an open society. The submarine sailors and their families aren’t living in some secure isolated station.
      That’s a terribly weak link. One infiltrated sailor. One turned sailor. Infect one sailor with some nasty bug that takes over the whole sub a fornight into patrol. Then nuke Faslane to deal with the other 3 boats. Trident isn’t invulnerable.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      As many RN frigates (still) use Windows 2000, I wonder if the Trident boats that we are now getting will have upgraded to Windows XP, or perhaps Windows Vista, what could possibly go wrong? Windows TEN does not support your new TRIDENT peripheral, please restart your defence policy

      XP’s ok – ish. You can at least run it without a permanent network connection feeding it demands to stop everything and instal another security patch for something you didn’t know you had running without your permission in the background. Though you still have to register your copy online with Mr Gates, and Linux is obviously better in every way.

  • Catriona Coull

    Ms Black speaks for me and so eloquently. Why do we not have referenda (with all the facts) on such real issues.?

  • Catriona Coull

    Ms Black speaks for me and so eloquently. Why do we not have referenda (with all the facts) on such real issues.?

    • bevin

      Because referenda would considerably lower the market values of votes in the House of Commons. There are other reasons of the same nature.

  • scexit uk

    Looking at the voting on the Trident debate by members of the Scottish Affairs Committee. For a start, ridiculously, 7 of the 11 members sit for English seats. The 4 SNP members voted against Trident renewal. Of the other 7 members, 6 voted for Trident renewal. That is, the Tories Chope, Poulter, Stevenston and Throup and Labour’s Cunningham and Hepburn. That means a majority of the committee voted for Trident and none of that majority sits for a Scottish constituency.

    The biggest joke though is the voting decision of Labour’s new Shadow Scottish Secretary David Anderson who also sits for an English seat. Guess what he did? He abstained. That’s right. Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary can’t make up is mind on such an important issue affecting Scotland. Or else doesn’t have enough gumption to let his view be known.

  • bevin

    This piece by Pepe Escobar helps put trident in perspective.
    http://russia-insider.com/en/why-pentagon-and-nato-are-bluffing/ri15697

    The argument that Trident creates employment is so ludicrous- it represents an enormous drain on resources and is entirely financed by a highly regressive tax system- that it would not be worth dealing with, were it not that it exemplifies the sort of muddled thinking on the economy that characterises discussions of Independence.
    Work is not, in itself, a good thing. Nor is leisure a bad thing. The problem lies in the distribution of necessities.

    • Johnstone

      This is what Manfred Max Neef in this model of Human-scale development wrote about needs, satisfiers the arms race…….and um TV
      ‘Satisfiers also have different characteristics: they can be violators or destroyers, pseudosatisfiers, inhibiting satisfiers, singular satisfiers, or synergic satisfiers. Max-Neef shows that certain satisfiers, promoted as satisfying a particular need, in fact inhibit or destroy the possibility of satisfying other needs: eg, the arms race, while ostensibly satisfying the need for protection, in fact then destroys subsistence, participation, affection and freedom; formal democracy, which is supposed to meet the need for participation often disempowers and alienates; commercial television, while used to satisfy the need for recreation, interferes with understanding, creativity and identity – the examples are everywhere’.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yip one Scottish MP a Tory I might add backs the renewal of Trident, so Scotland is set yet again to host weapons its democratically elected representatives don’t want, is it any wonder indyref2 is on the cards.

    Mhairi Black has been a asset to Scotland her maiden speech in the House was one of maturity way beyond her years. I also hear she has a Private Members bill under consideration, well done Mhairi.

    Meanwhile the US first called the Turkish coup a uprising, something they feel rather embarrassed about now. No such embarrassment was shown when they vioently backed the coup against Egypt’s Morsi.

    http://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2016/07/18/us-embassy-in-ankara-first-called-coup-uprising-later-coup?

    • michael norton

      The WELSH have said if SCOTTISH people no longer want to host TRIDENT
      then it is welcome to come to WALES

      • Republicofscotland

        Ian Paisley Jr, has said something similar, on NI taking the WMD’s, so there’s no need for Scotland to host weapons it doesn’t want, is there?

        • Republicofscotland

          “The coup attempt in Turkey was masterminded by forces that were seeking to halt the restoration of good relations between Turkey and Russia, the acting Serbian foreign minister”

          Seems plausable to me.

          “I am sure that the coup (in Turkey) has a lot of influences from the outside…. It is now clear that the Russian plane was taken down by the pilot who belonged to the same group as those behind the coup, and now that Turkey renewed its ties with Russia, it clearly did not suit someone,” Ivica Dacic said

          That to appears plausible.

        • lysias

          I’d be very surprised if either the Republic of Ireland or the Nationalists in the North would find the presence of nukes acceptable.

        • michael norton

          I agree completely ROS

          I do not see why Scotland should have the TRIDENT base in Scotland if it does not want to, especially as Wales has said it would like TRIDENT based in Wales, I expect Wales are asking for it because they can then put pressure on Westminster to support Welsh Coal mining and Welsh Steel building and Welsh shipbuilding
          and Welsh power station building and Welsh Dock building and so on.

  • scexit uk

    The renewal of Trident despite the votes against of 58 of 59 Scottish MPs is reminiscent of what happened in Wales in 1957. Back then 35 of the 36 Welsh MPs voted against the decision to move people from a village in Gwynedd so that a valley could be flooded to create a reservoir for the city of Liverpool. The Welsh MPs were simply ignored and outvoted in the Commons and the project went forward.

  • michael norton

    Scottish Nationalists have called for TRIDENT to be removed from the current location on the Clyde, Glasgow, SCOTLAND.

    That has led to NORTHERN IRELAND politicians saying we should step in and “host” it
    with some estimates of the workforce amounting to 30,000.

    That’ll be a big boost to the local economy of whichever part of the remaining U.K. take it.

    • michael norton

      Let’s say the Scottish Nationalists get their desire. TRIDENT and all BRITISH armed forces desert SCOTLAND.
      A super new infrastructure for TRIDENT, suitable for the twenty first century is constructed in WALES.
      Tens of thousands of new homes are built, a new power station, a whole new town, hospital, schools, library, General Post Office,
      a science park built nearby,
      Many hundred of apprenticeships made available, new motorway, new massive docks , ship building, submarine building,
      a new airport. A veritable regeneration in that part of WALES.

      WALES has voted for BREXIT.

      Will SCOTLAND then be happy?

      • Clark

        “Tens of thousands of new homes are built, a new power station, a whole new town, hospital, schools, library, General Post Office, a science park built nearby…”

        You’ve obviously never been to Faslane. Try reading the Trident leak.

    • Tony M

      502 jobs the MoD say, most of them bussed up up from County Durham and back again weekly, who never leave the base. Employee selection is based on postcode rather than skills.

      • michael norton

        But if the Scottish Nationalists will no longer allow TRIDENT to remain in SCOTLAND,
        then presumably a brand new twenty first century base will have to be agreed and built in the remaining part of the U.K.
        It could be Portsmouth or Plymouth or Swansea or Londonderry

        • Anon1

          The whole point is to keep nuclear weapons as far away from civilization as possible.

          Which is why they are kept near Glasgow.

        • Republicofscotland

          And that gives Scotland a huge barganning chip in the event of Scottish independence being successful.

          The problem for Westminster is their isn’t that many suitable sites with deep water channels for the subs.

          So I suppose whilst a suitable site is found, assuming indyref is successful the Scottish government could charge Westminster a pretty penny to rent out Faslane, for a short period.

          Then the Scottish navy would move in after Westminster again forked out a fortune to detox the area.

          I’m in favour of housing Trident as close to Westminster as physically possible, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that line of thinking.

          • Republicofscotland

            Jeremy Corbyn said he wouldn’t do it, past PM’s have avoided the question altogether, but Theresa May was adamant she’d do it in a heart beat, what am I on about?

            Pressing the button to launch the nukes, with each individual warhead capable of killing 100,000 people and on average 40 warheads per boat, the initial death toll would be unthinkable.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-trident-debate-nuclear-bomb-yes-live-latest-news-a7143386.html

            It has been touted that Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire could be the new home of Trident if indyref 2 is successful, do they really comprehend what they’re letting themselves in for ?

          • Clark

            “I’m in favour of housing Trident as close to Westminster as physically possible, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that line of thinking”

            There are a lot of decent people in London. Can’t we instead move the government to whatever remote location they find for Trident please?

  • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

    @ Eric Smiff

    Thank you very much for that information on Mhairi Black’s socio-economic background.

    It was quite an eye-opener because, on the basis of the adulatory comments I had read abut her on this blog, I was convinced that she was Scottish working class through and through, a true girl of the people.

    I wonder if you could tell us something about the following?

    Her father has been described, on here, as a retired state school headmaster. Would you know whether he established his chain of businesses after retirement or as a sort of sideline while he was still working as a headmaster? In connection with that, I wonder how old the father is, how old he was on retirement and how old he was when he started his chain of businesses?

    Thank you.

  • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

    If an independent (or even a non – independent Scotland) does not wish to host the UK’s nuclear deterrent then that wish should certainly be considered very seriously.

    If, however, Wales or Northern Ireland should wish to do so, then that should also be considered very seriously.

    If it is the will of the people which is important, then even the nuclear disarmers on here should be in agreement with the above.

      • Tony M

        Poll amongst people who support Trident, supports Trident. How surprising. All of the Britnat Broadcasting Corporations vox-pop’s have the same heavy bias, they must go really beyond their normal standards of dis-service, rejecting or filtering out dozens of authentic opinions, to find the most uninformed loons imaginable and ask them the most bizarre leading questions, editing it into their chosen fantasy afterwards. They’re fooling almost none but themselves, and a few like you, who presumes to speak for a country you clearly despise and wish harm.

          • fred

            “Thousands take to streets”

            Or to put it another way millions didn’t take to the streets.

        • Tony M

          Its not just nuclear bombs, we’re not having nuclear-power propelled ships or subs, in our waterways or anywhere near our coast, similar to New Zealand, who have banned them long ago, to protect their marine environment and land and people from constant radiactive leakages whilst they’re operating and the risk of accident from what are deeply flawed scaled-down versions of decades old GE designs with more than a passing similarity to those at Fukushima, hundreds of tons of which several reactors each, each hot as the sun cores, are burrowing deeper unstoppably into the earth in an earthquake zone as we speak.

          Nuclear-powered submarines and nuke-powered surface ships are as undesirable as land-based nuke plants, before even considering the risk of accident or inadvertent launch of missiles themselves, missiles and subs controlled by always flawed and more flawed with each ‘upgrade’ computers and operating systems and with a splenetic Uncle Sam’s fist hovering over grey mouse button, a microswitch, that ends all our worlds.

          It would still be bad if the yanks or anyone were paying us handsomely to put up with their hosting their missiles, I’m sure that’s the usual arrangement that gives something in return for diluted sovereignty and the far greater likelihood of incineration and annihilation. Why the hell then are we paying THEM? It gets worse as we, Scotland, England, etc. our cities London, Glasgow Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, are more than likely the hard-coded target of at least some of the shared missile pool. In other words ‘our’ subs are at times with very high probability, carrying missiles targetted at us, whereever in the world they are launched from. In addition to anything any enemy might have targeted at us, purely as a result of hosting Trident and bases for the Yanks in the first place. It’s not in the least bit independent, they’re rented and belong to ‘the company’, it’s a dangerous vanity project and product no-one and certainly not us can possibly ever afford or justify.

          • Tony M

            Anyone who thinks the United States does not have missiles targeted at the British Isles, is a fool or a liar or both.

          • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

            Tony

            “Anyone who thinks the United States does not have missiles targeted at the British Isles, is a fool or a liar or both.”
            ______________________

            Well, I don’t believe that so I must be either a fool or a liar.

            You, therefore, must be either very intelligent or a fearless teller of the truth.

            Could you perhaps justify the compliments I’ve just paid you by adducing some proof for your assertion about where US missiles are targeted?

            (No, no quotes from Moonofalalbama or globalresearch, please. Something more reputable.)

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