Last weeks announcement by the MoD that Scotland would now be the location for the entire nuclear submarine fleet couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Scottish people don’t want it, the military doesn’t want it, even the Tories don’t want it! So why as they face meltdown in the polls are Labour providing jobs in the mass murder business?
Ian Bell writing in todays Sunday Herald puts it succinctly: “Labour is providing jobs in the mass murder business”.
“I have a little trouble when I hear the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland mock his Nationalist opponent with the formulation that nukes = jobs. Iain Gray said as much the other week. In the case of Faslane, the usual round number ranges between 10,000 and 11,000. That’s employment. But is also implies a lot of death for someone.
Who would that be? We’re not supposed to kill Russians, currently. It’s bad for business, and bad for the gas supplies. So we are offered Iranians, North Koreans, and – villains in the wings – some Pakistani Taliban who might make it to Karachi, and find “the Button”. So Scotland, as a wholly rational response, must become the home-from-home for our very own nuclear flotilla?
The risk of sounding predictable increases with the years, but I have seen the horrors come and go. No-one dared the first strike, not even Reagan. Even the insane declined the chance to go nuclear. Through it all, Britain spent extraordinary amounts on her force de frappe.
For defence? For a permanent seat on the UN Security Council? For the chance to be taken “seriously”, globally?
For the hope that this week’s terrorist would back off in the face of our puissance? Hardly.
It never made much sense. So the badly-kept secret concerning the nuclear boats, Scotland, and radioactive garbage feels like a political gesture. It smacks of provocation. How might an “anti-nuclear” SNP reject all those jobs? But why, alternatively, would a Westminster government implant a key defence element in a territory with a nationalist tendency?
Here’s why. Watch and hear. “Good news for the Clyde,” says Bob Ainsworth, minister for our armed forces. A “great move for Scotland,” says Jim Sheridan, another of those Scottish MPs you may have forgotten. A “great boost to Scotland”, says Iain Gray, from Holyrood. Immoral is of no account. Labour is providing jobs in the mass murder business.”
Bell, one of Scotlands finest journalists (in admiteddly an uncompetitive field) concludes:
“Is it still presumed that time-served people will discard morality for a shift? And is this a mere bribe?
Probably. There is a new kid on the block, nevertheless. President Obama is the latest American leader to declare that profoundly nasty weapons – whose mere possession qualifies as a war crime – have to go. Where is that in the Faslane story? Who down in the hilarious bunker – we know you’re in there, chaps – has begun to wonder about alternative uses for a Scottish work force?
When do we get to emerge from the dark ages? A “great boost to Scotland” is not, I think, an exercise in summoning the best-qualified extermination squad on the planet. Meanwhile, locking my country into the union might be better achieved through democratic virtue, if any, than by treating us as a mercenary clientele.”
Bell is another example of a good journalist beginning to see the light – now the honest members of the Labour Party should oppose their leaders suicidal policies or leave the party en masse and build an alternative politics for the new Scotland. Trident 2 is just another example of what being tied to the British State means in reality, Scotland being tethered to an imperialist agenda of a political state yearning for past glories instead of facing up to the challenges of today. This is true whether its the cluster bomb base in Leuchars, the annual bombing of Cape Wrath, the DU shelling at Dundrennan, the Raytheon base in Glenrothes or the multitude of secret military bases that pepper the Scottish countryside.
Bring on the referendum and we can put this madness behind us.