Drone Warrior

GRevian2003

Philip Hammond arrives in Glasgow today to visit a Drones factory and champion Weapons of Mass Destruction.

En route he was keen to spread the usual selection of apocalyptic stories. Let’s not focus on the shambles of his negotiating message but just correct some of his wilder assertions.

A quick fact check’s in order.

1. Lindsay McIntosh at The Times reports that “Removing the submarines and weapons from Faslane and Coulport would lead to ‘many if not most’ of the 7000 workers losing their jobs. This is an old story that has been repeatedly disproved. Writing in the Herald in 2012 Rob Edwards wrote (‘Labour and Tories under fire for inflating Trident job losses):

“Figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) under freedom of information law reveal that only 520 civilian jobs at Faslane and Coulport near Helensburgh are directly dependent on Trident. This contrasts with the 6000-11,000 jobs that pro-Trident politicians claim are at risk.”

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2. Secondly, Hammond is due to say: “Alex Salmond knows, as I know, that the future of our naval base at Faslane would be just one of many defence issues that would be the subject of long and protracted negotiations if there were to be a yes vote in the referendum.

“Because if they insist that it has to go, there would have to be complex talks about the costs and timescales involved. Any notion that it would be quick and easy is just plain wrong.”

Yet the truth is this is just posturing.

In 2012 Professor Richard Garwin, a member of the JASON’s panel which advises American governments on nuclear weapons issues, said:

“The missiles and nuclear weapons can be disabled within weeks and removed within two years and dismantled within four years”.

Dr Bruce Blair, the leading world expert on how to de-activate nuclear weapons, said of the proposed SCND timetable ‘Disarming Trident’:

“It accurately describes the essential steps needed to remove Trident submarines from alert status, de-activate the weapons systems and remove them from Scottish territory. It anything the timetable is somewhat conservative. My studies have determined that some of the steps could be taken at a pace that is nearly twice as fast, though the more leisurely pace in the SCND timetable ensures a completely safe process of disarmament”.

Let people understand this is about private commerce and supporting arms manufacturers.

Last month, BAE Systems said a continued union between Scotland and the rest of the UK offers “greater certainty and stability” for its business.

Meanwhile, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, former first sea lord and chief of naval staff, sent a letter to Mr Salmond co-signed by former heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and intelligence warning that proposals to remove Trident “would cause huge practical problems and upheaval for the Royal Navy and require massive additional expenditure”.

If it’s the democratic will of the Scottish people is to remove Trident then we will remove Trident, never mind the commercial disadvantage to BAE or the ‘practical problems’.

We’re getting used to big business acting to distort and scare the populace but from today it looks like the military will be stepping up. Military interference in Scotland’s democratic referendum is outrageous and should cease immediately. When it happens in other country’s its rightly denounced.

 

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  1. The sooner we remove this sort of industry from Scotland the better. All it does it make us a target for terrorism

  2. hektorsmum says:

    Suddenly we have become important and I don’t think it will stop at Faslane. Look at the number of bombing ranges, starting at the Solway Firth running up to Cape Wrath round the Moray Firth right down to Northumberland. Then the sheep and cows will have a much more peaceful life no low level flying going on, well not as much, I doubt we need to get into that. I agree it is time we got rid of all the weapons manufacturing, only here to keep it out of the way from England.

  3. Evan says:

    It is quite disgusting and putrid, when killing other human beings is seen as a commercial enterprise!!!

    If the geopolitical situation in the world remains the same, 2015 will be the first time in about two hundred years were soldiers from uk will not be bringing “democracy” and “civilization” to some corner of the planet!!!

  4. bringiton says:

    The “debate” from London’s perspective is now entirely about them and what they stand to lose.
    Having your main nuclear military installation in a foreign country who doesn’t want you there is not a smart move (unless,of course,they are still threatening to annexe this part of Scotland).
    All the Whitehall departments have been tasked by Cameron (at no cost to Scottish tax payers of course) to come up with an anti independence paper and this is just the latest such story from the MoD.
    Who’s next in line for a doom-laden pronouncement?
    Maybe Gove telling us about the benefits of privately funded education and that we won’t have access to Eton and Harrow if we vote Yes ?

    1. Auld Rock says:

      Aye Bringiton they say they can’t relocate to Devonport as it’s too near English people and they would protest. Aye it’s OK for the Jocks just dump it on them as they’re expendable. Now here is a suggestion, why not relocate them to Belfast Lough and let’s see how “Loyal” the UVF, and UDA are then??? I bet you they scream like demented ‘Banshee’s’, LOL.

      Auld Rock

  5. weegingerdug says:

    After the death of Franco, Spain insisted that the USA remove the Polaris nuclear missiles and nuclear subs from the US naval base at Rota near Cadiz. The treaty agreeing the removal was signed in 1976, the nukes and the subs were gone by 1979. At the time Spain didn’t want to join NATO, but a later Spanish government decided to hold a referendum on membership, and Spain joined NATO in 1982. The fact they’d just evicted US nukes didn’t seem to be a barrier to membership. Funny that.

    Not that I want Scotland to be a member of NATO, but it’s always worthwhile to point out relevant facts.

  6. “If it’s the democratic will of the Scottish people is to remove Trident then we will remove Trident, never mind the commercial disadvantage to BAE or the ‘practical problems’.”

    We have to keep reminding people about basic democracy across a whole range of subjects. People seem to be increasingly battered down by talk of transnational companies, global politics, and no one having “real” independence.

    We have got to see beyond this depressing, apathetic mantra and take charge of our own affairs.

    1. Auld Rock says:

      Well said Murray. Our only Global interest will be to help people in time of need, like an earthquake, tsunami etc. We of course will always be happy to consider being involved in any UN approved Peace Keeping Force.

      Auld Rock

  7. Illy says:

    “Alex Salmond knows, as I know, that the future of our naval base at Faslane would be just one of many defence issues that would be the subject of long and protracted negotiations if there were to be a yes vote in the referendum.

    “Because if they insist that it has to go, there would have to be complex talks about the costs and timescales involved. Any notion that it would be quick and easy is just plain wrong.”

    Umm, it’s a Scottish Naval base at Faslane.

    So if we go independant, and the nukes are still at Faslane, doesn’t Scotland get them?

    The fact that an Independant Scotland would quickly decommission the nuclear weapons there is irrellevant, they’re still Scottish nukes.

  8. I find much of the scaremongering to be aimed either at the stupid or said by the stupid.One main point keeps coming to my mind,if an independent Scotland must keep Trident so that we remain in NATO then what happens to the rUK? will they have to find some submarines and some nuclear warheads,as without this armament they cant be in NATO or so they said!!! What a dilemma for them.Of course if England can be in NATO without Trident and the warheads then perhaps we can also be in NATO without them,or am I too simple.

  9. Marian says:

    NATO Nuclear Policy: In its new Strategic Concept adopted in Lisbon November 2010, NATO committed to “a world without nuclear weapons”,

    ”Assuring the security of the Euro-Atlantic area remains at the heart of NATO’s purpose, but the role of U.S. nuclear forces based in Europe has been reduced as the Alliance’s ability to diffuse a crisis diplomatically has significantly improved. NATO has committed to eliminate “all nuclear artillery and ground-launched short-range nuclear missiles” and significantly reduce the role and readiness of sub-strategic nuclear weapons in defense planning. This position is reflected by member states such as Denmark, Norway, and Spain which forbid the deployment of nuclear weapons on their territory in peacetime. Though the nuclear forces based in Europe provide an essential link between Europe and North America, NATO will only maintain a “minimum level sufficient to preserve peace and stability” while reducing the strategic role of these weapons in defense plans. Also Iceland is a member but has no military forces and this is how it sees membership In its work within the Alliance, Iceland inter alia puts emphasis on NATO’s role in disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation, including nuclear issues; the common values of the Alliance, i.e. respect for democracy, rule of law and human rights; collective defence and the importance of solidarity, the transatlantic link and the indivisibility of security. Iceland also stresses the important role of NATO in implementing Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; the High North and supports the notion that the Alliance should continue to be open to all European Countries that share the values of the Alliance as well as fulfil its conditions for membership.”

  10. caadfael says:

    The bonus is that the removal of trident and the subs opens the way for oil exploration in our waters off the west coast! Employment for people from Prestwick to Machrihanish at the very least!!!

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