A Referendum On Trident? – Defusing a nuclear bomb with the click of a wee sleekit mouse…

UnknownThis Friday Jan 22nd is the final day to respond to a Westminster parliamentary petition championing the case to Hold a referendum to decide whether this country wants a nuclear deterrent.

Trident Trumped

For those who fell asleep at the “end of history” this petition draws attention to the matter of Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system, since the existing system is nearing the end of its operational life and the emotive issue of renewal is to be decided at Westminster in the coming months.

Brought to wide attention by the Independence Referendum, due to its location just 30 miles from Glasgow at Faslane Naval Base, Trident is Britain’s most powerful weapon, capable of delivering more destructive power than was unleashed during the whole of WW2.

Considering the implications, which will affect the relationship of Britain in the eyes of the World for many years to come, and the estimated operational cost of £150+ billion, the decision to renew Trident is of the utmost significance, important enough to merit a referendum. With the approaching EU referendum a case could be made to include an additional question on the ballot paper regarding the issue of Trident.

Yet this matter has attracted far less attention than a certain Donald Trump who recently secured a place in the history books by eliciting the largest ever response to a Westminster parliamentary petition in response to his electioneering hate speeches. In a matter of weeks Trump ratcheted up almost 6 times the required 100,000 signatures for a petition to be “considered for debate in Parliament”, whereas the Trident petition has fallen staggeringly short having amassed less than 3000 signatures in 5 months.

Reflecting on these figures perhaps the Trident petition has fallen foul to an Orwellian app which ensures certain parliamentary petitions never exceed an uncomfortable figure for sensitive government matters. Whereas narcissistic, presidential contender ‘The Donald’, in cahoots with the corporate media, has been deftly effective in courting the phenomenon of ‘going viral’ and stirring the chattering masses across the World. Indeed, let us not forget that having besmirched the tale of Local Hero with his Aberdeen golf enterprise, Trump did more to overshadow and undermine the popularity and credibility of the then First Minister Alex Salmond in the lead up to the Independence Referendum than perhaps any other individual. The documentary film “You’ve Been Trumped”, which was curiously given much fanfare and a peak time slot on the BBC back in 2012, would seem in retrospect like a fait accompli.

Sovereignty and the SNP

Had the Scottish Referendum actually delivered a YES vote the decommissioning of nuclear weapons from British shores would have been among the most tangible of possible outcomes.

Having failed in this regard, if the issue of Trident is in the DNA of the SNP as claimed, then with so many bums on seats at Westminster the party could surely be encouraged to find sufficient support for a petition calling for a referendum on Trident, or go one step further and actually move a parliamentary bill to this effect before slipping off to Helensburgh and D-locking on to the gates of Faslane in order to draw international attention to the issue. After all, in harbouring indiscriminate and therefore illegal weapons, the British government is in breach of International Law and its duty in accord with the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty*. Moreover, having obsessed about the fiction of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and then used this as a pre-text for invasion of a sovereign nation, the SNP has a rare opportunity to expose the hypocrisy of the British state, whose double standards serve to inflame hatred and ferment retribution, leaving these shores vulnerable to the wrath of terrorism.

Yet D-locks, petitions and referendums are readily thwarted with all the expertise at the disposal of the British state. Saddled to the so-called “Mother of Parliaments”, the matter of opposing Trident might seem a hopeless affair in spite of the dedicated and robust critique advanced by CND.

In casting a critical eye elsewhere the SNP might consider the case of Switzerland. Rather than contend with ineffective parliamentary petitions and disingenuous democracy the Swiss Citizen has been granted a level of respect well beyond paternal contempt and is actually trusted on matters as important as investing billions on deadly weapons systems through mandatory referenda. Indeed, a referendum has recently been held which resulted in the cancellation of a billion dollar contract for fighter jets, much to the chagrin of the arms industry.

Perhaps if the SNP had been true to the spirit of what sovereignty could mean in the 21st century and simply offered Citizens the promise of meaningful participatory democracy comparable to the Swiss model instead of the obfuscation of the White Paper and the continuation of wearisome ya-boo indirect democracy, then the notion of independence might have been considerably more tantalising to the electorate back in 2014.


The remaining operational life of the existing submarines which house the Trident system is approximately 10 years so if the British parliament can actually be encouraged to desist from renewal there still remains for the foreseeable future the ‘peace of mind’ that comes with mutually assured destruction (MAD!) for those who have come to put their faith in these mighty metallic submersible phalluses.

Since a week has come to be regarded as a long time in politics, 10 concerted years should be ample to undertake the process of multilateral disarmament, diffusing international tensions through the tried and tested process of truth and reconciliation.

Ten years also corresponds approximately to the time frame that noted scientists have given us wise beings (Homo Sapiens) to respond in a meaningful manner to the threat of anthropocentric Climate Change, the debate of which has now all but been put to rest with the revelations regarding Exxon et al complimented by the recent wild weather. After all the intransigence on this issue even high hied yins in the American military such as Admiral Samuel J. Locklear have now come out and stated that Climate Change is the greatest threat to global security!

With the cost of global military spending now exceeding 1.5 trillion dollars/ year the potential savings attributed to multilateral disarmament would be enormous. Such savings could then pay for war reparations, the eradication of global poverty etc, in addition to mitigating the effects of Climate Change and cleaning up the environment. Considering the stakes it is tragic then that the protection of jobs is still cited as a key reason for maintaining a nuclear ‘deterrent’ when in fact many, many more alternative jobs, which could prove absolutely essential to the security and stability of future generations, would be created instead.

Peace At Last?

In these centenary years of “The War To End All Wars” those living on civvy street might ponder the question “has the sacrifice of those who have given their lives since 1914 been betrayed by our failure to end war?”. Though the notion of disarmament and peace may seem like a distant pipe dream, the General Assembly of the United Nations is currently reviving the process of nuclear disarmament, with 144 countries declaring it in the interests of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again “under any circumstances” and 132 describing nuclear weapons as “inherently immoral”.

Yet can this pressure realistically shift the status quo when the possession of nuclear weapons has allowed states to behave with impunity? Having received the Nobel Peace Prize after stating “clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” , the Obama administration has subsequently spent billions extending a nuclear weapons program, thus provoking other nations to develop nuclear weapons, as was revealed with the recent nuclear test in North Korea.

As preposterous as it might seem could the United Kingdom, Perfidious Albion, redeem herself and lead again as she did in the industrial age and become the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to give up all its nuclear weapons?

South Africa, famous for having pursued truth and reconciliation, led the way in becoming the first country to abolish its nuclear weapons. Then there is Costa Rica, a country which though never nuclear armed has shown extraordinary courage in pursuing an alternative path to militarism, taking the ultimate step and becoming the first nation in the World to abolish its military back in 1949, in spite of the volatility of the region. Consequently, having invested in programs of social uplift instead of armaments, Costa Rica has achieved the highest rating of wellbeing in the World, with a life expectancy greater than the USA, according to the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice, the New Economics Foundation. Though receiving little attention in the Western media a documentary film, A Bold Peace, has recently been produced which highlights these remarkable achievements.

The Redemption of Perfidious Albion?

While politicians claim that defence of the nation and our way of life are the primary responsibilities of government we must surely accept that tensions between peoples of other nations have been significantly fomented by the history of empire and our recent misadventures overseas. Moreover, the current global economic system, borne out of empire, favours the interests of the rich at the expense of the poor, precipitates environmental and social degradation, has no moral foundation, is susceptible to psychopathic excess and is therefore complicit in creating conflict and thereby compromising national security.

In protecting the existing power and wealth of the British state, by renewing Trident parliament will effectively be perpetuating the bloody barbarism of the paradigm of “might is right” and choosing to ignore the words of Martin Luther King Jr: “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

In a seemingly hostile world with its aspirations to be interconnected, where our rather insignificant size has in recent times punched considerably above its weight in splendid isolation, the possibility of unilateral disarmament, going beyond the age of jingoistic nuclear bravado, would represent a considerable step towards reconciliation and peace, and even potentially salvation in light of the correlation to Climate Change! Such a conciliatory gesture would set a remarkable example to the World at such a significant time, pursuing an alternative strategy, aspiring to achieve national security through peaceful means by building trust and respect, overcoming injustice and inequality, in a World where there is currently more than enough to satisfy a dignified existence for all.

As an inspirational gesture revealing a hand of encouragement, indigenous peoples of the empire “where the Sun never set” have been calling for reconciliation in the face of colonial oppression and brutality, and in so doing have shown an extraordinary capacity for forgiveness, giving meaning to the expression “Love Your Enemy”, elevating the human spirit to a higher level of dignity.

It’s been a long time coming and it may be far off yet but recalling the inspiring words of Robert Burns that have endeared the bard to so many throughout the World:

“Then let us pray that come it may, as come it will for a’ that,
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth, shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that, it’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man (& Woman too!), the world o’er, shall brothers (& sisters) be for a’ that.”

For those who support disarmament, in the lead up to a decision on the future of Trident a major march and rally is being organised on Saturday 27th February in London with transport available from Glasgow and Edinburgh. More details here.

*Article VI of the  Non-proliferation Treaty (signed by the UK in 1968 and still to be honoured):

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”.

Comments (19)

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  1. Gashty McGonnard says:

    Interesting article. But isn’t the picture at the top a bit unfair to cigarettes? And [pedant alert], don’t you mean defusing, rather than diffusing? Diffusing a nuclear bomb sounds like a bad idea. Or did a I miss a pun?

    1. Derek says:

      If you diffuse it, the post-explosion sunburn might not be as bad.

    2. SimonB says:

      No esoteric pun missed – just a dyslexic whopper! Thanks for pointing out!
      Peace & Sanity…

  2. bringiton says:

    Unfortunately,Albion’s perfidy has been a long time in the making and they are not about to change their ways any time soon.
    Anything which threatens to undermine the sense of self importance held by England’s ruling class will be rejected by all means possible.
    So they will have the debate and then do what they always intended in the first place,namely ensuring nothing undermines their place at the top table,whatever the cost to UK tax payers.

  3. Gordie says:

    Another Excellent article. Glad to see the Auld Reekie issue went your way. Fairly confident this one will as well

  4. Richard Gunn says:

    Why wait for a referendum. (Waiting sounds like waiting to be given permission.)

    Why not go ahead? What matters is that a grassroots anti-Trident movement is democratic: that is, “horizontal” and open to everyone who cares to come along.

  5. Bob Agassi says:

    Simon, spell checker is your friend 🙂 please use it..

    1. Scott Phoenix says:

      This is not the first article I have noticed with the f mixed up with other letters. Im starting to wonder why?

      1. So am I. Looking into it. Apologies.

        1. James Harkness says:

          Hope you manage to ifx it!

      2. Coding error. We’ll fix it. Sorry

  6. duncan says:

    Yes, happy for a vote on this. I am personally for having it. I know the university classes dismiss conflict as purely a British colonial problem which never existed before the emergence of buccaneers in the Bay of Biscay. And that even now North Korea only wants to arm itself nuclearly as a reaction to the setting up of the East India Company.
    But seriously,anyone who has been exposed to military violence or any other kind knows that humans respond to deterrents. Even Cicero admitted sovereignty was only really safe when one was sure they could defend themselves.

    1. SimonB says:

      Thanks for your comments Duncan.

      My own feelings for this subject were partially formulated as a result of witnessing the aftermath of war in Bosnia in 1997 when I drove across the country en route to Greece. Until then I wasn’t at all politically conscious but the experience so profoundly affected my conscious, otherwise numbed by a culture promoting violence through the lens of the media and a history of power established through the barbarism of “might is right”, I came to the rational conclusion of pacifism (excuse dodgy gremlin spelling!)

      While I accept that “humans respond to deterrents” this ultimately is control through fear. When this tension is successfully challenged by physical force this ultimately leads to the oppressed becoming the oppressors, and so bloody history repeats itself and condemns us to the belief that human nature will always be so…

      The threat of the belt at school may have acted as a deterrent against those unruly individuals who consciously or unconsciously kicked back against the imposition of hierarchical institutional authority. Yet if the school system was a bastion of moral authority and virtue then there would likely have been no need to impose any threat of violence. Curiously, now that the threat of force has become regarded as unacceptable and no longer used in the school context, order has still managed to be maintained, albeit in a very imperfect system.

      The age of Cicero has passed and Costa Rica along with 22 other sovereign nations have taken a courageous leap of faith and relinquished the use of military force.

      In the case of Scotland it seems ludicrous that another country would invade these shores, yet in the 21st century I accept that warfare has found other more insidious forms. Though it wasn’t considered during the Indy Ref debate, if we ever went beyond our martial mindset, and thereby consciously choose to disassociate ourselves from the arms industry, we would save billions, better spending the energy and resources on programs of social uplift.

      As a transitional step towards achieving multilateral disarmament, in recognising the essence of the imposition of a deterrent, were the UN to become the global policeman as I understand was the aspiration, meaningful peace might yet be achieved. Moreover, beyond the need of any deterrent, in a world where there is more than enough to satisfy a dignified existence for all, if the human family were to share the wealth of Planet Earth in a fair, equitable manner, and therefore eradicate the shame of poverty, then decency could prevail, collective wellbeing would be elevated and international conflict would likely be overcome.

      Yet while we remain saddled to the paradigm of “might is right” and the construct of a global economic system derived from the mindset of a post-feudal imperial world, then conflict, poverty, war and environmental degradation seem all but inevitable.

      In cursing the current paradigm, beyond the safe and sanitised institutional world which has attempted to take the bite out of the bard, Robert Burns gave expression to the pen being mightier than the sword when he wrote, as a damning denouncement of physical dominion:

      “Inhuman man! Curse on thy barb’rous art,
      And blasted be thy murder aiming eye;
      May never pity soothe thee with a sigh,
      Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!”

      I believe if we are to get out of the mess ‘civilisation’ is currently in there needs to be an evolution in human consciousness that elevates us beyond the domain of control by fear, through the process of truth and reconciliation.

      “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding” – Albert Einstein

      “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr

      It might yet come to be understood that maintaining the might of Trident et al shames the highest rank of our dignity, betraying a sense of faith in the capacity of our collective human morality, holding us back from realising a better world… I sense Burns had come to this realisation in visioning a world grounded in Love, rather than fear, when he wrote “A Man’s A Man”.

      Happy Burns Day!
      Amen & Awomen

      1. duncan says:

        Simon, well said and I find myself agreeing with nearly all of your sentiments. However, was it Mark Twain that said,’The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.’ History has taught us valuable lessons many choose to ignore. I think Chomsky once stated the most important thing in American foreign policy to invade another country was that the country never had any capacity to hit back. I don’t see anyone going into North Korea.

        Costa Rica happens to be one of the poorest coountries in the world: the stakes are low.

        Your point about schools working the same without the belt is wrong- sorry. There is no discipline in schools as there is no authority. When they threw the belt out the school someone decided authority was pointless too. People were no longer responsible for their actions and were seen as victims rather than individually responsible humans. First by taking away the responsible part they could then start undoing the human part and started administering retinol as a more seditious form of authority. Not from a teacher or a father now but from the state. Teacher stabbings and violence in schools have increased. I’ve spoken to many school children who ended up behind bars who wished they had someone in authority to listen to, to take seriously in life. But they were abandoned. Their forefathers wisdom, the power of role models all replaced with ideas that every one was just really, really, nice.

        1. SimonB says:

          Thanks for your follow up comments Duncan encouraging further debate…

          Though we have otherwise become profoundly and insidiously conditioned in this technologically advanced, economically enslaved, soullessly corporate, individualistic, junk cultured age, I remain hopeful that as Homo Sapiens we can yet overcome our insecurities and fears and become truly wise and humankind.

          In our past trusting and naivety, and acquiescence to power established through the hand of force, our humanity has become degraded, resulting in the breakdown of the family, and by extension society.

          Man’s best friends have been less affected by this conditioning and so I can understand your point in quoting “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog”. Yet, like us, our fellow mortal companions have the capacity to become savage when mistreated or overcome with fear. Moreover, animals can exhibit broken and deranged behaviour, as anyone will know who has witnesses the barbarism hidden behind the security walls of our factory farms.

          Linking this to the subject of war, the author of War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, is attributed with saying:

          “As long as there are slaughter houses there will always be battlefields.”

          Tolstoy elaborated by stating, “If a man’s aspirations towards a righteous life are serious.. .if he earnestly and sincerely seeks a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from animal food, because, not to mention the excitement of the passions produced by such food, it is plainly immoral, as it requires an act contrary to moral feeling, ie. killing – and is called forth only by greed… It is horrible! It is not the suffering and the death of the animals that is horrible, but the fact that the man without any need for so doing crushes his lofty feeling of sympathy and mercy for living creatures and does violence to himself that he may be cruel.”

          In re-establishing a foundation to our relationship with society and the greater world, if moral value was instilled as the basis of the education system then there would likely be a natural tendency to attune to one’s conscience and live in a state of grace and good nature. With dedication and perseverance, poverty, which is otherwise an affront to Nature’s abundant providence, and war, which is against fundamental Natural Law/ “Golden Rule” (“do to others as you would have them do to you”) could be overcome and consigned to history.

          Currently the extent to which young people have a good moral foundation and, in lacking an understanding of philosophy and sociology, an ability for critical thinking upon leaving school is questionable.

          The four guiding words inscribed on the Scottish Mace, at the heart of the Holyrood Parliament, (Wisdom, Justice, Compassion, Integrity) are enough to foster the bed rock of morality which in reconciling the past could overcome our degraded civilisation. Indeed, if the actions of our parliamentarians, of all colours, were true to these words, we would live in a society of decency and dignity, no longer perverted by the construct and chicanery of money, economics and power disparity, which ultimately serves the interests of the 1%.

          In attempting to tie up the issue, when it seems humanity has been going round and round for many generations trying to reconcile the relationship of power, I sense that force, or the threat of, is only necessary in maintaining a broken system, of which the stockpiling of nuclear weapons gives the greatest expression to.

          Yet our experience of ‘civilisation’ shines so little insight into the possibility of seeing beyond a world shaped by the doctrine of “might is right” and consequently we have become resigned to believing that human nature is predisposed to barbarism.

          While we’re stuck in the current paradigm, Costa Rica, Iceland, Switzerland and others, though still very much in the minority, shine a beacon of hope to humanity of alternative realities. Though Costa Rica may be ‘poor’, it is by no means “one of the poorest countries in the world” (currently above Tunisia, Lithuania and Serbia as measured by the crudeness of GDP), and is undoubtedly wealthy in terms of well being, which is surely of greater value than monetary wealth?

          In a world where there is more than enough to satisfy a dignified quality of life for all is it not therefore the poverty of morality, our glaring hypocrisy, and the corresponding failings of our current system that is at fault, which in spite of the declaration of Human Rights condemns our fellow ‘poorer’ brothers and sisters to go without food, clothing and shelter?

          Though Costa Rica may appear an unattractive proposition to the belligerent eyes of old world imperial warriors, and therefore with little need of a military, North Korea appears somewhat ridiculous in pursuing the extreme alternative strategy of harbouring nuclear weapons, (though this has likely helped to repel the excesses of capitalism, with the Trojan Horse of Chinese influence excepted, from crossing its borders).

          In this context the other lesser nuclear armed states such as India and Pakistan appear similarly ridiculous, particularly when material poverty is so shamefully apparent there. Yet, in the Yin and Yang of divide and rule, the most dominant militaristic nations, with their ‘military industrial complex’, need ‘bogeymen’ in order to justify over arching dominance and the perpetuation of the mindset of “might is right”.

          As a poignant reminder of the “excitement of the passions” and the power of propaganda in this weary age of “might is right”, I came upon this cartoon the other day which has chilling resonance in relation to our own recent military misadventures:


          Looking back and learning from history, while guided by the enlightened words inscribed on the Parliamentary Mace, succeeding generations may evolve beyond the embarrassing bravado of jingoism and secure the regard that once inspired Voltaire to proclaim, “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation”.

          Perhaps our part in the unilateral decommissioning of Trident could be the catalyst for this?

  7. Jeff says:

    …’in Switzerland…a referendum has recently been held which resulted in the cancellation of a billion dollar contract for fighter jets, much to the chagrin of the arms industry.’

    Just as an aside – the arms industry will be able to take EU countries (so not Switzerland, obviously) to court and seek compensation for cancelling such contracts if the TTIP agreement is ratified.

    1. SimonB says:

      Indeed, the paper fiction (another spelling gremlin!) fantasy world of TTIP, to add to the “reality” of our already broken psychopathic system…

      For those who are interested in a better insight (and really that should be EVERYONE!) these documentary films (!) are recommended:


  8. Mr Oulton says:

    “Since a week has come to be regarded as a long time in politics, 10 concerted years should be ample to undertake the process of multilateral disarmament, diffusing international tensions through the tried and tested process of truth and reconciliation”

    This is naïve. Successful multilateral disarmament would require the peaceful resolution of almost all frozen geopolitical conflicts and tensions, most of which are completely out of our control. US-Russia, Pakistan-India, India-China and Israel-the rest of the Middle East to name just four. We’d need to create peace in the Middle East before Israel would even consider disarming. North Korea cannot be relied upon to act predictably or rationally either, something fairly important for successful multilateral negotiations. And as India, Pakistan and Israel refuse to join the Non Proliferation Treaty, we don’t even have the right multilateral machinery in place.

    The UK could disarm unilaterally, and maybe it should, but let’s be realistic about whether the others might.

    We should also be honest about what it would mean in practice. The UK would probably end up sitting under a NATO nuclear umbrella anyway, replete with the requisite nuclear security guarantee that continued membership would bring, free riding off the remaining two NATO nuclear weapon states, France and the US.

    South Africa’s unilateral disarmament is an interesting, admirable and unique case. But taking place under Apartheid, the then government feared that its very small stockpile (about 6 warheads) might fall into the wrong (black) hands come transition, which at the time was becoming inevitable. South Africa’s geopolitical landscape had also changed, making its weapons less important. Its recent forced peace with Angola and recognition of Namibian independent had eased tensions, while it could also call on others if it were at risk of a ‘communist’ invasion from nearby Angola, Mozambique or Cuba or Russia by proxy.

    1. SimonB says:

      Thanks for your comments Mr Oulton.

      Given that Climate Change is now regarded by many as the most pressing issue of our time, and having wasted the last 40 years contending with intransigence and obfuscation on the issue, “10 concerted years… to undertake the process of multilateral disarmament” is all the time we might have left to reconcile this matter for the sake of succeeding generations.

      In this information communication age, with the structures of governance at the UN level and such institutions as the International Court of Justice and the Endowment for International
      Peace in the Hague, (as endowed by Andrew Carnegie in 1913 in which he charged trustees to “ hasten the abolition of international war, the foulest blot upon our civilization ”), the opportunity is ripe.

      The history of Israel/ Palestine and many other significant conflicts such as India/Pakistan, have our finger prints all over them, and so we have some moral obligation to show leadership. Unilateralism would set a good example and help to diffuse bitterness and resentment as a result of past mistakes and wrongdoings.

      As you point out, in the interim by remaining in NATO this would make little difference to Britain’s ‘security’ by “free riding off the remaining two NATO nuclear weapon states”, yet with independence and reconciliation Scotland could go the way of Ireland and others and become neutral, thus encouraging the possibility of a growing movement towards global peace.

      From a rational point of view it is the most paranoid states that would likely be the last to decommission, yet if the UN could be trusted to act as the global policeman, within the remit of the General Assembly, then the possibility of multilateral disarmament could potentially be achieved within a relatively short time frame.

      Though the Non Proliferation Treaty is currently all but meaningless, with nuclear states such as Britain so blatantly disregarding its obligations, beyond the nuclear club of the Security Council, the General Assembly of the United Nations is currently reviving the process of nuclear disarmament. Details of this are available here:


      “Wi’ plenty o’ sic trees, I trow,
      The warld would live in peace, man;
      The sword would help to mak a plough,
      The din o’ war wad cease man.
      Like brethren in a common cause,
      We’d on each other smile, man;
      And equal rights and equal laws
      Wad gladden every isle, man.”

      “But truce with kings, and truce with constitutions,
      With bloody armaments and revolutions…”

      – Robert Burns

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