Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Today Parliament votes on whether to renew our Trident submarines. There will be a Labour rebellion, but, with the aid of the Tories, the vote will be won by Blair. I have no idea what I think about this. Here and here are cogent statements of the two sides of the argument. Both broadly agree that we don't currently need a Cold War type deterrent. But, say the pros, we have to plan for the long-term and our possible rogue state enemies in the medium term - Iran, North Korea - will be unimpressed by our decision to relinquish the nukes. Absurd, says the antis, such arguments could be used to justify anything and we would acquire the moral high ground by abolition. Both sides can be off-putting. Some pros have a nasty, testosteroney, nuke-the-buggers manner. Some antis can be as cretinous as this press release from CND. But both sides, as my examples show, can be impressively lucid - though, in these two cases, Simon Jenkins beats Oliver Kamm who has yet to master the art of sounding as though he's thinking rather than simply making a case. But, as I say, I don't know and it is, in the eyes of Heaven, a fantastically depressing subject. Not as depressing, however as the fact that this year the AK-47, the handiest killing machine ever made, is sixty years old.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:07 am