Thursday, 21 December 2006

Trident debate in Parliament

there was a debate in the parliament today on Trident, here are the notes of the speech I made in the debate you can also find some coverage on the BBC by following this link

Trident 21/12/06
1 I welcome this debate because it is important and the chances of Labour bringing it up in their time, with the huge divisions in its ranks, are zero.

2 This debate should be raging across Britain, the full implications of developing yet more nuclear weapons of mass destruction engaging all civic and democratic institutions because it affects us all.

3 It’s a huge issue for our age; one which puts all humanity at risk,
one where the legality of theses weapons under international law is put under close scrutiny,
one which casts doubt on Britain’s commitment to the nuclear non proliferation treaties it has signed , and
one where enormous sums of money which could be spent on health, education and social services are to go on nuclear bombs.

5 But of course it is precisely these issues, those of international legality and concern for humanity where Tony Blair doesn’t shine.
His legacy, the catastrophic failure of policy in IRAQ stands for evermore round his neck.

6 And neither should we be surprised at him steamrollering this debate. Blair is not comfortable with democracy. He lied to us on Iraq and he lies to us again on this debate.
His cabinet has already decided and his chancellor has already allocated the funds, and his First Minister has jumped into line, so his appeal for a full and open debate is another sham.

7 Don’t believe me? Where were members on June 12th this year?
On June 12th I visited Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment part of Scottish CND deputation.
We were taken round the perimeter fence of the base by veteran CND activists- AWE management would not meet us.
Shown where the manufacture of nuclear warheads took place.
Shown where the development of replacement Trident system is already far advanced.

8 In the afternoon we travelled up to Westminster where we met Dr Hans Blix the UN weapons Inspector. He was in London to present his latest report on the nuclear non proliferation treaty and how the countries who had signed up to it were not honouring their commitments.

9 That evening Gordon Brown in his Mansion House speech announced that he had already allocated the £25bn plus needed for replacing Trident.

10 Yesterday Tony Blair had the effrontery to tell us we are, in this epoch, locked into a battle between democracy and extremism.
If that is right then he is certainly not on the side of Democracy? He doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

11 The majority of Scots have expressed their opinion about Trident.
They are opposed to it and believe they make Scotland less safe.

12 An independent Scotland would scrap Trident of that I have no doubt.
Just as, an independent Scotland would not have sent Scottish soldiers to fight an illegal war in Iraq.

13 Britain is one of just 9 countries in the world with nuclear weapons.
Weapons designed to annihilate entire countries, making no distinction between enemy combatants and innocent civilians. That’s what makes them both illegal and immoral.

14 Tony Blair is the extremist who holds the threat of nuclear annihilation over the world. He is a threat to his neighbours, with nuclear missiles he is a threat to every nation. So where are the UN weapons inspectors now?

15 Who protects the world from Kim Jung Blair? He has weapons of mass destruction and has also ‘got form’ attacking and invading other countries! Iraq! Who protects the world from Kim Blair Il!

16 Reminds me of Anarchisis – the Greek philosopher who once said that ‘laws are like cobwebs – strong enough to hold the weak but not able to hold back the strong’!
In other words the NNPT is there to hold back those small nations- North Korea’s defiance not withstanding - but the big nations, as Hans Blix concludes, the powerful nuclear nations, they don’t take a blind bit of notice.

17 ‘THE ULTIMATE INSURANCE’ he calls it. Trident nuclear weapons provide us with– the ‘ultimate insurance’ claims Tony Blair ‘a safeguard against attack.’ The US has 32,000 and it didn’t stop 9/11.
The nature of the threat has rendered these illegal and immoral missile systems obsolete in the so called ‘war on terror’.

18 How dare Tony Blair warn Kim Jongil of North Korea not to develop nuclear missiles and then turn round and spend £25bn - £75bn of our money on more Trident weapons of mass destruction.
Who insures the world from Blairism?

18 The £25bn - £75bn could be better spent on health, education and social services, not on weapons designed to blow entire nations to smithereens.
*No Labour members who support Trident Two can in future in all conscience stand up in this Chamber without attracting ridicule and dare claim there is no money for free school meals, no money to abolish NHS prescription charges or for free personal care for the elderly
– not when they are prepared to spend billions on Trident 2.

19 There are 9 countries in the world with nuclear weapons – 9!
USA 32,500. Russia 16,000 France 400, UK 240, China 200, India 110 Pakistan 100, Israel 100 and North Korea 4.
Only US has ever used them in war and yet they have more than everyone else put together. Who protects the world from George Bush?

20 Trust in politics has never been in shorter supply.
And you just can’t trust Labour on Trident. Gordon Brown in 1984 said Trident was ‘….unacceptably expensive, economically wasteful and military unsound’ June 19th 1984 and now he’s all for them?
Blair shows the same inconsistency - a maverick warmongering leader to compare with any turnaround of Kim Jung Il!

21 SUPPORT FASLANE 365 – Protest on Jan 8th
Scottish CND have begun a year long protest outside the Faslane Naval base and as part of that exercise they have invited Parliamentarians to join them on Jan 8th. I will be there. I hope all MSP’s here today will join me. ENDS

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