Surely there must be better things to do with £97bn than blow up the world?

Trish Marchant says:  So the first of the cuts have been announced by the Con-Dems, yet there is one big saving that is missing from the list, Trident. It was with interest that I read a brief history ( Guardian ) of how we came to be lumbered with it:

£97bn - Because we're worth it?

“To its critics, Trident was a white elephant even before it was launched. Margaret Thatcher ordered the missile system in 1982 during the cold war, to replace the ageing Polaris system – but it only came into service in 1994, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite running costs of around £2bn a year, Trident was cheaper for being a US franchise: Britain leases its nuclear missiles from the US and its submarines creep across the Atlantic to pick them up from a base in Georgia. Britain also relies on US software and US satellites for missile-targeting information. The nuclear warheads for these missiles may be built at Aldermaston, Berkshire, but American companies own a substantial part of that factory. This is all a key part of the “special relationship” and Britain’s subordinate place within it.”

Supporting our Armed Forces is one thing, ensuring front line personnel are properly kitted out and paying them a bonus for the risks they are taking, is a necessary price to pay for their bravery and service. But this spending on the US defence industry (the cost of Trident, £97 Billion over 30 year), is ridiculous and its existence threatens both the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and world stability. (Greenpeace)

As Alistair McGowan said: Surely there must be better things to do with £97bn than blow up the world?


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