A letter a day to number 10. No 1,496
Monday 18 July 2016.
Dear Mrs May,
A vote on Trident is due today (Monday) which is likely to be passed by parliament. You have made your own views very clear, “…it would be sheer madness to contemplate even for a moment giving up Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent.”
The ‘logic’ behind Trident as a nuclear deterrent is still that of ‘mutually assured destruction’. If the nation’s conventional weapons are destroyed in an attack and the nation reduced to rubble we would still have the capacity to retaliate against the attacking nation. Why?
There are nine nations in the world with nuclear weapons, nine nations which are capable of holding the world to ransom. Britain, these small islands, is not dealing on any kind of equal footing with some 160 warheads, Russia has 1,600 and the USA 1,920 and the idea that we are any kind of major player is ludicrous.
You claim, “we remain committed to working alongside our Nato allies and playing our full role in the world.” Really? Did we live in a democracy, isn’t this something worthy of a referendum? Brexit has seen a run on the pound, how does that compare to millions of lives eradicated in a nuclear holocaust?
The 20th century saw the world at almost continuous war across the globe and the 21st century is riven with strife. Industrial progress has seen the proliferation of industrial scale war and destruction. This is not progress. Those of us who call for peace, like Jeremy Corbyn, are still dismissed as beardy, hippy, peaceniks, as if war was a virtue and we’re just lunatic fringe dreamers.
There is no virtue in war or the ability to make war and the current century isn’t about defence, it’s about wars of aggression and the escalation of arms for profit. Trident is just the tip of an iceberg of what is insanity and no amount of flag waving and tub thumping patriotism will make it otherwise. Every penny spent on arms is money that could have saved lives, cured diseases, tackled the evil of poverty saving tens of thousands of lives every year and improved life for millions.