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    Nick Clegg adopts SNP policy on Trident

    by Leon
    17th June, 2009 at 10:16 am    

    I’m not sure what’s brought on this mini ‘road to Damascus’ like change of mind but Nick Clegg is now opposed to replacing Trident. The Guardian reports:

    Figures in the cabinet and the shadow cabinet have been privately pressing for their parties to renounce a replacement for Trident, but have not been able to persuade their leaders. This means Clegg is the first big figure to argue openly against a full-scale Trident replacement.

    Clegg said: “New leadership in Russia, new leadership obviously in the White House and a wider geo-strategic appreciation means that a cold war missile system designed to penetrate Soviet defenses and land in Moscow and St Petersburg at any time, in any weather, from any location anywhere round the planet, is not our foremost security challenge now. We have got to be grown-up and honest about it.”

    So, the LibDems have basically adopted the SNP policy on Trident, the Guardian describes it as the first ‘mainstream’ party to oppose the replacement. I’m not sure our Scottish friends will agree that the SNP is a fringe party…

    Either way it’s good to see another party moving forward on the issue, even if they won’t give credit where credit’s due to those who held the view earlier.

                  Post to del.icio.us

    Filed in: Current affairs,Economics

    12 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Wikio UK

      Nick Clegg adopts SNP policy on Trident (Pickled Politics) http://o-x.fr/9qy

    2. pickles

      New blog post: Nick Clegg adopts SNP policy on Trident http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4865

    1. James Graham — on 17th June, 2009 at 10:24 am  

      It is hardly a Damascene conversion. He was speaking in quite sceptical terms about Trident during the leadership hustings.

      This is only a change in policy to the extent that the party has gone from being sceptical but resolutely sitting on the fence to openly sceptical. I happen to think the previous position was pretty daft but a U-Turn this is not.

    2. platinum786 — on 17th June, 2009 at 10:56 am  

      You guys probably won’t agree with me, but I think it is important for Britain to maintain an effective nuclear detterent. As far as technology today is concerned, the nuclear weapon is the ultimate weapon, able to rain down total destruction, hence nations armed with that weapon are less likely to be attacked by other nations.

      The world is an odd place. 70 years ago we were at war with the Nazi’s. 30 years ago we faced a genuine threat from the USSR. What garuntees does anyone have that in 50 years time we may not face another enemy of that scale?

      I don’t think denuclearisation is going to work. I think soon we’ll see more nations going nuclear, potentially S.Korea, Japan, Iran. If Iran goes nuclear the arabs will use it as an excuse to go nuclear. Syria, Saudi Arabia may take the opertunity. There is potential for Venezuela to trigger the same effect in South America, as they may threaten to go nuclear triggering the Brazillians to do so again.

      Right now, people see nuclear arms not as a tool to wipe out the enemy, but rather as a tool to ensure you can wipe out the enemy if you need too, hence prevent your enemy from attacking you from fear of paying the ultimate price.

      The one thing I can see scope for currently is the size of the program. In the immediate future, we cannot see a massive threat where we need nuclear weapons to defend ourselves, why do we need a cold war level detterent?

    3. Joe Otten — on 17th June, 2009 at 10:57 am  

      Leon, what’s your angle here? You seem very hostile to this story.

      As for what brought it on, I thought he said. It’s the state of the public finances.

      Whether there would be any nuclear deterrent, less capable than Trident - eg Cruise missiles - has not been decided.

    4. Leon — on 17th June, 2009 at 11:11 am  

      I thought my ‘angle’ was revealed in the last line? Would be nice if more politicians ventured a few feet beyond party lines more often…Oh as for ‘hostility’ I tend to blog with some bite. ;)

    5. chairwoman — on 17th June, 2009 at 11:36 am  

      As nobody else is going to give up their nuclear capability, and more nations are going to achieve it, I have to say that I think our Platinum has the right idea.

      *Ducks to avoid barrage*

    6. MaidMarian — on 17th June, 2009 at 11:49 am  

      Platinum and Chairwoman are right - Clegg is swimming against the tide.

      The SNP have it easy on this because it is not something they are ever likely to have the power to implement. Looking at the website it seems that a big part (the main part?) of their objection is actually cost, not a demilitarisation principle. Cost is, of course, not a side-issue, but the link hardly looks like a stand hewn from granite principles.

      Even if all the nuclear bases were moved out of Scotland, defence is still a UK matter.

      I can’t really see voters buying into this when it comes to the crunch, cost or not even if only out of fatalism.

    7. Joe Otten — on 17th June, 2009 at 11:57 am  

      Leon, I may be wrong, but aren’t “the first mainstream party” the Guardian’s words, not Clegg’s?

      Is the real story here support for nuclear disarmament, or journalistic standards?

      It looks like you are trying to find fault with the presentation of a policy you basically agree with, to avoid, at any cost, writing a straightforward positive story about the Lib Dems. That’s fine - I guess we know where you’re coming from now.

    8. Bo — on 17th June, 2009 at 1:22 pm  

      “New leadership in Russia”. What I wonder makes Mr Clegg feel so positive about the way the Russians have been behaving?

    9. Leon — on 17th June, 2009 at 2:24 pm  

      Joe, I’m not sure if your being purposely obtuse in pursuit of your own political outlook or not.

      The post clearly states it’s the Guardian that called it the first mainstream party. The post also clearly points out that the point is this is a SNP policy, and laments the lack of credit given. I’ve always found Barack Obama’s line about it not being the hugeness of the problems but the smallness of the politics interesting. That’s where I’m coming from.

      [For the record: I have friends in most if not all the major parties, and respect and admire them for the work they do even if we don't always see eye to eye.]

      Ironic that this post is a side swipe at tribal/partisan politics (not too mention spin) and your posts provide further evidence of just how distasteful it can be… :D

    10. Shuggy — on 18th June, 2009 at 9:25 am  

      I’m not sure our Scottish friends will agree that the SNP is a fringe party…

      No but on issues relating to UK defence policy it is because it has no responsibility for it now and they anticipate a future where they would have nothing to do with UK foreign policy at all. They can say whatever they want, in other words. Bit like the Lib Dems, come to think of it.

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