Writing a prescription of our own

All over Scotland on Saturday there were demonstrations against Trident renewal. In over 30 Scottish cities and towns, people marched in opposition to a nuclear weapons system which has the potential to destroy the entire country. If there were to be a serious accident involving Trident, just a few miles down the road from Scotland’s largest centres of population, the kill zone encompasses most the country. It would make Fukushima look like a road closure, and render the entire Central Belt uninhabitable for generations.

Trident has the potential to end the existence of Scotland. It could potentially make us extinct as a nation. Entrusting that kind of power to the hands of the serial incompetents who brought us the Iraq war and the farce of Brexit does not contribute to our safety, it does not help us rest easy in our beds at night as the nuclear convoys rumble through our streets in the dark of night. It’s the stuff of nightmares. It’s because we wish to rest easy in our beds that so many went out on the streets on Saturday to protest.

The House of Commons is due to debate renewal of the monstrosity on Monday. There’s little doubt that the House will vote to foist nukes on Scotland yet again despite the fact that the number of Scottish MPs who support renewal can be counted on the fingers of Captain Hook’s claw. And once again the claw grab is going to reach down to the Clyde and rip away any pretence that Scotland has any influence in this denighted Union. For the second time in less than a month a decision that Scotland doesn’t want and refuses to accept will be imposed upon us against our will, and as long as we remain within this supposedly most perfect union there is bugger all that we can do about it.

Trident is the viagra of an impotent British Empire, and there’s no way that the pricks of Westminster are not going to vote to renew their prescription. It’s the toxic phallus that guarantees the UK a place at the top table, even though it’s a clapped out middle ranking power which was on the edge of Europe before it voted last month to drop off. With their precious nuclear drug, the faded and forgotten stars of the world screen in the era of silent movies can still tell themselves that they’re deserving of a close up in the 21st century.

But think of the jobs! That’s the usual defence of Trident’s supporters. Well mainly Jackie Baillie, the MSP who is unclear on the difference between a weapon of mass destruction and a job creation scheme. Using the same logic you could argue against the criminalisation of burglary because it’s put thousands of burglars out of work. The figure for the number of jobs created by Trident is as inflated as the British governments estimation of the military effectiveness of the weapon, but the MoD was forced to admit that a mere 520 civilian jobs are dependent on the naval bases on the Clyde. Trident is going to cost the UK £205 billion, that works out at £390 million per job.

If the government was to spend £10 million per worker instead, it could give every one of those workers £1 million each and invest £9 million per worker in the local economy. The total amount spent would cost a tiny fraction of the amount spent on Trident and as a bonus Scotland wouldn’t be a prime target of Russian nuclear missiles or a risk of a nuclear accident that could render the country uninhabitable. The workers could retire comfortably, and there would be over £4.6 billion to invest in the local economy. It would be a whole lot more cost efficient, and there would be an economic boom in the Clyde instead of a nuclear bang. Everyone would be happy, except Jackie Baillie. You might say this is a fantasy, and it is, but so is the idea that Trident actually contributes anything to the defence of the UK.

Trident is not about creating jobs. It’s not about defending the UK. Trident is a weapon belonging to a distant age and answers a military need that has long since receded into history. Trident is really about creating the impression that the British Empire is still a force in the world. It’s about the vanities of Westminster politicians, not the security of the state or the economy of the Holy Loch. All that Trident defends is the ego of the likes of Liam Fox.

We’ve been going on marches and demos against Trident for as long as I can remember, since before I was born. Over 30 years ago I marched and protested, but here we are all these decades later and nothing has changed. I don’t want kids being born today to still be going on marches against the nukes on the Clyde when they get to my age. That’s how it is for Scotland within the UK, a story of protests that go unheard, a tale of opposition that goes ignored, a history of demonstrations that achieve nothing.

Scotland is supposedly a valued partner in the Union, but what sort of partnership is it when one partner dictates and the other has no choice but to shut up and obey? We suffer the imposition of Trident, we suffer the imposition of Brexit. But not for much longer. There is a way to stop this happening, to derail the crushing wheels of the British state. I’m fed up with protests, sick of demos, have had enough of petitions. I want action. I want change. And there’s only one way that we’re going to get it.

After over 60 years of British nuclear weapons we should know by now that it’s a waste of time hoping for a Labour government to get rid of nuclear weapons. Only a Scottish government in an independent Scotland is going to evict the obscenity from the Clyde. The MPs’ vote on Monday to renew Trident is another vote that destroys the UK and sets Scotland further down the path to self-determination.

Let’s demonstrate for independence, let’s campaign for it, let’s channel our anger into a strategy that’s going to work. Let’s make a real difference for a change. It’s time we wrote some prescriptions of our own.

Audio link to this blog, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/writing-a-prescription-of-our-own-wee-ginger-dug-16th-july-2016

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0 thoughts on “Writing a prescription of our own

  1. When we’re independent, we can tell UKopia to take away their obscene WMDs. If they wish to retain them, we shall of course, allow them a reasonable period of time to build an appropriate submarine base and weapons storage facility in England. During that period, we will charge them rent for the continued use of the Clyde base – a few billion £s a year seems reasonable. After all, if Trident is such a necessity, I’m sure UKopia would be more than eager to pay us for our magnanimity in allowing use of part of Scotland until they have their own base. Mind you, it’s in the nature of rents to creep up as time goes by, but I’m sure a Scottish government would be very reasonable about keeping increases to an affordable amount. Not that UKopia, with all its new lucrative trading links post-Brexit would have any problem meeting such reasonable demands: they’d be merely a drop in the ocean beside the cost of all the new hospitals, etc., they’ll be building.

    • Couldn’t disagree more Andimac. As soon as we declare Independence, Westminster can have their nukes back right away. I’m very much against renting them any sort of space for these obscenities and the sooner they’re out of our country the better. How about they keep them on the river Thames until they get a more suitable (if such exists) site for them? In fact, how about they keep them on the river Thames, moored beside the mother****er of all parliaments until the inhabitants of that house (suitably bereft of all Scottish representatives) come to their senses and scrap the entire arsenal?

      • Aye, Neil, I’d like them to be removed the day we become independent too, but, realistically, that just isn’t going to happen so we’d be as well getting something for our national coffers until they’re gone. Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past them to try to hold onto Clyde base, even by military intervention: FFS – look how long they’ve held onto Gibraltar!

        • You’re coming at this all wrong.

          If they’re still in Scottish Waters on the day we become independent, then the subs, nukes and all belong to Scotland. To do with what we wish. Including decommissioning and dismantling them if that’s what we want to do.

          Just think about it for a sec, if the stance on asset distribution is “if its on (or based on) Scottish soil or in Scottish waters on the day Scotland goes independent, then it belongs to Scotland, not Westminster” then how long do you think the nukes would stay on the Clyde? They’d be falling over themselves to move them before Scotland gets to dismantle them.

          And if they don’t, do you really trust them to do a safe and speedy job of decommissioning them, after we’d just told them to sod off? I know I’d rather Sturgeon be in charge of nuclear safety on the Clyde than whichever joker Westminster would appoint post-independence.

          • Aye right, so we’ll begin decommissioning and dismantling them – after we’ve eliminated the Marines guarding them? We’ll dismantle them how and where? After we’ve built the appropriate facilities? One word – it’s German – Realpolitik.

          • I’ll ask again: Who would you trust to *not* fuck up the Clyde more when dismantling nuclear weapons: Holyrood or Westminster?

            I know I’d trust Holyrood more, which is why I’m arguing that the default position they should take is “if the nukes are still on the Clyde when we go independent, then they’re ours”.

            That gives two options for what happens to them:

            1) Westminster lets us have the nukes, and we get to dismantle/decommission them sensibly and *safely*.

            2) Westminster moves them down to Portsmouth before we go independent.

            3) Westminster tries to bargain a way to keep them on the Clyde, but under their control, and we get to name our price. Literally, we can ask for whatever we want for that, on whatever terms we want, and tell Westminster to take it or leave it. They want 5 years leeway to build somewhere else to keep them? Ok: We’ll charge lots of rent, enforce some serious safety constraints, take ownership of them if they’re still there at the end of the 5 years, and charge them for decommissioning costs for whatever they leave behind, and they’ll take on all of the UK’s current debt, and play nice about any trade deals for the next 5 years, and move the sea border back to its pre-Blair line, and pay us back for all of the money they spent “on our behalf” improving London’s infrastructure, and whatever else we feel like asking for. And they pretty much can’t say no if they want to keep the nukes.

            Which of those do you think Westminster will choose? And which of those options do you think will be bad for Scotland?

            The nukes are a *massive* stick to beat Westminster with, if we can get the default position to be “anything that belongs to the UK that is still in Scottish territory when Scotland goes independent belongs to Scotland”. Seriously, that’s not all that complicated, is it?

          • Illy, you said two options, then listed three. Your 3), I think you’ll find, is what my original comment proposed – Seriously, that’s not all that complicated, is it?

          • But the bit that everyone misses is that that isn’t the preferred option, and *certainly* shouldn’t be the starting point for negotiations.

            We should be agitating for “if they’re still here, they’re ours” and scaring Westminster to move them.

  2. Well, when we say debate… hammer through against any and all dissent is probably more accurate.

    Be interesting to see the voting numbers and even more interesting to see who’s for and against. Much like FFA last year, let’s see how much of a partnership we truly enjoy here?

    I’d take a wild guess on the result, but in truth it wouldn’t be much of a guess.

  3. Yes, me too. I’m fed up with demos and petitions. I’m for action meaning IndyRef2. I would prefer UDI as it would be quick, clear, and exercised by the people who care enough about Scotland and her people to involve themselves in campaigning for a better future.

    I attended the CND gathering in Ayr today. Possibly around 30 people gathered in a busy Ayr High street. and so many many of the public just walked on past. Why?

    Don’t they understand the horror of nuclear weapons? I’d wager if you stopped anyone of them to ask their opinion on the carnage in Nice, France they would express their horror and sadness.Don’t they understand the risk of Trident and its weapons sitting at Faslane to their personal safety?

    I doubt if many of those walking past are “well to do”, can’t they understand the colossal financial waste that is Trident, a financial waste, an opportunity cost loss to potential public services and infrastructure investment here in Scotland? In Ayrshire?

    Brexit means Brexit says May. And guess what, I don’t believe her, its only words. Away from the public eye a fudge will be sought.

    Remain means Remain, should mean action to end the Union. The mandate is there and so too presently the initiative. As the Establishment seeks out a fudged semi- Brexit deal the initiative will seep away from Scotland. And the public will continue to walk on by, the poorer for it.

  4. Paul, for too long now I have enjoyed your contribution to the ongoing saga that is Scotland’s struggle to be free of westminster control, for free. I have now set up a regular payment to your blog and hope that it helps in sustaining your admirable attack on the forces of the state which we all yearn to be free from. Many thanks for your wonderful efforts in challenging the monstrous creatures who reside in the dark recesses of the Brutish state.

  5. Well said Neil. I too have enjoyed Paul’s blogs with little compensation to him. I too will make a contribution. You have no idea how your posts brighten my day. Wee ginger dug is always the first post to be opened and I’m never disappointed..

  6. Military intervention to hold Clyde when we become independent. By whom?
    These weapons are de jure American; the hold the key/codes; Westminster pays for the privilege and Scotland is under threat.
    So, would Westminster appeal to the Americans to “invade”?
    There is a precedent: Iraq.

    • They may be de jure American, but by virtue of their being actually located in Scotland they are de facto “British”. Do you really think that the USA would happily see them become the property of a nation they weren’t sold to? The USA wouldn’t need to invade: they’d be content to let their ally, “England” (it equates to UK in America) do the invading. Of course, it wouldn’t be described as invading, any more than the invasion of Iraq was so described: it would be called something idiotic like “Operation Free Trident”. It could even be said that Scotland, if it took possession of the UK’s deterrent, possessed weapons of mass destruction.

  7. Totally agree, Paul. I too have had enough. My first demonstration was against “Thatcher the Snatcher” when she removed free milk from the school children. That was in the seventies. No wonder we’re sick and tired of WM and their vile treatment of Scotland. We’ve put up with them for long enough.

    Saor Alba Gu Brath!

  8. I’m in favour of Scotland’s independence – and in the view of some in Scottish Labour, I must therefore be a narrow, insular ‘nationalist’ unlike them who are ‘internationalists’. And internationalists have an exclusive bond with ordinary people across the world – unlike me of course!

    Yet unlike Jackie Baillie and certain trade union leaders, I am the one who cannot agree that any job could be worth retaining to develop and maintain a weapon of mass destruction.

    And respectful of the rights of all my fellow citizens to have a job, I’d join many of like mind to vote to ensure that those employed to make and maintain weapons of mass destruction in Scotland (and in the UK) were supported well and employed to much, much better ends when Trident is abolished.

  9. Pingback: Gwyliwch ddydd Llun | Blog Glyn Adda

    • There’s little point in posting in a language most of the readers here don’t speak, write or understand. It’s not as if you’re furthering the cause of Welsh speakers. In fact, as most here can’t read what you write, you’re furthering nothing. Oh, good luck with the Brexit.

  10. Just before the last Indyref, the M.o.D. were asked if they would move their nuclear arsenal and submarines to Devonport or similar, they replied that they couldn’t do that as that was too near a population centre. This begs the question, what the bloody hell do they consider the central belt in Scotland to be? Are they totally and utterly ignorant of Scottish geography or, more likely, so damned arrogant that they don’t care about any sort of danger to the natives in their Scottish colony?

    I personally think that they should take their nuclear weapons and submarines and park them in the Thames, just outside of the English parliament. If they are safe enough to be parked in an area which can affect the main Scottish population centres, then they are certainly safe enough to park within easy reach of the House of Common Thieves.

    As for when we regain our independence, we should be given 10% of the total value of their equipment, along with 10% of everything the so-called UK government owns, and they should be given one week to get their nuclear rubbish out of Scotland. If they refuse to remove their garbage, the Scottish government should confiscate it, and put it up for sale to the highest bidder, be they English American or Russian.

    I am aware that there is a risk of the English government either trying to grab the land around Faslane, or even sending their troops in to protect it. That latter possibility is not without precedent as, during the Red Clydesiders era, they confined Scottish troops to their barracks and sent in 10,000 English troops and tanks to Glasgow. I doubt, however, if such actions would be readily accepted by the international community in this day and age, and could backfire on them, badly.

    In any event, the fact that the English government is intent on dragging us out of the EU, and with the forthcoming vote to keep Trident and keep their WMD in Scotland, both against the wishes of the majority of the Scottish people, gives us two good reasons to hold another independence referendum.

    This arrogant Tory government has no care or consideration for the wishes of the Scottish people. As far as they are concerned we are merely the too wee, too poor and too stupid natives living in their Scottish colony. We are supposed to keep tugging our forelocks and bending our knees to our English masters. They continue to promote the big lie that their Scottish colony is subsidized to the hilt out of their kind benevolence. If that was true they would be happy to be rid of us. The truth being that we are the ones subsidizing the failed English state, and they need us so that they can continue exploiting the Scottish people and keep on stealing our money and resources. Well, no more. We need to regain our independence, and we need to do it now.

  11. Was any independence ever granted peacefully by sheer appeal to common sense, justice, and human rights?
    If her people are not willing to fight for it-and yes, that means more than quiet marches, it means tear gas dogs,and beatings, arrests, violence-Scotland will not be free. For Westminster to give up Scotland, the price of hanging on to it must be higher than letting it go. Think about it.

  12. Question is, will the gov’ment still be able to afford those cigars? With every percent the pound drops against the dollar, trident gets 1 per cent more expensive. So far, thanks to the Brexit drop, trident has gone up 10% in two weeks, and the pound fall has not yet been stopped.

  13. Perhaps someone can help here. When Scotland becomes an independent nation, isn’t it illegal for it to host nuclear weapons? As I joined S.C.N.D on its formation in 1958 you can guess that I just want rid of them from our country, and couldn’t care less where they put them, although according to a R.U.S.I report it seems Devonport/Falmouth would be the only possible destination due to the difficulty of replicating the terrain at Coulport.
    Since they don’t seem to do irony, it also pointed out that that would put the area’s population of some 260,000 at risk of a nuclear accident, or worse. Aye right.
    But as Westminster confirmed last week they had no contingency plans to move Trident in the event of a Yes vote in 2014, it seems unlikely that they will be in any hurry to remove this obscenity from our soil in the near future.
    In fact they have also said that all U.K submarines will be based at Faslane from next year.
    So for the umpteenth time the wishes of the people of Scotland are being ignored. I know we’re making progress, but what will it take to get the majority to realise we are being taken for mugs, from this illegal weaponry based within a few miles of our largest city, to the destruction of our manufacturing base, to the theft of our natural resources, and to the biggest crime of all, the forcing of our greatest talent, our people, to seek new opportunities in other countries of the world, having being denied them here.
    Why people can’t see this is beyond me, and yet knocking on doors canvassing peoples opinions over the years, some still are blind to what has been done, and is being done to their nation.
    The only way out for us is independence, but I fear its going to be a long hard struggle, as Westminster is determined to keep their prize possession under their thumb.

  14. We know nuclear weapons are of no use against terrorists. And it seems pretty clear that the Russians aren’t holding back in fear of ours. So presumably the justification is that they protect against a threat like a foreign power invading British sovereign land. So how come our marvellous nuclear weapons didn’t stop Argentina invading the Falklands? Proven a failure. Scrap ’em today.

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