Blair, Brown, Cameron and Trident

Tonight's decision to replace Trident was premature. You have to wonder what David Cameron's hidden agenda is in supporting Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in rushing this decision. Blair wants his legacy - it says so much about his flaws that he can in successive days promote a reasonably ground-breaking Climate Change Bill and then push through this vote on Trident.

Brown wants to get this out of the way before he becomes Prime Minister. I'm not sure what David Cameron's motives were - the world has changed totally since the last decision on strategic nuclear weapons, it is not at all clear who we might be using them against.

Meanwhile British soldiers are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan because there is no money to equip them properly with body armour and armoured vehicles. With at least 20 more years life in the existing Trident deterrent, all military experts agree there is no need to make any decision on a replacement (if any) until after the international non-proliferation talks scheduled for 2010. 

This has been a purely political decision to suit the convenience of Blair and Brown, aided and abetted by Cameron. And by making it, we have sent all the wrong signals to the rest of the world. It will now be far harder for us to play a constructive role in multilateral disarmament talks, and particularly the 2010 conference. Just as in the Iraq invasion, the Conservative and Labour Parties continue to huddle together in getting a key judgment wrong just so they can act macho and suck up to the US government. Pity the British soldier on the front-line.

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