Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lib Dems accuse Tories of Cold War fixation on Trident

From the Daily Mirror this morning:
Conservatives have a Cold War fixation with keeping Britain’s nuclear deterrent, Lib Dems will say today. 
The war of words with their Coalition partners comes as the party publishes its long-awaited review into the alternatives to Trident. 
The document is expected to recommend building two new nuclear submarines to replace the current four - ending the policy of having a continuous at sea deterrent (CSD). 
The Tories have already dismissed the report and have vowed to press ahead with like-for-like renewal despite the £80billion plus cost. 
But a Lib Dem source hit back saying it was time for all parties to end their “Cold War” mentality 
“We are throwing down the challenge to everyone. Let’s sit down and look at what the report says and let’s approach this seriously and not from the position that the Cold War days are still with us,” said a party source.
It will be interesting to see how much support the Lib Dem position gets beyond the party.

Any questioning of Trident has been a hard sell in the past, but the Conservatives' insistence on spending £80bn or more on Trident when money is so short looks increasingly ridiculous.

That insistence comes from a desire to make the other parties look weak by opposing the decision. But it also suggests that, deep down, the Tories fear they would appear weak too.

Trident needs a more modest replacement and the Conservatives would find it easier to do this than Labour. But they lack the courage to make that leap.

1 comment:

Simon said...

The policy does rather look as though it was designed to minimize public support. After all, if you believe in a nuclear deterrent as an integral part of UK defence policy then you would take the Tories argument about the insufficiency of what the Lib Dems are proposing quite seriously.

On the other hand, if you don't believe in it then chances are you would rather we adopted some non-nuclear approach to national defence, so why keep the deterrent at all?

The policy seems designed only to those whose views about absolutely everything are determined by a precise Cost Benefit Analysis and who think that merely by occupying the centre ground you automatically become sensible and reasonable. Such people exist at the top of the Liberal Democrats, but they are hardly easy to find elsewhere.