Trident & The SNP

The Scottish people do not want Trident. So say the SNP, ergo it must be true. They voted for the SNP to represent them in 56/59 constituencies (though given suspensions aren’t they now the 54?).

Anyway. Scotland doesn’t want nuclear weapons. It must be true, the SNP say so.

Nope. Scottish voters are basically evenly split at 43/42 in favour/against the deterrent (Source: What Scotland Thinks). Some could even point to the rise from 37% to 43% as a 16% increase in support for the deterrent in Scotland over the past year or so.

So, Scotland is split on the deterrent. Scotland’s MPs are not. The 54+2 voted en-masse against the deterrent, as did the sole Labour and sole LibDem MP. Fair enough. True the SNP MPs are all mindless drones unable to vote against the party line lest that +2 become slightly larger. Anyway. The SNP are out of step with the Scottish electorate. Because the SNP do not represent Scotland. As in any electoral system, they represent a view in Scotland.

Do the people who vote for the SNP care about Trident? Nope.  It comes tenth in a list of priorities, just after Constitutional Affairs & Independence. Source: What Scotland Thinks) But above Defence and Land Reform. So, if pushed Scots are relatively evenly divided on Trident but they have to be pushed pretty hard to actually care about it.

If Scotland voted for a 12% deficit, a new currency and to be outside both the EU and the UK (also known as Independence), would Scots still want the deterrent based in Scotland? Of course not! Scots hate the deterrent and it’s one of the few issues they vote on. Oh…

In that hypothetical where Scotland leaves the UK, voters are again split 41/36 on keeping/removing the deterrent from Scottish waters (Source: What Scotland Thinks). The rent on the base would likely be a valuable source of income to the Scottish Government.

The SNP are not opposed to having nuclear weapons defend them. They are in favour of remaining members of NATO and are fine with allowing US naval vessels with nukes aboard into Scottish waters. Their issue, as always, is with diminishing the UK, shirking our responsibilities, and attempting to drive a wedge between the UK and Scotland by insisting they are the one true voice of Scotland.

The SNP are not Scotland. They may represent most of Scotland at Westminster and form a minority government at Holyrood, this does not make them the sole arbiters of Scottish public opinion.

Trident Economics

I support Trident. I’m massively in favour of having the power to obliterate a significant portion of the world. 

But I find the reasons for supporting Trident that are espoused by some people, particularly those on the left, as thoroughly bizarre. 

“The construction and maintenance of Trident’s replacement will directly support more than 30,000 jobs… a failure to renew would lead to the “obliteration” of thousands of its members’ jobs…That is an economic catastrophe we cannot afford and one we cannot ask those communities to pay.” – Tom Watson – Guardian

I support Trident because it’s a safeguard against Russian and other aggression. I find it thoroughly bizarre to support a system capable of killing billions because it protects a few jobs. You may as well give those 30,000 people their lifetime earnings and save the rest if that’s your reasoning.

Be honest about the reason you support Trident. Because it anchors the USA in NATO and because it is the ultimate insurance policy.

Support Trident because it can destroy the world. Not because it keeps a few welders in work.