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A sensible plan

Posted on April 14, 2015 by

Last week we listened to a Radio Scotland phone-in debate on Trident, hosted very deftly by John Beattie, who managed to steer callers away from political points and keep the discussion on the merits or otherwise of the weapons system itself.

Sadly that didn’t dissuade the usual coterie of nutters/local councillors phoning in insisting that (a) North Korea would invade/blast Scotland off the face of the Earth the moment we let our guard down, and (b) Helensburgh would immediately revert to the Stone Age at the loss of jobs were the few hundred Trident sailors who spend about a week every year in the town to be reassigned to other posts in the navy.

faslaneprotests

We didn’t have time to ring in ourselves, but we did manage to think of a much better idea that solved both of those problems without lumbering Scotland with a gigantic nuclear white elephant, and one that would also free up an awful lot of valuable police time and resources that are currently spent arresting a bunch of hippies.

See if you can pick any holes in it, readers.

Trident is, by wide agreement right across the political spectrum, of no military value whatsoever. The former Prime Minister Tony Blair conceded in his autobiography that its practical utility was “non-existent” and that keeping it was purely a matter of status, while the former Conservative defence secretary Michael Portillo called it a “tremendous waste of money” that was “completely past its sell-by date”.

But not everything in the navy is useless. The Type 26 “Global Combat Ship” destroyer – the vessel to be built in the Govan shipyards by BAE Systems, as alert readers will recall from the referendum debate – costs around £300m per ship. It’s a high-tech, highly practical craft capable of guarding the UK’s coastline, something badly lacking from current naval resources. The MoD currently plans to build 13 in total over a number of years.

So here’s a thought. Instead of the UK government spending £3bn a year on Trident for the next several decades, build five Type 26s every year, at a total cost of £1.5bn. The orders would keep thousands of people in work on the Clyde, and within a single parliament the fleet would be twice as big as the one currently planned.

Britain, an island nation, would have a navy worthy of the name, and no longer have to wait 24 hours to intercept Russian battleships pushing their luck. When the point came when we simply couldn’t fit any more Type 26s into our docks, we might even be able to afford some aeroplanes for our absurdly massive new aircraft carriers.

“But what about the poor people of Helensburgh?”, stupid readers who’ve accidentally clicked the wrong link when they were looking for the Daily Mail or Labour Hame might be thinking. Well, we’ve got that covered too.

Regardless of the fact that all these new warships would in reality keep Faslane busy round the clock, let’s pretend scrapping Trident really did cost all the comedy numbers of jobs that the Unionist parties like to pretend it would, leaving Helensburgh bereft.

Fortunately, alert readers will also recall that we’ve still got £1.5bn left over from the £3bn annual cost of Trident after spending £1.5bn on our newly-expanded fleet of Type 26s. The population of Helensburgh, by a happy arithmetical coincidence, is just under 15,000 (or to be precise 14,626). Dividing £1.5bn into that gives us a neat figure of £100,000 a year for every man, woman and child in the town.

So rather than splurging all that cash on some pointless big submarines that achieve nothing other than risk a colossal nuclear catastrophe on the doorstep of Scotland’s biggest city, we could get some actually useful naval hardware AND make everyone in Helensburgh rich beyond their wildest dreams, and STILL be saving money.

An average two-child household would trouser a whopping £400,000 a year. Income tax receipts would rocket. The only people who’d need to work in Helensburgh would be Ferrari mechanics, and the guards who’d have to be stationed at the town borders to stop everyone else in Scotland moving there. Everyone who currently commutes from Helensburgh to anywhere else could give up their job, thereby freeing it up for an unemployed person in hard-pressed Clydebank or Dumbarton.

It’s a pretty daft-sounding proposal, we’d be the first people to concede. But given that it’s still demonstrably, measurably, empirically smarter on every conceivable level than spending the money on Trident, what does it say about that?

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    1. 14 04 15 11:35

      A sensible plan | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    2. 14 04 15 12:37

      A sensible plan | Speymouth

    197 to “A sensible plan”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      “But what about the poor people of Helensburgh?”, stupid readers who’ve accidentally clicked the wrong link when they were looking for the Daily Mail or Labour Hame might be thinking.

      My favourite line.

    2. Darren Docherty says:

      Brilliant

    3. Dinnatouch says:

      Are you crazy, that’s far too sensible. That would mean the government saving money, while at the snow time creating employment for thousands, that can’t be allowed to happen.

    4. Heather says:

      Chortles.

    5. Author_Al says:

      It’s brilliant. The Helensburgh residents would spend their new found wealth on chic spa holidays, deli food and outdoor jacuzzi tubs, thus benefiting the wider economy.

    6. Muscleguy says:

      How long will you have had to live in Helensburgh to qualify? And when exactly did you plan to move there Stu?

    7. Dinnatouch says:

      Snow time? Same time. Sorry :/

    8. Joe says:

      The only flaw i can see is half of Helensburgh is already
      stinking rich and the sailors wags top up their
      hubby’s wages by making tat to sell to one another
      at the market.
      Of course, most of the shops and pubs are shut because
      those same sailors wives and hubby spend virtually nothing in the
      local economy.
      Dont believe me? Ask the local trade, or whats left of it.

    9. Mae Carson says:

      Agreed with the first part wholeheartedly but a better idea re Helensburgh would be to turn Faslane into a container depot and export “Scots” produce direct from Scotland.

      Some of your 100ks would be required to upgrade infrastructure at Faslane and approach roads.

      The upside would be long term jobs for surrounding area and increase in taxes to Scottish treasury & reduction of export taxes currently going to WM treasury via ports in the south.

    10. Sean says:

      And of course house sales would go through the roof, leading to massive demand for big mansions, which would in turn stimulate the building industry in the area, leading to even more jobs and growth for the building industry.
      Demand for butlers, chauffeurs and pool boys would create a new service industry and the local petrol stations would benefit massively from the constant topping up of the ferrari fuel tanks.
      I’d say it was a winner all around for everyone in Helensburgh.

    11. Jim Thomson says:

      Why did the Minister for Portsmouth not think of that? he must have loads of time on his hands just now (while he’s in hiding).

    12. Kes says:

      Hahahaha !
      Makes much more sense than a tin can alley of potential dark nuclear catastrophe.

    13. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Risky Rev. James Francis Murphy BA Politics (failed), may not be as thick as those of us who know him as Big Dim Jim think he is.

      He could read this, think it a spiffing idea and adopt it as Scottish Labor Party policy.

    14. desimond says:

      A costed coherent Plan…whatever next??

    15. Shuggy says:

      That is the most outrageously reasonable proposal I’ve heard yet. Careful – they’ll be carting you off to the sensible asylum!

    16. heedtracker says:

      Nothing is going to prevent Trident 2 in Scotland, just like HS2 terminates at Leeds, full fiscal autonomy Scotland will never happen, teamGB loves a good war, far enough away, England runs Scotland’s economy, London just gets more and more wealthy by the minute and so on.

      All of this is exactly what our imperial masters/bettertogether/BBC told Scotland to vote NO for 18th Sept and they got their answer.

      Thanks again proud Scot buts.

    17. Ieuan says:

      “Britain, an island nation” is very disappointing, but the rest shows how mad the whole idea of Trident is. Well done from the Welsh nation.

    18. UncleBob says:

      We had a talk about this very thing the other day.
      We tried to work out who worked at Faslane from the surrounding area bearing in mind it is such a specialised facility.

      We could see some catering and cleaning jobs for the locals but not much else. And maybe some spending in local shops but not a lot. Can anyone enlighten us as to exactly how many local, really local, jobs would be lost. If it was moved the specialists would be relocated, if it was closed the UK MOD would use them elsewhere.
      Ta

    19. Alex Monaghan says:

      I like your plan – but what about North Korea?

      If we build lots of new Type 26 destroyers, could we not just keep the old Trident missiles and strap one to the deck of each ship? Presumably they don’t go off. (Ha! Go off – get it? Boom boom!)

      Then if North Korea does attack, we could sail our Type 26s over there and head-butt them with Trident.

      That would be just as sensible as anything the MoD is suggesting, and it would spread a bit of Scottish culture too!

    20. boris says:

      Seems sensible to me

    21. Graham says:

      It’s the Nuke part that’s the problem and waste of money. Continue the Trident programme, only build much smaller submarines and equip them with real “tridents”. That way the sailers could still visit Helensburgh and keep the economy afloat without creating an unbalanced London-style economy on the Clyde.

    22. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      And indeed this
      http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/defence-and-security-blog/2014/jul/01/trident-nuclear-weapons-uk

      Makes me wonder why we are seemingly beholden to the US?

    23. Jamie Shepherd says:

      The jobs argument for Faslane is fake. Clearly any government money re-allocated will create an equivalent number of jobs elsewhere. It makes perfect sense to retain Faslane as the base for the Scottish fleet, and so jobs would be preserved.

      The difficulty with Trident is that much of the cost is for nuclear warheads made in the US. This is dead money to the UK economy, and harms our balance of payments and defecit, since no worker tax receipts or trickle-down spending results from the capital side of the project.

      Even if all the £100Bn went on conventional defence instead, this would be a UK-wide boost for our armed services and economy. No-one could argue that our services aren’t under-funded and under manned.

    24. caz-m says:

      Scotland does not have one single Royal Navy surface ship based in Scotland. We have to phone Portsmouth and ask if a ship is available to come up, because the Russian Fleet has just been sighted in the Moray Firth.

      Faslane could be converted into a surface fleet Naval Base.

      Providing far more jobs than it presently does.

    25. crisiscult says:

      great. Helensburgh could become like the Channel Islands. You could have a housing system for immigrants i.e. non locals whereby they pay extortionate prices for bedsits for the privilege of getting a job and living near water. Make it even more like the Channel Islands by giving it full fiscal autonomy. Hell, Hell-ensburgh could even have its own team in the commonwealth games.

    26. Almannysbunnet says:

      @Sean says:
      14 April, 2015 at 11:08 am
      And of course house sales would go through the roof, leading to massive demand for big mansions,

      And then the money could be redistributed throughout Scotland via the mansion tax! We could get a nurse each! Pure dead brilliant so it is. I’m surprised Smugmurphy never thought of it first.

    27. Keith Smith says:

      Fantastic plan. Far too sensible for our Lord and masters in Westminster. Actually, in all seriousness the idea of building more ships is brilliant. Might even be cheaper with bulk buying discounts.

    28. iheartScotland says:

      Please stop talking sense Rev.
      There’s thousands of Ferarri mechanics in Helensburgh……

    29. think again says:

      £100,000.00 per person per annum is one helluva peace dividend.

      There is a flaw though Rev. Really really sensible ideas never ever become policy or practice.

      Now if only there was a party in Scotland that opposed Trident and was in with a chance of winning say 50 or more seats in three weeks time and having a say, a real one, in Westminster.

      Out with the local canvass/ leaflet team last night, helping the dream come true.

    30. R-type Grunt says:

      Ah, but..

    31. Frazz says:

      Or Faslane workers could be retrained and employed in what should be the next big industry for Scotland: renewables. Might also be of interest for people employed in the oil & gas sector who might feel their industry is under threat, either now or in the future.

    32. donald anderson says:

      I remember seeing Dumbartonshire Labour Party banners on Faslane protests. I also remember seeing Dumbartonshire headed notepaper declaring Dumbartonshire a “Nuclear Free Zone”. I also remember seeing the same lie on Dumbartonshire bin lorries.

      I also remember Jackie Baillie extolling Trident as giving jobs and combating drug addiction in the area.

      I also remember Buchenwald giving jobs to Nazis and local people.

      Does Labour have any memories of their disgraceful terms in office? Or, are they counting on mass amnesia from the electorate?

    33. DerekM says:

      yep and it will be good for tourism ,its a beautiful part of the world ,without having and here is where we keep the nuke bombs on the travel guide.

    34. chalks says:

      Or they could use the money left over to clean up the water around faslane.

    35. Mosstrooper says:

      Aye but Brian Donohoe says that if we didnae have nuclear weapons Russian subs.could jist sail up the Clyde…Oh wait

    36. jake says:

      “Crazy mad cybernutter Rev Stu proposes double whammy for Helensburgh ”
      Irrate residents claim they’d be both unemployed and forced to pay a mansion tax and that without trident they would be invaded by Russian property speculating oligarchs

    37. ClanDonald says:

      To turn this argument on its head: The £30 billion of cuts that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dem have all promised is equivalent to one million people earning a salary of £30k per year.

      Hands up who wants to be one of those million?

    38. Grizzle McPuss says:

      I couldn’t agree more with the main gist of this being that we could do oh so much more, worthwhile and positive.

      Well said Stu.

      But you can hear Baron Bumface of Port Ellen screaming already…”cataclysmic…it’s all cataclysmic thinking”

    39. Pam McMahon says:

      Not to mention all the local fishermen currently being barred from doing their job, and growing the local economy, by the MOD keeping them away from the Firth of Clyde.
      * Increase local employment opportunities.
      * Increase the opportunities for the development of service industries like boat building/servicing/repairs
      * Allow oil exploration in the area, previously not allowed by MOD.

      Can’t see anywhere that your proposition fails to save money today, and would not make money in the future.

    40. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Rev that snaw fair
      (guards who’d have to be stationed at the town borders to stop everyone else in Scotland moving there) ah fancy ah Wee Weekend Hut there,overlooking the Clyde.

      It would be the wee CybernatterJabberHut & the Russian Submarine Observitory.

      Whits ah Ferrangie Makinique ?.

    41. One_Scot says:

      Can someone tell creepy Jim to stop digging now. It’s getting embarrassing.

    42. Muscleguy says:

      @Jamie Shepherd

      It is not the warheads that get made in the US, it’s the missiles themselves, the rocket part. We lease from the US and they are part of the US pool of such systems.

      The warheads are made here with British plutonium and uranium and heavy hydrogen etc. Periodically they are trucked from Coulport (where the warheads are stored and taken off/put on the missiles) to Aldermaston for maintenance.

      There is an international treaty that prohibits the transport by sea of bare nuclear weapons, so we cannot put them on boats across the Atlantic or even ship them around the coast. The only way would be on the missiles in a sub. Periodically one of the subs is loaded with missiles needing maintenance, without warheads, and it sails across the Atlantic and swaps them for maintained ones from the pool. It is part of why we need four subs.

      A lot of the fissile material in those warheads is the same that used to be loaded onto bombers and flown over the USSR. It just got repurposed, generally at Aldermaston.

    43. David Wardrope says:

      @Alex Monaghan,

      The mental picture of a destroyer stickin’ the nut on a bit of North Korean coatsline…genius! 🙂

    44. Free Scotland says:

      And we could give everybody – not just school leavers – £1600 each, just for the banter!

    45. jake says:

      Stu,

      Your “alternative to trident” proposal isn’t that far removed from options considered by HM Govt.
      It’s more or less what you said…fleshed out a bit:
      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/212745/20130716_Trident_Alternatives_Study.pdf

    46. onelessday says:

      Mosstrooper @11;42

      I think Mr Donohue actually claimed at this minute we have Russian subs sailing up the Clyde in his intervention in the HOC. Pete Wisharts face was priceless

    47. steveasaneilean says:

      For me it’s simple.

      Either we will never use these weapons so what’s the point?

      Or at some stage we will use them and all be annihilated as a consequence so what’s the point?

      There is no logic to holding these weapons. They are not tactical battlefield weapons. Each missile carries multiple warheads and each of those warheads is many times more powerful that Hiroshima and has the capacity to kill hundreds of thousands of people.

      How can any politician truly defend that?

      And we have had these weapons for 70 years – did that stop wars in Korea or Vietnam or the Falklands or the Balkans or Iraq or currently in the Middle East? Did it stop Russia annexing parts of Ukraine (whatever the rights and wrongs of that mess)? Some deterent.

    48. biecs says:

      So we need Trident because

      1) The US wants us to have it as part of THEIR defence system

      2) It enables the UK Establishment to strut around on the world stage pretending they are still representing an Important Powerful World Leader rather than a middle-sized European country no more or less important than any other

      Do the Italians or the Spanish or any of the others lie in bed at night thinking “how much better our lives would be if we were citizens of a nuclear power”?

    49. Jimmur Phymp says:

      Sorry to go off topic but you’ll all be excited to hear that I’ve managed to get hold of a leaked copy of the minutes of the meeting from McTernan HQ last night, Here they are:

      Minutes of Emergency OLDBRA Meeting
      Venue: OLDBRA (Old Briefing Room A) AKA McTernan Bunker
      Monday 13 April 2015

      Present: Jim Murphy, John McTernan and Blair McDougall

      Item 1: Welcome and Apologies
      JM (Senior) states who the hell put Welcome & Apologies on the Agenda, for fuckssake, it was only ever going to be the three of us and we don’t have time for this crap. You can forget all the other agenda items too, there’s only gonna be one more item and it’s the next phase of the launch of the emergency plan.

      BM apologises profusely and agrees to change the agenda items. JM (Junior) kicks BM under the table.

      Item 2: Next Phase of the Launch of the Emergency Plan

      JM (Senior) states to the meeting that he thought Monday went very well, the whole of Britain now believes the Scotland branch has had a major bust-up with HQ in London, no-one suspects a thing. JM (senior) then asked for his thanks to the team at HQ be noted in the minutes, stating Chuka did a brilliant job today, very convincing.

      JM then states that everything is in place and we are now ready to launch the new, fully independent Scottish Labour Party, independent of UK Labour, with Jim Murphy as the one and only leader, answerable to no-one.

      BM comments that the launch of the “new,” “independent,” Scottish Labour party will be much more successful now that everyone has witnessed the very public bust up that he himself thought up. BM asked that gratitude be recorded in the minutes for both the Cybernats who were so quick to get the message of the bust up out across the UK, as well as to himself for coming up with such a great idea in the first place. BM then put forward an argument for this stating that after all, the launch of an independent party might have come across as a cynical act of desperation had the bust up not been choreographed so convincingly..

      JM (Senior) agreed that gratitude to the Cybernats and to BM would be recorded in the minutes.

      JM (Senior) then asked if the second phase of the plan was ready to put into operation.

      JM (Junior) stated, yes, everything is in place, the new name of the party has been registered with the electoral commission, HQ in London has agreed the plan and has released the funds necessary to carry it out. HQ have already approved the “New” Scottish party manifesto and although they stated that it was a bit too “lefty” for their liking, it didn’t matter as the “new” Scottish Labour party wouldn’t ever have any influence over the UK budget or policies anyway.

      JM (Junior) then said the invitations to the press launch were ready to go out first thing on Wednesday, they didn’t want to do it any sooner as it might come across as pre-meditated and suspicious. JM (senior) said to his team to ensure that the “new” party was launched at a time to co-incide with the First Minister attending a public event, he wanted to make sure that her shocked reaction when she realised that it’s all over for the SNP was caught on camera.

      JM (Senior) then agreed that JM (Junior) and BM were strategic geniuses and this was exactly the miracle they would need, it would reassure the party faithful in Scotland and ex-Labour voters would be duped into thinking they’d got their real party back at last.

      BM agreed to send the minutes of this meeting to HQ in London for approval before they would be released to Margaret Curran.

      It was agreed that the next meeting would be on Wednesday following the press launch but may have to be cancelled if HQ in London weren’t able to approve the meeting on time.

      JM (Senior) thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.

    50. Rob James says:

      Why don’t we keep one of the subs, refit it with windows and have underwater pleasure cruises on the Clyde? What a bonus for tourism.

    51. Shuggy says:

      @donald anderson 11:34:

      Pedants’ corner here – it’s Dumbarton the town but DUNbartonshire the county.

      Why? Just because!

    52. Papadox says:

      Have we forgotten about the wee oil field in the firth? O forgot oil BAD unless it’s in Southern England.

      What beef does N Korea have with Scotland? Where is N Korea anyway? Are we that stupid?

    53. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Brian Taylor just on RS there, still making light of Murphy’s dressing-down.

      What was the expression he used yesterday? ‘A question of emphasis?’

      QOE…remember the ads for QC sherry, where they had different explanations of what the letters stood for? Brian QOE Taylor…this’ll give us some ideas –

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0yYGmRUOaA

    54. Scotspine says:

      @cazm

      Sorry to tell you, but today, the mighty Royal Navy has a mighty P2000 patrol boat docked in Buckie harbour.

      It is that mighty that the white ensign aft and the Union flag forward are obscuring it from view and almost preventing the fishermen working on their net gear on the quayside By whipping around them.

      That will be our Naval contribution to the biggest ever Operation Joint Warrior bi anual military exercise.

    55. manandboy says:

      Your brain is working far too normally to incorporate Westminster’s nuclear madness, Stu.

      But as with all things which don’t add up, the answer probably lies elsewhere which usually means money. It is a near certainty that a lot of people in the Establishment are making obscene amounts of money from the Trident contracts.

      These same people have their hands on the levers of power and control the political leaders who in turn make sure all government contracts are placed where required.

      If you are a zillionaire member of the British Establishment, it makes perfect sense to keep nuclear weapons. As for the ideas you have espoused above, that is just complete lunacy – to the Establishment – as it involves the distribution of wealth.

      This is just for the record as I know that most wingers know how things work in ‘pooling and sharing’ Britain.

      The electorate however is a different matter.

    56. Scotspine says:

      Look the P2000 up on Google and see what might we can field. Go on.

    57. Muscleguy says:

      @Papadox

      I’m reliably informed that North Korea is next to South Korea. I don’t think there’s a Mid Korea, though I suppose the DMZ could be thought of as such.

      South Korea is of course next to North Korea. I hope that is geographically clear enough.

    58. Scotspine says:

      To avoid confusion, the P2000 is Archer class.

    59. JLT says:

      The only thing is Stuart, is that it runs deeper than that. I wholeheartedly agree with every point that you’ve made, and back you all the way.

      But the problem that we have, resides in one council; the UN Security Council.

      What terrifies the British Establishment, is being asked to step down because the British no longer have big boys toys. This Establishment since early medieval times has always panicked when another nation matches them in stature, or produces a weapon that changes the rules. England or Britain (does it matter), thanks to our Establishment, has lived in perpetual fear of every major nation in the last 700 years that outgrew them, changed the face of warfare, or threatened the whole hierarchy with revolutionary social change.

      If Britain decided to bin their nuclear arsenal, then other rising nations such as Brazil or India could ask the simple question of ‘why is Britain a permy member of the UN Security Council if it has no nukes’, and if no nukes is no longer a pre-requirement for being on it, then why can’t these other nations be permy members too? Apart from America suddenly frothing at the mouth at not only losing their lapdog …err, I mean …major ally on the Council, it could suddenly be filled with nations that will veto every American decision from here till the end of time.

      Not only that, but since every single permy member of the UN Security Council also conveniently happen to be the top 5 arms dealers of the world, then Britain being kicked off it is going to have a huge impact on its clandestine affairs on the way it sells its weapons. If no longer considered a big boy at the big boys tables, then your influence has just decreased exponentially.

      Building a superior military fleet would be the way to go in protecting these isles, but while we have an Establishment, Trident and nukes will remain. Trident is a means to an end. It’s not to protect our shores or assets. It guarantees a seat on the UN Security Council, boosts our exports of our military technologies as well as influencing how other nations perceive us.

    60. Nation Libre says:

      Sorry Rev, wouldn’t work. We’d be nuked by ISIS as soon as we said we weren’t renewing Trident

    61. DerekM says:

      @ Muscleguy

      that is true of the old Trident ,this new one will not be using our warheads we will no longer be able to use them crash broon during all the meltdown sold the rights to future warhead production to the Americans, so i would imagine they will ahem insist we buy those as well and decommission our warheads costing us all a packet more than the 100 bill they keep flinging about.
      And we cant restart the program or we would break the treaty that i guess is the good news.

    62. Socrates MacSporran says:

      The only reason for having Trident is so wee David Cameron can tell a lot of other national political leadrs: “Yes old boy, but, my weapon is bigger than yours, so there.”

    63. Brian Powell says:

      Brian Taylor’s question of emphasis is in the ‘No means Yes’ category.

    64. Luigi says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      14 April, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Brian Taylor just on RS there, still making light of Murphy’s dressing-down.

      What was the expression he used yesterday? ‘A question of emphasis?’

      Aye, BBC’s top spinner (sorry, political reporter) on overdrive today. Major damage limitation exercise underway:

      “It was all a matter of wording. A simple misunderstanding. Nothing else to report here – let’s move on now!”.

      A disgrace to the profession of journalism.

    65. Bob Mack says:

      I still see a role for the hunter killer submarines, (astute class)but not the missile firing Vanguard platform.This would enhance the surface fleet capability.

    66. MJC says:

      AHAA! Since you are doing a bit of “blue skying” Rev with a fine starter idea, id like to suggest another.

      Why dont we build 1 million state of the art rowing boats, akin to the ones that used to grace victoria and knightswood ponds amongst others.

      All vessels will be equiped with 10 sturdy biro pens and a sack of barley for rapid fire and easy use.

      Easy to build, easy to lauch, esay to use, easily affordable, easily more fun and family friendly and easily more effective than trident!

    67. Dr Jim says:

      I’m afraid you’ve completely missed the point on the absolute and imperative need for Nuclear Weapons

      We are Great Britain, we don’t say great for nothing we must be, and are the greatest nation on earth, except for America which of course is Head Office

      Head office likes to blow things up so it follows naturally
      we like to blow things up
      America likes to invade other countries and bomb them so as part of our “special relationship” with head office our policy to kill kill kill must be in line with that

      How could it be any other way, because in any conventional war we might, and often do, lose, and that’s unthinkable for a great nation such as ours
      So we must have the most destructive form of blowing people up we can possibly lay our hands on

      The argument for conventional forces never stacks up anyway
      as we all know in time of any imminent threat to our great country we will simply create a new climate of fear, some unemployment and get the poor to sign up to fight and die for us in yet another glorious “campaign” or “conflict” or “incident” and we will prevail over anyone as long as they know that “We the great United Kingdom of the states of America” can threaten the Bad Guys, Gooks, Commies, Fuzzy Wuzzies, and the Rag Heads of the world with total destruction

      Now that’s real democracy son

      It’s what everybody really wants isn’t it

    68. biecs says:

      Murphy says “no cuts”

      Labour Manifesto says “cuts”

      Brian Taylor says “question of emphasis”

      WTF?

      Feel such an idiot for ever having had assumed Taylor was a genuine journalist.

    69. Kenny says:

      I still say the current UKOK set-up on naval defence, relying on watchful Scottish fishermen with access to a twitter account, is better.

    70. JayR says:

      Did Scotland really vote No to independence?

      55% said No

      45% said Yes

      Maybe Scotland DID vote Yes. Maybe it’s just a “question of emphasis”?

    71. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ UncleBob – 11:18pm. This morning while listening to Louise White interviewing Patrick Harvie on R.Scotland she mentioned the figure of 15,000 direct and indirect Fasland/Coulport jobs being lost.

      You may recall this figure was bandied around last year pre-referendum and given much airtime by the NO proponents. Those voices who had factual information were more or less ignored by the media.

      In November 2012 the MOD replied to a FOI request for the actual numbers of those employed at both bases plus a figure of contracted employees. [Babcox and Lockheed]. Locally hired employee numbers are estimated only but as the Faslane car-park is relatively small they would have trouble finding a place.

      As the FOI indicates the RN personnel is around 3500 only with contractors/local hires taking the total to around 6500. A long, long way from 15,000. Here is the link for you to look at
      http://tinyurl.com/kywb9cl

    72. Karmanaut says:

      I don’t know why don’t all the countries who want nukes just sign up to a single “global deterrent” between them? Share the cost worldwide, while reducing the risk of them ever being used because nukes can only be fired if all the countries agree to it – which will be never.

      Once all counties in the world finally sign up and you have all nukes jointly owned by the whole world, then you can scrap them at last.

      Surely that would keep the frothing right wingers “feeling safe”. And it takes away the “status” element.

    73. Harry Shanks says:

      Don’t worry about jovial, folksy Brian Taylor – by the looks of him he’s due to do a “Mr Creosote” any day now.

      Google it if you have to 😀

    74. Capella says:

      @Scotspine. That’s a nifty wee boat the P2000. Would make a nice yacht for tourist trips from the marinas of Scotland. A marina in the Moray firth for the Russian subs would be good to boost trace for the local shops and restaurants too.

      This site could be the go-to place for budding entrepreneurs.

    75. Giving Goose says:

      Re JLT says;

      It probably also explains why people like Murphy are rumoured to have close connections to the US intelligence services. Murphy and (presumably) others in the British Establishment have a role to ensure that the status quo remains intact.

      You can visualise the connections;

      Murphy keeps Scottish Independence bottled up.
      Scotland remains with the rUK.
      The rUK keeps Nukes.
      The rUK stays on the UN Security Council.
      The rUK votes with the US.
      The US remains in a commanding position able to dictate how the rest of the world ticks.

      If the rumours about Murphy are correct, then if he is unsuccessful in his day job (his part time job is doing MP stuff for his constituents), then he’ll either end up with a nice little earner courtesy of the CIA or find himself floating in the Bermuda Triangle.

    76. Iron Man says:

      And we could widen the Forth/Clyde canal to allow the Frigates to get to the East coast quicker. More jobs. 🙂

    77. Ian Brotherhood says:

      So, has Boney M been pictured today?

      He must surely be showing a ‘quantum of exasperation’, but he’ll struggle on, smiling gamely for the cameras despite having a small packet of frozen peas cupped around his badly bruised baws.

    78. Proud Cybernat says:

      O/T – apologies Rev.

      Who’d have thought it–but way back in 1969 it was the Scottish Tories who were advocating FFA for a devolved Scottish Parliament:

      “Some younger Conservatives, who styled themselves as the ‘Thistle Group’ developed Heath’s decentralism further, writing in 1969 that ‘Fiscal independence is vital… The Scottish Parliament would raise her own revenue and and remit a proportion to the Federal Treasury.” – Whatever Happened to Tory Scotland Edited by David Torrance

      Amazing how things change and how much they remain the same.

    79. Effijy says:

      Look I think I have the best plan.
      If threatened by some foreign power, we retaliate by
      sending them Dim Jim and the North British Accounting Unit.

      They will point out to the citizens of said foreign nation that they are too Dumb to handle their own cash and work out what is best for them. They offer to all of their GDP back to Westminster and send them a token sum back along with news about how happy they are.

      Job Done! Would you risk having a mob like this seeking control in your country?

      We could also consider building a giant nuclear bomb in the centre of London and giving Dim Jim the trigger for it.

      If anyone threatens to invade he can wipe all the important people who make decisions in the UK, and the Fallout could drift across the globe and wipe out millions helping with the job shortage situation.

      OMG Just realised that Dim Jim might read this and put it that Scottish Labour Party manifesto that he fantasises about?

    80. Training Day says:

      Brian Taylor has form. One recalls the 2011 campaign when he knowingly disclosed to us that Labour’s vaunted policy on knife crime was ‘going down well on the doorsteps’ while tetchily dismissing Iain Gray’s Subway moment as an irrelevance.

      Or maybe that was me getting confused by a question of emphasis.

    81. Wee Chid says:

      Stu for chancellor:-)

    82. big jock says:

      We often here Jackie Jabba The Hut Baillie and others. Talking about job losses and local loss of business if Faslane were to close.

      Firstly the base is a self contained unit with shops, cafes,restaurants, bars and cinema. The men stationed there rarely go out of the base. Why would they. So Helensburgh businesses gain little from all these personel being on site.

      Secondly there is an argument that tourism would go up ,if people knew the subs and missiles were no longer there. This is a very scenic area ruined by these abominations.

      Thirdly and very important. The majority of the men and women that work on the base. Are not from Scotland. They are stationed there from anywhere in the UK. I believe from talking to locals that 80% of the employees are from England or Wales. So if it became a conventional Scottish base, perhaps a Scottish Navy might employ people from Scotland!

    83. shiregirl says:

      afternoon all
      listening to Robert Peston on bbc news. Does anyone think he has a leaning towards the tories? Forgive my naivety here if he blatantly has – I’m quite new to all of this and just interested in other peoples perspectives! I’ve been amazed listening to journalists and how biased they actually are – and can’t figure how I never questioned this before. Thanks x

    84. shiregirl says:

      Ian Brotherhood @1.02

      Boney M

      I’m still laughing 😀

    85. Rob James says:

      Murphy has become totally delusional. He reckons he decides how the money is spent in Scotland. No Jimbo, it’s the Scottish Government who decide how the money from the block grant is spent in Scotland, and as far as I am aware, you’re not part of that government.

    86. james westland says:

      Harry Shanks – Mr Creosote – LOL! Wont be able to watch that again without thinking about Brian Taylor!

    87. HandandShrimp says:

      shiregirl

      The BBC in London has taken a bit of a lean towards the Tories in recent years…it used to be more left wing. It should create an interesting juxtaposition with BBC Scotland which is joined at the hip through kinship, marriage and university friendships to the Labour party.

    88. desimond says:

      OT but The Friends of Israel have now come out in support of Jim Murphy.

      The Chief Rabbi of Eastwood has confirmed all circumcisions will now be termed ‘savings’

    89. manandboy says:

      Nuclear testing

    90. heedtracker says:

      “Brian Taylor has form.” They all do it and have done for decades, primary job, monster Scotland running Scotland.

      Check out rancid Graun on Murphy and Milliband explaining to teamGB, he’s a lying fraud-

      “Libby Brooks has filed more on the fallout from yesterday’s mini Labour spat, when Scottish leader Jim Murphy was seemingly slapped down by business secretary Chuka Umunna over the party’s spending plans”

      A “mini Labour spat” is it? Mini enough to send creepy Murphy off the BBC airwaves last night, same air waves the creep is never off either. Some mini spat. He’s come out lying though, good old creepy Jim.

    91. Luigi says:

      Brian Taylor ought to be careful with his Labour(ed) spinning, or he will end up in yet another “guddle”.

    92. think again says:

      @pppadox @ 12.29. Thanks for pointing out North and South Korea are next to each other as this is not always the case. The North and South poles are no where near each other and East Kilbride is not next door to West Kilbride, either of them. Bonus points if you knew there is more than one West Kilbride.

      As a nuclear nation with weapons of mass destruction it is really important that we know where places are so that in the event of a nuclear war we can retaliate against the right one.

      Wouldn`t want to hurt the wrong people just because we were pish at geography and had failed our politics degree would we?

    93. Mike says:

      Even if one takes the assumption that we still need nuclear weapons in today’s world then surely as a member of NATO we should be able to work out a deal with France in being able to remove them from Scotland but still be protected (if we assume that this is protection!). The notion that we have 2 nuclear stockpiles close to each other in Western Europe is crazy!

    94. big jock says:

      Desimond – I am sure Murphy needs all the Smucks he can get to retain his seat!

    95. heedtracker says:

      shiregirl says:
      14 April, 2015 at 1:17 pm
      afternoon all
      listening to Robert Peston on bbc news. Does anyone think he has a leaning towards the tories

      Peston’s dad is or was a House of Lords Labour Baron

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Peston,_Baron_Peston

      So that’s nice. A lot of very posh tory boys in England and at the beeb are frightful oiks basically. Over compensating for your lowly birth is often the teamGB way.

    96. jackie g says:

      Capella@12.58pm

      That’s a nifty wee boat the P2000

      Apparently its a patrol vessel? has it been sent here to find oor Dim Jim

      🙂

      Won’t have to look far guys just be on the lookout for a bloke in a fitba top perched on top of an Irn Bru crate somewhere on the coast of Helensburgh he he.

      🙂

    97. icyspark says:

      In 2012 a FOI request to the MOD showed that there were only 520 civilian jobs at Faslane that directly rely on Trident.

      http://nuclearinfo.org/article/uk-trident-operational-berths/ministry-defence-reveals-just-520-faslane-jobs-depend-trident

    98. Les Wilson says:

      Had to laugh, in today’s National, a report that a Polish Prince has challenged Nigel Farage to a duel with swords in Hyde Park!
      Needless to say, Farage has not replied, could have been interesting though! What a great idea.

      The Prince is no young thing, but says he is fed up of people like Farage always belittling immigrants and wants to call him out. Come on Nigel, accept, please accept.

    99. Ken500 says:

      The Oil in the West. Get Trident out of Scotland.

    100. big jock says:

      Jim is against nuclear weapons. But he only wants to get rid of them if the other boys in the club give up theirs.

      Think of it like this. Two rival gangs of neds carry knives. Using the knives results in death or serious harm. So both say :”Aye we know we will never use them ,but we need them for protection”. “If they get rid of theirs we will get rid of oors.”

      In actual fact it’s just a bigger scale version of neds with knives. Ma chibs are bigger than yours, try and attack me.

      But here is the moral of the story. Good people don’t carry knives or want to cause harm to others.Intelligent people realise two wrongs don’t make a right or solve a global problem. Nothing changes in the nuclear club because it’s all about one upmanship.

    101. Ian Brotherhood says:

      In the beginning there was Boney M, but now? He’s Boney Eminem because…

      ‘I’m Not Afraid’ –

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5-yKhDd64s

    102. heedtracker says:

      Farage wants immigrants to f off, unless they’re nice. Should be fun watching all the millions of English expats getting kicked out of Europe, from Spain especially for example. Lovely Farage can greet them all at Dover as they come back home to teamGB, with one pint of bitter each.

    103. Mosstrooper says:

      @ onelessday 12.03

      I know dear chap. I was applying reductio ad absurdum but thanks anyway.

    104. Lenny Hartley says:

      O/T just got back after a few days away and election notice from Katie Clark stating that she is opposed the Scottish Governments plan to put Call-Mac services out to tender next year.
      Anybody know about this I seem to remember that the SG have to do this every five years as decreed by Europe. Because the Labour Executive led by McConnell did this against opposition by the SNP. Anybody know if that is the case.

      She also has a local resident supporting Labour although no mention that he as been Chairman of the Arran Labour Party for as long as I can remember!!!,

    105. haud on the noo says:

      Desimond.

      Shavings shurely ?

    106. msean says:

      Thats it,am moving to Helensburgh. I seem to remember the fish & chips were excellent as well.

    107. Dal Riata says:

      Naah… instead of just Helensburgh getting that chunk of £1.5b dosh the whole population of Scotland gets its share! So that’s £1.5b divided by approximately 5.3m to give every man woman and child in Scotland about £283 per year.

      Okay, not exactly a life-changing sum, but still…

    108. manandboy says:

      In GE15, Scottish voters have a choice not available to their counterparts in rUK. The SNP are in the service of the people, while Tory, Labour and LibDems are in the service of Big Business.

      In rUK, the voters have no choice. The next Westminster Government, Labour or Tory – with or without a coalition – will again be one which serves the needs of the very wealthy and Big Business.

      Under the next Westminster Gov., only one thing is certain, but Ed and Dave are not going to even mention it – the rich will get much richer and the poor will become even poorer.

      That’s guaranteed by the Unionist Parties.
      .

      Support Nicola.

      Vote SNP. Join SNP.

      Choose Independence.

    109. Macart says:

      It always was a sensible plan.

    110. cherry says:

      OT but not really.. I just googled “Jim Murphy rumours” and there’s only a handful of links the last one is from google. It’s about data protection laws and when it’s opened its about the right to be forgotten under EU court of Human Rights.

      Has Murphy been deleting his murky past… I find it odd here’s my link

      http://www.google.co.uk/search?ie=UTF-8&source=android-browser&hl=en-GB&q=jim+murphy+rumours&gfe_rd=cr&ei=lRAtVdCCKeSg8wfo6IAg

      Don’t know if I’ve supplied the link correctly! Hope it works.

    111. Ravelin says:

      Appologising in advance to the good folks of Helensburgh, could we not cut back on their proposed ‘windfall’? That extra money could then be used for some Maritime Patrol Aircraft to replace the…ehm zero that this island nation has currently.

      Also, how about a few decent armed patrol craft for the North Sea? I know oil is a ‘burden’ rather than a benefit, but exactly what security do we have currently to protect all those oil rigs? Is it entirely beyond the imagination of some terrorist group to pack a load of explosives into an old trawler or motor launch, sail it up beside a drilling rig or accommodation platform and *BOOM*? Got to be a lot less complicated than (largely) successfully flying 4 large passenger aircraft into buildings.

    112. bjsalba says:

      @shiregirl

      BBC staff – check ’em out on WIKI or other

      Full Name: Robert Peston
      Occupation: Journalist
      Current Role: BBC News Business Editor
      Education: Highgate Wood Secondary School, graduated with a degree in PPE from Balliol College, Oxford

      Any more questions?

    113. Helena Brown says:

      Now I could have done with this information a couple of days ago. Been having a spat or two on YouGov comments about Trident. Think I did make the point that nobody spent money in Helensburgh from Faslane and there are few jobs there that we would miss.

    114. HandandShrimp says:

      Libby’s piece with Jim on the no cuts after 2016 thing is mind bending. He just covers one set of untruths with another equally obvious set of untruths.

      It is a campaign like no other I can remember.

    115. Natasha says:

      @shiregirl 1.17pm

      Welcome to Wings!

      To be fair to Robert Peston, he is the founder of Speakers for Schools, “a pro-bono education venture which organises speakers from the worlds of business, politics, media, the arts, science, engineering and sports to give talks for free in state schools.” (see Wikipedia).

      In the days before I stopped listening to the BBC (ie the day after Nick Robinson lied to the nation about the First Minister) I remember him talking about it on Radio 4, and I was impressed at his commitment to encouraging the aspirations of children from state schools.

      However, I am sure that his idea of left-wing and my idea of left-wing are poles apart, and if he is favouring the blue Tories over the red ones, then so what? They all think it’s okay to get ATOS/MAXIMUS to force disabled and vulnerable people into starvation and suicide anyway, so what’s to choose between them?

    116. Marker Post says:

      I remember watching a documentary many years back, that suggested that had America dropped dollar bills instead of napalm, Vietnam would have become capitalist overnight, with the saving of millions of lives.

      So Rev’s Helensburgh plan seems pretty sound to me.

    117. Kev says:

      But Stu, Michael Fallon’s Boko Haram threat is highly credible – they have enlisted the North Koreans, acquired some uranium from Niger, gathered some crude from local BP oil spills and are developing a highly technical, sling-shot fired, mud-encased ICBM capable of reaching Washington. And they are very rational, reasonable chaps so will only fire if they’re threatened with destruction from any style of missile other than a nuclear-tipped one.

    118. Footsoldier says:

      On Scotland’s geography, Stirling and Stirling are over 140 miles apart.

    119. AAW says:

      I visited Helensburgh at the weekend and was struck by how run-down the front was – shabby-fronted shops and several empty properties. A few quid spent by the council would not go amiss.
      I was canvassing at the weekend and spoke to a “north Korea’s nuclear weapons” punter. He could not answer the question “How is North Korea going to deliver its nuclear bomb to the Clyde?”. He was unaware that the system in the Clyde is American and needs their permission to be used. He could not answer the question “When would you use nuclear weapons against another country?” Despite this he went off muttering “Whit aboot a’ thae terrorists?” I was away for a cup of tea by that time.

    120. Edmund says:

      Remember the UK – which operated the first commercial nuclear power plant – can no longer even build nuclear reactors for civilan energy purposes. We had to go cap-in-hand to the French and the Chinese.

      How exactly are we proposing to build new nuclear warheads, anyway?

    121. Jack Murphy says:

      Ministry of Defence reveals just 520 Faslane jobs dependent on Trident.
      Nuclear Information Service.

      http://nuclearinfo.org/article/uk-trident-operational-berths/ministry-defence-reveals-just-520-faslane-jobs-depend-trident

    122. yerkitbreeks says:

      @ Mae carson And the Coulport facility would be successfully employed as a secure resting place for the accumulating funds of the Scottish Treasury.

    123. manandboy says:

      Geography – Airdrie is not only on higher ground and sits above Coatbridge, but I’m assured the two are oceans apart. Two stops on the train will still get you though.

      Sad, I know – it’s the result of living with Nuclear Armageddon on your doorstep all your life. But you won’t read that in the ‘Visit Scotland’ brochure.

    124. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry I haven’t read the posts yet but just wanted to put my ha’penny’s worth in.

      I think you are being far too generous here Stu. £100,000 for every man, woman and child in Helensburgh? Are you MAD?

      Don’t get me wrong here, I think they are probably worth it for all the s***e they have had to put up with over the decades from Labour non entities such as Jackie Baillie etc but £100,000?

      Remember Stu apparently everyone in Scotland is too wee, too poor and too stupid to be able to cope with £100,000 suddenly appearing in their bank accounts.

      Might I suggest, in village idiot approach to all things economical, that the good folks of Helensburgh receive say £25,000 per man, woman and child. I know this is a great drop from your £100,000 but just think of what you can do with the extra £75,000 per person!

      For starters how about upgrading/replacing all the run down housing in Glasgow that Labour appear to have *ahem* missed in their *cough* stewardship of Glasgow?

      You could perhaps make the Living Wage £15.00 and hour instead of RED Ed’s PLEDGE of £8.00, maybe, by 2019!

      How about electrifying the whole of the rail network or even, I know I’ve suggested this in the past, laying out a MAGLEV network between Scotland’s major cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. (Apologies to anyone living in a major Scottish city I did not mention there but please consider your city included. 😉 )

      I know for the distances involved MAGLEV would only shave a couple of minutes off the travel time between Edinburgh and Glasgow say but just think of the PRESTIGE that this project would bring to Scotland.

      Hell if Beijing, or is it Peking I can never remember 😛 , can do it for their Olympic games then surely with all this EX Trident money we could do so much more! 😀

      rant over!

    125. jackie g says:

      O/T

      David Cameron has said his aim is to guarantee a “good life” for British workers and families as he launched the Conservatives’ election manifesto.

      The prime minister said he wanted “to finish the job” of rebuilding Britain on behalf of “working people”.

      He pledged to pass a law to keep minimum wage workers out of tax, double free childcare to 30 hours a week and boost “right to buy” home ownership.

      Cheers Dave that has made me see the light NOT.

      We can smell the bulls*** from here FFS.

      🙁

    126. Legerwood says:

      Jlt @12.30.

      Re permanent membership of the Security Council. When the Security Council came into being only the USA, of the five permanent members, had nuclear weapons although the others were probably developing them. Permanent membership was on the basis of having been on the ‘winning’ side in WWII. Therefore losing its nukes should not mean the UK losing its permanent membership.

      In recent years there has been talk of expanding the number of permanent members. Germany, Brazil and India have all been mentioned in that context and only India has nuclear weapons.

      On the topic of this piece. The aircraft carriers are not just missing planes. The RN does not have enough ships to provide protection for the carriers. This was highlighted in a recent CH4 Dispatches documentary. If I remember correctly someone suggested that in the event that more ships were needed eg war, they could borrow ships from other countries.

      Looks like the Rev has come up with a solution to more than just Trident.

    127. D Doc says:

      Sperm donor seeks flat in Helensburgh. Will trade.

    128. Dr Ew says:

      The first part of the proposal is obviously a perfectly sensible, workable and constructive idea, but I’d like to treat the second part with a bit of seriousness too.

      Leaving aside the fact I used to live in Helensburgh and would be VERY PISSED OFF INDEED if I were to miss out on Stu’s proposed bonanza for individual current residents, there is a very sound principle to investing in an effected local economy by setting aside a significant amount of the money saved from decommissioning Trident (though let’s not forget that even in a best case disarmament scenario Faslane will incur ongoing costs for several years to come).

      It’s worth mentioning here that the USA’s Green Party proposed an excellent and in essence not dissimilar solution to the sub-prime debt crisis that triggered the 2008 financial collapse. Instead of foreclosing on all those people and making them homeless then bailing out the banks anyway, let’s take the houses into public ownership and allow the people to continue living there but paying a fair rent, with individuals supported by a form of housing benefit if need be.

      They also proposed other defaulted personal credit be bought up by a Federal or State Government Trust in exchange for shares in the lender, all underpinned by an entirely new and far stricter regime of regulation on banks’ activities, including the various packaging of products they were permitted to sell to the public. Many economists outwith the neo-liberal orthodoxy – including new Keynsian and Independence referendum debate dabbler Paul Krugman – supported this or similar courses of action.

      Needless to say Wall Street didn’t even give it the time of day. Instead they demanded – and got – bailed out directly by the US Government with little or no consequences for the future regulation, bonuses or indeed malfeasance of its leaders.

      Nice work if you can get it, as the old song goes.

    129. Iain says:

      @Lenny Hartley

      Regarding Katie Clark. Not sure if you are aware of this but Arran is covered by HIE (as opposed to Scottish Enterprise) and every year they (HIE) organise a meeting at Westminister to try and prompt economic development across the Highlands and Islands. Apparently (and I stand to be corrected) the only area MP who has never taken part or responded to the invitation is none other than… drum roll… Katie Clark. I wonder if the Labour Party Chairman on Arran knows that he is represented by someone who is so clearly batting for folk on the island.

    130. heedtracker says:

      Libby’s piece with Jim on the no cuts after 2016 thing is mind bending.

      Murphy bollox like this you mean, faithfully printed in red tory Graun?

      “Murphy said: “Scots have a tradition of wanting to balance the books. The issue is how you do it. You’ve got the Tories saying cuts, cuts, cuts and the SNP [with their flagship policy of full fiscal autonomy] want to cut Scotland off from the rest of the UK when it comes to pooling and sharing resources and taxes.”

      If there are any actual Scottish Labour socialists out there, they will be talking about a new break away Scottish Labour party coming very soon.

      Maybe with the current full on BBC vote SLab pressure, Murphy can cling on another few years but Just the fact that they need all the tactical ConDem voters in Scotland merely to save a few Westminster job for life troughers, shows its end of era time for the branch office.

    131. Mike Harland says:

      Nice to see the blog article by Alex Thomson yesterday questioning the “independence” of Trident – seems we are the only nuclear country in the world without the real power to press our own button – total poodles to whatever the US policy is at any point in time: http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/trident-nuclear-deterrent-independent/9293

      Perhaps people reading it might become a bit more sceptical on whether or not UK security services are interfering with Scottish independence and SNP power in Westminster after all? …

    132. Legerwood says:

      Headtracker @ 1.51

      Leanne Wood made a similar point during the ITV debate when she pointed out that there were lots of UK citizens working abroad and would we want them to be treated the way immigrants are treated/spoken about here. Got applause for that if I remember correctly.

    133. Grendel says:

      If a Conservative or a Labour government is elected they will, in the lifetime of the next parliament, commission a replacement for the UK operated, US controlled Trident nuclear weapon delivery system. A strong SNP contingent at Westminster may vainly vote against this, but it will go ahead nonetheless.
      The SNP are attacked for being willing to leave the UK defenceless against nuclear attack, and I find it odd that they, nor any other opposition party, endorse the purchasing instead of an anti-missile defence system.

      During the 1991 Gulf War Saudi Arabia was defended with some success from Iraqi SCUD missile attacks by the deployment of Patriot missiles. These missiles were designed to take down enemy missiles in flight, protecting Saudi cities and citizens from attack without the need for immediate and massive retaliation.
      Other countries such Israel and India already use other similar methods. The UK could be protected by a Patriot style system, a truly defensive and morally acceptable method of defending our shores.

      It does have one large downside of course. It would see the UK without an offensive nuclear capability and thus without a seat at the top table internationally. That is the real reason why it is a solution that will never be adopted, and why this and future generations will continue with unnecessary austerity under the shadow of nuclear mutually assured destruction.

    134. Will Podmore says:

      heedtracker writes, “teamGB loves a good war, far enough away, England runs Scotland’s economy, London just gets more and more wealthy by the minute and so on.”
      Who does he mean? Who loves a good war? The British people, who stopped Cameron’s planned war on Syria?
      ‘England runs Scotland’s economy’? Oh, so capitalists don’t run a capitalist economy any more then? Just one ‘nation’ – all of it, every single worker – runs Scotland’s economy? That’s the kind of nonsense you come up with when you abandon class-based politics for reactionary nationalism.
      ‘London gets more wealthy’ – what, all of us? Not just the City flyboys? Oh yes, all the millions of impoverished workers in east London really have got ever so wealthy under the coalition. Not.

    135. big jock says:

      BBC Scotland – Are running out of time. They know the first thing the SNP majority will do is press for devolution of broadcasting. They are in deep doo doo for their behaviour now and during the referendum.

      Can I suggest if broadcasting had been devolved during the referendum. We may have had a different outcome. Imagine Scotland actually broadcasting news from a Scottish perspective ,instead of the London prism.

      Imagine a poitics show that is fair to all sides ,but always stands up for Scotland. Imagine a news programme that presents facts rathr than opinion presented as facts.

      Tick tock…BBC

    136. Aceldo Atthis says:

      Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…

      How come all these guys who care so passionately about jobs are the same guys that are so keen on exporting our jobs overseas?

      Every time Trident or the arms industry is criticised they wade in with their love of humanity and jobs.

      The very same people, politicians, economists, and experts, are basically going around the world bribing other countries so that they can export our jobs to places like China, Poland, and India. They call that “Aid”.

      Go figure.

    137. desimond says:

      Any readers of Private Eye (i know i know) will be aware that Robert Preston is viewed through very cynical eyes for Quid Pro Quo Clarice arrangements between him and Establishment parties.

    138. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just for all Brian Donohoe fans everywhere. 😀

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0WBp9gN21o&

    139. Joemcg says:

      Maybe it’s just me but why do countries especially a tiny country like Scotland need weapons or even an army? We are not a warmonger nation but we are presently tied to one using imagine ry scenarios like the Russians are coming to con the country in to believing we need this militaria. The whole issue annoys me and the astronomical sums involved are truly sickening when thousands of our people cannot afford to feed or clothe themselves.

    140. shiregirl says:

      bjsalba, natasha, handandshrimp and heedtracker

      thanks for that. Been doing my wikki-ing and quite taken aback at what I’ve read…

      Is Robert Peston a ‘Hon’ as his father is a Labour Baron?

      and Nick Robinson – president of the young tories at oxford??!! is that true?

      I feel very naive having not known this. How can they remain impartial? Is this not a conflict of interests when they have had such strong political affiliations?

      I’m away to goggle some more. And tell my pals.

    141. Lesley-Anne says:

      Scotspine says:

      Look the P2000 up on Google and see what might we can field. Go on.

      If you use this site Scotspine and zoom in on Buckie I think you will find that *ahem* your P2000 is HMS Explorer which from Google confirms it to be attached to Yorkshire URNU. 😉

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archer-class_patrol_vessel

      http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/home#

    142. heedtracker says:

      Hi shiregirl. When it comes to Scottish politics online or otherwise, highlight, right click google and whole different aspect on everything said and done kicks in.

      A good example is the 100bn barrel oil strike under a farm near Gatwick last week? as per usual, all anti Scottish democracy propaganda piles in, Bliar MacDougal said there you go Scotland, ofcourse its Scottish oil too so vote Murphy etc.

      But is it even remotely feasible that they actually struck virtually half the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, in a field near Gatwick airport and are not pumping out all those Saudi levels of oil in that soil?

      Probably not:D

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Saudi_Arabia

      Gatwick oil strike fantasy puts UK oil reserves same as Kuwait, more than Russia and 4X more than the USA, says Wiki. Surely they wouldn’t UKOK lie to us would they.

    143. JLT says:

      Legerwood says:

      Re permanent membership of the Security Council…

      Agree with what you say, but as you also state, the others (well, Britain and Russia) were developing atomic weapons also. However, over time, and whatever the good intentions were for a UN Security Council, the permanent seats on the council have become something else; and rather insidious and clandestine in theory.

      The idea of a council promoting ‘the greater good’ has fallen by the wayside, and this change of ideology was led by none other that the 5 permanent members themselves. All 5 are literally the major arms dealers of the world. All 5 literally have spheres that encompasses the entire globe. All 5 have not only promoted proxy wars, but fed ‘allies’ with armaments too (and in some cases, arming both opponents at the same time ie Israel and the Arab World in the Middle East).

      To lose their seat WILL affect Britain! It changes the dynamics of not only the various influences at the table, but has serious consequences for Britain, as well as the United States.

      All this rhetoric about bringing nations like Germany, Japan, Brazil, etc to the permanent seats has been just that …rhetoric. To bring others to the table would allow those nations to also flex their muscles and thus create their own spheres of influence (can you imagine Japan on a permanent seat while facing China …both who are openly hostile to each other and arguing over maritime territory …and then we have North Korea to throw into the mix). All potentially combustible if power is granted to others who want to sit at the top table.

      I can’t see these other nations ever being granted a permanent seat unless something severely destabilises the world, or one of the permy members breaks up (after all, not one of these nations is a ‘true’ solid nation. All are made up of unions, or confederations. Even France is a mixture of smaller nations encompassed into a larger one).

    144. Lesley-Anne says:

      Iron Man says:

      And we could widen the Forth/Clyde canal to allow the Frigates to get to the East coast quicker. More jobs. 🙂

      Apologies if I am wrong here but does the Clyde/Forth canal not require the Falkirk Wheel for barges/boats to move between the two canals or am I just talking my usual p*** here?

      I only ask cause if the Wheel is required I’m not sure if it is big enough to cope with the Frigates going back and forth IM. Mind you I have to admit that would be a spectacular sight … Type 26 Frigates at the top of the Falkirk Wheel heading East or West along the canals. 😀

    145. Cactus says:

      Helensburgh’s a cool place, the windy walk along the waterfront is braw. I once tried the bestest most tastiest fajitas in The Buddha Bar (if it’s still there?). Nearby neighbour Rhu also has some excellent bait and fishing grounds along the narrows 🙂

      I remember there was talk of getting together in Helensburgh for a sociable, The Clyde Bar I believe it was..

    146. Auld Rock says:

      Hi Mae Carson at 11:05, good idea if there wasn’t already a fully functioning ‘Container Terminal’ across the river at the old Princess Pier, Greenock. This has a rail link into the Wemyss Bay/Port Glasgow/Glasgow railway line. Only problem it is a very steep grade out of Princess Pier to the junction but this could be overcome by a spot of innovative tunneling to link it into the Gourock to Glasgow Central route instead. The junction would be in the Fort Matilda tunnel about half a mile west of Greenock West Station. A second benefit of this is that a new commuter station could be built at Union Street, Greenock on what is a very busy commuter route to Paisley and Glasgow.

      Auld Rock

    147. donald anderson says:

      Any respect I might have had for Brian Taylor is totally gone. Fat basturt!

    148. Author_al says:

      Joemcg says
      “We are not a warmonger nation but we are presently tied to one…”

      Why does Labour want the nukes? It abhorred the colonial past. I remember going on Ban The Bomb marches as a teenager, surrounded by diehard Labour supporters…

      where did they go?

    149. donald anderson says:

      Joemcg says
      “We are not a warmonger nation but we are presently tied to one…”

      Why does Labour want the nukes? It abhorred the colonial past. I remember going on Ban The Bomb marches as a teenager, surrounded by diehard Labour supporters…

      where did they go?

      House of Lards?

    150. yesindyref2 says:

      build five Type 26s every year

      The projected capacity of BAE’s frigate factory would be 2 a year at Scotstoun, so they’d have to add Govan which isn’t on their plan, and may even be too late (I’ve lost track). or re-open Portsmouth’s shibuilding capacity which may also be too late.

      I’d go for those MPAs, shame it’s probably too late for Nimrod MRA4. Then perhaps another 3 T26, plus another 3 OPV like those being built as they do the job some of the T26 do. I’d like another 2 T45s. But I’d also like about another 3-5 Astutes, which would give 10-12 SSNs. Then see about augmenting other parts of the RAF, re-open Leuchars and even think about basing half the MPAs in a re-opened Kinloss. I know little about army hardware, so no comment.

    151. yesindyref2 says:

      Oh, I’d also go for a purpose-built hospital ship (possible with electriricty generating spare capacity), and a water carrier and extraction / purification ship, with a substantial helo deck but also an amphib dock. For disaster relief.

    152. Natasha says:

      @Will Podmore 3.35pm

      Hi Will! I was wondering where you had got to. Is Phil Robertson with you, or have you two not met up yet?

      Must be hard to see Scotland wriggling its way free of the UK regardless of your pleading with us to see the light.

    153. Muscleguy says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      The Falkirk Wheel, wonderful piece of design and engineering that it is would not be requiring an upgrade (and the tunnel immediately above it would NOT accommodate a Type 26 or any other sort of naval vessel. This is because it forms the interconnect between the Union and Forth & Clyde canals. The latter connects to the Forth near Grangemouth while the Union hares off across Midlothian to Auld Reekie, an unnecessary detour for a naval vessel.

      BTW if you are ever in want of a good day out I can recommend the Wheel. Take a boat trip on it, smooth as silk, then wander along the paths above the site to some remains of the Antonine Wall. The cafe there even offers gluten free toasted sandwiches.

    154. Glamaig says:

      According to BBC election 2015 Scotland, Murphy is in Cumbernauld scaring children and wibbling on about 7.6bn black hole, and ‘the end of the UK welfare state as we know it’.

      A cry of ‘pish’ arose from the crowd…

    155. izzie says:

      According too the Hootsmon Jim claims he and Ed are on the same page they must be reading a comic

    156. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Joemcg at 3.44

      Exactly. Why would we choose to be the number one target in the world (to protect USA)?
      Who would we ever attack?
      And why would anybody ever attack us ( except we have a huge nuclear offence armoury planked in the most highly populated part of our country)?

    157. think again says:

      All joking apart, Tories most trusted on defence and Trident, and less than 20% of people want it scrapped entirely. Of course it is only an opinion poll and a further 28% want a less expensive system but the attachment to having weapons of mass destruction seems to be strong.

      https://archive.today/J8Ykm

    158. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Luigi at 12.43

      Make no mistake. Murphy’s spanking was deliberate and planned. I’ll be surprised if we see much more of him. We should be shouting loudly for him and where’s he gone to make it difficult for them to put somebody else in position-

    159. One_Scot says:

      Do you think there is ever gonna be a day when Scotland wakes up and just says, ‘you know what, today I am going to stop believing unionist pish’.

    160. Robert Peffers says:

      @Scotspine says: 14 April, 2015 at 12:27 pm:

      “Look the P2000 up on Google and see what might we can field.”

      If memory serves the P2000 Class have 1X Oerlikon gun and 3X standard Machine Guns. Mind you the implements in the galley and the cutlery in the messdeck are very, very sharp.

    161. K1 says:

      Glamaig let’s face it ‘a cry of pish’ is arising from anywhere in Scotland where he is: any time he opens his lying mooth 🙂

    162. Valerie says:

      Huff post reporting that the typhoons have been scrambled today for the 3 Russian ships seen in the English channel.

      Imagine how much money that costs. There are varying reports that these 3 ships, only one of which is a destroyer are actually there legit, on agreed exercises.

    163. yesindyref2 says:

      @Jake
      Interesting study I missed somehow, which I haven’t read through yet. The idea that 2 Successors would be need to fill the gap to 2040 is a bit of a stumbler, but I’m not sure I accept the idea of a new warhead taking 17-25 years, to fit on a cruise missile (current or advanced) or whatever.

      I can’t see it as being totally new design, either it can take work from the Trident warhead, or archived work from the WE 177 series (Vulcan bomber). Which, if the program could be done quicker, would remove the need and great expense of 2 Successors, making other programs cheaper.

    164. Lesley-Anne says:

      Thanks for that Muscleguy.

      I only put up the post cause Iron Man had cheekily suggested widening both canals so that the Type 26 Frigates could get from the West Coast to the East coast quicker when the Russians come to visit the Moray Firth. 😀

    165. yesindyref2 says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill
      All things considered I’ve probably come out mildly against Trident renewal rather than previously midly for it, but as far as being a target is concenred, neutraility didn’t help Belgium as it was the route through to France (and the UK). It wouldn’t help Scotland for similar reasons as indeed we occupy a highly strategic point for the Arctic, North-East passage – and the North-West one too, as well as the Iceland-UK Atlantic gap.

      The very reason during the Ref, NATO’s “oh you could join the back of the queue” was much less than all gas and no gaiters, in fact it was very little more than a cat-fart in a tornado.

    166. Scott Borthwick says:

      Alex Monaghan

      ‘Head-butt them with Trident.’

      I wasn’t aware the Scottish remake of Dr.Strangelove had been released yet.

    167. Robert Peffers says:

      @yesindyref2 says: 14 April, 2015 at 4:40 pm:

      “The projected capacity of BAE’s frigate factory would be 2 a year at Scotstoun, so they’d have to add Govan which isn’t on their plan, and may even be too late (I’ve lost track). or re-open Portsmouth’s shibuilding capacity which may also be too late.”

      Probably enough capacity to knock up a few at Rosyth, though.

    168. manandboy says:

      Faslane to the Moray Firth must be the best part of 450 nautical miles. Should a naughty Russian military vessel enter the Moray Firth to pick up some fish’n chips, what might a dozen Type 26’s in Faslane do, weather permitting.

      A frigate would have to be on permanent patrol in the NE with air support. But really, it makes far more sense in the long term to create a base for them in nearby Inverness or even Aberdeen.

      I’m no expert mind, but I did see “Das Boot” twice – that must count for something.

      Or we could ask holidaymakers up there to train their binoculars out to sea as well as on the dolphins, to check on possible Russian and Boko Haram incursions, and report same to the nearest harbour master. Just till the warships arrive 20 hours later of course from Faslane, weather permitting.

    169. Robert Peffers says:

      yesindyref2 says: 14 April, 2015 at 4:44 pm:

      “Oh, I’d also go for a purpose-built hospital ship (possible with electriricty generating spare capacity), and a water carrier and extraction / purification ship, with a substantial helo deck but also an amphib dock. For disaster relief.”

      Well, yesindyref2, unless things have changed a great deal since my days in the MOD yer average Destroyer or Frigate has a whacking great deal of spare generating capacity.

    170. Edward says:

      Valerie @ 5.24
      The media on this story are all over the place on it

      One cracking example I saw on one article, that stated the Russian ships were ’20 miles off the coast of Kent’

      Now call me cynical, but, considering that the distance between Dover in Kent to Calais, France is 22 miles as the crow flies. I would say that the Russians were closer to France. So is it not the French that should be ‘scrambling’ their jets?

    171. Fireproofjim says:

      Edward
      Good points, but also the English Channel including the Straits of Dover are international waters and free passage of all ships is guaranteed. Russian ships and any other nation’s ships are perfectly entitled to pass through as they have been doing for many years.
      This is just a typical newspaper scare story.

    172. yesindyref2 says:

      @Valerie
      From the Mirror it looks like the Typhoons were scrambled to ward off a couple of Russian Bears flying close to UK airspace. Cost per hour fuel only for one Typhoon is I think £5,000, but all-in operational cost can be anywhere from £45,000 per flying hour, to £70–90,000 per hour depending on who you believe.

      @Robert Peffers
      Yes, Rosyth would be a possibility, some conversion needed. The other problem for both places though would be a shortage of specifically skilled workers, sadly enough.

    173. Almannysbunnet says:

      Proud Cybernat says:
      14 April, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      “Who’d have thought it–but way back in 1969 it was the Scottish Tories who were advocating FFA for a devolved Scottish Parliament:

      ‘Fiscal independence is vital… The Scottish Parliament would raise her own revenue and and remit a proportion to the Federal Treasury.” – Whatever Happened to Tory Scotland”
      Oil, the forties field, was discovered one year later, in 1970, that’s what happened.

    174. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      yesindyref2 at 5.32

      I don’t see what the issue of neutrality has to do with it.

      The issue is a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons stored nearest our biggest city making us and it the biggest target in the world.

      I am very aware that Scotland commands the north Atlantic. What that has to do with where a nuclear base is situated I don’t know.
      A base on the east coast of USA does the job just as well.
      Scotland is a virtual aircraft carrier for the US

    175. Legerwood says:

      Jlt @ 4.08

      I agree with you particularly about additional permanent members. Appoint India and you get major huff from Pakistan. Brazil and others in the region object.

      But in a very narrow sense it should not matter. One of the reasons I keep saying it though is in the faint hope that others will realise just why UK wants to be a permanent member – arms trade. Not exactly a high minded reason but typical of perfidious Albion.

    176. dakk says:

      It’s quite obvious that the propaganda us being cranked up to try to sell Trident to the public at a time when we are swimming in debt,the standard of living falling,and increasing requirement for food banks.

      The fact there is no need for Trident will not stop UK gov borrowing 100 billion to build and operate it.

      All the UK gov have to do is mention Putin,Kim Jong Un,Ayatollah this that or other and the Great British public wet themselves and want to nuke everyone.They are frightened of their own shadows.

      Its the old trick of creating an external threat to frighten people,and then they will let the gov. do whatever it wants in the name of ‘protecting’ them.

      Our only remote chance of stopping this abomination is SNP and Greens,Plaid Cymru holding the balance of power.

    177. Effijy says:

      Brain Taylor may not be with us long as helooks very unhealthy.
      He sweats even when not trying to defend the indefensible Dim Jim.

      He looks like he ate Jackie Bailey!

    178. Effijy says:

      Has anyone considered why UK strains against the leash when the USA needs anything done?

      People like Thatcher, Blair, Brown etc all become multi-millionaire with revenue gained from America once they have retired from being PM.

      I don’t believe that Americans would pay $1,000 a plate to
      eat in the same Hotel as Gordon Brown, or a former PM’s books would sell by the Millions.
      It seems that old Mr Socialist himself, Gordon Gravy Train Brown can earn £500,000 over there at the drop of a hat?

      Could these £millions be the reason why our PM’s are happy to spend £Billions of our money on illegal Wars and Military aid above and beyond that of anyone else in the EEC?????

    179. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      I meant like taking aggreko generators or similar to take ashore to disaster areas to supply electricity. I’d say that in a conflict zone, both hospital ship and water ship would be escorted by a DD and a couple of FFs, maybe even an SSN (Astute or Trafalgar), plus RFA oiler. Preferably I think, under a temporary UN flag. Such a self-protecting fleet could increase the UK’s influence in the UN, to make up for its loss of the SSBNs and nuclear deterrent.

    180. yesindyref2 says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill – I was answering your “And why would anybody ever attack us (except …”

      Even without the nukes, we’re still strategically important, and any country that is strategically important isn’t safe unless it protects itself.

    181. orri says:

      The missing element here are conventional forces. It’s fucking stupid to wait until you’ve been invaded to launch a deadly one of, because once spotted those subs are deadmeat, strike. It’s not even that it’s a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It’s that it can’t even be turned down.

      Meanwhile we have demobed forces who’s place are being taken by reserves who rob the economy of their services whilst costing us their full civilian salary. It’s no wonder we didn’t intervene in Syria.

      If the UK is attacked we’ll be hiding under the umbrella of others coventional forces who, I’m sure, will be happy to lay down their lives for us in exchange for sheltering our nuclear brolly.

    182. yesindyref2 says:

      The current hoohah about Trident platform renewal (Successor) in the media misses the point that the UK still has SDSR 2015 to come after the General Election which could recommend – virtually anything – and that the Main Gate for Successor is 2016, at which point the decision will be made go or no go, and the commitment to the most of the funds. All that’s been spent so far is the approved Initital Gat spending which may be around £2.3 billion, not sure. Perhaps some of that could be recovered in the case of cancellation.

      Both Tories and Labour could commit now to Trident renewal, but not follow through with it at the time. Labour with SNP holding the balance could blame the SNP and to be honest, I don’t think mostly people in Scotland would care less about that blame being attached.

    183. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      yesindyref2 at 6.54

      Still don’t follow. Norway, Ireland, Iceland,the Faroe Islands are surely as strategically important in geographic terms.
      I assume Chile and South Africa share similar strategic positions not to mention New Zealand, Australia, Los Angeles, Newfoundland etc,etc. You could make exactly the same argument for just about anywhere.
      The fact is our nuclear sub fleet is to defend USA, not Scotland

      There is no compelling reason for us to have a nuclear arsenal 23 miles from the centre of Glasgow (which of course makes us the world’s number one target)

    184. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The cost of renewing Trident is the least important aspect of this issue

    185. Gary says:

      Sadly, politicians care more about status than for the well being of those they represent.

    186. crazycat says:

      @ shiregirl

      It seems that Robert Peston could indeed call himself “the Honourable” – I thought that only applied to the children of hereditary peers, but on checking, I see I’m wrong! He doesn’t use the title though (yet?).

      Someone who posts on here, or is frequently linked to (Calton Jock? I can’t remember unfortunately), has written about the complex relationships between broadcasters and politicians; it’s a very tangled web indeed.

      Telling your pals is the most important thing of all – the more people are told the truth the more difficult it is for the establishment to get away with lies and cover-ups and cosy relationships.

    187. yesindyref2 says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill
      I think we’re talking at cross-purposes. I’m talking about the need to defend Scotland (/UK) in general terms, not the need for nukes.

      The costs of the nukes might not be important to CND or those who want to get rid of them as a “moral obscenity”, the importance is those many who don’t think that way, like me for instance who recognise the contribution a deterrent made, but who are thinking twice about Trident renweal precisely because of its high cost, and therefore the lower amount of conventional gear that can be afforded.

      Another reason for me is that I’m no longer convinced it’s even effective, due to advances in detection technology and just one single boat at sea to find and nullify, but that’s another story.

    188. Connor McEwen says:

      Mae Carson;You MUST MUST E-Mail Mae.
      EFFING BRILLIANT rev. and Mae. I’ve Fell in LOVE.
      What about MI5 or ‘6 with the NAVY based there.

    189. GadgieAl says:

      You’ve omitted to factor in the substantial cost of crewing a much larger number of vessels and the habitual 200% cost overrun on major defence procurement, but you’re definitely on the right lines here Rev Stu.

      The most dangerous weapon is the one your enemy believes you will never use, and any notion that Trident is an “independent” system that the UK could unilaterally unleash (against who / what? In whose name? to what end?) is pretty fanciful. Much more plausible IMO that we could get dragged into an apocalyptic war at America’s behest (Armageddon in defence of Israel, anyone?), or start something quite by accident. I doubt that IS drive around in their Toyota land cruisers constantly looking over their shoulders for incoming Trident missiles.

      What we do need is a sensible debate about our country’s proper place in the World, its actual strategic interests and its ability to defend its territorial integrity. For that we need top-notch intelligence services, well-equipped conventional forces and enough of the modern people-less weapons (drones, etc) to counteract real threats – domestic terrorism, an assault on our oil and gas rigs, that sort of thing – and play a meaningful role in the international institutions we choose to be members of.

      The SNP has made great play of its anti-nuclear stance. I think they need to make up their minds whether they are actually a pacifist party, active interventionists under the banner of NATO or the UN, or willing to follow Sweden’s example of high defence spending as the price of credible neutrality.

      Congratulations on opening up a much-needed debate on a topic that needs to be openly discussed now that independence is no longer a dream, but rather a work in progress.

    190. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You’ve omitted to factor in the substantial cost of crewing a much larger number of vessels”

      You call it a cost, I call it more jobs!

    191. Stoker says:

      Valerie wrote:
      “Huff post reporting that the typhoons have been scrambled today for the 3 Russian ships seen in the English channel.”

      Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that the 2 Typhoons were scrambled to intercept 2 Russian aircraft who have flown too close to our air space.

      You would think that these lying b@st@rds would know that to be a convincing liar you have to be consistent and, at least, get your stories straight.

      Oh well, maybe the DR will give us the real story, something along the lines of – Typhoon Fighter Jets scrambled after Russian tanks spotted on manoeuvres in the North Sea, eh!

    192. Macsenex says:

      Nice try Rev. but I’m afraid that like much of the nationalist movement you assume that Faslane contributes hugely to the Helensburgh economy.

      It does the opposite. The population is ageing and has fallen almost ten per cent in ten years.

      When looked at renting a unit in the Base shopping mall Babcocks who manage it for the MOD told me 2550 service personnel don’t live in the area. They stay in the Base accommodation blocks Monday to Thursday and go home south for the rest of the week. While staying in the blocks they rarely leave the Base as all the facilities they need are there.

      Just a quick calculation of the basis RN salary scales shows aloss to the community of £64m per annum to Helensburgh. In reality it will be three times that figure at least.

      So while the money would be very nice I’d far rather see it used to develop a publicly owned Clyde Global Port in the Lower Clyde to match our port competitors in Northern Europe who are expanding their port facilities way beyond the Clyde’s current capacity. It’s time the Scottish Government revised the National Planning Framework and committed to the Clyde and put the infrastructure in place to make it happen. Funds for HS2 from Scotland to the South should be diverted into establishing the Clyde Global Port. The less we see London as the prism through which most of our economic development is channelled the better our long term future will be.

    193. dakk says:

      Dave McEwan Hill. 8.12

      Tell that to the increasing number of people living in poverty and requiring to use food banks.

    194. sensibledave says:

      Those of you that have harangued me in other threads here, may be surprised by my view of “sensible plan” outlined above.

      The theme of the argument has considerable merit – that being that cheaper alternatives might be sought to achieve a similar effect.

      Personally, I would still like to have a nuclear deterrent and maybe a multi-use fighter bomber based solution (rather than submarine based) might offer 75% of the deterrent for significantly less cost – and would also include a beefing up of our “conventional” forces within that reduced budget.



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