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Wings Over Scotland


There goes the fear

Posted on April 25, 2013 by

We’re indebted to an alert reader (as previously noted, we default to not naming people who send us tip-offs and the like so as not to get them in trouble at work or anything, but will happily credit you if you ask) for an excellent piece of initiative today.

“16 April 2013

Dear Ministry of Defence,

A couple of weeks ago the PM told us we were at threat of nuclear attack by North Korea. Living in Glasgow, what is the procedure if they do launch, where do I go? How do the MOD protect us – can they shoot the missile down? How will I know we are under attack? If they do launch, Trident isn’t much use, is it? Can Trident shoot down a missile? The South Koreans have Patriot missiles, do we? Are they any good? What are you doing to protect Glasgow?

Yours faithfully and very concerned,
[alert WingsLand reader]”

You can read the MoD’s reply below. Our emphases, as always.

“24 April 2013

Dear [alert WingsLand reader],

Thank you for your email of 16 April 2013 to the Secretary of State for Defence.  Your email has been passed on to me in the Ministry of Defence’s Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Policy branch for reply as the points you raise in your letter fall under my area of responsibility.

You raise the issue of the recent article on the nuclear deterrent by the Prime Minister in the Daily Telegraph.  I refer you to the comments made in the House of Commons on 23 April by the Foreign Secretary the Rt. Hon. William Hague:

“The Prime Minister said that North Korea claimed that it had missiles that could hit the whole of the United States, and if that was the case, of course, it could also hit the UK. I mentioned earlier that it has paraded, but not yet tested, a 12,000 km-range missile. Looking decades ahead, as we do with these decisions, we have to be aware of the great variety of potential threats to the UK. It is vital, therefore, that we retain the ultimate deterrent in this country.”

It remains the case that currently no state has both the intent to threaten our vital interests and the capability to do so with nuclear weapons.

The Trident ballistic missiles which are carried on our Vanguard class submarines are not used for the purposes of missile defence.  In addition to the points made above as regards the nuclear threat, there is no immediate significant threat to the UK from ballistic missiles.  However, the UK supports the development of a NATO ballistic missile defence capability, which will be made up of a range of radars and interceptor missiles contributed by individual NATO member states.  This will include the capability to provide limited defence to all NATO European populations and territory.

I hope this letter has been helpful in explaining Government policy.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. M. Smith”

So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth – there is currently NO threat to the UK from nuclear missiles from any nation on Earth, and should one arise decades into the future, Trident would offer no protection against them. Furthermore, the only thing that will offer any degree of actual defence against nuclear attack will be a non-nuclear missile programme, which will be available to all NATO members, whether nuclear or otherwise.

(Which is fortunate, as apparently the procedure if someone does launch an atomic attack against Glasgow at some point in the far future, when most of the inhabitants will already be dead of old age anyway, is classified.)

That seems pretty clear from where we’re sitting. Somebody tell Johann, eh?

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    65 to “There goes the fear”

    1. Bill C says:

      Johann wants a commission to report on this letter, which will be discussed and then debated minutes of which will be sent to committee to report back to the commission to produce a report which will be discussed and debated minutes of which………………..
       

    2. LeeMacD says:

      Wow! eh. All that work I’ve been doing under the house – could we please now refer to it as ‘the wine cellar’?

      It just crossed my mind. Blair’s 45 minutes to destruction thing. Why did nobody think to email the MOD? Could have stopped a war.

    3. Simon says:

      You are being disingenuous Rev. Everyone knows the reason that “there is no immediate significant threat to the UK from ballistic missiles”, is only because we have Trident. If we didn’t have loads of Weapons of Mass Destruction, then everyone in the world would instantly start targetting us. At least, I think that’s the justification for retaining Trident?

    4. Macart says:

      Feck! And I’d just bought a hundred weight of tinfoil and a shovel. 🙁
       
      I’ll not see that money again.

    5. “decades in the future” LOL

    6. Rod Mac says:

      I hope Johann’s Truth Commission is going after the PM for his blatant lies the other week.

    7. BlueTiles says:

      I’m just waiting for the ‘But the MOD is just an S.N.P front’  lines, after this. 
       

    8. Amanayeman says:

      @ Bill C,
      I think I see your problem Bill, you are making sense. Now, start again..um..well..like what I mean..if you ..see what it is is what it is.
      Have you had a look at LeeMacD’s cellar? I think the answer is to be found there  

    9. SCED300 says:

      To Reverend Campbell.
      Are these letters subject to copyright? Can they be quoted? They would be useful to quote or insert on some of the comments pages on The Guardian and The Telegraph etc. People going on about the Scottish Government putting Britain at risk, if these comments come up again could the MOD letter be inserted in a reply.
      Could this MOD letter be sent to MPs if I were writing to them?

    10. mealer says:

      Scotlands against WMD.Londons for them.But they want to keep them in Scotland.Bl**dy cheek.

    11. scaredy cat. says:

      Sorry O/T but I have it on good authority that Scottish business leaders have been invited to a Better Together Breakfast Briefing at the Bonham in Edinburgh on Friday 3rd May at 8.30am. Would be interesting to know if there will be much of a turnout. 

    12. Stevie Mach says:

      Hm, Trident nukes, what about the 1.5million* Scottish jobs that directly rely on them?

      I suppose we could re-employ some of them building and maintaining a Scottish Navy fleet.

      (*this figure is accurately fictitious and came about using current UK-BT ‘think-of-a-number’ criteria)

    13. Training Day says:

      @scaredycat
       
      Is that actual business leaders?  Or is it CBI Scotland?

    14. mogabee says:

      Scaredy
       
      A free breakfast?…They’ll be there.

    15. Jiggsbro says:

      I’m just waiting for the ‘But the MOD is just an S.N.P front’  lines, after this.
       
      It can’t be a coincidence that ‘MOD’ is an anagram of ‘SNP’, if you change one or two (3) letters. Or that ‘Dr M. Smith’ is an obvious pseudonym of Kim Jong Eck. If you want further proof, you only have to spot the blatant lie in the letter: Scotland ‘has both the intent to threaten [the UK’s] vital interests and the capability to do so with nuclear weapons’, but ‘Dr’ Smith uses semantic games to disguise that fact, by stressing ‘state’ rather than the more inclusive ‘region’. It is therefore vital to the UK’s continued safety that Trident is removed from Scotland and the control of its dictator. That will show the SNP that the UK means business.
       
       

    16. CameronB says:

      So here we have confirmation from the MOD, that the PM not only “jumped the sub” when he came up here to deliver his little pep-talk, he was knowingly telling porkies when stirring the masses. Well who’d have guessed?
       
      Vote Yes in 2014, for a nuke free Scotland.
       
      P.S. To all those out there that suggest such an approach is hypocritical as it does nothing to resolve the problem globally, disarmament has to start somewhere, does it not?

    17. velofello says:

      In the last paragraph – ” a NATO ballistic misslie defense capability…made of a range of radars and interceptor missiles contributed to by individual Nato member states”.
      What’s not to like with that proposal if you qualify as a NATO member country. 
      But then he states “This will include the capability to provide limited defense to all NATO European countries and territory”.
      So this proposal is for individual NATO members to participate in a joint defense scheme and the extent of protection for each member country to be determined by the individual member country’s contribution to its own defense. 
      Does read like a compelling reason to be an independent country and a member of NATO, and so free to determine the investment, and  level of defense protection for your country in this joint defense scheme.
      A sort of “bring your own” shindig for independent countries.

    18. Westie7 says:

      OT Aberdeen Donside SNP MSP Brian Adam has died aged 64, RIP

    19. scaredycat says:

      @ Training day
      I don’t know who has been invited or how they were selected. I simply know of one person who received an invite out of the blue.
      @ Mogabee
      Hmmm, perhaps, but the person I know (who won’t normally turn down a free breakfast) is not planning to go.

    20. @Westie7

      I had just seen that too. My condolences to his family and friends.

    21. Breeks says:

      Well I’m not reassured in the slightest.
      After all this fuss, he’s STILL Prime Minister.

      (& Yes, condolences too re Mr Adam).

    22. Breeks says:

      And by the way, does anybody else think my default avatar is trying to tell me something???

    23. Jiggsbro says:

      disarmament has to start somewhere, does it not?
       
      Well, yes, it has to start somewhere. But where? It’s important to find out where the energy is around that debate and I’m confident that a commission will be able to find that energy so that we can begin to have that debate.

    24. Morag says:

      Breeks – oh dear!

    25. scaredycat says:

      @Breeks
      Oh my God, that made me laugh really loud, and I’m sitting in an open plan office. Talk about funny looks!
       
       

    26. Clarinda says:

      I recall in the early 90s attending a lecture on the emergency response to a radiation ‘accident’ should it affect the population of Fife.  The very articulate chap in charge expained that the local police would immediately issue each household with iodine tablets. 
      I am surprised that the good citizens of Glasgow do not appear to have such stockpiles of iodine pills to ward off the fallout of nuclear apocalypse or even an accident at Faslane according to the MOD reply above.
      Seriously, however, there are serious questions to be asked over the significant rates of cancer in the generalised 15 – 40 age-group within the Glasgow area – “The Clyde Effect” – which appear to be much greater than comparable sized UK cities and other European countries. Glasgow Centre for Population Health

    27. Morag says:

      I quite like my Cyberman avatar.  I tried to change it for my usual pussycat one, but the system seems intent on tying you down to one handle and one avatar wherever you go once you sign up, and I value my independence.

    28. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Is FMQs on today? Not clear from BBC guide.
       
      If so, what broadsides will Lamont launch?
       
      Will Davidson stroke her chin before or after frowning, or attempt both simultaneously?
       
      Will Rennie manage to complete a question without looking like Norman Wisdom on mushrooms?
       
      Will AS resist the temptation to rub their collective coupons in Vitol?

    29. Doug says:

      Jiggsbro
       
      Like energy, Labour’s debate cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change form into another debate, thus allowing Ms Lamont to avoid it turning into a conclusion.

    30. LeeMacD says:

      A statement just in from Lamont
       
       
      ‘Well, Eh, I don’t think we can ignore the serious questions that this email raises, and, eh, the questions the SNP have to answer, the SNP who deny the debate that needs to be had, and that is why I’ve commissioned a working group to answer the questions that no one is asking. Speaking as a mother, for all the people badly let down by the SNP, there is a choice between the reality, and I strongly advocate that.’
       

    31. CameronB says:

      Hey, do you think SLabour and Lamont are that ever elusive perpetual motion engine? Unfortunately though, instead of life improving energy, all they produces is guff.

    32. GP Walrus says:

      The fear may be gone but can we be sure the uncertainty and doubt will ever be 100% eradicated?

    33. Jiggsbro says:

      The fear may be gone but can we be sure the uncertainty and doubt will ever be 100% eradicated?
       
      In 2116, when Scotland celebrates its independence centenary, there will still be uncertainty and doubt about its ability to continue as an independent country. It’s part of the human condition. Fortunately, we don’t need to eradicate 100% of uncertainty and doubt. 51% will be plenty.

    34. Jiggsbro says:

      But then he states “This will include the capability to provide limited defense to all NATO European countries and territory”.
      So this proposal is for individual NATO members to participate in a joint defense scheme and the extent of protection for each member country to be determined by the individual member country’s contribution to its own defense.
       
      Your conclusion about the extent of protection simply doesn’t follow from what was said. There is no reason to assume a joint protection scheme would only offer protection to each member equivalent to that which each member provides for itself. In fact, such a scheme would barely qualify as ‘joint’, given that it would simply be an umbrella term for the sum of individual efforts.

    35. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      The New York Times article of 23/04/2013

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/world/europe/europes-shrinking-military-spending-under-scrutiny.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      states

      “The situation in Britain is so bad that American officials are quietly urging it to drop its expensive nuclear deterrent.”
      “Either they can be a nuclear power and nothing else or a real military partner,” a senior American official said.”

      Perhaps time for someone to write another letter to the MoD ;). Certainly supports the view that an independent Scotland with a fully funded conventional defence force would be welcomed into NATO as a real military partner!
       

    36. Fergie35 says:

      Devonport, the only English port capable (supposedly) of taking the nukes, has too big a population, cant base them there then, so there you have it folks, Weegies don’t count as human beings in the eyes of the LabServatives, so no point blowing all these oil revenues on protection missiles.

    37. Arbroath1320 says:

      So according to the MOD Cameron is a LIAR then!
      Well that is the conclusion I’ve come to. If he states, and he did, that Scotland would be attacked by North Korea when clearly the MOD AND Hague state we are NOT under threat of attack from North Korea then what other conclusion can I come to other than the fact that whilst in Glasgow Cameron LIED to the people of Scotland!

    38. Geoff Huijer says:

      Politicians are allowed to lie as another article on
      this website has stated.
       
      Cameron was just proving the point.
      But I guess we knew that already as his mouth opened.

    39. Nairn says:

      Y’know, even the name of Britain’s nuclear deterrent is stupid. ‘Trident’. I mean, think about it – if you’re in a combat-to-the-death sort of scenario, what weapon are you going to want? A revolver? A sword? Nope. What you folks clearly need is a big bloody fork. It doesn’t even come with its own net, like they had in Spartacus. 

    40. muttley79 says:

      FMQ’s followed its usual course.  Lamont asks a question, this time on the SNP’s policy on the currency issue.  She gets the answer that an independent Scotland would use Sterling, and be in a currency union.  Then Lamont pretends that she has not been given an answer, when clearly she has.   

    41. Marcia says:

      SNP statement on Brian Adam.
      http://www.snp.org/blog/post/2013/apr/brian-adam-1948-2013
      Brian was a good lad winning a seat of Aberdeen Council long before he won the Aberdeen North seat in 2003.
      I last saw him in France at Contalmaison,  Somme Department on 1st July last year when he represented the Scottish Government and he placed the annual wreath at the 16th Royal Scots Memorial ceremony. I was told there that he was battling cancer, I just wanted to go up and hug him but did not want to intrude. He was a true gent in many ways. I shall miss his cheeky laughter.

    42. muttley79 says:

      My father knew Brian Adam.  He was a big Aberdeen fan, and I have seen him at games a number of times.  A fellow South Stander.  RIP.

    43. Cyborg-nat says:

      My heart goes out to Brian Adam’s loved ones and all those who’s life he touched upon.
      OT . Why are the Unionist so hyper this week? The Guardian is in warp drive with the likes of Kettle in full studied uniformed guise etc. complete with editorials the lot?
      Gideon just had a credit rating reality check and found out how shafted they will be after the referendum?

    44. Westie7 says:

      @Cyborg-Nat.
       
      Yeah had a speed-read through Kettle, Mind Control if ever I saw it.
      Usual MSM telling everyone that no-one wants independence so theres no need to vote for it !!
       
      Had a thought that by keeping the polls low, it would reinforce a No if the felt the need to fix it if they thought they were going to lose. Any way you swing it the consistently 30% polling is very misrepresentative of the trend from 2003 > 2007 > 2011
       
      In the face of the dross from Gideon and Rosa Klebb this week it makes sense

    45. scottish_skier says:

      The ‘you can’t use your £Scots after independence’ is not quite ‘You can’t use the saltire after independence‘ but not far off. The goal is to make the Scottish electorate reject Britain. After all, who’d want to be in a union with such an unpleasant partner.

      George knows exactly what he is doing. He knows fine well the £ will be our shared currency initially and he wants that to be the case. Good way to piss of the Scots though.

      People should be asking themselves why the favoured destination for senior Tories to mouth off in Scotland is Glasgow. Tory heartland? Most certainly not. SNP heartland? Not quite but getting there. That and the largest population centre in Scotland, hence rather important come autumn 2014.

      Why on earth Darling et al. are like a dog with a bone on the subject is lost on me. You can see the effects trickling through already and it’s not good for BT.

      Anyhoo, still no sign of anything from MORI as per reports of people being polled recently. Could well have been a private poll by Labour/BT. If it followed all the others, it would show Labour VI falling for Holyrood/Westminster, Y rising and N falling. Possibly a bit of acceleration in this too.
       
       

    46. HandandShrimp says:

      Cameron’s claims were an insult to the intellegence of a whelk. It made Blair’s Weapons of Mad Dogs, in a chip shop near you in 45 minutes, seem almost plausible (were that possible)
       
      I do hope Yes Scotland are pulling all this together so they remind people nearer the time just how much ridiculous scare material has been pumped at them. In a concentrated dose it will look both mendacious and infantile.  

    47. CameronB says:

      I was thinking of a video mashup Handand but didn’t have many examples to work with, as I don’t have TV and my t’internet is crap. Take your idea, add Lamont and Thatcher on “something for nothing” and “universalism”, scratching to a break of Sally Magnusson, chin in both hands saying “what are we going to do”. That clip of Sally might not exist, as I was only told that was here reaction to some SLabour spin she had just allowed.
       
      Possibly to soundtrack of the JBs doing Pass the Peas.
       
      More ideas and someone who knows what they are doing with digital media would also be needed.

    48. Morag says:

      The clip of Sally exists, I know because someone linked to it some time ago.  It’s the election night coverage, about 3 am or so, as she realised the exact weight of the landslide her beloved Labour party was being buried under.

    49. CameronB says:

      Cheers Morag. Any other suggestions? Apart from the obvious end.

      VOTE YES

    50. Marcia says:

      Morag,
      I sent the programme to the chap on Youtube who puts up all the Election night programmes. (I am a bit miffed with him as I sent him the 1988 & 1995 district elections (Brian Adam on that)  and the Govan by-election of 1988 over a year ago and nothing put up.
       
       Cannot see where she said that but you can see Sarwar squirming in his seat.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6D1a5gpeWA

    51. Morag says:

      I think she was interviewing Mags Curran at the time, and the “we” was very much including her and Mags in the same devastated group.

    52. Morag says:

      Sarwar is a very bad speaker.  Is it true he went to Hutchie?  Couldn’t he pick up educated enunciation while he was there, if nothing else?

    53. Marcia says:

      Morag
      Mags Curran is in parts 14 to 19 of the Youtube clips.

    54. muttley79 says:

      @S_S
       
      People should be asking themselves why the favoured destination for senior Tories to mouth off in Scotland is Glasgow. Tory heartland? Most certainly not. SNP heartland? Not quite but getting there. That and the largest population centre in Scotland, hence rather important come autumn 2014.
       
      Cameron turned up in Govan as well last month as well.  They must know they are hated in Glasgow.   

    55. muttley79 says:

      @Morag
       
      The clip of Sally exists, I know because someone linked to it some time ago.  It’s the election night coverage, about 3 am or so, as she realised the exact weight of the landslide her beloved Labour party was being buried under.
       
      Some people say that when the Glasgow Shettleston result came through they heard Sally Magnusson say “shit.”  When I listened to it I can’t say I found it conclusive.  Somebody definitely says something though.  
       

    56. Boorach says:

      @ SS
       
      Do you have any idea of how much oil has been produced from the N Sea and the UK/Norway ratio?

    57. Tris says:

      Dear Dr Smith,
      You drew our attention to  the following quote from William Hague:
      “Looking decades ahead, as we do with these decisions, we have to be aware of the great variety of potential threats to the UK. It is vital, therefore, that we retain the ultimate deterrent in this country.”
      There are many countries in Europe that do not have this ultimate deterrent, as I am sure you know. Would you say that the United Kingdom is at greater risk of nuclear attack than these countries? If so, why do you think that is; if not, then why do you think that the taxpayers of the UK should be obliged to find money to purchase these weapons them when other countries do not?
      It seems to me rather foolish that all the countries in Europe, and indeed the world who have not yet protected themselves and their peoples from the possible threats of the future, are being denied the safety afforded to British citizens by the forward thinking of the London government. Is it perhaps that the British are less dispensable than  other people and must, therefore, be protected at any cost?
      Would it not be prudent of us, advise that all countries take immediate steps to avail themselves of the same protection. After all, we do not know that will happen in the future.
       
      Yours sincerely
       
      Dr Tristan Price-Williams
       
       

    58. Hetty says:

      On the subject of the tories visits to Glasgow, it would seem a good way to drum up some more support for Labour, not as crazy as it sounds if you think about it, more votes for Labour, more votes against Independence. Simple, that’s what they want.

    59. Laura says:

      Hetty
      more votes against Independence.

      I don’t understand you logic since both parties are in the NO camp now!

    60. NorthBrit says:

      Oh look, here’s Magnus Gardham, back with some more fear.  For balance he even uses the word in the headline, along with the dispassionate “timebomb”.
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/pensions-timebomb-fear-if-scots-back-independence.20892523

    61. scottish_skier says:

      Type ‘UK pensions time bomb’ on Google.

      Well glad that’s cleared up then.

      The electorate are not fools. Next week they’ll read another story about the UK pensions time bomb just like the one they read the other week. Sometimes I get the impression the pro-union campaign thinks people in Scotland just read ‘Scottish’ stories and are completely unaware that Westminster/the rUK even exists.

      —-

      Tories trying to encourage more Labour votes? Novel. Would be the first time in history. Maybe the Tories want Labour to win the next GE or Scots Labour MPs to block their majority once again? Hmmmm. Na.
       
       
       

    62. Albalha says:

      Just listened to the man behind the pensions report speaking on BBC Scotland.
      Headline
      ‘All types of pensions can be sorted out after a YES vote but we’d like a few plans in place before the referendum’.

    63. HandandShrimp says:

      Scotland!
       
      Too wee, too poor and too stupid to do anything….
       
      other than bring down Western Civilisation as we know it.
       
      You couldn’t make it up….oh wait

    64. Training Day says:

      The uncertainty surrounding whether I would or would not be run down by a bus after leaving the house this morning caused great fear.
       
      Unless the Scottish Government can remove all uncertainty surrounding this eventuality I will be forced never to leave the house again. 

    65. Chic McGregor says:

      Quoting the G article:
      ” A child born in the Calton – locals always prefix a “the” to Calton”
      That is to distinguish it from Calton in Edinburgh where the male life expectancy is 77.6
      whereas ‘The’ Calton is 53.9.
       
      https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8CTHz_DTDtlNkJ1aHRFZjI1b1k/edit?usp=sharing



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