Tomorrow our new Prime Minister and her Cabinet will lead the members of the House of Commons in a discussion and a vote that is a throwback to a time long before the vote to leave the EU and the complete overhaul of the Government. After an attempted weekend coup in Turkey and the terrible scenes in Nice, the idea that having nuclear warheads stored and ready to be fired from a fleet of 4 submarines constantly circling the globe is somehow a meaningful form of national security is clearly ridiculous. Indeed the provision of Trident now looks like a dusty relic of the period from when our nation first joined the Common Market in 1973. Yet it is the replacement of Trident that 650 MPs will be asked to debate and vote on in Parliament.
It is clear that instead of replacement nuclear weapons which we can ill afford, that what we need to develop within the nation is a form of resilience that ensures that amongst our own communities rather than anger and self destruction such as Nice experienced, that we need to foster a sense of self reliance and commitment to treat all people as equals. This sort of protection is lower in cost than Trident, although it depends on a different sort of investment. This sort of change will not happen without the involvement of our elected representatives. The idea that our politics should be dominated by what is best for the party’s, rather than our communities must end. The involvement in our politics of wealthy people like Arron Banks and Michael Foster whose money has been used to buy influence is as outdated as those nuclear warheads, being moved around an ocean near us. What is needed is a meaningful democratic reform of our two Houses of Parliament, as well as the reform of our Councils and other public services. However the place to start is Mondays debate on Trident.
As the Roman Catholic Bishops in England and Wales stated on Friday “Parliament now has an opportunity to reinforce the extension and implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to which the UK is a signatory, and which obliges all who possess nuclear weapons to work towards their elimination. We pray that the decision taken by Parliament will include the intention and the steps to achieve that undertaking: the complete elimination of these weapons.”