Yesterday in Parliament an SNP Member of the British Parliament, George Kerevan, asked the new Prime Minister a very simple, if provocative question: “Are you prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children?” Our new Prime Minister, Theresa May replied with one word, after a short pause: “Yes.” As far as I can recall this was the first time that such a direct question on the nuclear deterrent has been answered with such fatal and frightening honesty. It is an answer that if we heard it delivered by any leader of any nation we would rightly be very concerned. After all if we were hearing this from the lips of a foreign leader, we could so easily be one of the 100,000 innocent people. Yesterdays the Conservative Party concocted a debate and a vote on a matter which is already decided, they did so to bring unity to their own party and expose divisions within the fractured and chaotic Labour party. The Tories got their way and so we had Labour MPs voting for, against and abstaining on this motion which did no more than ask Parliament to endorse the existing direction of travel.
It would be easy to respond to this exchange and see it as refreshing and welcome because of Theresa May’s clarity. However as someone who believes that ordering a new nuclear deterrent when we are signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which obliges all who possess nuclear weapons to work towards their elimination as a deeply flawed thing to do. The really refreshing thing to do would be to concede that the NNPT demands that we reduce, not maintain our Nuclear Deterrent. It would be refreshing if Theresa May had said to George Kerevan that she would not use Trident or any other weapon to murder innocent people. I am grateful to the 117 Members of Parliament who voted to oppose the renewal of Trident, I regret that only 18% of our Parliament chose to do so. I am pleased that my own MP was one of these.