Trident: Where the money might better be used


Despite a spokesperson for the Labour Party saying that it will look “with an open mind” at the renewal of Trident, it seems increasingly likely that the party plans to fight the 2015 election on a platform of retaining Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

According to the Independent, “there are growing signs that Labour will join the Conservatives in backing a £25billion ‘like-for-like’ replacement”.

tridentDespite murmurings from some Liberal Democrats, the coalition is already intent on renewing a weapons system which, if ever deployed, would result in the deaths of thousands if not millions of human beings.

A costing commissioned by a cross-party group of MPs – which included  former defence secretaries Malcolm Rifkind, Labour’s Des Brown and Menzies Campbell – says the full cost of replacing Trident will be £83.5bn.

Savings could be spread over years until 2062 of course; but that would still mean spending £1.86bn a year on the project.

To put this amount of money into some sort of perspective, George Osborne’s first “emergency” budget planned for cuts of six billion pounds; on the back of which public sector workers also faced a three per cent rise in their pension contributions to save the state just under two billion.

In terms of  where the money that is being spent on Trident might alternatively be used, a modern state-of-the-art hospital costs in the region of £545 million to build (which, as it happens, would save thousands of lives a year rather than stand-by ready to exterminate them), and to give free school dinners to all children in families in receipt of Universal Credit would cost around £500 million per year.

And according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the cost of universal childcare would be £6.7bn. Trident cost

Commenting on the cost to the taxpayer of Trident, CND general secretary Kate Hudson told Left Foot Forward it was “impossible to see any justification for spending over £100 billion on a Cold War weapons system which senior military figures describe as useless.”

“The opportunity costs are massive, whether you look at the impact on health, education, social services, or indeed other elements of the defence budget – troops have already been cut in their tens of thousands,” she said.

As for the contemporary security threat, back in 2009 a letter sent to The Times signed by a group of senior military officers – figures not known for pacifist tendencies – said the following:

“Nuclear weapons have shown themselves to be completely useless as a deterrent to the threats and scale of violence we currently face or are likely to face, particularly international terrorism.”

Anyone who has ever cracked a joke about nuclear weapons, or reflected on what we might do with them were we to go to war, or who has accepted them as an everyday part of civilisation, like the car or the internet, ought to ponder for a moment the innumerable better things the money might be spent on.

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  • Mick

    With Iran going into nukies along with South Korea, two punk nations Obama’s State Department has no intention of curbing, it wouldn’t hurt to have a missile or two still in the bunkers.

    If you put the money into conventional armed forces, how long would it take for a government to cream that money off for other projects, especially under Labour. Our troops have to buy their own equipment, live in crap living quarters and often find the guns don’t work. Or the armoured cars have no armour.

    Labour still have to have some grasp of reality. They’ve learned from the loathsome Foot days of disarming in the face of the enemy.

    And, for an afterthought, with Muslim f***nuts worldwide looking into dirty bombs made from nuclear waste, it also makes sense to keep nuclear right across the spectrum. (One or two nuke-tipped warheads on the battlefield would send the enemy to their 72 virgins a little quicker, with lower casualty risks to the side which matters.)

  • Mick

    ‘CND general secretary Kate Hudson told Left Foot Forward it was “impossible to see any justification for spending over £100 billion on a Cold War weapons system which senior military figures describe as useless.”’

    Well, she would, wouldn’t she.

  • Newsbot9

    Oh, is that what your friends are up to. And indeed, your far right would indeed get dispatched there quicker with a nuke, but there’s this “fallout” thing. Which given the war you’re set to launch will be here…

  • Newsbot9

    Sure, just fix the UNSC first. Could be done inside a few years.

  • Mick

    …And didn’t David Cameron want to divert some of the aid budget to supply the troops? The Left howled. Missiles back up the troops but Reds will never accept that. (Though people like Labour DID accept that Soviets would have nukes though……)

    If the aid budget was closed in order to aid schools-n-‘ospitals, then we could have our cakes and eat them too. We do have, of course, our own problems which a nearly £14 Billion would pay for.

  • Raging Leftie

    Couldn’t agree more with this article.Would we really want to live in a world where this nuclear weapon had been deployed? Surely in that situation mutually assured destruction would have already been acted out. I certainly would not want to live in such a world. We should spend the money on things this country actually needs. I don’t know but wouldn’t most if not all of the UK’s financial problems be sorted in one foul swoop if we did not renew Trident. I am an old anti-nuclear hack and I won’t apologise for it.

  • Mick

    The only victims of fall-out seem to be the brains of far-left mutualists. Fallen out of their backsides, as they were only inches apart.

  • Mick

    Having it doesn’t mean deploying it. The Great Deterrent did deter but it can also be argued that communists are saner than the new mad mullahs, though only in comparison to them.

    And it’s doubtful any financial problems would be solved in the long term ‘just’ by scrapping Trident. You’d usually need a top-to-toe reform of everything to make the cures stick. Countless times more money over the last few years has been thrown at the NHS and police and things, yet there are still stacks of cases where personnel always claim they go short.

  • Newsbot9

    Yes, keep up the hate-raising, you need to do something to bolster your ignorance after all.

    That you don’t believe in radiation poisoning comes as no surprise to me.

  • Mick

    I do believe in radiation poisoning, as long as I can experiment on Newsbot.

    And if we disarm, the enemy won’t. And you won’t find the anarchists whining that North Koreans or Iranians don’t believe in radiation. After all, anarchists never did.

  • Newsbot9

    So right, you don’t believe in it. You just want an excuse to murder Jews again. You’re a good ideological successor to Mengele.

    And of course your loyalty goes to your NK and Iranian friends, not Britain. Keep talking about them!

  • Newsbot9

    That’s right, costing the NHS clinical staff and spending much of the budget on a reorganisation which has reduced health spending does that. But keep talking about that, Tory.

    And the commies were indeed saner than your Mad Mullahs. So you can’t deter them anyway.

  • Newsbot9

    That’s right, you could steal even more cake from the poor! Of course you want to ensure we lose trade leverage AND exploit the third world. Of course you want to grab the aid budget for your profits, not enough billions is spent on your corporate welfare bill!

    And right, you think spending it on closing schools and hospitals is a good idea, I’m sure. Keep calling the poor’s existance a problem, too.

  • Mick

    Murder Jews? Nah, just people in Labour and Newsbot are good enough for me.

    But an all-out thermonuclear war would be too good a punishment for little Newsbot. Forcing him to think straight and have his brain melt would be more appropriate.

  • Newsbot9

    Right right, thanks for admitting you’re genocidal and keep on claiming your good totalitarian ideology – that only “Right Thinking” should be allowed. Orwell would be proud!

    And of course you think nuking the UK is too good for it. Jihadii’s like you…

  • Mick

    UK nothing, just nuking little Newsbot is a start. You have to think small now and they don’t come smaller than Newsbot.

  • Mick

    The NHS has morphed from its relatively compact, simple 1948 form into some kind of bloated monolith. Streamlining is certainly needed but it will only be truly effective with a proper health specialist as minister.

    And the mad mullahs sure ain’t mine. Though it’s never too late to send in special forces to wreck their nukie plants, killing thair crap stone dead. And with no nukes on teh Muslim side, they can have the fertiliser scared out of them for a change by seeing we are still committed to having ours.

  • Newsbot9

    Your ideology is basically identical to the Mullahs. And of course you want to attack Britain’s nuclear plants. And keep fighting with other Muslims, it’s cute.

    Never mind that spending is still rather low for the Western world, of course you object to the NHS serving the 99%.

  • Newsbot9

    Yes, keep claiming I’m you. Your type of “special” genocidal calls…

  • Mick

    I never said a word of that. As usual with Spambot.

  • Newsbot9

    Ah right, you’re using a spambot. Thanks for admitting it. That would explain why cause and effect are lacking, and I will now report you for spam.

  • Martin Jones

    If Labour copies Tory policies and pledges to replace Trident nuclear weapons there is no way we will win the next election. We will be completely trashed in Scotland, where the SNP will benefit from our policy, and will lose the vote of many English and Welsh doubters who are still suspicious of us after the Blair years and think there is no difference between Labour and the Tories, and therefore won’t bother voting for anyone (or worse still, vote Lib Dem).

    Opinion polls show that a big majority of the public don’t want the UK to waste money on nuclear weapons. It’s only a small fringe on the political right that are in favour of replacing Trident, and I personally am ashamed that there are as many of these among Labour Party MPs as there are among Tory MPs.

    Apart from France, our European neighbours – and most nations in parts of the world which are far more dangerous than the UK – feel quite safe without nuclear weapons. It’s time we move into the 21st century and send these weapons to the dustbin of history.

  • Mick

    Well you’re not one of the 99%, plainly. The rest of us are quite sane.

  • Mick

    You’re the Spambot. And typical of you to make up stuff to try and censor opposition.
    And it won’t work anyway because I notice many of your own posts were deleted in that Migration thread.

    Look at all those ‘posts deleted’, as we got dragged around in your spam cycle. Poor little Newsbot: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/03/after-eastleigh-its-time-for-progressives-to-argue-the-case-for-migration/

    Newsbot – anarchist in action.

  • Newsbot9

    Keep trying to change words to mean what you demand they mean.

    And I’m sure you think you multiple personalities are sane.

  • Newsbot9

    Nope, I am not the one here who has admitted using a spambot. And yes, ohnoes, some of my posts which addressed the myriad of yours which were deleted.

    Mick – self-admitted spammer. Keep grinding out the personal hatred and lies, you’re a perfect example of your 1%.

    Keep praising your censorship! How dare I tell the truth about you, keep throwing your toys out the pram (and, no doubt, suing the people you hit with them).

  • Mick

    That’s fine talk for saying my agreement with you on nuclear power actually means I want to blow them up. Weirdo.

    And you’re only jealous of multiple personalities – you haven’t even got one yet.

  • Mick

    No, it wouldn’t be genocide. Only murder.

  • Newsbot9

    You clearly called for it, so keep calling yourself wierd. There’s no way you’d actually agree with me, so don’t bother with whatever torrent of hate comes next.

  • Newsbot9

    Yes, you keep claiming that.

  • Mick

    I agreed with you on nuclear power. And you couldn’t handle it.

    And as for hate, here’s Newsbot’s reply……

  • Mick

    ‘Cake from the poor’, ‘spitting on the workers’, etc. etc. Readers know who the real spammer is and I have no doubt the circus has moved onto other left wing drivel just written anyway.

    So say whatever you like, I’m the only one reading you now anyway.

  • Guest

    No, you called for blowing up nuclear power plants, I wanted to use them for power. Keep talking up your hate.

  • Newsbot9

    Yes, you keep on talking up your spamming. The blatent insults rather show why you’re here and your drivel, which you try and palm off on anyone else.

    And keep thinking you’re a special alone snowflake.

  • Newsbot9

    Yes, you keep claiming I called for blowing up nuclear power plants, Mick.

  • Mick

    And there you go, left wing spam at its finest.

    And this is the bit Spambot is in holocaust denial mode about: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/03/george-osborne-constituency-occupied-by-greenpeace/

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