>I was absolutely heartsick when I heard the result of the Trident vote. Only 40 votes in it and I wasn’t there. If I had known the strength of feeling in the party at large was so close, I would have gone. It wasn’t just the result – the quality of the debate was utterly magnificent and the atmosphere must have been incredible.
It does take guts for a leader, staring defeat in the face, to take to the rostrum and speak for his cause. He took a risk – if the vote had gone the other way we would have had a procession of sombre faced journalists in best obituary writing mode. I suspect he made the difference, but he made it well so I can’t feel annoyed with him, however hard I try.
There is every possibility that, when the time comes, the party could still decide that the international situation warrants unilateral nuclear disarmament. These weapons are aimed entirely at civilians so my position is that having them at all is wrong. However, this doesn’t set me at odds with my party.
The vote that matters in weeks to come is the one in the House of Commons later this month. Whatever side of the debate we were on today, we would all vote against the Labour Government’s ludicrous position – to nip down to Bombs R Us and get whatever’s on offer.