This morning Conference debates defence, including the future of our nuclear deterrent. The main motion incorporates the idea of ending continuous at sea deterrence. There is an amendment calling for no renewal of a nuclear deterrent at all.
It should come as a surprise to precisely nobody that I will be voting for the amendment. I cannot in all conscience stick my hand in the air in support of buying weapons of mass destruction whose only purpose is to kill innocent civilians. I just can’t do it.
It seems obvious to me that if we spent our billions on humanitarian aid in the world’s flash points, then that would have a much greater impact on world peace than keeping a nuclear arsenal, no matter how small. Bottom line is I don’t want a nuke with my name on it killing hundreds of thousands of people.
That is the exact point I asked Shirley Williams during her Q & A at Scottish Conference on Saturday.
Another worry I have is that if we go for abandoning continuous deterrence, what effect would it have on an international crisis if we started loading them onto a sub. It’s bound to ramp things up and even provoke a pre-emptive attack of some description.
I am not hugely hopeful that that the amendment will pass, but I have to support it.