His most explosive statements centred on Britain’s plan, in an age of austerity, to spend vast billions on replacing Trident with a new “nuclear deterrent”. From a peace and security perspective he described it as “a completely pointless exercise”.
When we were talking back-stage, he had suggested to me that perhaps the British public would be very reluctant to abandon our nuclear weapon. I responded that I did not think public opinion on the matter had ever been seriously tested and that if it was, it would be very difficult to predict the outcome.
In the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear massacres, the 1950s saw the rise of the “ban the bomb” movement. Today, all these years on, the “threat” is altogether different, as Dr Blix explained. Asymmetric warfare has no nuclear component. Even if it did it would be very hard to combat with a nuclear bomb.
Then he delivered his own “bomb”, calling upon Britain in most specific terms, to “abandon Trident altogether”. Indeed, to go further and abandon the bomb.
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