Scottish Labour’s Trident vote could outflank political opponents

Scottish Labour’s decision not to support the renewal of Trident places rivals the Scottish National Party in a difficult position – although they’ll be quick to claim the opposite.

Critics are likely to demand that we believe this places Scottish Labour at odds with the national Labour Party, based in Westminster, which still (officially) supports Trident renewal.

But Labour UK has said it is reviewing its position, so there’s no conflict at all.

And what about all these claims that Scottish Labour is just a “branch office” of the Westminster Party? Any organisation with a branch that actively contradicted the policies of its head office would be in for a swift reorganisation and, while Scottish Labour is reorganising, the direction of travel is the other way.

The SNP can’t attack Scottish Labour on the policy itself, because the SNP also opposes Trident renewal. The Conservative Party, on the other hand – that’s another matter.

Tories will undoubtedly ridicule this decision – but in doing so, they are laying themselves open to harsh criticism, too. What is the point of having Trident? We can’t use it without the express permission of the USA so it isn’t the “independent nuclear deterrent” we’ve all be told it is. It is no defence against nuclear attack – Trident won’t stop anybody else’s bombs from dropping on us. Its only use is for the destruction of millions of people elsewhere in the world – and why would anybody in the UK risk putting that in the hands of anybody crazy enough to use it?

This point is strengthened exponentially by the fact that, looking at the current Conservative Government, it seems there are plenty of candidates for that role.

The Scottish Labour party has voted overwhelmingly to abandon the replacement of Trident nuclear weapons, adding to pressure on the party’s Westminster leaders to review its pro-nuclear defence policy.

The vote, carried by 70% of Labour constituencies and trade union members, will strengthen Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to force the UK party into carrying out what he described last week as a “serious and positive” debate on ending Labour’s formal support for renewing Trident.

Describing nuclear weapons as “a mortal threat to humanity’s survival” and “massively expensive”, the Scottish Labour motion said renewing Trident would encourage nuclear proliferation. It said it was immoral to spend billions on the system at a time of worsening austerity in public spending.

It stressed that scrapping Trident’s replacement would be conditional on large sums being invested in creating new engineering and hi-tech jobs for the thousands of defence workers likely to lose their jobs in key Labour seats around the UK.

Source: Scottish Labour votes to ditch Trident renewal | UK news | The Guardian

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8 thoughts on “Scottish Labour’s Trident vote could outflank political opponents

  1. ian725

    That is a whale of a change from Scottish Labour lets hope its not just a gesture which is reversed by the main party here we shall have to wait and see. If Labour vote in favour of keeping Trident then it wont matter what Scottish Labour want Trident will stay unfortunately.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Well, not quite. Labour isn’t in office at the moment, remember. This is merely a statement of the Party’s position.

      1. ian725

        true Mike , probably just me hoping against all hope that the SNP. and the others join with a UNIFIED Labour Party against the renewal of Trident. Might be dreaming but perhaps a few Tories against renewal would not harm…. Yep I am dreaming!!

  2. rockingbass

    I welcome Scottish Labours decision ,although it amounts to nothing as Trident is a reserved issue to Westminster…..Their is no reason why the SNP andScottish Labour cannot work together on this one though.

  3. Tony Williams

    The UK Labour Party supports renewing Trident, it’s Leader doesn’t. The Scottish Branch does not support renewing Trident, it’s Leader does. When I signed up I thought you were better than the usual “SNPbad” crap.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What “usual SNPbad”? I call ’em as I see ’em. I see you as an SNP supporter because you are attacking Labour and referring to Scottish Labour as “the Scottish Branch” – a clear reference to the “branch office” nonsense being inflicted on us all by the SNP.
      How about opening your mind a little: UK Labour is reviewing its policy on Trident – the Party has said so – therefore you are mistaken about that. Scottish Labour’s leader is a multilateralist – she wants rid of nuclear weapons, but her preferred way of doing it is for all nuclear powers to get rid of them at once. That doesn’t actually conflict with not renewing Trident, which is an appallingly expensive white elephant.
      If you are an SNP supporter, you should tell your propaganda officer that he or she is passing false information and should stop.

  4. Joan Edington

    I welcome the vote and am not really surprised. With these subs and a stockpile of weapons situated within a few miles of Scotland’s most populated city, there is much stronger opposition here than down south where folks are further removed. It was debated at the Scottish conference because it is a more important issue here. Presumably the UK conference, only being able to debate so many subjects, had things closer to their own hearts to debate. I suppose that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a considerable number of UK members that would support Corbyn.

    The cynic in me still suspects that Trident was debated as an attempt to steal the SNP’s thunder a bit.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Or possibly in order to pre-empt any SNP criticism for NOT debating it?
      I don’t think that’s a productive way of thinking.
      Either way, Trident is a hot topic north of the border and – if you’re right about it being a more important issue to people there, and I think you are – deserving of attention in its own right.

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