Friday, November 17, 2006

Splitting the atom

When I was younger, I worked for Pugwash Conferences (so I am a Nobel prizewinner, as it happens). I worked on a research project into nuclear weapons policy. The research group that I reported to concluded that the UK should not immediately and unilaterally disarm (because it should not surrender its leverage in getting others to disarm), which upset me because I had made a strong case for immediate relinquishment of the deterrent.

There were two arguments for having a nuclear weapon. The first is that it deters nuclear attack on the UK by others. This argument was tenable in the Cold War (by tenable, I mean you could argue it, not that it was correct) but is clearly ridiculous now. No one who is in any way likely to attack the UK is going to be deterred by nuclear weapons. Quite the opposite: they would likely welcome our attacking a Muslim city with a nuclear weapon.

The second is that it endows us with prestige, a place at the top table. There is something in this, of course. It's no accident that the five permanent members of the Security Council are the five core nuclear powers. It's a horrible message though to send out to the world: if you want to count, you must have nukes. That message is clearly understood by nations such as India, and equally clearly by North Korea and Iran.

The UK will shortly decide to renew its nuclear deterrent. It's inevitable that it will, although there will be a debate of sorts.

Why?

Because relinquishing our nukes would be a moral choice and politicians don't know what morality is, unless they are pandering to repressive arseholes who don't want anyone to have fun.

No one who had the fibre to say that using a nuclear weapon would be wrong under any circumstances, a crime against humanity of enormous proportions, and consequently the UK does not want them is going to be a low enough arsekissing, backstabbing crawler to get elected. But that is what I say. I do not ever want a nuclear weapon used in my name. I abhor them and I abhor those who would even consider using them. And if your standing in the world relies on your ability to murder a million at a stroke, well, you have no standing.

1 Comments:

At 10:23 pm, Anonymous john said...

No one who had the fibre to say that using a nuclear weapon would be wrong under any circumstances, a crime against humanity of enormous proportions, and consequently the UK does not want them is going to be a low enough arsekissing, backstabbing crawler to get elected.

Two words: Joan Ruddock

Though I'm not sure if that demolishes your argument or supports it.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home