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ScrapTrident


Osborne insults Scotland with pledge to renew Trident

Today George Osborne ignored the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland by announcing that the Conservative Government would press ahead and renew Trident. The Scottish Parliament voted against Trident renewal in 2007 and 2014. In May Scots elected 59 MPs, 57 of whom stood on a platform of rejecting Trident. But Osborne is turning a deaf ear to our views and those of our elected representatives.

The Chancellor's announcement at Faslane was presented as bringing jobs to the Clyde. However, when questioned by BBC Scotland Osborne acknowledged that the £500 million expenditure was "partly to ready Faslane for Trident replacement".  He added "These new Trident submarines when they come are going to be with us for decades" and explained that they would still be in Scotland in 2060.

 

The Chancellor was unable to give any clear scenario which justified building new Weapons of Mass Destruction. His only argument was that Trident is "the ultimate insurance policy" in an "uncertain world" and we can't predict the future. If Trident is an insurance policy then George Osborne is a dodgy salesman. His policy is exorbitantly expensive and doesn't cover the real issues that we are likely to face. It is also, uniquely, an insurance policy that puts us at greater risk.

He was challenged about the fact that this expenditure was announced just as it was revealed that 90 people a month are dying shortly after being declared "fit for work". Osborne replied - "we can pay for the things we want to pay for".

The Chancellor has scored a political own goal by today's announcement. His appearance in Scotland today has probably increased the substantial support already enjoyed by pro-independence and anti-Trident poltiical parties in Scotland. It has also likely to have bolstered the Jeremy Corbyn labour leadership campaign which has been marked by a clear stance in favour of scrapping Trident.

It was also revealing that, when Osborne was reminded about the number of Scottsh MPs who were against Trident, he made it clear that they would be out-voted by pro-Trident MPs from other parts of the UK. In making this  response, it seemed as if the Chancellor was encouraging a Yes vote in the event of another independence referendum.

  

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