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Defense Diversification meeting and debate at Holyrood 8th February 2017

On the 8th February a debate was held at Holyrood about report on Trident and Jobs recently published by the Jimmy Reid foundation 

The debate was followed by a well attending meeting in the parliament, which was attended by Tom Simpson, GMB member, ex arms industry worker and CND supporter.

Tom writes: 

Labour, Green and Scottish National MSPs joined together at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 8th February in support of the Jimmy Reid Foundation call for Trident non renewal and diversification. Many ordinary people were present in the Public gallery and discussed matters later in a committee room with elected representatives.


Only 600 civilian jobs are dependent on Trident at the Clyde Faslane and Coulport naval bases as noted in the JR report. The Trident replacement will cost £205 Billion, enough to give every civilian worker £18 million each. This would be a better return for the local economy rather than protecting arms multinational profits at the expense of our NHS.

Labour MSP Elaine Smith told Parliament that Scottish Labour are against Trident, made the serious point that no one should lose their job and called for a Scottish Defence Diversification Agency.

The three out of step and lonely Tories seemed to be on cloud cuckoo land with one stating “I don’t believe Trident is a dangerous weapon”.

The public discussion recalled that Teresa May said she would ‘press the button’ and after meeting Donald Trump had met European leaders to encourage them to spend more on arms. An ex army mother living near Faslane with her children spoke of hearing the Base alarm going off two or three times per week without any information being given to the community. She was worried also over MOD radioactive waste dumping and noted that environmentally Faslane would have been closed if it were a civilian installation and immunity did not apply. It was agreed that MSP’s would approach the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

An ex nurse told the public meeting she was ashamed of Jackie Baillie, the only Labour MSP to speak in support of Trident from a supposed multilateralist position. She recalled how some years ago she had been issued with official advice that she should travel north by hitching a lift from departing police officers and fire fighters and return later when “safe” to tend to nuclear survivors. She concluded her emotional input by stating “there is no multilateralism”.

Elaine Smith MSP made the point that she wanted rid of Trident, not just moved to another part of the UK. That seems to make sense to me.


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