- Published on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 15:45
- Published on Saturday, 05 September 2015 08:24
- Published on Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:50
- Published on Monday, 31 August 2015 12:41
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.
- Published on Monday, 31 August 2015 04:32
On a visit to Faslane today George Osborne is expected to announce a further £500 million expenditure on nuclear submarines.
John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND, said:
"We should beware of George Osborne bearing gifts. If you look underneath the wrapping, you will see that his real present for Scotland is more nuclear submarines. He is cutting benefits for the most vulnerable in our society and making the poor pay for more Weapons of Mass Destruction".
12 months ago Scotland came close to voting for independence. A second referendum, whenever it happens, is likely to put an abrupt end to Osborne's plan for Trident renewal.
In 2006 Tony Blair's government said that they would spend £3 billion on infrastructure as part of the Trident renewal programme. Former Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey has said that the total through-life cost of this project was likely to be more than £100 billion.
In 2010 the Coalition government, in their "Trident: Value for Money" report, said the costs of Trident would be reduced. They announced that the infrastructure cost would go down by £1 billion. But at least some of this £1 billion was deferred spending rather than a real saving. It is not clear how much of the £500 million spend announced today is from the "reductions" announced in 2010.
Faslane does not have good record when it comes to major construction projects. The initial work for Trident was late and well over budget. The latest example, the Astute jetty was 4 years late. The final cost was £226 million, £93 million over budget. Osborne is following the established practice of regarding Trident as a black hole into which countless wads of cash can be thrown.
The Main Gate decision on Trident renewal is due in 2016. The government seems to be determined to pre-empt this. In January they allocated an extra £216 million to work at Barrow. Now they have allocated a further £500 million for work at Faslane.
- Published on Friday, 21 August 2015 15:33
The tide may be turning against Trident. A combination of political developments presents opportunities for the campaign against nuclear weapons.
- Published on Sunday, 16 August 2015 12:43
Veronika Tudhope recently visited Iceland as a guest of the Icelandic peace movement. The main events were a talk to local activists to update them on the situation in Scotland, and a candle floating to commemorate Hiroshima but there were also plenty of other opportunities for further learning, networking and bridge building.