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Trident - the moral case for voting Yes

Reading my nice shiny Scotland's Future handout, I was gob-smacked by the absence of the dreaded "T" word. Of all the reasons for being proud of the Scottish Government, none is greater than its rejection of Trident.

This is its trump card in the referendum, and it is not being played. Apart from saving on the colossal running costs, and the £100 billion for its replacement, rejection is the only principled position to take on nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMD).


Nor is it a question of "not in my back yard". As John Ainslie demonstrated in his meticulously researched report Trident - Nowhere to Go, the boats cannot operate from anywhere in the UK other than the Coulport/Faslane complex. Following Scottish independence, the British government can make a virtue out of necessity and quietly disarm its nuclear WMD, or it can huff and puff as hard as it can. But it cannot force Trident on a Scotland which has outlawed nuclear weapons in a written constitution. Either way, Trident is toast.

A new democratic Scotland can play a leading role in promoting an international treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, and join the majority of the world's states, which want this. We can abandon the politics of power and domination that have characterised Britain's imperial history, and build an alternative policy of sharing, social justice, co-operation and peace. In opposing Trident, the Scottish Government has taken the first step towards building a new society.

As Thomas Payne said: "We have it in our power to begin the world over again".

Overthrowing the obscene state idol of Trident will be the genesis of a new beginning for Scotland, and a beacon of hope for humanity.

Brian Quail

Letter to Sunday Herald, printed 17 August 2014

This approach is echoed in an article, "Time to accentuate the moral case for Yes vote" by Iain Macwhirter in the same paper. He writes:

"Perhaps the Yes campaign has to get off the narrow economic arguments and make a moral case for independence. That it isn't about Scotland swimming in oil, but about it being one that makes a moral stand against weapons of mass destruction and for free movement and open borders. It's unusual for nationalist movements to be keen on disarmament, immigration, ethnic diversity and gay rights. They should make the most of it. There is, in the end, no answer to the currency question because the UK has refused to negotiate. So let the media obsess about the pound --- and accentuate the positive."


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