It looks increasingly likely that Tony will need Tory support to get the vote on Trident through the Commons. As such, I was particularly interested to see what Tory blogger Iain Dale had to say about the issue. All the boxes were ticked.
Always nice to see Labour MPs reverting to type and playing fast and loose with the defence of the nation, isn't it? Predictably they are likely to be joined in the No lobby by the LibDems who can't quite make up their minds as to whether Britain should even have its own nuclear deterrent.Fast and loose indeed. That'll be that radical, dangerously naive, irresponsible minority of crazies...
Then, Iain demonstrated perfectly the point I made yesterday about what renewal at this time really means.
They say that in this post cold war era it is not as relevant and therefore could be scrapped. The truth is that we don't know who our enemies are likely to be in ten, twenty or thirty years time. It may indeed be ragtag terror groups like Al Qaeda, but it may also be nation states with nuclear capabilities. The precautionary principle ought at least to come into play here.So, when would Iain agree to fulfil our commitment to work towards disarmament? I tried asking:
The truth is that we don't know who our enemies are likely to be in ten, twenty or thirty years time...And do you know what? Not one single person replied or even acknowledged that comment.
I'm curious to know how this fits in with our commitment under the NNPT to "pursue negotiations in good faith on... a Treaty on general and complete disarmament" (Article VI).
If you base this decision on the precautionary principle, it seems unlikely that you could ever commit to complete disarmament. In that case, you would certainly be in breach of the disarmament pillar of the NNPT. How then could you expect to have the moral authority to insist that other countries abide by the non-proliferation pillar?
Is it Tory policy to withdraw from the NNPT or would they, like Tony, just ignore the international obligations they don't fancy adopting?
As you can imagine, my surprise at encountering this turn of events was entirely non-existent. It's the radioactive elephant in the debating room.
A few principled souls, probably from the left of the Labour Party it has to be said, will undoubtedly raise the issue in the debate tomorrow. All they'll get for their trouble is a barrage of ridicule and scorn.
Because the idea that we should abide by our international commitments rather than picking and choosing to suit ourselves is patently absurd...