Less Safe

We’ve heard from speakers from a range of different backgrounds and organisations – and we don’t always agree about everything. But one thing we can all agree on is that nuclear weapons have no place in Scotland – and no place on this planet.

We all know that Trident costs billions of pounds, while the NHS is underfunded.

It costs billions of pounds, while millions of people can’t afford to eat.

What is Trident defending, exactly? At what point will there be nothing left to defend?

But really, Trident is not about defence at all.

How many terrorist attacks has Trident prevented? Zero.

But a fifty-quid drone, which may or may not have existed, closed Gatwick Airport for three days.

There are zero coastal patrols to protect the oil rigs, and any criminal with an internet connection can cripple our banking system or the NHS through a cyber-attack.

If ever there was a case for Trident, it’s failed. It’s not fit for purpose – and its purpose is not fit for a civilized country.

For all the politicians who claim we need a ‘nuclear deterrent’ for our own safety, make no mistake – nuclear weapons make all of us less safe.

Trident puts a target on all our heads by putting us at the top of the first-strike list for anyone who wants to start a nuclear war.

It also makes nuclear war more likely. Nuclear weapons encourage proliferation. We can’t ask other countries to disarm when we’re not willing to. The more nuclear weapons around the world, the greater the chance of them being used.

And then there’s the accidental risks. Trident’s safety record is appalling – on average, there’s a fire on board one of the subs every six weeks. It’s not just dangerous for the people work there – a major accident could irradiate half the west coast.

Meanwhile, nuclear warheads need regular maintenance, which happens in England. In between, these weapons of mass destruction are loaded onto lorries and driven in convoys down the motorway in the middle of the night, through unsuspecting towns and cities. How long before there’s a catastrophic accident?

So in sum, Trident is a dangerous, useless behemoth that steals our money and makes us less safe. We need rid of it.

And we can all help to make that happen, directly and indirectly. Whether or not we agree with each other on everything, we can stand in solidarity against nuclear weapons.

Join CND. Join a political party that opposes Trident. Write letters to your elected representatives. Stand up against the kind of militarism that makes Trident seem like a good idea. Get involved in the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. Find out if your pension fund invests in companies that fuel international conflicts – and get involved in divestment campaigns, like the one our branch Vice-Convenor has kicked off with Aberdeen City Council’s pension fund.

If you have some time, please visit Faslane Peace Camp. They’ve  been a constant presence for more than thirty years, showing that nuclear weapons are not welcome in Scotland. But they’re in dire straits at the moment, and they need your help to keep the camp running.

And finally, talk to your friends and neighbours and family members and co-workers. It’s astonishing, the number of people who have no idea that nuclear weapons are parked on their doorstep. So raise awareness, and make sure that people know these weapons are taking their money and making them less safe.

There is absolutely no reason to keep nuclear weapons in Scotland – or anywhere – in the 21st Century.

Thank you.

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