Socialist Worker

New nukes from New Labour

by Kate Hudson, chair of CND
Issue No. 1951

There are two big issues with nuclear weapons coming up during Blair’s third term. Firstly Blair has said that a decision will need to be made during this parliament on whether to replace Trident — Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

Each of the four Trident submarines carries 48 nuclear warheads, which are eight times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

According to documents leaked by the Independent, Blair has already decided to maintain a nuclear deterrent, prior to the debate in parliament — another example of his inaccountability.

Secondly, there is the change in British nuclear policy to a more US type approach.

Historically nuclear weapons have been seen as a deterrent — the idea of mutually assured destruction meaning that the weapons would not be used.

But recently both the US and Britain have moved towards a usable arsenal. Before the war on Iraq, former defence secretary Geoff Hoon hinted that Britain would be prepared to use nuclear weapons.

In line with this policy the atomic bomb factory at Aldermaston is currently being redeveloped. People need to be aware of these issues. Write to your MP and make sure that there is a proper parliamentary discussion.

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Sat 14 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1951
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