There has been much controversy about whether we should replace Trident. My instinctive reaction is that we should not. While we can't equip our troops with the basics, I'm not convinced that we should be rushing out to Bombs 'R' Us to spend billions on some smart missile which, we hope, will never be used.
The policy to be debated at Party Conference in March has obviously been carefully thought out. It is based around the recommendation of an influential Parliamentary Select Committee that the decision does not have to be made yet. The debate within the Party over the next 3 months will, I hope, be constructive and thoughtful.
The whole thrust of the policy is to encourage disarmament eventually, with an immediate halving of our nuclear arsenal. There is a part of me that thinks that the UK has spread so much bad karma around the world over the last few years that maybe we should spend some time trying to get disarmament to happen on a global scale.
If we abandon our weapons unilaterally and slink away from the international top table, nobody will really notice or care. However, if we were to use the forthcoming few years to make some progress in some way towards sustainable worldwide disarmament, then the question of buying a new system may not arise. It may well be worth a try.
The Government's unseemly dash for renewal is completely unnecessary and typical of their knee jerk responses to most things. Remember, these are the people who think ID cards will combat terrorism..................