Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Approving Trident Replacement by the back door?

Greenpeace has uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act that the Ministry of Defence seems to have committed £2 billion in advance purchase of major elements of submarine body and equipment. The shopping list is available by following this link to the Greenpeace website.

It is very worrying to commit to the purchase of submarine parts because there were firm reassurances that no decision would be taken on a Trident replacement programme before 2016. Moreover, if so much money has already been committed in advance purchase orders, how can the cancellation of the Trident replacement programme be justified later on?

One more manifesto pledge seems to be broken. The continuous breaking of trust eventually inspires suspicion. No government can afford to lose the trust of the population, particularly when it involves the judicious use of tax-payers money. There should be much more honesty and transparency on the amount of money being spent in relation the Trident nuclear weapon system. The Church of Scotland remains opposed to nuclear weapons, and calls for the UK Government to have the courage and leadership to repudiate them to help facilitate international nuclear disarmament.

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