Labour Manifesto Run Through

By now I’m guessing you’ve read the Tory version of this, so you know what to expect, if you haven’t and are just reading this because it’s got the word Labour in it, then this is already lost on you. I’m not here to change minds, just give a clear view of what is on offer. Let’s begin.

I glossed over Corbyn’s foreword as I’m sure much like the Tories, it will be repeated later on. They start by making a pledge of not raising Income Tax for earners below £80,000, not raising National Insurance Contributions or VAT (Pro – a good strong start, Con – I feel as this is ‘fully costed’ they could have left themselves an option for raising capital by maybe omitting National Insurance contributions, so they could change it at a later stage to generate funds for the economy).

They say that Corporation Tax is the lowest in the developed world and that they will ask them to pay a bit more, whilst maintaining we will still be one of the lowest (Pro – generate a fair amount of income for HMRC, Con – if this is true then expect a hike of corporations tax by up to 6%, the average is about 25% with the exceptions of Denmark, Finland and Ireland, what’s to stop these corporations from leaving the financial centre in London? We have already seen it with Google in Ireland whose Corporation tax rate is only 12.5%).

They pledge to eliminate the deficit within 5 years (Con – highly unrealistic and they will be savaged by it in years to come if they get elected, very risky pledge to make).

Creation of the National Transformation Fund, investing £250bn over 10 years to enhance our economy (Con – considering they said this was fully costed the only explanation they give for where this money is coming from is ‘record low interest rates’, doesn’t seem plausible but we’ll carry on and see).

Completion of HS2 (Pro/Con – much like the Tories it’s not costed because the price keeps rising, it will benefit the country to complete this project though and any incumbent government will complete it anyway).

Build a new Brighton main line for the South East (Pro/Con – it’s good to see distribution of wealth in small regions like this, yet I can’t think of what the strategic importance of Brighton is? Surely the money is better spent connecting bigger cities with more to offer?).

They make the same promise as the Tories to roll out super fast broadband and increase 4G coverage across the land (Pro).

Setting out to make 60% of the UK’s energy come from zero carbon or renewable energy sources by 2030 (Pro – this will keep environmentalists on side and is a step towards a cleaner country, Con – yet again probably paid for by more green taxes or levies).

Committing to spending 3% of GDP on Industrial research and development in regards to manufacturing (Pro).

Moving towards a 20:1 gap between highest and lowest paid at boardroom level (Pro).

Creation of a Digital Ambassador to liase and encourage investment and to accommodate easy start ups, to put Britain on the front foot for the future (Pro).

Creation of the National Investment Bank with the lending power of £250bn, bridging the gap where small businesses and projects wouldn’t usually get investment from other banks (Pro – great for the little guy, Con – there’s usually a reason behind people not getting accepted, as the loan is considered too much of a risk and if too many default on their payments then the government will spend even more in trying to recoup the costs).

Re-nationalisation of Royal Mail, Water Companies, Railways and Energy firms (Pro – it would decrease overall spending of the consumer by a large margin, Con – the initial outlay will be immense and a couple of these Royal Mail and Railways won’t be up for sale for a long time).

Energy wise, Homeowners will be given interest free loans to improve their property E.g installing solar panels, double glazing, etc…(Pro).

Ban Fracking (Con – until research is thoroughly conducted as to whether it damages the environment, you shouldn’t rule out a massive untapped market, bad move economically).

Negotiating Brexit – Scrap Conservative White paper and establish new bill that sets out guarantees to workers rights, staying in customs union and Single Market (Big Con – now this is me being unbiased, they quite clearly stated that they respect the decision of the referendum but in the very next sentence set out an aim of basically staying inside the EU? Also a poor negotiating stance, letting the opposition know what you’re going to be negotiating towards, as they won’t let you have it).

Rules out a ‘no deal’ (Big Con – if you can’t get a good deal out of the EU then you have done badly but haven’t failed, a no deal is the last stab in the heart for the EU, as it is more advantageous for us as they buy more from us then we buy from them, levying a 10% tariff on goods through WTO rules is the last thing on the EU’s mind, rest assured they will cave or face the consequences).

They make the same pledges to making sure regions don’t lose our on ‘EU money’ (which was ours anyway) and want to broker peace in Northern Ireland ASAP (Pro).

No ‘hard border’ between Northern and Republic of Ireland post Brexit (Pro – worth mentioning that even though it’s not mentioned in Tory Manifesto this is the broad view of all political parties as it would destabilise the region and create tension unnecessarily).

Giving Parliament the final say on Brexit deal (Con – they can’t be trusted not to derail the process).

Stating Freedom of Movement will end with Brexit (Big Pro).

Put a stop to Overseas only recruitment (Pro).

Committing to taking our fair share of refugees (Big Con – it’s just another way around immigration numbers, also not stating a clear amount).

Commits to rejoining World Trade Organisation rules post Brexit (Pro).

Creation of the National Education Service, free at the point of use ‘from cradle to grave’ (Pro – it’s nice they want to recreate what Clement Attlee did with the health service and do the same with education, Con – however purely because of what Attlee did this isn’t productive or sustainable money wise, look at the NHS budget over the years, there isn’t enough money for it meaning there isn’t enough money for this before it has even started, a great notion and attempt at a long lasting legacy, yet not to be).

Restructuring the support for early years childcare, extend what the Tories offer to 3 and 4 year olds down to 2 year olds as well, making sure affordable childcare is available to everyone, also making some childcare available for 1 year olds and increasing maternity pay to cover 12 months (Biggest Pro on here! Its a big left hook to the Tories chin as I mentioned in the previous Tory Run Through, our childcare system lags far behind others and this is a massive positive step in the right direction, Con – only a slight Con – my optimism is met by my niggling pessimism yet again asking how will you ever pay for it but I’ll let Labour have this one as it’s their best policy I can get behind!).

Reversing cuts in funding to schools and balancing out of redistribution of funds to historically worse off schools (Pro – schools are massively underfunded which has a profound effect on how much they can pay teachers which is why we have a shortage, Con – I’m hoping this fully costed Manifesto has a breakdown of the numbers somewhere near the end, as this is one of many points that I’m yet to see a figure on!).

Reduction in class sizes to less than 30 for five, six and seven year olds (Pro).

Free school meals for all primary school children paid for by removing VAT exemption on private school fees (Pro – finally something costed! It’s a good idea yet, Con – charging some kids for the sake of others doesn’t bode well for someone who claims to be all for equality,  the famous saying ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, this could create a rift in the class system as private school kids look down on others as they’re paying for them, which gives them an air of superiority in some regards, messy business but I agree with it).

Improving children’s mental health by extending school based counselling at a cost of £90m a year (Pro – mental health issues don’t form overnight when you hit your teens, this could have a profound effect on combating mental health issues later in life).

Restoring EMA to lower and medium income teens (Pro).

Abolishing tuition fees for university (Pro – fully support this as no student should be buried in debt upon leaving uni, Con – not costed, sorry I know I’m trying to be unbiased but they shouldn’t have made such a stupid promise of being fully costed, plus if it’s funded by the taxpayer then students will take a lot of heat for basically having uni paid for, so they can go out and get pissed it’s what it used to be like even when it was at £3k!).

Ban zero hours contracts (Con – they work for the people that want them on a flexible basis E.g mums and students, Pro – they’re poor if this the only kind of work you can get).

Ban companies from undercutting British workers by getting foreign workers (Pro – finally a mainstream party eluding to wage compression due to foreign workers/ immigrants!).

Raise minimum wage to £10 ph by 2020 (Pro/Con – made the same point about the Tories and how it creates redundancies).

Banning unpaid internships (Pro – wholly unfair to the intern, Con – position may be outsourced and offered to foreign workers instead).

Double paid paternity leave for new fathers to four weeks (Big Pro).

Scrap the Bedroom Tax (Pro and Con).

Reinstating housing benefit to under 21s (Pro).

Creation of Ministry for Housing which is aimed at dealing with the housing crisis (Con – another waste of resources and another meaningless ministry).

Aim to build 100,000 council and housing association homes in the next parliament (Pro – heed caution every government fails to meet targets of house building, Tories included).

Inflation cap on private renting (Pro).

Free parking in hospitals paid for by increasing the tax of private medical insurance premiums (Pro).

Scrap NHS pay cap and have it run by an independent pay review body (Pro – healthcare professionals need a well earned pay rise for such a demanding job, Con – more needs to be done to cut out bureaucracy and middle managers as they will be the ones to profit from pay increases, which isn’t fair on nurses who deserve it more).

Reintroduction of bursaries for nursing degrees (Pro – however not costed).

An extra £30bn in funding for NHS paid for by taxing the top 5% of earners, increasing tax on private insurance and halving the fees to management consultants (Pro – may not be as clear cut as that, top 5 % of earners may bugger off to Switzerland and take their money with them, then you’d have a massive black hole in your NHS budget, be careful using the NHS as a political football!).

Introduction of a National Care Service with an increase to social care spending to the tune of £8bn over the next parliament (Con – it’s a nice idea, but realistically they say it’s budget will be pooled within the overall NHS budget which is unpredictable and technically uncosted, hate to say as I’m trying to give Labour a fair review here but they’re letting themselves down).

Labour want to increase police officer numbers by 10,000 (Con – I have to bring up that shameful Diane Abbott interview in which she couldn’t come up with a number of how much it will cost so not likely to happen!).

500 more Border Force operatives (Con – uncosted, this is getting boring now!).

3000 more firefighters (Con – yep you guessed it uncosted, this is hard to stay unbiased as Labour are shooting themselves in the foot, why spout rhetoric of a fully costed Manifesto and then not expect people to read it!).

Wish to retain Human Rights Act (Con – would much prefer to scrap it and introduce a Bill of Rights with the main parts of Human Rights E.g right to a fair trial etc…enshrined into it, but to make it easier to deport criminals to free up our overcrowded and underfunded prison system).

3000 more prison guards (Con – After stating that prisons are overcrowded and staffing levels are too low, they yet again haven’t costed this).

There is a section on transport and Railways but going back to my previous point of them not being able to do anything until they have bought it back, makes it an irrelevant point at the moment and I won’t include it as to stay impartial.

Striving for a transport network with zero deaths and reintroducing Road safety targets (Big Con – setting themselves a completely unrealistic and unachievable target is narrow minded and in doing so bringing back Road safety targets, which promotes use of speed cameras and lowering of speed limits which I definitely can’t back!).

They try and take a dig at the Tories about not having a clue about farming and fishing policy, yet I have quite clearly made the point in my previous run through, unsound, unnecessary and flawed rhetoric. (Con).

They make the same point of creating a Blue Belt but only state around the UK and not inclusive of our Overseas Territories (Pro/Con – pipped to it by the Tories).

Banning pesticides that kill bees as soon as we’re out of EU same as Tories (Pro).

Maintain Ban on foxhunting (Pro/Con).

There is a section about Creativity and the Arts and lots of promises about funds, yet no costs so I’m not going to entertain the idea of sifting through these policies as they have holes in them, so in the interest of being balanced I shall move on.

They come out in support of the BBC which is a big turn off for voters, it’s quite apparent that the TV licence will be cut or scrapped altogether in the not too distant future, which I fully support as the continuing left bias of the BBC is frustrating considering we pay for it. Maybe they should have advertising of only British products to promote our industries? Who knows! Plus they covered up Saville, hey ho moving on.

In the next section they admit a desire for a more federalistic state, which I knew they’d cram in somewhere with Corbyn being a massive Republican (Big Con).

Reduce the number in the House of Lords and make them elected (Pro/Con – too many Lords don’t do their job and turn up just to get paid an allowance which is a total abuse of the system, plus it’s an unrepresentative cross section who get picked. Though constitutional reform on this scale will be met with a backlash, as the actual Lords that have got there for being an expert in their field and have an valuable insight into their field will be lost).

Lower the voting age to 16 (Big Con – politics isn’t even taught in schools at this point and is dangerous to add this demographic to the voting register, regardless of your counter argument it’s irresponsible).

They don’t support a second Scottish referendum (Pro).

However, they go on to say they will increase funds to them which deletes the point of having the Barnet formula and I also agree with the Tories that given the devolved powers over taxation, they’re lagging behind and don’t warrant that much funding. (Con).

There’s a lot of waffle in this Manifesto, more so than the Tories, which I didn’t think was possible yet there’s 128 pages in this compared to the 88 of the Tories, although every 3-4 pages there’s a picture or blank page.

Next they take a stab at the Tories for rolling back gender equality for women, bit of a retarded statement from a party that’s never had a female leader, yet the Tories have had two female Prime Ministers, your point is imvalid and redundant. (Big Con).

They go on a big about LGBT and racism, stating they’re against antisemitism, yet Ken Livingstone has only been suspended for antisemitic remarks not permanently suspended, one rule for you, one rule for others? Contradictory (Con).

In a section named diplomacy they quite clearly state they’re opposed to the current US administration and that the special relationship is only based on shared values, which is unreasonable and unstatesman like. As PM he says he will exhaust all diplomatic services with nations, yet isn’t willing to get along with our closest ally for the good of our countries, even Theresa May got on with him for fuck sake. (Big Con – unnecessary).

They support a two state system in Israel for Palestine which is yet again unrealistic, however we’re uniquely involved as we caused this problem in the first place, however taking into account what happened in WW2 and the persecution of the Jews, they deserve a state of their own so that they don’t have to run or escape persecution ever again. Yet again I will side with our Israeli allies anytime (Con).

They believe that diplomatic dialogue with North Korea is needed to diffuse the situation in the peninsula (Pro/Con – could go either way).

Committed to spending 2% of GDP on defense as part of NATO obligations (Pro).

Now Corbyn’s biggest weak point, even though in the Manifesto it states they commit to renewing Trident after his calamitous answers to the audience in the leaders debate, no one can actually believe anything he says about Trident as he wouldn’t actually ever use it (Biggest Con – like I said weakest point, you couldn’t feel safe under Corbyn).

A good point on defense, he’d commit to procuring British Steel and using it in the manufacturing of defense equipment (Pro).

Finally they commit 0.7% of GDP to ‘international development’ which is a fancy way of saying foreign aid (Con – money better used elsewhere like on all of the uncosted pledges that I have picked out!).

I will give this Manifesto a 6.5 out of 10, you might be puzzled by this as I found so much wrong with it, yet on balance they had some strong ideas that I agree with, there are only three major sticking points for me. Obviously the notion that this was fully costed, if they didn’t shout about it so much this would have been on par with or just behind the Tories. Secondly, the unnecessary swipe at Trump which had nothing to with the election in general dented his credentials as a world leader. Finally, it has to be the weak stance on Trident, it really was the nail in the coffin for Labour, especially after the Diane Abbott debacles!

All I have to say is that I wrote these as a helpful guide for people, if you disagree with my unbiased view then the actual Manifesto is readily available and you can see it for yourself. I have nothing to gain by not stating facts, bear in mind I support neither of these parties! I hope this was…educational. As ever, thank you for reading!

 

 

Brace Yourselves, Elections Are Coming.

So it’s time for all of the ‘part-time’ politicians to crawl out of the woodwork to display their ‘superior’ opinion, in a field they have suddenly become experts in. That’s right you guessed it, it’s election time. It’s all much of the same. Millennials spouting nonsense about Labour and how they can change the country and stop Brexit. But it’s hard to see why? All of the things they fight for, were things that Labour messed up in the first place? They crippled the country and forced us into a recession, or have they forgotten this? Oh wait they were still in school, where frankly there isn’t any politics being taught (a major issue) and any political leanings are from Liberal teachers. The thing is, I remember the country under a Labour government. These youngsters sing it’s praises, yet all of the major players in the Labour party now try to distance themselves from that era. They wanted to try and take the party away from ‘Blairite’ or ‘Brownite’, as ultimately it was dividing the party, not nearly as much as now though. The difference is that under New Labour, they had an identity. Something they massively lack now, as the disconnect between the core labour voters and MPs couldn’t be at further ends of the scale. They voted in huge numbers to make Corbyn leader but the party’s own MPs could see that his brand of Labour, can’t sustain an offensive attack on the Tories. It’s too busy licking it’s wounds from the civil war that erupted not long ago. The in-fighting that was created by the very people that want to get the party into power.

You may think i’m having a dig at Labour here and think this is unfair, yet I will explain the same thing about UKIP. You see it all boils down to one thing, a party is nothing without a leader. Now, Paul Nuttall is a good leader of UKIP, i’ve always liked him and believed he performs well in the spotlight. Yet the big problem facing UKIP is that he ISN’T Nigel Farage. Love him or hate him, he was a proper leader. When you’re a face of a party, you project certain things about the party, a lot of people get behind that and got behind Farage as a result of that. He was the main reason that UKIP got 3.8 million votes in the last general election. He’s a skilled orator and performed immensely well in the debates and interviews for the election and before the referendum as well. People endear themselves to strong leaders and are more likely to vote for a strongly principled leader. Now before you liken that statement to Corbyn i’ll explain, yes on the one hand he’s strongly principled and stands for something but on the other he lacks the real leadership qualities of Farage. He can barely run his party let alone a country, whereas Farage had an iron-like grip of his party and all the ins and outs of it. This is one of the main reasons that Theresa May has opted for the ‘strong and stable’ slogan.

Onto the Tories, who look set to gain a large majority from this election. I’d be surprised if they didn’t as they have the upper hand and the element of surprise. Although, only time will tell if it was a political masterstroke. The timing couldn’t have been better, with the ‘opposition’ if you can call it that, completely in disarray and with no chance or time to come up with a reasonable campaign to fight the Tories with, we expect a wipeout. Yet I don’t think it’s that clear cut. All of the projections show that Labour are going to get wiped out and that the Tories will amass a majority of the likes of Thatcher, yet these are the same projections that got the referendum wrong and the last general election wrong too. The Tories will win yes, there is no doubt, and yes they will have a stronger majority, however I don’t think it will be as big as they hope it will be. There will still be the people that vote Labour because they always have and the added element of youth who seem to be in love with Corbyn for whatever reason, they don’t quite have the numbers to bring down the Tories or even get close though. Even with some hashed together coalition with the Lib-Dems or SNP.

I don’t even need to take a dig at the Lib-Dems anymore, they do it to themselves. Tim Farron got himself all caught up in the simplest of rules. Don’t mix politics and religion. The gay sex is a sin thing is cringeworthy at best. Even though he came out and said it wasn’t, the fact that he dodged the questions for literally years, leads you to believe otherwise and if you have created that doubt in the potential voters minds then you have already lost. The only people to successfully mix the two, have done so in baby steps and haven’t rammed it down your throat. Blair ‘came out’ as a Catholic but did so when he already had a grasp of the political landscape and was cemented in power. Theresa May has done the same, she’s in power now and had overwhelming support from her MPs in the leadership contest, she’s done the whole I pray to god and all that. But that was it, nothing more nothing less.

The SNP are the ones set to lose the most in this election. I think the Scottish Tories will stage a large comeback as the SNP are a massive single issue party and it’s wearing a bit thin. Especially as Sturgeon has been told in no uncertain terms that a referendum is definitely not on the cards in the near or distant future. Now they seem like a dog without it’s teeth, they will lose a substantial amount of seats. UKIP lost their only MP and without Farage standing have zero chance of getting another elected. They will probably get about 2.5 million votes (myself included) but largely in pockets and with no real power, you might think this is wishful thinking due to the local elections but to be fair local elections are completely different and have no standing in comparison to a proper election. I have to admit, I didn’t even vote in the local elections (partly due to not having time) but I don’t think I would have done anyway. The reason i’m still voting UKIP in the GE is due to the MP that stands in my constituency Sir Paul Beresford. His voting record is poor with plenty of absences, he was part of the expenses scandal by claiming his dental practice as his second home and getting 3/4 of his running costs paid for by the taxpayer, claimed to be eurosceptic but voted to remain and is just an all round dick. Okay so mine is an isolated (but valid) reason for voting UKIP, but I still think their presence is needed. If the Tories get too much of a majority there is the slight chance that we get a softer brexit which we definitely don’t want. I would like to see one UKIP MP so that there is a voice of the true leavers in the house, as I think that massive backsliding could begin to creep through as the house would be full of yes men (and women) who follow the PM on everything. Especially if she tries to take the easy route out and makes a shit deal with the EU, I still firmly stand by the notion of a hard brexit being better than a watered down deal.

That is Theresa May’s downfall and the only chink in her armour. The fact that she flipflopped from Remain to Leave. Some calling it pandering to the masses but she needs to keep in mind what is best for the country for a long time to come, rather than point scoring and political posturing. There are simple red lines that can’t be crossed, no money will be paid to the EU upon exit (apart from money already set aside for schemes we have supported and voted on), no free movement of people (apart from the border in Northern Ireland and fast tracked visas), reinstate our territorial waters and fishing grounds. If the EU won’t let go of these then hard brexit is the only option for this country. This was one of the main reasons that she called an election in the first place, so that she could have full autonomy on proceedings and negotiations. I think that people are taking this election out of context and actually think it’s to do with policies, which it really isn’t, as most pledges as you know go out of the window when somebody is in power. I’ll run through a list of key points from each party to try and give a better more impartial scope of what’s on offer in this election, however I shall write a more comprehensive list when all the manifestos have been released.

 

Tories

Pros: Scraping of ECHR & ECJ and reclaim the power for our courts, the re-introduction of grammar schools, no increase in VAT, bringing back fox hunting is both a pro and con, investment in businesses will sky rocket after brexit which is usually good for wealth creation which Tories are good at, increase in living wage.

Cons: NHS spending/staffing/pay structures are constantly under fire no matter who is in power, Education system is facing a massive blackhole funding and staffing wise, continued degradation of citizens privacy rights, bringing back fox hunting (animal rights activists won’t like this), continued excessive spending in regards to foreign aid.

 

Labour

Pros: Capping of household energy bills, tuition fees abolished, pay cap for NHS workers scrapped, unpaid internships scrapped (pro and con), employers stopped from only recruiting overseas, increase in living wage, no raising in income tax (earners below £80k), rent capped to rate of inflation, keep defence spending at 2% of GDP, ban fracking (pro and con).

Cons: Ban fracking (if proved safe and not in a greenbelt area could benefit the country), soft deals on brexit and no hard brexit option, no scrapping of ECHR or EU law, increased borrowing to pay for the NHS, creation of NHS excellence (a regulator that is paid for from tax payers money), unpaid internships scrapped (might dissuade big businesses from giving graduates a ‘foot in the door’), excessive hounding of big companies to pay more tax might force them elsewhere which is unwise post-brexit, unobtainable house building targets and more borrowed money to pay for it, lowering the voting age to 16, they say they’ll renew trident but he’s shown his support against renewal, unobtainable increase in police officer numbers (as seen from Diane Abbott).

There’s no point in listing all of the parties at the moment as I said i’d do a full analysis when the manifestos are officially released. That’s a basic snapshot of what will be picked up on in the papers, debates and interviews over the coming weeks. I try my best to stay impartial when I list facts and will continue to do so, as I have shown in my previous posts that I don’t feel I can persuade anyone anyway and would rather you come to you your own conclusions, this is no different. I respect that we live in a democracy and that we should have an open playing field in regards to politics, it may be a mismatch in regards to Labour but it should be an open debate with no shutdowns. This is an occurring theme from the left that I despise and I personally call on them to have a rational debate this time, because every time you shout ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’ you’re giving the Tories one more voter at a time. It’s like having a fight and punching yourself in the face, it’s time to grow up and argue your point like an adult. I will as always, be here waiting for you.

Thanks for reading!

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent : Should it stay or should it go?

I’m going to start very early on here and disclose to the reader that i’m in favour of Britain’s nuclear deterrent and it has been brought to my attention that like I have stated in one of my earlier posts, should Scotland gain independence from the UK what effects it could have on England? One thing that would go would be the nuclear deterrent as in the form of the Trident missiles on board the Vanguard submarines, why I might hear you ask? Mainly because the four Vanguards the Royal Navy possess are based in Clyde on the West coast of Scotland, and since the Scottish have no wish to have a nuclear deterrent, one can only guess they would be dismantled or even sold off back to America. Purely on the basis that it would cost far too much to relocate/ build a capable station to encompass these four submarines, it just wouldn’t happen in our current fiscal climate. Although we don’t have to worry about Scottish Independence until 2014 it’s coming around a lot faster than you think.

Trident II D-5

We must ensure that we keep Trident for the simple factor that we need the assurance that no foreign aggressors can create a crisis the UK can’t handle. It’s also good for the peace we can administer in the international community, having that kind of deterrent is useful in critical situations where we could potentially be bullied if we didn’t have it. One thing I quickly want to add, we haven’t heard much from the Iranian’s of late other than the supply of chemical weapons to Syria of course, makes you wonder what is going on behind the scenes? I always think it’s the one region to watch out for considering only a few years ago Ahmadinejad declared that ‘Israel needs to wiped from the face of the earth’. Poor old Israel, the Jews never seem to catch a break! Hated on all sides, Hezbollah in the north and Lebanon and the Palestinians in Gaza. Not that I defend Israel as they did displace the Palestinians in the first place.

This is what he thinks of Israel.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I want to outline that just because the reason we got the deterrent in the first place has gone, the reason for keeping it is that it’s even more dangerous than it was before. At least in the cold war we knew who the enemy was and who to keep the missiles targeted at and where to have the pointed. Back in 1994 all missiles were de-targetted from Russia, due to the Soviet Union disbanding a few years earlier. Now the system is set so that the Trident missiles can be set and target a potential threat within 15 minutes, not having a specific location to target like back in the cold war.

The political climate is perceived as a lot less hostile in the current day then it once was, I personally think that’s a load of bollocks! Any number of countries still have an underlying threat and could switch at any given time. Even in some of the so called ‘safe’  countries, even UN Security Council members Russia are at risk. It wasn’t even that long ago that Chechen rebels flared up, not on the scale that you once heard about back in the 90’s but the threat is still there. Imagine if Chechen extremists  got their hands on some sort of nuclear material/ weapons? I don’t think for a second that the Russian’s wouldn’t handle it but all it takes is for one missile to be launched or a bomb to be detonated and you have an ever-lasting effect on the world, you only have to look at Yokohama and Nagasaki and imagine it in the ‘modern’ world. I don’t even need to mention the fact that the two Boston bombers are believed to have strong links to Chechnya, that is all you need to know.

Another thing to take into account is the Chinese. They have a foothold in Asia now as they are the biggest economy and driving force in the region. I understand that they are supporters of North Korea and would make it difficult to intervene should the situation escalate from the stage it’s at now. It’s weird how these massive nations continue to prop up these regimes who are clearly trying to instigate problems in the world, you could almost compare it to a child crying for attention, it’s quite pathetic if you think about it!!

India and Pakistan don’t escape this as well as yet again not long ago they were fighting over Kashmir as both lay claim to it and it only takes something major to kick off before they nuke each other and cause irreversible damage and ruin things in the region for years to come. This brings me back to the point of our importance in the EU, as we are the only NPT member other than France in the EU which is why we have the influence we do, and why we are a leading member in NATO as well. Not that we would shy away from our responsibilities within NATO or protecting nations from threat, but we will no longer be the nation they all look to. It’s also a good point to tie in with one of my previous posts of our importance to the US and our hold over Europe, if we were to lose our nuclear programme, it’s debatable the US would see much else we can offer them and would more than likely turn to France for some sort of partnership as they would become the major players in the EU and would have the influence.

Either way, even if we do manage to keep the Trident missiles they will have to be replaced in 2017 as they only have a life of 25-28 years and were made in ’92. So will be looking at a complete overhaul or whether they will even renew it, as we don’t know which government will be in power at the time!!

Where do we go from here?

I shall continue my Trident blog soon!