19th February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Hundreds show support for stop Trident campaign

More than 400 people have backed a new campaign to stop the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapon system.

Shetland Against Trident was set up this weekend and already has 419 likes on Facebook. It is described as “a local group campaigning against the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapon system”.

Shetland Against Trident launched at the weekend.

Shetland Against Trident launched at the weekend.

“Shetland Against Trident primarily exists to raise awareness of Trident, and encourage the local people of Shetland to lobby our local MP, Alistair Carmichael, to sign Early Day Motion 37,” the page states.

“Early Day Motion 37 calls on the [UK] government to cancel plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapon submarines, arguing the case on both security and spending grounds.”

The group argues that as well as the moral grounds against Trident, the scheme also has major financial implications. Replacing it will cost more than £100 billion over its lifetime – enough to scrap tuition fees for 30 years, it said.

Folk are encouraged to tell Mr Carmichael they are against Trident and encourage him to sign the early day motion through the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament website.

Marshall Brill of Shetland Against Trident, said there was strong support in Shetland against the scheme, based on the initial response in 24 hours. He also noted the wider picture, with a Guardian poll in April showing more than 70 per cent of people did not want the UK to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system.

He said there would also be more information about the campaign for those not on Facebook. This would probably be along the lines of a meeting or distributing leaflets.

Mr Carmichael said this morning that he had not yet been contacted, but would be happy to speak to the group.

“They will doubtless be aware that the final decision on the renewal of Trident will not now happen until after the general election. That’s because of the influence of the Liberal Democrats in government,” he said.

If it were left to the Conservatives or Labour Party alone there would be “nothing still to discuss,” he added.

Mr Carmichael said early day motions were a parliamentary device that allowed back-benchers a voice on an issue.

But as a government minister, he said he was not allowed to sign the early day motion, because of ministerial code.

Though he could still engage directly with ministers responsible, he said, and influence the debate in that way.

Mr Brill said he would see how things develop over the short term but would be happy to have discussions with Mr Carmichael at a later date.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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16 comments

  1. Ali Inkster

    Just imagine if all that money being spent on trident was spent elsewhere. Seeing as it is part of the defence budget it would most likely be spent beefing up capability of conventional forces. Now just imagine how many countries they would feel free to invade then.

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      Even if all the savings remained in the defence budget and were redirected towards conventional forces, I would be happy. There is strong suggestion that the UK’s conventional forces are seriously underfunded and that we are sending young men and women off to these warzones ill-equipped for the dangers that await.

      Whilst I would prefer us not to be in these wars in the first place, I would far rather we took proper care of these we do send off to fight in them. We could also invest in more surface-based ships to better protect our own coastline – not only boosting the strength of our navy but creating jobs in this country.

      But in truth I see no reason savings from Trident would be allocated entirely back to the defence budget. Our defence budget is already quite high and higher than the required threshold of NATO, so there is absolutely no reason it could not be cut if we removed our WMDs.

      Reply
      • Hugh Tait

        Consequences of a NO vote:- Nuclear weapons to protect the food banks.

  2. David Spence

    Ahhh Ali, you know as well as I do, ‘ war is big business for the banks ‘……..why do you think the USA has been responsible for so many conflicts and wars (76 since 1945, over 42,000,000 deaths (present crisis in Israel being a good example)) and its foreign policy has been geared and designed for their banking system to make vast profits.

    It is quite simple, create a war scenario (supporting a dictator, putting in power a dictator, providing weapons to resistance fighters (present situation in Syria (which has now out of control in Syria and Iraq) putting in a Government which supports US military bases, companies and trade to move into this country and exploit its resources and use the population as cheap labour (aka slave trade).

    As the bible says ‘ The want for money is the root of all evils ‘……never more aptly demonstrated by the US Foreign Policy in support of its banking system.

    Reply
  3. David Spence

    Humans thrive on conflict, anger and power. Certainly over the past 150 or so years, there has probably been more deaths in that time than there has been in the past 2000 years or since the birth of Christianity……..not that I am implying in any way (the irony is unbelievable just as much as the enitity of a god is lol) that religion (a man made entity/ideology designed purely for the purpose of control and nothing else) and those who control it have never been responsible for their acts upon other human beings in terms of domination, power, exploitation, forced doctrine or genocide………but lets justify it by…’ all in the name of god or gods ‘……..lets blame them for the destruction we humans have caused.

    Humans regard themselves (said loosely) as the most intelligent species of life on this planet, and yet they are dumbest and stupidest (mainly capitalists) to destroy the very home to which we depend on to survive……..I can see the logic, rationality and intelligence in this form of action……makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

    Now, humans have had different gods at different times, but today, the new god is called ‘ money ‘ or should that be ‘ capitalism ‘? This new modern god perpetuates the justification for dominance, power and ultimate obedience through the actions of science, technology but most of all, the necessity for money, greed and wealth (note : these are manmade and have no baring or relevance to any natural laws which determines life itself) through the action of using technology as a means of control or ultimate destruction, depending on whatever the people in power determine from their point of view and not this of the will of the people as a whole, how such technology should be can be used to bring the maximum amount of destruction with the maximum amount of deaths and subsequent deaths thereafter. No doubt, in the future such technology will come useful when global warming takes affect and mass migration of humans takes place where these humans will invade (on mass) more desirable environmental conditions, where such weapons (apart from disease, starvation, exhaustion takes its toll) will be use with impunity as a means of controlling and protecting our own space and part of the planet for ourselves………………….that’s of course, if we humans have not already destroyed the planet by the very same technology that was designed and made to protect us……………..all in the name of money, greed and wealth…….ultimately. lol

    Reply
  4. ian tinkler

    I would love to see Trident redundant, once Putin no longer does this.

    RAF Typhoons had to be scrambled this week to intercept two unidentified military aircraft, which turned out to be Russian TU-95 ‘Bear’ strategic nuclear bombers on a defence probing run. ref: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/19/Russian-Bears-Over-Scotland

    Reply
  5. Michael Garriock

    Any country unable to throw back an an aggressor exactly what the aggressor throws at them, risks being trampled on a whim.

    Learn from history, or be destined to repeat it.

    As long as there are other nations with nuclear armaments, I’m fully supportive of us having them too.

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      What are the history lessons to learn here? Nagasaki and Hiroshima are the only incidences of a nuclear weapon actually being used in conflict, and whilst inexcusable were against an aggressor in conflict rather than some innocent bystander of a country. Where are the examples of nuclear-free countries (e.g. Norway, Ireland, Iceland, Canada) even being attacked, let alone attacked with WMDs?

      Reply
      • Michael Garriock

        @ Robert Duncan: A somewhat disingenuous argument, given that no North American, Western European or Scandinavian country, nuclear free or otherwise, has been attacked since 1945.

        The lesson to learn from history, and human nature, is that any aggressor will put those with the sharpest teeth and best able to bite back as severely, if not more so, than they are bitten, lowest on the list of potential targets.

        We as a nation have probably become complacent given that its almost seventy years since an aggressor launched an attack against us, and its easy to let yourself believe no-one is going to. Those who were lucky?? enough to return from the front in 1918 believed they’d just fought the “war to end all wars”, the nation’s leader still believed (publically anyway) in “peace in our time” in late September 1938. Both were proven very badly wrong on September 3rd 1939 – another lesson from history, you can’t let your guard down, regardless of how thing may appear to be on the surface.

    • Heather M Stewart

      What a totally ridiculous comment.. You know that any land fired upon would be rendered useless to invade.. So what just blow each other to smithereens.. Because neither side would survive.. And the land would be totally unworkable. People with skin hanging off who eventually die of cancer.. Birds and Mammals etc, wiped out.. STUPID comment..

      Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      And why would you? What would be the point of, say, Putin sending a nuclear bomb to the Ukraine? He wouldnt be able to invade then would he?

      Reply
  6. David Spence

    I am intrigued as to how much money is spent to actually protect us, allegedly, and how much of that money is actually used for another agenda of expansion and dominance. The present war scenario in Iraq and Afghanistan being a good example of this mentality of economic expansion taking precedence over actual, alleged, protection based on lies, deception and political dogma for the greater good of the few (typical traits of a capitalist based system where economics dictate actions than anything else).

    Ian, the very same people which inform us are the very same people which control what information we receive or are told of by the media controlled by these same people. You only have to look across the pond to see how biased information is directed for political, economic and military agenda’s to gain public support to perpetuate their agenda’s further and not for any other purpose, although we may be told differently.

    Is the cold war going to be starting again in the next few years, I very much doubt it. However, to justify the massive expenditure of a country’s defence system, one must question the information we are told of by the Government who, as mentioned, control how this information is broadcasted, printed, aired or presented by other means for reasons that we will never be told the truth of.

    In a social structure where economics (capitalism) is the main priority, lies, deception, fabricating the truth, controlling of the people (including what information they are told) all, quite rightly, invoke other traits of capitalism, this being scepticism, disbelief, untrustworthy, social breakdown and many negative responses by the population who, quite rightly, question the Government and those in authority on their real motives and agenda’s (9/11 and the follow up of this being a good example). We probably spend more on defence and the military than any other budget within our society for the purposes of not for the greater good but for the few to benefit and keep control.

    Reply
  7. Ian tinkler

    David, It is not just the MOD telling us about Putin and his policies. One has just to look at the news. Georgia, Ukraine, the Kursk, hardly a peaceful man with the Worlds third largest air force less than 30 minutes flying time away. I hate the presence of nukes on earth but the lessons of history are ignored at our peril.

    Reply
  8. Ian Tinkler

    I have never read such piffle from so many well meaning people. Putin has over 3000 nuclear warheads, hopefully all for deterrent purposes. WE have no idea whatsoever whom will follow Putin and gain control over his arsenal. That is why we need some kind of deterrence, simples. ! A word for the very ignorant, enhanced radiation weapons (neutron bombs) do very little structural damage. If used against Glasgow most infrastructure would remain, within a few days radiation levels would allow human habitation. I am afraid however, well meaning, CND and their like , are wholly ignorant of what a modern atomic war could do and how short term radiation damage can be. Thermonuclear weapons are of the past and have deterrent use only. They are by no means the only nuclear weapons around but paradoxically due to their nature they are a very strong deterrent, hence Trident and (MAD) a very good name for the policy, it works however. The sad fact is, Heather Stewart, every citizen of Ukraine could be killed in a few hours with little or no residual radiation left one year later. A strong NATO deterrence (thermonuclear) works, just a very sad fact! I am sure The Ukraine would not be under invasion today if it had not scrapped its own post Soviet nuclear stockpile. Again a sad matter of fact, if you are non Russian Ukrainian.

    Reply
  9. John Jamieson

    Trident renewal is UK government policy and Shetland voters think that we are emphatically better together so will just have to accept that there are swings and roundabouts.

    Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      What a silly comment. Even if it were fully approved government policy, that would not be a reason to campaign against it and raise awareness of various issues with it among the general public.

      However, it is not yet fully approved government policy. The UK Government still has to vote on plans to renew the submarines – this will not now be voted on until after the General Election. There is still plenty of time to oppose that and to encourage our MPs not to agree to its renewal.

      Reply

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