16th November 2018
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Convener calls time on nuclear weapons

60 comments, , by , in News

The council’s convener has backed international calls for a world free of nuclear weapons.

A joint statement from mayors, religious leaders and parliamentarians from across the world was adopted in Hiroshima in August and presented to the United Nations on Saturday, the international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Malcolm Bell is a member of the Mayors for Peace organisation, which works internationally to raise consciousness around nuclear weapons abolition. It also seeks lasting world peace by working to address starvation, poverty, refugee welfare, human rights abuses and environmental destruction.
SIC Convener Malcolm Bell pic 4
Shetland Islands Council is also a member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities group, which works to increase local accountability over national nuclear policy, identify the impact of that on local communities, and to minimise nuclear hazards and increase public safety.

The statement:

· Highlights the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe – whether by accident, miscalculation or intent – and the moral and security imperative to achieve nuclear abolition.

· Notes that ‘mayors are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens, as well as for preserving and promoting cultural and environmental values and heritages’.

· Deplores the nuclear weapons budget of ‘$100 billion annually’, and says such funds could be used to reverse climate change, eliminate poverty and address other social and economic needs.

· Affirms ‘UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s description of the abolition of nuclear weapons as a “common good of the highest order”.

Mr Bell said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to endorse the joint statement of fellow civic heads, religious leaders and parliamentarians which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear age, and the foundation of the United Nations.”

60 comments

  1. Robin Stevenson

    Hmm…Not too sure if this is a good idea Mr Bell?…. No no. I don’t mean a world free of nuclear weapons [which is a great idea] I mean, letting your feelings be known publically, when there are still some dafties that think nuclear weapons are a great idea?

    Reply
    • Gareth Fair

      Indeed, like North Korea for example.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Exactly Gareth, I mean how daft are they? It’s almost as crazy as the UK pretending they’re a world power and being one of only three members of NATO out of 28 who possess these weapons, while spending a ridiculous £100 Billion?

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        Would you prefer we had some of the estimated 180 tactical B61 nuclear bombs controlled by the U.S. under NATO’s nuclear sharing policy on our soil?
        You might want to look at how your buddies in CND came up with that figure you use. The MOD has said it will cost £17.5bn to £23.4bn to procure the replacement system. Still a lot I agree, but at least it can be spread across the whole of the UK. Better together you might say.
        CND have incorrectly guessed the running costs over its entire lifespan and have thrown in a few more things to get it up to a nice sensational figure.

        Without getting into the pros and cons of this whole debate, the unilateral disarmament argument has never historically been a vote winner.

        Looking at some of the countries that either have Nuclear Weapons, or are trying to develop them, I’m afraid there is more to this than ‘pretending to be a World power’, it’s more of a collective responsibility of NATO countries to try and keep the peace.

        You seem to want to let others take care of you and not contribute. Fortunately not everyone thinks like this.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gareth

        You said:

        “You seem to want to let others take care of you and not contribute. Fortunately not everyone thinks like this”.

        Really?..So what do our other 25 [non trident] member states pay? Do you think that they should insist on getting their very own “deterrent” too? We could ALL have one each, it’s only fair, right?

        We already allow the use of our ports/airports for American nuclear weapons Gareth, in fact EVERY NATO member is obliged to.
        £100 Bn is the figure that no-one has actually disagreed with, I’m quite sure if it were less than this then we’d more than likely be fed up forever being told. “Collective responsibility” should be just that, shared “collectively” between ALL members, NOT one or two Countries having weapons while the rest don’t need to bother [despite them being in a far better financial position than we are]

    • Gordon Harmer

      Robin, if you were up to speed for once you would know that there are very few dafties who think nuclear weapons are a good idea. The real dafties are the dafties who think unilateral disarmament is a good idea. Only the sane know multilateral disarmament is the way forward, and the only sane way forward until that day is to have a deterrent.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        But wait Gordon, I heard that some of these daft dictator run Countries also have chemical weapons, should we get them too then? as a “deterrent”? In fact my neighbour has a gun which he uses to go shooting occasionally, do you think I should get one as well, [just in case he goes nuts] as a “deterrent”?

        Yep you’re right, if one of our 25 NATO member states is nuked [courtesy of someone or other] which DON’T have a deterrent, then, I’ll bet they wished they’d had one? Whereas if we’re nuked we can…erm…retaliate by instructing our one submarine to nuke em right back, then come home….or…go somewhere else because there is no home…Actually what’s the point of even being a member of NATO? I’d have thought that that’s a far bigger “deterrent” than our antiquated, very expensive, stick-on hairy chest?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, you always have a lot to say and very little to contribute. I wouldn’t think your neighbour would keep a gun to stir his porridge, by going shooting with it makes me think he is quite sane. If you are really worried about him going nuts, one sure fire way of protecting his sanity would be for you to move away from him 😉

        If we were under threat of being nuked it would not come out of the blue, there would be a build up which would mean more than one submarine at sea creating the said deterrent. Daft dictators are in abundance just now and a few of them are increasing there nuclear arsenal’s. Thereby creating a need for pragmatic peace keepers to show they have real hairy chests until sense prevails and multilateral disarmament is the order of the day.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        I see you managed to deflect beautifully from the questions I posed?

        OK, let’s go along with your wee scenario: So, there’s a build up to this nuclear threat and we send out our 3-4 submarines towards the aggressor, while they’re powering in their direction our entire Country is blown into smithereens and the only thing left are…well….3-4 submarines actually, what should they do? Blow them up back, then head to…God knows where? OR keep really quiet and sneak away, as they now realise that the aggressor has a nuclear “Defence” system capable of destroying inbound warheads while pinpointing where they’ve been fired from?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Sorry Robin I thought the scenario was the issue with your neighbour and his gun which he goes shooting with occasionally.
        Robin we are in NATO we would not be swanning off in our 3/4 subs to attack an aggressor on our lonesome that is the purpose of the alliance, come on you know that.
        The Russians have a defence system with the potential to destroy some inbound missiles, so Trident is being upgraded.
        Look I agree the world would be a better place with no nuclear weapons, but the only safe and sane way to acheive this is with multilateral disarmament.
        Russia, Korea, Iran, and Israel will never disarm unilaterally, pressure through making sure they do not get the upper hand keeps the slim chance of multilateral disarmament on the table.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        You said it yourself “that is the purpose of the alliance,”..Exactly, an “alliance” with all 28 member states paying towards the protection under the NATO umbrella, we don’t need France to have its own weapons and we certainly don’t need the UK to have their own either, ALL members pay an equal share and allow uses of their ports protected by the US who make and service these weapons anyway….Simples 🙂

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, if God forbid it ever happens that we have to launch these weapons it would do NATO no good to have them all based in the USA. Therefore France and the UK make the NATO umbrella open wider and cover more ground making a more effective and and strategically effective deterrent. I would far sooner have our prime minister have the power to deploy missiles if it ever came to that, than rely on someone like Donald Trump or another Bush sitting in his ivory tower in Washington DC deciding what and when to do it.

      • Robin Stevenson

        That is just it Gordon, American warheads aren’t all housed in America, at any given time they are regularly moved from one NATO Member State to another, obviously, no-one knows exactly where and just how many, but that is why each member has an obligation to allow use of their ports/airports, America itself has claimed that trident was an obsolete and unnecessary UK expense and offered no strategic benefit towards NATOs arsenal.
        Both France and the UK should play the same part as every other member and abandon their pretendy ideas that they too are a world power, which clearly, they are not.

        http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/06/tridents-outdated-waste-even-military-say-so

    • John Tulloch

      I agree, Robin, a complete waste of time talking about nuclear weapons when the SIC has so many problems on its plate. Still, I suppose it’ll be quite popular – and much less damaging than us talking about SNP NHS Shetland chairman Ian Kinniburgh’s takeover of the Orkney health board. Gosh, it’ll be no time at all before the two island health services will be getting merged, possibly, with a gaelic name?

      Funny how this was announced in the middle of all the “big news” about Alistair Carmichael’s court case which overshadows any debate that might occur on our vitally important health service?

      Reply
    • Andrew Shearer

      Dear me, what an undemocratic, and reactionary statement. He has been elected for his political promises and beliefs. We know he wasn’t elected on this issue, but since it has become a pulpit issue, he, as a politician of integrity is obliged to comment, and indeed take a lead on this moral issue.

      Reply
  2. iantinkler

    Come on lads, Robin and John, “Nuclear Free Local Authorities” just what is needed. Stop all this NHS radiotherapy and radiology. Just let are Leukemia, hard and soft tumor victims die without treatment. Lets face it who wants this radioactive stuff in our hospitals? Lets follow the “loonie greenies” and ban all nuclear. Funny far more lives are being saved by the nuclear industry than died in 10,000 Fukushima and Chernobyls, combined. Just shows how facile our “Nuclear Free Local Authorities” are. About as useful and relevant as constipation is in the council chamber, limit’s the hot air emissions.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian

      In nuclear medicine imaging, radiopharmaceuticals are taken internally, for example, intravenously or orally. Then, external detectors (gamma cameras) capture and form images from the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals. This process is unlike a diagnostic X-ray, where external radiation is passed through the body to form an image.

      Did you happen to notice what word was missing there Ian?…The word “weapon”. Just what on earth are you talking about?

      Reply
  3. ian tinkler

    It is great to have NATS like Robin around. Such powerful arguments helped Cameron to power. Now we have Corbyn parroting the same old unilateral tripe. Whoop Whoop, who could ask for more, new old labour and SNP in bed together, I wonder what that Union will spawn, should be as daft as Robins arguments, sticks and hairy chests,. lol erm erm!!

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian

      It’s hardly my fault that you’d never heard the term “Tarred with the same stick”?

      Nor is it my fault that you’ve never heard the expression “Stick on hairy chest”?

      Therefore, as such, please read them through and it’ll save you embarrassing yourself in the future:

      Regards 🙂

      http://www.finedictionary.com/Be%20tarred%20with%20the%20same%20stick.html

      http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2009/feb/20/obituary-richard-crump

      Reply
      • ian tinkler

        Sorry Robbin, heard all this fatuous rubbish too often. Its enough that the SNP is anti trident and pro NATO. Funny stance NATO nuclear OK, UK nuclear bad. Fry em with NATO weapons, fine, use are own independent weapons, that’s wicked and immoral. Hypocritical load of hogwash. At least Corbyn is sincere Anti NATO and anti trident. Honest enough to hold a view irrespective of the popular vote, it takes sweet Nicola to prostitute herself for the popular vote. Pro NATO Nukes, anti Trident!!! lol.

  4. David Spence

    Whatabout Nuclear Power Stations?

    Arthur C. Clarke said ‘ The only way the human race is going to be able to sustain and expand its energy capacity without causing further pollution to the environment by fossil fuels is to go Nuclear.’. Alternative green energy options come no where near the demand, and would, in real terms, cause just as much damage to the environment as present fossil fuels.

    However, what has been completely forgotten about is other forms of pollution and the destruction of the natural habitat on a vast scale, and this is Agriculture. Agriculture causes more green houses gases than all the modes of transport put together, but it also has create the largest destruction of natural habitat than any other source (living space, industry etc etc) and yet nobody, not even the environmentalist organisations have even remotely mentioned this. Why ?

    At the moment, as far as I am aware, the vile Tories spend, roughly, 2% of the GDP on the armed forces, but are going to double the budget for Nuclear Weapons, and spend, an estimated, £110 Billion on renewing Trident. I would like to know the exact reasons why our present Nuclear Deterrent is not, want for a better description, upto the job?

    Reply
  5. Haydn Gear

    Without medical equipment derived from nuclear developments the fate of vast numbers of people would be seriously compromised in the event of various life threatening illnessess striking them. Ian Tinkler is perfectly correct in making his point on this issue.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Haydn

      With all due respect, this article wasn’t condemning nuclear developments to aid illness, it was referring to “Nuclear Weapons” specifically, the clue is in the title of the article:

      “Convener calls time on nuclear weapons”.

      Ian’s comments are a moot point.

      Reply
      • ian

        “Shetland Islands Council is also a member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities group”, WRobin , nine lines into the article, just under the picture. A bit too much for you to read that far, all those big words? erm erm lol

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian

        It would appear that you’ve no real idea what “Nuclear Free Local Authorities group” actually represent?…. While you’re pointlessly banging on about radiotherapy, [which isn’t the issue] they are talking about the effects of nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the impact that these matters have on local communities. Meanwhile please educate yourself before further comments:

        http://www.nuclearpolicy.info/about/index.php

  6. ian

    Germany 1930, bankrupt, part occupied poorest country in Europe, no credible armed forces. Germany 1942, most powerful armed forces on Earth, occupying nearly all Europe, insane, mass murdering dictator in charge, two years or less away from world’s first atomic weapons. Germany 1946, poorest country in Europe, no credible armed forces, fully occupied. Atomic weapons denied by commando forces (just), mostly Norwegian heroes. Now those anti-deterrence unilateralism sheep, just tell me, who we may or may not be threatening us in 15 years’ time, with a nuclear strike? At this time, we know one militarily expansionist regime with 3000 plus Hydrogen bombs within one hours bomber flying time and four minutes ICBM flying time of Glasgow, is actually now invading and occupying free Europe.. Also flying nuclear bombers just off our coastline quite regularly! I wonder why? Your thought Robin?

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian

      IF you’d like to talk about history let’s try this: Who has been the most aggressive country in history? …That’s right the Great British Empire, if anyone should never be allowed nuclear weapons it should be us, based on our historic record, perhaps every country that is now trying to develop their own weapons are in fear of us?
      Russian aircraft have been flying into UK airspace for decades Ian, there is nothing new, we have been doing exactly the same thing, this game of Cat and Mouse has been going on since the end of the cold war. Again, our MSM will pretend that this is some new revelation [which is nonsense]

      The difference between Putin and Cameron is, Putin used military force in order to try to keep Ukraine a part of Russia, whereas Cameron used a different form of fear in order to keep Scotland part of the UK, as we now know, neither will ultimately work.

      Reply
      • David Spence

        I would have to say Robert, the biggest threat to humanity is not Nuclear Weapons, but this of economic greed and necessity……….which could, possibly, trigger a Nuclear Conflict.

        The biggest culprit for causing war, conflict and murder on a massive scale, has been the Banking Systems, especially those in the US. It is quite simple, in essence, create conflict, create a war situation (sell arms and weapons (again, dependant on the Banks for loans to by the weapons)) make sure both or more countries infrastructures are destroyed (Iraq/Afghanistan) and then offer the puppet Government billions upon billions in loans to rebuild the country, whilst at the same time the US moving in its companies into the country as pastures new for keeping happy the irresponsible shareholders and alike t make even more profits.

        This has been the US Foreign Policy for the past 110 years, put simply.

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        The Ukraine was not part of Russia. It became part of the Soviet Republic but has not been so since 1991.
        In fact Russia, The UK and the U.S. All signed the Budapest Memorandum which was supposed to protect The Ukraine in return for giving up its nuclear weapons!

        I am actually shocked by your comments on this matter supporting Putin.

        Very poor, especially considering your stance on a countries right to be independent, unless it’s Shetland of course because that doesn’t suit you. Then who starts trying to spread the fear?

      • David Spence

        I would have to say Robert, the biggest threat to humanity is not Nuclear Weapons, but this of economic greed and necessity……….which could, possibly, trigger a Nuclear Conflict.

        The biggest culprit for causing war, conflict and murder on a massive scale, has been the Banking Systems, especially those in the US. It is quite simple, in essence, create conflict, create a war situation (sell arms and weapons (again, dependant on the Banks for loans to buy the weapons)) make sure both or more countries infrastructures are destroyed (Iraq/Afghanistan) and then offer the puppet Government they put in billions upon billions in loans to rebuild the country, whilst at the same time the US moving in its other companies (commercial interests) into the country as pastures new for keeping happy the irresponsible shareholders and alike to make even more profits.

        This has been the US Foreign Policy for the past 110 years, put simply.

      • David Spence

        Robin, I would say it is the United States which has had the biggest influence in modern times, and not for the better.

        If you look at the mindset of the American Government, their priority is based on, not the people, not science, not education, but this of commercial and economic interests of the few, but at the cost of many……….but not of their own citizens…….usually the citizens from other countries due to war and conflict which American has instigated, involved or been directly responsible for through lies of political propaganda, and this of what they perceive as ‘ the greater good ‘……..but only for themselves, and nobody else.

        As a consequence of advancements in technology, this has very much accelerated the need for a global monetary system, to which, in most cases, American Banks are in total control of. It is because of this need for greed, power and dominance which has, in their eyes, justified the shaping and execution of US Foreign Policy to strengthen and dominate many other countries in terms of economics.

        We are fed lies of doing the greater good, when in reality, it is all based on monetary wealth (Capitalism).

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gareth

        “Cossack republic [modern day Ukraine] emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland and the Russian Empire, and later submerged fully into Russia”.

        Perhaps you could point out where I said that I “Support Putin”? [which I certainly do not]

        I’d appreciate you spare us your faux outrage and disingenuous remarks to what has actually been said, and not for your misinterpretation of my comments Gareth.

        David

        I’d agree about America now being the biggest kid in the playground with the biggest stick in “Modern times”.

        You also said:

        “We are fed lies of doing the greater good, when in reality, it is all based on monetary wealth (Capitalism)”.

        Can’t disagree with any of that David, spot on.

      • ian tinkler

        Robin Stevenson, what an insult to the Scots “The difference between Putin and Cameron is, Putin used military force in order to try to keep Ukraine a part of Russia, whereas Cameron used a different form of fear in order to keep Scotland part of the UK” Cameron gave a democratic vote in a referendum to the Scots. You claim 55% of the Scottish people were so frightened by him they meekly followed his wishes? So much for “Scotland the Brave!” Robin Stevenson’s opinion, not mine!! Putin’s Russia, only after Ukraine had unilaterally disarmed its Soviet H bombs, invaded Ukraine, 50,000 dead at the last count. Robin do you think Putin would have invaded Ukraine if it still had those that Soviet weaponry?

      • Robin Stevenson

        Ian

        Another incoherent rant I see?…. What on earth makes you think that it’s “an insult to Scots”, to point out what the better together team, named themselves “Project Fear”? I did not claim [as you say] that 55% were cowered into voting No, what I DID say was that “Fear” played a major factor in the final result.

        Where do you get your figures from Ian? “50,000 dead at the last count”, huh!!, try 8,050 supplied by OCHA [United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] You’re only around 42,000 deaths out.

        You go on to ask “Robin do you think Putin would have invaded Ukraine if it still had those that Soviet weaponry?” Yes, why wouldn’t he? Did possessing nuclear weapons put off our 9/11 attacks on the US or our 7/7 attacks in the UK? Did it put off Argentina invading the Falkland Isles? OR does it terrify ISIS or Al Qaeda into submission? Let’s not forget that a large number of Ukrainians are pro-Russia and the ousted Ukraine’s President Yanukovych asked Putin for troops in the first place. So this “Russian invasion” you talk about was at the request of the former leader.

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,

        Ukraine, when the Russian annexing of Crimea occurred, was an independent country, a status it has held since 1991.
        The Ukrainian people have a separate identity to Russians.
        They have been invaded a few times by various people but nearly 78% of the population remain ethnically Ukrainian.
        Putins actions are in breech of Russia’s international obligations signed in the 1994 Budapest Memerandum which specifically protects the boarders and includes an explicit Russian guarantee of its territorial integrity.

        This has drawn much condemnation from the west including Russia’s suspension from the G8 and economic sanctions.

        Stating ‘Putin used military force in order to try to keep Ukraine a part of Russia’ is a very stupid thing to say in my opinion, it clearly lends support to Putin’s actions.

        As well as the tens of thousands of deaths that have occurred in the war, 298 people including 80 children died on Malaysia Airlines flight MH14.

        On this one you should apologise and move on instead of digging a bigger hole.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gareth

        No-one is disputing where we are today with the relationship between Russia and the Ukraine. I was merely pointing out that Ukraine was – in fact – a part of Russia, much to your protestations I’m afraid you’re quite wrong when you said: “The Ukraine was not part of Russia”. As a matter of historical fact, it was.

        Let’s not forget that there still remains a large percentage of Ukrainians who welcomed Putin and Russian intervention at the behest of Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych [the ousted Ukrainian former President] you also regard my opinion that ‘Putin used military force in order to try to keep Ukraine a part of Russia’ as “Stupid” and somehow [bizarrely]”it clearly lends support to Putin’s actions”?….Not really too sure how you manage to cook that up? But anyway, I’d be interested to hear your own views on Putins motives for his involvement? Was he just helping out an old pal then?

        Regardless of how you see it Gareth, I promise not to be as rude as to call you “Stupid”. [even if a disagree]

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        Thanks for setting me strait. Your statement about Ukraine, which you pasted word for word from Wikipedia, is correct, Russia has indeed invaded The Ukraine in the past between various attempts at Ukranian independence. I Stand corrected.
        Indeed some, if not many, of the the minority of ethnic Russian Ukranians (around 17% of the population) would support the Russian intervention that has cost many lives and breaches Russia’s international obligations and international law.
        I apologise for suggesting you position stupid, you are entitled to you own opinion.
        I will leave it to others to decide if your initial statement and the subsequent attempt to justify the military action appear to support the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.

        If you indeed do not support it would it not have been simpler for all of us to explain it was a bad example that you had put little thought into rather than going defensive and further attempt justify the conflict?

        If Scotland had become independent and was subsequently invaded by the UK using military force would you be so charitable about that?

      • Robin Stevenson

        A gracious response Gareth, thank you 🙂

        However, we seem to be at cross purposes here? You said:

        “If Scotland had become independent and was subsequently invaded by the UK using military force would you be so charitable about that”?

        I don’t for one minute defend or condone Putins intervention in the Ukraine, the point I was trying to make was the comparison of their goals between Putins military aggression in order [imo] to have sway in a former territory of Russia/USSR and Cameron using a different form of “fear” for keeping Scotland a part of the United Kingdom. [aggressive fear and passive fear] I don’t for a second believe that the rUK would resort to military force, but regardless of eithers tactics they both have a similar means to an end. Whether you agree or not, I really cannot see any other reason for Putins involvement other than to gain a foothold – and a bigger influence – in a once part of the USSR?
        Perhaps you see it differently? In which case I look forward to your response.

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        I think we will have to differ on this one.
        I am unable to accept that any political campaigning (even when you happen to disagree with it) is in some way worse than invading a country. Especially one that you have given explicit guarantees to respect its sovereignty.

        What explicitly did Cameron say or do that you feel was worse than what Putin has done in The Ukraine?

        To be fair the SNP campaigning based on what is now a clearly over optimistic oil price projection could be said to be somewhat overly rosy and deserved of some form of warning?

        If you are upset about campaigning around the non existent EU legal advice that the SNP lied about surely that is something we should know about?
        The currency question was a valid debate, there was no guarantee that Scotland would be able to or even want to keep the pound. It was an obvious point the SNP should have had prepared better for.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gareth

        I’m really not very sure where you get this idea that Cameron’s approach was somehow “Worse”? Who mentioned that? I’d imagine anyone with half a clue would realise that military aggression is FAR worse, but – as I’m sure you know – that’s not what I said. Which leads me to believe that my comments -for whatever reason – seem lost on you.

        The price of a barrel of oil is a UK problem and would have remained a UK problem right up until independence, we’ll see where it stands in the next few years? It always amazes me people that take a snapshot of Scotland’s economic viability based on one year or the other, I often wonder why they don’t look at the last say, 30/40 years? Simply because it defeats their argument I presume?

        The currency issue does indeed need to be sorted, especially when EVERY economist on the planet eventually admitted that a shared currency would have been not only beneficial for Scotland but would have been economic suicide for England to reject it.

        The only people that lied over the EU issue was, was the press, who deliberately misconstrued Alex Salmond’s words.

    • ROBERT SIM

      Ian, you ask: “who may or may not be threatening us in 15 years’ time, with a nuclear strike?”. Who knows? But back in the reality of the present, any threat domestically certainly isn’t from a nuclear strike but, from what we are told and can see, from individual acts of terror carried out within the UK. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is no longer the Cold-War era and Trident is thus a huge irrelevance. Hypothetical scenarios don’t convince.

      Reply
      • ian tinkler

        Robert Sim, one of your sillier claims! You state, “The reality of the present, any threat domestically certainly isn’t from a nuclear strike”. Robert have you absolutely no idea why Russia flies nuclear bombers off our coastline? A game of cat and mouse, says Robin Stevenson (SNP mouthpiece). Now, I ask you what usually happens to the mouse when caught helpless, in such a game. What happened to Ukraine when it unilaterally disarmed its Soviet nukes? Invaded by Putin, 50,000 dead at the last count. Regarding terrorists, no one denies we have a terrorist threat, but that threat does not diminish nuclear and other threats to us, in any way whatsoever. Your comment is no more than a foolish CND type digression, irrelevant as it is stupid. Would 7, 7, and 9, 11 somehow not have happened if we were not nuclear weapons armed?

      • ROBERT SIM

        No doubt you’ll be able to tell me the probability of the UK being involved in a war with Russia, Ian, and in particular the probability of any such conflict going nuclear. One has to weigh that up before deciding whether renewing Trident is a good idea or not. I think the probability of the former is low and the further probability of the latter even lower.

        Comparisons with Ukraine don’t make sense: we are not a country which borders Russia and which was previously part of the USSR. Unfortunately, real life isn’t simplistically black-and-white: you have to take the actual situation into account when making your assessment.

  7. David Spence

    When does a Nuclear Deterrent not become a deterrent?

    The devastation caused by the Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, certainly brought to the worlds attention the capability of such weapons. However, would one person (the PM) have the will power to ‘ press the button ‘ knowing they may be killing thousands of people within a few seconds of the Nuclear Bomb detonating?

    I think it is this which is the deterrent, obviously so people may say. However, it does beg the question why billions upon billions is spent on such devices when in reality, it is unlikely they will ever used. As one politician said ‘ It is the very, very last resort once all other possibilities are exhausted. ‘.

    As for the Cuban Crisis, what the history books fail to mention is the whole situation was started by America, by wanting to place Nuclear Missile Silos in Northern Turkey…………so…….Khrushchev’s answer was to threaten to place Nuclear Weapons on Cuba…………….but as said…………..this is not mentioned in the history books, overall.

    The crisis in Syria/Iraq, and the rise of ISIS, another example of where Western (US mainly) military objectives (the selling of arms and weapons) has taken priority over human lives.

    Reply
  8. Haydn Gear

    Quite right Robin. I concede the point as regards nuclear weaponry. Having inadvertently drifted away from the initial headline, I became enmeshed in the developments made and continuing to be made in the medical treatments of illnesses once totally untreatable. Naughty step for me it seems !!!!

    Reply
    • David Spence

      Haydn, if possible, what is your opinion on using genetic information to identify and possibly eradicate ‘ rogue cells – cancer ‘ using methods of dna or rna analysis/identity as a means of detecting cancer cells, and designing appropriate viruses to destroy such cells?

      Do you think this is a better solution than conventional methods of using radiation or similar treatments to destroy cancerous tissue?

      The process of using genetic’s as a means to identify and eradicate cancer cells within the body by designing viruses to detect and destroy cancer cells?

      Reply
  9. Haydn Gear

    David , Allowing for the fact that tests and opinions vary, this is my view. Ribonucliec acid is a polymeric molecule used in many biological processes of coding, decoding (and more) of genes.Both RNA and DNA are nucleic acids. In combination with proteins and carbs they form the 3 major macromolecules which support all known life forms. Should an RNA chain be broken (a single strand) or attacked for unknown or undetectable reasons,determining a preferred course of treatment becomes difficult to determine. I think that a non invasive virus treatment would be preferable thus avoiding unwelcome and potentially damaging effects of radiation. Reliable gene therapy would seem to be likely to be more effective in the long term. That said,highly improved pin point identification of tumours has been improved of late. It’s possible that there may be a need to use both approaches in tandem. Time and testing will tell.

    Reply
    • ian tinkler

      There are at present literally tens of thousands of cell mutations that can give rise to tumors (cancer), sadly any given tumor has massive numbers of dividing cells, dividing randomly at great frequency with multitudes of random mutations within that tumor. That is the very nature of cancer, very, very rarely will one drug or treatment catch all. That is why cocktails of Chemo (cytotoxic drugs) are used, often with great effect for a time. Then a cell mutation starts a whole new mass growing. Very often a new treatment is then successful, for example, gamma radiation or targeted isotopes (radio iodine) for example. No magic bullet or wonder virus (man made) alone can be the answer, multiple therapies and immune system boosts will always be necessary. Fortunately this battle is being won, it is by no means over but it is highly unlikely radio thereby will ever stop being a weapon against this disease. Nuclear s a very sharp two edged sword and sadly and happily will always be so.

      Reply
  10. ian tinkler

    Robin Stevenson, you claim, 55% of Scots to timid to vote, Yes” what an insult to “Brave Scotland”,!!! “Project fear”, how very childish. Do you really think the majority of Scotland are so foolish and gullible? I think the 55% / 45% gives your answer to that. With regard to your references to 9/11, 7/11 and the Falklands invasion, the clue is in the name, “nuclear deterrent”. It is a deterrent against nuclear attack and nuclear blackmail, no more, no less. As a matter of fact, it has worked for well for 50 years. Even Nicola and Alex, by wishing to join Indy Scotland to nuclear NATO seem to recognize that! Joining NATO effectively opens ever military port, and airport in Scotland to NATO nuclear deployments. Nice on SNP! Now with regards to Ukraine deaths, you are just a bit out of date. German intelligence reports, stripped of propaganda ( both sides claiming very low losses) indicate the toll at over 50,000.
    https://www.rt.com/news/230363-ukraine-real-losses-german-intelligence/
    http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/02/08/3243

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian

      Scroll up and read what I wrote and stop talking nonsense, IF you’re still struggling, why not just stop a stranger in the street and ask them to explain/ A 5 year old would do.

      Both your links are from the same German source, a news source, I think I’ll just stick with the report from the very people that are on the ground and not hearsay thanks. It’s not that I don’t trust the MSM but I don’t. Perhaps you could e-mail the OCHA and tell them how wrong they are?

      Reply
      • ian tinkler

        Robin Stevenson, you seem to be going a bit off point here.. Putin has invaded Ukraine , thousand dead, whatever the exact number, you appear to say 5000 and the odd civil airliner is OK? I forgot, just how Salmond praised Putin and admired him for flaming Russian Nationalism, even after Russian troops invaded Ukraine. No doubt you feel the same, very sad for you both. Never mind, Ukraine is a long way away. Let’s all stick are heads in the sand and try a bit of appeasement, disarm first, then lie flat on are backs with are feet in the air!!! As for nuclear deterrence, if it deters nuclear aggression from, Putin, North Korea or any other direction for the next 50 years or so, it is worth every penny. The alternative is too horrible for the imagination, whatever, the SNP, yourself and our posturing , wholly irrelevant, Island Council convener ,Mr. Bell may say..

  11. ian tinkler

    Robert, you state, “Comparisons with Ukraine don’t make sense: we are not a country which borders Russia and which was previously part of the USSR. Unfortunately, real life isn’t simplistically black-and-white: you have to take the actual situation into account when making your assessment.” How very true Robert Sim. Now Robert, try this, 1938, “Comparisons with Memelland, Sudetenland, and the Anschluss don’t make sense: we are not a country which borders Nazi Germany and which was previously part of the Greater Germany/ Prussia. Unfortunately, real life isn’t simplistically black-and-white, however history does serve to teach: Putin is following Hitler in so many ways, do you not think Robert. Never mind, Ukraine is a long way away. Let’s all stick are heads in the sand and try a bit of appeasement, disarm first, then lie flat on are backs with are feet in the air and wait for it!!! As for the cost of Trident, if it deters nuclear aggression for another fifty years, worth every penny. The disposable alternative is beyond imagination.

    Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      I see you have chosen to reply to the second paragraph of my comment, Ian, and conveniently ignored the first. I’ll repeat the key part for you: “No doubt you’ll be able to tell me the probability of the UK being involved in a war with Russia, Ian, and in particular the probability of any such conflict going nuclear. One has to weigh that up before deciding whether renewing Trident is a good idea or not. I think the probability of the former is low and the further probability of the latter even lower”. Do you disagree?

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Robert, you ask, “No doubt you’ll be able to tell me the probability of the UK being involved in a war with Russia, Ian, and in particular the probability of any such conflict going nuclear.” Well Robert, with Russian fighter aircraft regularly overflying NATO airspace and lighting up NATO aircraft with attack radars (Turkey, yesterday) a NATO confrontation of sorts with Russia is sadly not unlikely. If Putin continues to allow his fighters to behave so, a conventional response is inevitable. The likely hood of nuclear conflict, fortunately is very small, as long as we have a nuclear deterrent. (MAD). Without a deterrent, nothing would stop Putin trying to restore the former borders of the Soviet empire, he is on record as lamenting there loss to Mother Russia and his actions speak for themselves.

  12. David Spence

    I find it rather disturbing that we (the politicians in the west (especially the USA)) are complaining about Putin, fighting in the Ukraine, but completely forget the USA has illegally invaded 2 countries, and we say nothing about this.

    Oh, I forgot, the USA was installing a democracy into Iraq (which the USA supported Saddam Hussein since 1979) and Afghanistan, so it is all right………….there has been no breaches on any International laws/terrorism, call it what you want.

    Before we start debating the rights and wrongs of some other leader the USA does not like, why don’t we talk about the present situation the USA, UK have caused in the countries that were illegally invaded, and the aftermath of that.

    Reply
    • Gareth Fair

      David,
      If you can actually find anyone who supports our political policy in the Middle East I’m sure we could have a debate about that.
      It still doesn’t make the situation in Crimea right.

      Reply
      • David Spence

        Well Gareth, the only connection I can see between the Middle East, USA and the UK, is ‘ The Balfour Declaration ‘, which was proposed after the WWI. However, it was not implemented until 1947.

        As far as I am aware, Palestine was under British occupancy since 1882 until 1947. However, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild, were in talk regarding the proposed creation of a Zionist State in Palestine.

        I believe, although I cannot prove it, this was the only condition, in essence, which was agreed upon by the USA and the UK, in return for the USA to help the UK, in WWII. In saying this, this also involved the deployment of USA Air Force basis to be established on British soil.

        Literally overnight, 68% of Palestine became Israel. It was not for the sake of the USA wishing to create a homeland for the Jews, but moreover, for the USA to have a political, strategic, economic and military presence in this region because the discovery of oil in Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

      • Gareth Fair

        Apart from invading Iraq and what is happening in Syria?

  13. David Spence

    Some people may say ‘ it was the west who created the situation in Syria ‘ as a consequence of supplying the resistance to the Assad Regime, with guns and other forms of weaponry. This may have given ISIS the confidence to force its way in which to rule Syria, but also expand to other regions like Iraq.

    In saying this, this has gone much further than just apportioning blame on who supplied who with arms. The ideology of ISIS is brutal in the extreme, but has also created fear amongst the thousands of people fleeing Syria and northern Iraq from being under the control and rule of ISIS.

    ISIS, to a degree, remind me of Genghis Khan, and the military tactics he used to put fear into people, and then to get those people to send a message to the next city as a means of either clearing the city or to vastly reduce any resistance the city could create before he moved onto taking the city.

    I know I am deviating from the said subject……….but it was just an observation on how ISIS are expanding.

    Reply
  14. David Spence

    Well Gareth, what is happening in Syria is obvious. The people are leaving the country in their thousands due to the brutality of ISIS, and the ideology it is enforcing upon the people. I think the situation in Syria, is going to take years to be resolved, if at all.

    There is no clear easy answer to the situation apart from eradicating or vastly weakening the capability of ISIS. Whether this is done by war or political dialogue between the West and Russia, in regards to how this is resolved is still a very complex and difficult situation politically. Basically, it boils down to economics, and the Arms Industry, and how this has been allowed to escalate to the present situation. Whether resolving it by providing more arms to either fighting faction is not, I think, the way to go around it. How do you control the monster you have created from creating further destruction and misery? There is faults on both sides in the creation of the present war and the humanitarian crisis caused as a consequence.

    Reply

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