Theresa Mays WMD willy waving droop spectacular
THE office of Prime Minister Theresa May has admitted finally that she was informed about the Trident missile test at the centre of cover-up allegations prior to addressing MPs on the matter.
It’s hard to see how she thought she could brazen it out after refusing four times in quick succession to answer a direct question from Andrew Marr on Sunday.
Her stubborn stonewalling served only to confirm in everyone’s mind that she had definitely been told and that failure to admit this was evidence of a cover-up.
Even now, the official line is that no-one is allowed to know whether a Trident-launched D5 missile veered off course after being launched off the coast of Florida last June.
Logic dictates that this did indeed happen, otherwise the Ministry of Defence would have denied any suggestion of a malfunction.
Defence industry insiders and politicians have lined up since then to declare that tests are held to seek out faults and correct them, which seems quite reasonable.
The major problem with it, however, is that, if the missile had been armed and international relations deteriorated to the extent that the PM was prepared to order Trident missile launches, at least one device would have obliterated Florida rather than delivering its payload wherever she had intended.
Apologetic phone calls to Trump Tower in the wake of a cock-up of that enormity would be unlikely to smooth ruffled feathers or bring back millions of dead US citizens.
Some pro-Trident commentators suggest that demanding information on a weapons system that we all pay for is out of order.
They claim silence is necessary to keep our “enemies” in the dark about how effective Trident is.
But our government has already had to inform other states — not least the US — over what was taking place in the region.
The idea that other nuclear-armed powers designated as our enemies would have been unaware of what happened is beyond risible.
The only people kept in the dark are taxpayers in Britain who fund this grotesquely expensive white elephant.
While the NHS, social care, council housing, infrastructure projects and industrial modernisation cry out for serious investment, our politicians across Parliament prefer to throw good money after bad to maintain an outdated pretence that possessing weapons of mass destruction is essential to be seen as a genuine leading world power.
Tell that to Germany, Japan or any other advanced country mature enough to have moved beyond WMD willy-waving.
Justifying the commitment of tens of billions of pounds — adding up to £205bn — to maintain the pretence of an independent nuclear deterrent depends on two basic falsehoods.
One is that Trident keeps Britain safe from invasion or nuclear blackmail and the other is that it provides employment.
Aside from the reality that there is no power seeking to invade or destroy our country, even were that the case, no British government could launch its nuclear missiles without a White House OK.
And if there was someone deranged enough as US president to authorise a global nuclear exchange, we could all kiss our backsides goodbye in such a scenario.
The myth of Trident guaranteeing defence employment was exposed recently by the Jimmy Reid Foundation, which revealed that just 600 civilian jobs are directly linked.
Its successor programme will safeguard 11,520 jobs, which works out at nearly £18 million a job.
Far better to devote that wasted investment in supporting jobs sacrificed on the austerity altar and to drop the obsession with global posturing.
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