I don’t have an opinion on the renewal of Trident, which makes this a rather boring basis for an article. Might as well stop reading. No real point even writing anything. But while I keep trying to wrap my head around exactly what sort of prime minister Theresa May actually wants to be, given that her speech on assuming the throne (so to speak) sounded like it came from Ed Miliband’s mouth rather than her of all people, this is the big news – Trident’s replacement is up for a vote, and it will probably win.
And in all honesty, I don’t care. My position on it is simple – Trident will probably never be used, its cost is steep but ultimately (when amortised over its useful lifespan) a drop in the bucket of stale piss that is government expenditure, it is something somewhat needed out of geopolitical necessity and, most importantly, getting rid of it is politically impossible. While it hasn’t noticeably deterred anything we’ve also got no real evidence that it hasn’t deterred anything, because if it had deterred something then we would never know (Trident not deterring something of consequence being something evidenced by explosions, mushroom clouds and people melting.) We, as a country, piss away money on other ridiculous bullshit that doesn’t achieve anything meaningful but that also doesn’t have any societal benefit at all (e.g. obscene tax cuts for corporations, as pushed through repeatedly by our Eldritch abomination ex-chancellor), whereas Trident at least keeps some sailors and dockyard workers employed. All that said, I’d love to live in a world where nobody had nuclear weapons, and I’d love to be in a UK where we don’t have nuclear weapons, but that world is one that does not and probably will never exist and so is that UK.
I thus, ultimately, couldn’t give a sun-blushed shit whether we keep Trident or not because we are never going to unilaterally disarm in any event as it is political suicide (as Jeremy Corbyn has discovered) and so talking about it is pointless. We may as well talk about the possibility of dressing up sheep as ice cream men and having them dispense Flake 99’s made of ambrosia from vans that have been knitted together from unicorn pubes. And I say this as a former paid-up member of CND.
There is one tiny caveat to that. While Trident’s cost is indeed a drop in the ocean, that does not mean it is not a substantial amount of money. That substantial amount of money is something that the Government has, for the last six years, relentlessly hammered home that it does not have, which is why public sector provision must be slashed, benefits for the disabled pointlessly rejigged and cut and JSA claimants made to feel sub-human in order to try and save their pissy £72 a week. I have no particular opposition to renewing Trident at its lifetime cost of over £200billion, so long as the Government also does not try and tell me on the other hand that it can’t spare any money for other things. Spending a shitload of money on weapons that by definition should never be used if they work at their intended purpose while also going to great lengths to stop someone claiming £72 a week for food and essentials while they’re in between jobs solely in order to “save money” does not strike me as a particularly consistent position.
As mentioned, I don’t know what sort of government Theresa May is going to run; if we take her maiden speech at face value it indicates she will probably be more centrist than Cameron was, which is welcome – we may see a retraction of some of the cold-hearted bullshit that has happened. Whether we should actually take a Tory prime minister who was balls deep in Cameron’s government at face value when she nicks the language of Milibandism is another matter; but I suspect I’ll probably be more comfortable ignoring Trident under her government (with the above caveat) than I would under Cameron and Osborne.
And now back to not thinking about it.