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14.3.07

Blown away...

The government has won Commons support for plans to renew the UK's nuclear submarine system, despite a large rebellion by Labour MPs. I'm not sure how I feel about this as an Old Leftie.
Tony Blair had said it was "essential" the UK began the £20bn plan to renew Trident as soon as possible. After six hours of debate, 409 MPs supported the proposals, and 161 were against - a majority of 248 and 413 MPs had rejected a bid to delay the decision, with 95 Labour rebels among 167 MPs wanting a delay.
As a child of the Sixties I grew up with the Bomb at the back of my mind all the time - and like many born then used to have nightmares about it. I joined CND, got the T-shirt and the badges, did the marches, even went to Greenham Common. And then the Berlin Wall fell... So we can all relax. Yes? No.
Does the UK need Trident? I don't think so but the world is so f*cked up you do wonder whether we need a reply to North Korea (given up on WMDs) and Iran (trying to develop an industrial Uranium refinery)or any other nutty nation (the US?) but it all seems like a bit of Mexican Standoff - and that's f*cked too.
According to the BBC between £15bn and £20bn would be spent on new submarines to carry the Trident missiles and the fleet would take 17 years to develop and build, and would then last until about 2050 by which time my son will have to figure it out.
In fact I think the current generation is more conservative than mine - despite all the media hype about teenager degenerates - and might welcome the UK Government's stance. Shit! I've not spoken to my son Frank about this yet... so who knows?
Defence minister Adam Ingram, speaking after the vote, said he had heard some "disgraceful" speeches from Labour rebels, but it had been a "strong and healthy" debate.
Thank God for rebels I say. Altogether now:

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Birmingham.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Bet that takes you back - I sang this in a band back in the late 70s.

1 comment:

Nicola said...

I was just singing this song yesterday. What a coincidence that I should read the words here on your blog the very next day.
Sung by Country Joe McDonald at Woodstock, I believe. Replacing 'Birmingham' with 'Viet Nam', of course. :)