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Rebel Labour MPs will meet tomorrow to coordinate their fight against his plans, which seem set to provoke one of the biggest shows of opposition to Mr Blair from inside his own party since the start of the Iraq war.
Opposition to an updated version of Trident goes far beyond MPs who object to nuclear weapons on principle. It includes senior figures in the military, who question whether this is the best way to spend a tight military budget.
A senior defence department source told The Independent that there was "a serious debate" going on "at all levels" over the long-term role of the armed forces and whether a nuclear deterrent was still needed. The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, is believed to have privately queried the huge cost.
Three Labour MPs - Gordon Prentice, Paul Flynn and John Austin - have drawn up a resolution questioning the cost of Trident, and have demanded a vote on it at one of the meetings which Labour MPs hold every Monday. Mr Flynn, a member of the Defence Committee of the Western European Union, said: "We haven't got any enemies that we could possibly want to aim nuclear weapons at now. The case that John Reid has given for these weapons is that we might possibly have the right sort of enemy in 15 years time, which doesn't seem like a good reason for spending billions of pounds. Our future role is going to be as peacekeepers, in which we perform better than anyone else.'"
Originally posted by The_Modulus
I read about this in the paper today, it is deeply disturbing.
It raises a number of issues as to why Blair is going abouts this NOW? The western world is trying to get Iran disarmed (if they are armed) and now Blair wants to build some new-and-improved WMD's?? Is he trying to provoke Iran? Is he trying to scare Iran? Perhaps he knows that a war is immenant and is taking to arms.
I think there is a lot more to be read into this beyond simply the replenishing of waining supplies...
I figure it's about time the MOD upgraded it's Tridents, out here in the states I get the feeling it's time we start upgrading our missiles too. It's not like we can exactly count on FedEx to deliver these warheads to their targets.
- If an adversary intended to use WMD against the U.S. multinational or allied forces or a civilian population;
- In cases of an imminent attack from an adversary's biological weapons that only effects from nuclear weapons can safely destroy;
- Against adversary installations, including WMD; deep, hardened bunkers containing chemical or biological weapons; or the command-and-control infrastructure required for the adversary to execute a WMD attack against the U.S. or its friends and allies; and
- In cases where a demonstration of U.S. intent and capability to use nuclear weapons would deter WMD use by an adversary.
Originally posted by fritz
The puppet Blair had better watch out, because according to Rumsfeld and Cheney (a creditable double-act[?]), we will be developing WMDs and, as such, we are a viable target.
Could this mean that the special relationship is not so special after all. Is Toenail Blair simply a prawn in a very big pond and out of his depth.
Many people do not know this, but we supported Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, with the US so obviously supporting Iraq.
Are we about to put our neck on the chopping block?
Originally posted by Souljah
It's about Keeping up with the Americans!
Not that I advocate war with the US (or even think it is ever likely)...
We haven't been invaded successfully in over 1000 yrs. Not even the Nazi war machine could do it. I have every confidence we would repel any such attempt at regime change. We just not that an invadeable island.
posted by Wembley
Tell that to William the Conqueror!
He didn't do badly 940 years ago...
posted by Westpoint23
So... tempting, so, so, tempting
Bah! Someone had to nit pick....940 years, 1000 years....honestly....
Swein and Cnut 1013
Image from the Danelaw period In 1013, King Swein of Denmark (with his son Cnut) sailed up the rivers Humber and Trent to be accepted as king in the Danelaw. By Christmas, all England submitted to Swein, and King Ethelred had fled to Normandy. In 1014, Cnut became the leader of the Danes on his father's death. Ethelred returned to England, but was so ill that his son Edmund Ironside had to assume responsibility for defence of the country against Cnut.
At a truce after Ethelred's death, Edmund and Cnut agreed to divide the kingdom between them, but Edmund died shortly after, and Cnut became king of the whole country (marrying Ethelred's widow). The brief reigns of his two successors were undistinguished, and in 1042, Ethelred's son, Edward, was invited to return from Normandy as king, despite other claimants to the throne existing.
Edward the 'Confessor' 1042
King Harold, final Anglo-Saxon king of England The new English King, known as 'the Confessor' - one who suffered for his faith - is often portrayed as a weak ruler. Yet he kept his kingdom intact during his troubled rule and reconciled the English and Danish elements in the aristocracy. He also introduced regular cultural and political contact with the continent, particularly with Normandy and the Papacy. The English court underwent a certain amount of Normanisation during this period, due to the introduction of Norman favourites and the influence of Edward's prolonged exile in Normandy.
Edward's reign was dogged by the ambitions of his father-in-law, Earl Godwin of Wessex. The Earl and his family played a significant role in defending the realm and in pacifying the Welsh border but in 1051 their quarrels with Edward's authority led to the exile of the whole family. They returned the following year and in 1053 Godwin's son, Harold, acceded to the earldom of Wessex to become the second most powerful man after the king.
On Edward's death, a power-struggle ensued between Harold Godwinson (brother-in-law of Edward and nominated by the members of the Witan council to be his successor), King Harald of Norway (supported by Harold Godwinson's brother, Tostig), and Edward's young kinsman, Duke William of Normandy. Harold Godwinson became the last Anglo-Saxon King in 1066 but his reign was cut short by the Norman invasion led by Duke William and he was killed at the battle of Hastings.