Friday, 24 September 2010

Trident-reasons to be gruntled

 Blogging as The Disgruntled Radical David Grace records the success of the motion on Trident at Lib Dem Conference last week.He has every reason to be more gruntled than usual. The party wanted to debate the issue and if a way had been found within the rules for Emergency Motions to decide that Trident should be scrapped, I am confident the party would have backed it no matter what the platform thought. (I notice that a poll in the summer suggested that 60% of the population was of that opinion also.) Mind you getting the motion on to the order paper was no mean achievement-there was a lot of establishment lobbying going on. Interesting the motion targeted as the one to promote instead of Trident was on one on Tibet. It should be stressed that the movers were unaware they had been so honoured.

David explains the aftermath:

As I suspect you all know by now the Liberal Democrat Conference on Wednesday passed unanimously the emergency motion calling for Trident to be included in the Strategic Security and Defence Review. For a few more days, you can find the debate on BBC I-player

I know that demanding that Trident should be in the SSDR is only a step, but conference demanded it unanimously and the Tories and the public can be in no doubt about where Liberals stand now. Whether or not Nick Harvey succeeds in delaying the Main Gate decision until after the next General Election, the pressure is now on the Labour Party. So far their defence spokesman Bob Ainsworth continues not only to look like a relic of the cold war but to sound like one as well. If, as Nick suggests, the Labour Party fails to support the Tories over Trident during this parliament, we will have placed a freeze on Tony Blair's premature decision to replace Trident and with luck be able to kill it off at the next election.

One great help was the speech by Shirley Williams. She gave multilateralism a good name. Too often in the past it has been a position adopted by those who wish to frustrate disarmament.  Shirley's passionate advocacy of a policy that was designed to achieve disarmament was cheered by the delegates.

Photo Shirley and David Grace before the debate

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