100 billion pounds.
As soon as Nicola Sturgeon announced the price of renewing trident, the crowd at George Square booed and shouted as loud as they possibly could. The first minister, also called the most dangerous woman in Britain, was amongst a group of guests to attend the anti trident demonstration on Saturday (April 4th) organised by Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, acting as a prelude to the climax: a blockade of Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde next Monday.
Some of you might be totally unaware as to what trident is. According to Wikipedia, Trident is “an operational system of four Vanguard-class submarines armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles, able to deliver thermonuclear warheads from Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles.” So to put it briefly, it’s a set of nuclear weapons that will destroy anything unlucky enough to get in its way.
It’s no wonder there’s such an outcry to get rid of these barbaric weapons. Thousands of demonstrators attended, with police estimating around 2,500, CND Scotland saying that it was closer to the 4,000 mark. The event was definitely suited to George Square, a location that was exceptionally special during the referendum.
One reason I think most people, including myself, went to this event to oppose trident is because of the ridiculous price of it all. Parliament is set to waste £100 billion on renewing trident, a price that Sturgeon stated “broken down, that’ll be around £3bn a year, peaking at an eye-watering £4bn in the 2020’s.” How on earth can Westminster justify spending this much on weapons of mass destruction while they slash welfare?
On my way to the event alone I saw 5 homeless people having to beg for money and just a few miles down the road, Maryhill Foodbank was handing out food to those who are too strapped for cash to afford it. Having been to a food bank multiple times to donate food myself, I know how disheartening the atmosphere at these banks can be for those asking for food but Scotland is lucky to have some of the most selfless and caring folk. Nearly a million folk rely on the hard work of these food banks just to survive yet David Cameron will tell us over the next few weeks that Britain is on a road to recovery. Bullshit.
Patrick Harvie, leader of the Scottish Greens, urged everyone at the event to take the message out day after day, to friends, to family, your colleagues, your neighbours and that’s what I will do to try and finish of this post. It’s totally unjustifiable to spend billions on weapons of mass destruction and I’m sure if I asked that to anyone they’d agree. Why should we fund these weapons, solely made to kill and destroy? Say we actually have to launch Trident. Not only would it be illegal but the target would not only be killed in the most horrible way imaginable but it would never be the same. Hideous radiation causing generations worth of suffering. In the 21st century, nuclear weapons should be a thing of the past. In 2007 MPs voted to keep trident and in 2019 there will be a debate on whether or not to replace it. Who do you want to be in Westminster to oppose these horrible inventions? The Tories won’t do it. Neither will Labour, Lib Dems or UKIP. The only two parties who have shown their opposition are SNP and Greens. If you want rid of trident then you know what to do.