The two most popular petitions on the new “petition the Prime Minister” website are to reverse the fox hunting ban, and not to replace Trident. Right now, the anti-fox lobby has four times as much support as the anti-nuke lobby, but one thousand people signed the anti-Trident petition in the first 24 hours, so this is going to change.
I put up the anti-Trident petition, and it is based on the ideas we’ve explored in this blog. I don’t agree with the argument that Trident should be abandoned because the money will better be used for development: this is a side track. And I reject arguments that it should be got rid of because it is secretly being controlled by the US: even if this was true (and I don’t think it is), it would be at best irrelevant. I am not even sure about arguments that Trident should be got rid of because it is immoral: it is arguable that Trident is just a tool, and that a tool has no intrinsic moral properties; for another, it seems possible that the moral course of action can lead to a situation which is worse for all. Might it be that by rejecting Trident the UK would sacrifice actual security for the sake of the moral high ground? Actually, I don’t think this is the case – but the UK would have to do more than just get rid of Trident: we would have to get rid of it, and then proselytise widely for a nuclear weapons-free world.
Ultimately, I think that by getting rid of Trident we will make the world a safer place. For the world does not see the UK the way we see ourselves. On the whole, UK citizens think the UK is essentially responsible, moral and pursuing the greater good. Others look at our weapons, our support for the Iraq war, our luxury and over-development, and think otherwise; some arm themselves in fear of us. In fact, looks like a new nuclear arms race has begun.
I want the UK to live up to the ideals that I have of it. I think that we are responsible and moral and I do basically have faith in the way our democracy works – bruised faith, right enough, but still there. I think we can prove this to the world: we can get rid of Trident, and then – as smug as we like – become world ambassadors for the non-proliferation treaty.
If you agree, please sign the petition!
And if you don’t agree, go ahead and sign the counter petition!