Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Is that a Trident in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?*

Every year, the block of SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green MPs get one day to set the agenda for the Westminster Parliament. Today was that day, and they chose to table the motion calling for the non-renewal of Trident -- a position I wholeheartedly support. Quite apart from its very existence being an obscenity, it is utterly ludicrous to contemplate pouring upwards of £100 billion into replacing a weapons system that, by its very nature, can never be used, when public services are being cut left, right and centre, a new food bank is popping up seemingly every time you blink, and public spending has been reduced to pre-war levels. To add insult to injury, these weapons are housed mere miles from Scotland's most populous city. My city. Oh well, at least if something were to go wrong, I'd probably be killed instantly.

The picture above shows how many MPs could be arsed to show up to the debate.

Labour's official line was that it was abstaining from what it called a "meaningless" debate. In reality, this was simply an act to save face, allowing them to avoid having their party's pro-Trident policy subjected to scrutiny, thereby dodging the issue in typical Red Tory fashion. Of course, that didn't stop them and the original Tories -- the blue ones -- from showing up in large numbers for the actual vote, ensuring that it was resoundingly defeated by 364 to 35.

A handful of Labour MPs, on both sides of the argument, did bother to turn up to the debate. In addition to the ever-reliable Dennis Skinner (the only MP who appears to treat his job as an actual job and turns up to work every day), Joan Ruddock, MP for Lewisham Deptford, gave a particularly impressive speech (viewable in two parts here and here). All in all, though, it was an utterly dismal showing, committing the UK to spending a fortune on a new generation of weapons of mass slaughter (and that is exactly what they are, designed to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible -- any "destruction" that occurs is merely a by-product) when families are struggling to put food on the table.

If you can stomach it, you can read the full transcript of the debate here, along with the Hall of Fame (those who voted for the motion) and Hall of Shame (those who voted against). In the interests of brevity, I'll simply record the names and constituencies of all Scottish MPs who bothered to turn up:

Katy Clark (Lab) - North Ayrshire and Arran
Michael Connarty (Lab) - Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Mike Crockart (Lib Dem) - Edinburgh West
Ian Davidson (Lab) - Glasgow South West
Stewart Hosie (SNP) - Dundee East
Mark Lazarowicz (Lab) - Edinburgh North and Leith
Angus MacNeil (SNP) - Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Fiona O'Donnell (Lab) - East Lothian
Sandra Osborne (Lab) - Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
Angus Robertson (SNP) - Moray
Mike Weir (SNP) - Angus
Eilidh Whiteford (SNP) - Banff and Buchan
Pete Wishart (SNP) - Perth and North Perthshire

Willie Bain (Lab) - Glasgow North East
Russell Brown (Lab) - Dumfries and Galloway
Margaret Curran (Lab) - Glasgow East
Thomas Docherty (Lab) - Dunfermline and West Fife
Brian Donohoe (Lab) - Central Ayrshire
Gemma Doyle (Lab) - West Dunbartonshire
Michael McCann (Lab) - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
Gregg McClymont (Lab) - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East
Anne McGuire (Lab) - Stirling
Iain McKenzie (Lab) - Inverclyde
David Mundell (Con) - Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Pamela Nash (Lab) - Airdrie and Shotts
Alan Reid (Lib Dem) - Argyll and Bute
Jim Sheridan (Lab) - Paisley and Renfrewshire North

I hope the electorate remember how their elected representatives voted when 7th May comes around.

* Because ultimately, it really is nothing more than a penile extension, right?


  1. Teeth grindingly offensive isn't it?

    1. You're not kidding. How is it that, in a party once pretty much wedded to the idea of unilateral disarmament, those opposing Trident's renewal are now a tiny handful of rebels?