21 March 2014

Trident Should Not Be Renewed - Time to Lean on Labour's Leadership

It was very nearly the NW Politics Show that wasn’t. Due to a technical error the whole of the North West region got the London region version on Sunday (much to the disappointment of some of my students this week) but it has finally made its way onto Iplayer here.

I was on with Debbie Abrahams (Labour) and Jake Berry (Conservatives). The Liberal Democrats got a comment on the package piece which came from Gordon Birtwistle, where he confirmed his support for a renewed, albeit slimmed down, nuclear deterrent.

Apart from a historical digression about what I thought policy should have been in the Cold War (I was a teenager back then), which ended when I said that I was in full agreement with Tony Benn’s principled position from that time, I was pleased with the opportunity to put across our clear and distinctive position on Trident.

Labour’s representative, as usual, had a muddled response. In trying to both reassure the Daily Mail voter that they want to keep the nuclear deterrent AND keep the very many good Labour activists and supporters who oppose Trident renewal happy, there was some very definite and uncomfortable fudging.

There is no getting away from it. If you want the money currently earmarked for Trident renewal to be used to create far more jobs and protect public services, then only the Green Party offers you the chance to elect a Euro MP who can speak for that, without constraint or being forced to tow the party line (Debbie Abrahams was on peace marches and in favour of not renewing Trident before becoming an MP).

If you are a CND supporter, then please use your vote for the only party which can get MEPs elected and will oppose Trident renewal. And if you are a Labour supporter in the North West, or indeed anywhere else in the country that opposes renewal, this is your last chance to lean on the Labour leadership before the next election. Given that triangulation and working out where support is going to come from in marginal constituencies is the order of the day for Ed’s team, why not show them that there is huge support not to renew these weapons of mass destruction? Maybe Ed might just do something bold if the story of the European Elections is the Green Party not UKIP.

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