When Jeremy Corbyn said NO in answer to a direct question whether he could see a circumstance in which he would push the button to use nuclear weapons the full force of the right wing media stoked up by Conservatives and especially David Cameron who called him a “threat to national security and the security of your families” rained down on him.
We now have his successor as Prime Minister Theresa May who is totally incapable of directly answering a question on any subject whatsoever except that is one in which when asked whether she would use nuclear weapons without the slightest hesitation said “Yes”
So there we have it Conservatives who refuse to address homelessness and poverty in the United Kingdom – issues that they have seriously exacerbated through their callous policies – and who have drastically cut our armed services and betrayed our service personnel are only to happy to say they would inflict death on millions of innocent non-combatants.
And what about the people who lauded and applauded David Cameron and Theresa May when they said YES they would ‘in the interest of National Security’ push the button.
Now forgive me for saying it but how would engaging in a nuclear conflagration provide security for my family or for the country?
Or have I missed something in translation?
The question – as I see it – is replacing Trident at a cost of over £250 billion sensible and perhaps more to the point is it even a credible nuclear deterrent in today’s world?
We have of course been here before – and when I said we have been here before I wasn’t referring to the Cuba crisis of 1963 that I remember so well happening as it did during my final year at school.
What the Conservatives have in fact achieved is the opposite to what they intended by simply committing the basic error of in trying to make themselves look strong they in fact appear weak and foolish in the eyes of the world.
For those who know their history there was a conflict in Asia in the 1950’s, immortalised by the film and then television series M.A.S.H. that took place in Korea.
A War that lasted three years from June 1950 to July 1953.
The fear across the world at the time was that the war would escalate into a global conflict mainly due to the fact that it was a United Nations sanctioned war led by the USA supporting the South against an invasion from the Communist North which saw China enter on their side.
You have to remember that at the time Communism and the fear of the spread of communism was all consuming in the United States and the McCarthyism witch hunts were in full swing
The President of the United States of America at the time was Harry S Truman who in answer to a question of would he consider using atomic weapons was reported as saying-
“There has always been active consideration of its use
And that was that, the headlines around the world screamed out that President Truman would use the atomic bomb against North Korea and by default China.
Stress levels in Governments around the World went through the roof not the least in Europe who feared that if the USA was going to take China on it would remove all of its troops from mainland Europe and leave it exposed to the USSR.
Of course what the headlines didn’t say – because after all why let the facts ruin a good story – was what President Truman actually said which was,
“I don’t want to see it used. It’s a terrible weapon and it shouldn’t be used on innocent men, women and children
A statement that taken in full is very different to that published in the headlines of the day.
It will not have escaped anyone that with Donald Trump as President the USA appears to be in a far less stable and certainly has a less responsible and stable leader than President Truman.
The question is can nuclear weapons be deployed in any situation in which ‘innocent men, women and children’ would not be on the receiving end their use?
The answer to which is a clear and resounding NO.
Jeremy Corbyn appears to recognise this as a basic fact and has had the courage to say that as the Prime Minister he couldn’t foresee a situation when he would use Nuclear Weapons.
And that is where the right wing media have – as they did with Truman – taken and twisted his comments by intentionally omitting to leave the phrase “couldn’t foresee a situation” from their reports.
David Cameron and Theresa May unlike President Truman have failed to show any understanding of what using nuclear weapons would mean to innocent people preferring to take the “strong-man” line in search of a headline – “of course I’d push the button”
As it happens in 1950 the situation and alarm across Europe created by the headlines was put to rest by the UK Prime Minister at the time, one Clement Attlee who at a meeting with President Truman apparently asked the simple question,
“By the way you’re not really going to use the atomic bomb are you?”
Truman said NO and that was the end of the matter.
Similar conversions took place in 1963 between Harold Macmillan and President Kennedy.
The whole point of the nuclear weapons race was to neutralise the threat from the USSR but – I don’t know how many nuclear arms treaties limiting the number of nuclear weapons there has been since the Cuba crisis, but it’s a lot – the question remains whether weapons of mass destruction ever be used in any future conflict?
And if not why do we keep them?
The reality is the USA as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan need Europe to support them, just as we in Europe need the USA to support us.
Globalisation doesn’t only apply to business but also to security.
The UK as part of security globalisation has and will always have a role to play and as we know through the courage and professionalism of our armed services we always deliver.
We don’t need Trident to play our part in the world so let’s accept what Truman said about its use.
“The reality is nuclear weapons are terrible and we should accept that its only effective use would be to bring a country to its knees by using it against the innocent population”.
If Theresa May thinks posturing as the Prime Minister who would push the button makes the people of the UK safer she is clearly delusional and the quicker she is removed from being in a position to do so the better for all of us.
I for one know who I think is a threat to national security and the security of my family and it certainly isn’t the man who says he couldn’t “foresee a situation where he would engage in a nuclear war.