Another WWII anniversary seventy years on as the conflict drew to its conclusion. Not a military extravaganza of marching veterans, regimental flags, displays of military hardware, or fly-bys. There may be no laying of wreaths for the fallen soldiers or the hubris of battles won. It’s the anniversary of the unleashing of a mighty and destructive force, the Atom bomb, and the advent of nuclear weapons.
Was the opening of Pandora’s box a force for good or a force for evil? Seventy years on and the nuclear debate remains unresolved. Our planet has eight countries with a nuclear capability which, claim its advocates, are a deterrent to would be aggressors. In support of the case for a nuclear arsenal the acronym ‘MAD’ (mutually assured destruction), a doctrine of military strategy and national security, sold the case for the deterrent and as a cunning proposition of non-aggression.
In recent years following SALT2 and arms reduction, though not elimination, public awareness or concern for nuclear weapons seems to have virtually disappeared, with the odd spike to reinforce the subconscious fear and ensure the silos remain armed. Is that down to a healthy appetite for celebrity and reality TV shows, the 21st century’s “opiate of the masses?” So all is well.
Well? Well not quite. Britain’s nuclear arsenal is under attack from those troublesome Scots. The SNP are determined not to host the new generation of Trident missiles on their turf. Now another voice has been added to the debate. The Labour MP and leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn has pitched his tent in the anti-Trident camp. Hooray for the voices of sanity in a MAD debate.
Our current Conservative Government has put the fear of god into the electorate with battle cries of austerity and immigration. It has imposed draconian measures on the public to ensure we do not live beyond our means, yet they intend spending £100bn on Trident in the US arms market for our security. Now that is MAD. No actually it’s fucking insane!