PLAID Cymru, the Scottish National Party and the Greens are to be congratulated for forcing Parliament yesterday to debate the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system.
The consensus among the leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties is that Britain will keep its hundreds of nuclear missiles, each eight times more powerful than the bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in 1945 at a cost of 240,000 lives.
But nuclear weapons are unjustifiable. By their nature they cannot be used merely against “military” targets — the use of even a single nuclear weapon would slaughter huge numbers of civilians.
Since the end of the cold war and the rejection of the distorted logic of “mutually assured destruction” that kept East and West trapped in a ruinously expensive arms race, the actual use of such weapons by a state has become inconceivable. They have only one function —…
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