You know what they say about blokes with big guns

Hey ho! Just a quick blog as a break from revision (how committed am I!).

Anyways, today was announced that the Trident renewal is to go ahead, which if you know me well enough is the biggest waste of money since Chelsea bought Torres for £50 million (still only scored a single goal for those who are not that football literate). This is not the Cold-war era; there are no two major rival super-powers. And for those who claim that we cannot know the future, well if you distrust the future, if you treat nation-states with suspicion, then distrust and suspicion is what you’ll receive.

Yes, the nuclear arms have acted as a deterrent for now, but you know what’s a far far better deterrent? Not having the means to deter either side in the first place. Here’s another way of putting it, I’ve never had crack cocaine for breakfast, one because I would never take crack cocaine, but more importantly, I don’t keep it in my fridge. Equally, my slaves have never initiated a violent and bloody uprising by simply not having slaves.  It’s like a deterrent, only safer and a hell of a lot cheaper.

One problem I also have with the whole deterrent idea is that if one nation does launch its missiles, there’s no one all. If one side launches their missiles, what will you gain by indiscriminately achieve by killing millions of people you’ve never met?

Trident is political not military tool as expressed by most high ranking Generals. And you know what they say about blokes with big guns…….I’ll leave those thoughts with you.

Max

Advertisements

Wikileaks

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” ~ T. Jefferson.

Julian Assange and his colleagues have acted in a brave and selfless way, persisting in outing secretive documents despite smear campaigns and pressure from the highest levels of government.

Even if Wikileaks’ actions achieve nothing in terms of delaying action against North Korea and Iran, a point has been made. The internet is a weapon for transparency and democracy, and governments have never been more accountable.

Another possible consequence is simply increasing the security of intelligence, which can only be a good thing in a world threatened by terrorists.

Suzy

Thoughts for Armistice Day

As well as remembering the past and honouring the dead Armistice Day is a great opportunity to look at the role of the Army in today’s world.

Our army has come a long way since the Armistice. Cooperation, sustainability and peace keeping are the new buzzwords, and really have been put into practice, as evidenced by the new deal with France and the ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.

Oxfam estimates that of the 20 million troops currently employed globally, only 150,000 are employed in real peace keeping. Annually $120 billion is spent on global aid, while $1600 billion is spent on global defence.

As Britain struggles with the legacy of Iraq and the justification of war, it’s worth reassessing our priorities on the causes of conflict and the effect our actions have on citizens the world over.

Suzy

153, jellyfish, Trident, dolphins and a seal

Chris Riddell 11.07.2010

Firstly, apologies for the lack of blogging recently. Been away in north Wales for the past week surrounded by a seal, dolphins (yes you heard me actual dolphins in north Wales!) and what seemed to be the world’s largest gathering of jellyfish, but that unfortunately is a different story.

Moving on swiftly, Education Secretary Michael Gove promised one of the greatest revolutionary reforms to the education system of all time. This was hoped to be achieved through the expansion of the academy programme which was started by Tony Blair’s Labour government. The Academy school programme was initially targeted at underperforming areas, now I don’t know if they were successful or not, but it seemed a good….ish idea at the time.

But now Gove has began rushing through legislation to allow any school the right to become an academy, independent from the local council (even though they already hold a large degree of autonomy). Gove claimed that around a 1100 schools had already signed up to become academies within a week, however, it was recently revealed a mere 153 have done so since the coalition took office. 153! Ed Balls has accused Gove of railroading the bill given only a mere 10% of the claimed schools have applied. Personally, I’m really not well aware of the pros and cons of the academy programme, but for a coalition that is supposed to represent “new” politics, it certainly shows a lot of the “old” brand by preventing Parliament from doing their job of proper scrutiny of bills.

Moving on again, it has been revealed that there is an apparent schism between the MoD and the Treasury over who should foot the bill for the renewal of Trident. The renewal of Trident is predicted to cost around £20 billion, the MoD budget is £40 billion and there is a large budget deficit, already you can see a slight problem. Personally, I’d love to see the back of Trident, but in the name of compromise here’s an idea that will kill two birds with one stone. How about keeping Trident but not renewing until the deficit is well and truly dealt with? Britain’s nuclear defence system is still very capable of wiping out numerous major cities across the globe, a slight upgrade that would increase the range of the submarines and the blast radius of the missiles a bit would surely not go to miss if its lifespan is prolonged. Just a thought.

Max