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May 18, 2011

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S. A>

"As a Ugandan-born British citizen who opposes nuclear weapons with all the sinew in my body, I totally agree with Mr Paul Flynn that Trident a prohibitively expensive "national virility symbol that has played no part in any of the military operations that we have taken part in over the last seven years, and is unlikely to play any part in the future."

It is a terrible folly for the UK to be wasting £20 billion on national virility symbol at a time when the British people are being crushed under the weight of save cuts in all vital services including health, care for the elderly and education; and at a time when kids from working-class backgrounds are being squeezed of university education by the fear of coming laden with a £40,000 university tuition debt but with the the prospect of employment.

Mr Liam Fox the Defence Secretary has even gone as far as opposing the a proposal that will guarantee by law the British commitment to increase its international aid budget aimed at fighting the vicious cycle of poverty, diseases, famine and environmental degradation in Africa.

Soft power is more effective and cheaper than Trident

Instead of spending billions on Trident to coarse other countries into submission, the UK should instead perfect its soft power to promote cooperation with other countries.

The UK may be small in geographical size but its influence, if well applied, would achieve a far greater benefitual outcome than Trident would ever do in a thousand years. Why?

The UK is the only country on the world which is concurrently a leading member of several influential regional and international organisations.

It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, G8, NATO, EU, Commonwealth and a major share-holder in both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

A lesson from Africa.

Africans are paying nothing for the word, "neo-colonialism", which has succedded in "deterring" the nuclear-armed Britain and its western allies from "interfering" in the continent.

It was the simple word "neocolonialism" which "deterred" Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown from getting rid of Robert Mugabe.

It is also the same "neo-colonialism" deterrence system, which is preventing Britain and its western allies from arresting and sending President Omar Bashir of the Sudan to The Hague to face the ICC for alleged crimes in Darfur.

And it is "neo-colonialism", which will keep NATO, now operating in Libya, from intervening in any sub-Saharan Sahara African country to protect civilians.

For example, for the the last four weeks, General Museveni of my native Uganda has been using unspeakable violence to break up peaceful demonstrations, which is guaranteed under the constitution. Ten people including a baby have been killed and thousands wounded.

Although Museveni's brutality has been roundly condemned by the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights; not a single British minister or the EU official has uttered a word. They are deterred by the humble word "ne-ocolonialism."

Britain too, must find a cheaper deterrence system than Trident."

Paul Flynn

Thanks. Very good article in the French newspaper 'Liberation' this morning detailing the continuing deceptions, lies and understatements by the Japanese nuclear company on the gravity of the Fukushima crisis and its consequences.
Delighted that the Today programme this morning broadcast a report on my urgent question this morning. Other media, who should know better, reported the press conference of the Weightman report as though it has the authority of Holy Writ. Comments from Greenpeace and in parliament on its timing and premature judgements were not widely reported. The other great weakness is that increased cost and the terrorist risks were not addressed by Weightman.

Tonypandy Andy

PMQ's

Nice try, if swatted like a fly, I fear.

But top honours must go to Ian Lavery for his penetrating exposure of the corrosive role of Mark Britnell in undermining the NHS.

Understand Mr Lavery was later treated in an NHS hospital for self-inflicted gunshot wounds to his foot - a brainscan was also deemed necessary. The anaesthetist, a Dr. E. Milliband, stated that Mr Lavery was being kept in a state of induced coma.

rwendland

Chris Huhne above foolishly states very certainly "First of all, the earthquake, however terrible and powerful, did not damage the reactors."

Contrast that certainty with Tokyo Electric Power officials on the ground, as reported by Reuters a few days ago:

"Officials said it was not clear whether the Fukushima plant had been damaged by the quake and said an immediate inspection was impossible because of the all-hands effort to stabilize the reactors."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/16/us-japan-nuclear-idUSTRE74F3ZB20110516

Huhne has fallen for the hazard of treating an interim report as gospel. (Dr Weightman interim report was probably finalised before that Reuters report came out.)

See also UCS blog:

http://allthingsnuclear.org/post/5582975128/tepco-says-core-of-unit-1-melted

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