OK, news editor. What do you lead with today? Interest rates held? More police forces investigate Ted Heath? Police Scotland in spying trouble?
The answer, if I was the overweight slob with the flat sausage sandwich sitting feet up on the desk, would be none of the above. This is the anniversary of the most terrifying single act of war perpetrated in human history – the nuclear bomb bursts over Japan. Those same weapons that flattened cities, obliterated human life and caused horrific injuries and defects for generations are still the arms of choice for civilised, democratic Britain – our country – and have their submarine base and warhead store on Scottish soil – our soil.
Isn’t that the story not only of today but of our age? What does it say of us, humankind, that 70 years later we still defend ourselves with weapons of unimaginable devastating capability? It’s only 18 years since a Labour government was elected with a promise to start a process of reduction along with other countries leading to their global eradication. It didn’t satisfy those of us who believed that with the super powers armed to the hilt an act of unilateral disarmament by a (global) power with a seat on the Security Council would have been a gesture of enormous significance deserving of a Nobel Prize for the instigator. That same national leader was instead to gain eternal notoriety for an intervention of a contrary kind. But it was, like rail nationalisation and minimum wage, iconic of the Britain we envisaged under Blair.
To find years later that Labour is now more committed than ever to retaining a so-called deterrent and upgrading it at a cost of anything up to £100bn is to realise how far the party has fallen from leader of progressive politics into right-wing shadow of radicalism.
What a day to declare in the middle of a leadership contest that all those who would lead the party are now committed to abolition of Trident. Wouldn’t that be a step towards reclaiming some of the vast acres lost in credibility and progressive humanity? What a day to start a campaign by activists to influence the candidates on this quintessential issue of our age.
So what is the Scottish Labour leadership tweeting? Blair McDougall, who who led the rancid No campaign and destroyed his own party, demands to know why SNP MSPs are ‘ silent’ on Labour’s motion for answers about police spying on journalists (if they did).
You’ll notice it isn’t the human rights issue or excessive police power that interests the party spokesman –that might imply principle. No, it’s the SNP that is the target. How we run justice and society generally to safeguard citizens isn’t the stuff of today’s Labour – it’s the ‘silence’ of SNP MSPs. Like Kezia’s juvenile tweet about student exam passes, this is the scrapings of student politics that so afflicts the upper echelons of a once-moral party.
(I’m not sure either what Labour is getting at. Do they think ministers instigated an illegal wiretap for the police? Are they suggesting ministers knew but turned a blind eye? ‘Aye, on youse go, Stephen. If you want to break the rules and spy on reporters, we don’t care.’ Or is it another attempt to rope them into some obscure blame game – Labour having nothing else to fight with?)
In this regard try Paul Cairney’s thoughtful piece here https://paulcairney.wordpress.com which mirrors what I was writing the other day about the pitiful attempts to say hospital management is a minister’s responsibility, not the dozens of administrators whose job it is or the health board who oversee them. This chicanery is a particular favourite not only of Labour apparatchiks but of our beloved media hacks whose Jackanory grasp of how government works is like watching a five-year-old thread a needle – tongue out.
If Police Scotland has illegally spied on respectable journalists, it is a scandal that will blight its reputation for ever. If it was done against the rules, Stephen House must be sacked – no wheedling wait for his planned departure – but ousted in ignominy. If any minister is implicated directly in authorising or knowing and hiding this activity, he/she is political toast and follows House out of the door.
But can we please stop the sanctimonious posturing by Labour grovellers with their wee boy pointy fingers desperate for any smear that might just stick. McDougall must be the mangiest and most flatulent attack dog still ripping off the Labour Party. Let’s recall how Labour in power treated justice in just one documented instance, shall we?
A major criminal investigation into alleged corruption by the arms company BAE Systems and its executives was stopped in its tracks yesterday when the prime minister claimed it would endanger Britain’s security if the inquiry was allowed to continue.
The remarkable intervention was announced by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, who took the decision to end the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into alleged bribes paid by the company to Saudi officials, after consulting cabinet colleagues.
In recent weeks, BAE and the Saudi embassy had frantically lobbied the government for the long-running investigation to be discontinued, with the company insisting it was poised to lose another lucrative Saudi contract if it was allowed to go on. Read the full story here
Yeah, police spying on journalists is unacceptable but calling off the police to allow bribes to the Saudis so we can sell them weapons of war – that’s just politics, right?
Labour enmeshed in the arms trade and wallowing in weapons of mass destruction. Isn’t that where we came in?
One of the things I’m most proud of about the SNP and Yes is total opposition to nuclear arms. And every Labour voter knows they should do the same…except they can’t because then they couldn’t weasel another SNP Bad/SNP Blame line out of it, could they? Peace, brothers.by