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Try tried and Trident again!?!

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election 2015

So here’s the run down on Trident (four submarines armed with missiles and warheads) and the outline to what the news and concerns are about Trident:

Conservatives pledge to upgrade Trident as do some other parties, good, bad, or unsure?

Whilst Shadow Labour Welsh Secretary Mr Smith hinted that Labour would ‘get rid’ of the funding for Trident.

The Trident issue will be resolved after the election, when it will be settled whether Trident will be replaced, upgraded or scrapped and the SNP and Green’s are aiming to do the latter.

The Liberal Democrats are not keen on Trident and want to make cuts to Trident with an aim to limit the current fleet of four submarines to three, this would see three subs renewed and one scrapped, and savings made.

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Ukip has said that it would cancel the Trident replacement in favour of a cheaper “advanced stealth cruise-type missile” that can be delivered by land, sea or air.

With all this talk of the General Election 2015 coming up, Trident has become a focus and decisions on Trident’s future has become speculative.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said about Ed Miliband as using Trident the Nuclear Deterrent as a chip to be bargaining with the SNP over, who are wanting an open vote in Parliament on the pending issue of Trident, which Labour are said to be in favour for, although prior to this Ed Miliband had said he was committed to Trident.

Trident’s missiles, warheads, and submarines are no doubt costly according to a series of statements made in Parliament by ministers of the Minstry of Defence  in 2008 and 2012 the annual operating costs of the Trident programme amount to around 5 to 6 per cent of the defence budget. That’s the equivalent of between £2 to £2.4 billion.

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(CND) The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament state on their website that “the current government is in favour of replacing Trident at a cost of around £100 billion. This money would be enough to fully fund A&E services for 40 years, employ 150,000 new nurses, build 1.5 million affordable homes, build 30,000 new primary schools, or cover tuition fees for 4 million students. That includes the cost of running and servicing the submarines over a projected 40-year lifespan.”

Is now the right time to do away with Trident?

Tried and tested Trident does it work as a deterrent?

Dangerous deterrent?

Trident deterrent or threat?

Tired of Trident?

Is it too costly?

Many of the campaigners and protesters against Trident have brought these questions to the Election 2015 spotlight, political parties and candidates have had to put an emphasis on this issue to optimize their opportunities to gain voters.

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Unilateral Disarmament alongside the World is also what Protesters and Campaigners against Trident have been pointing out and are encouraging the stance that the UK could go further with a lateral disarmament?

Would this do the UK and the World a world of good? or not? An interesting fact is that the UK is also a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is applied to Trident; as by international law Britain is committed to eliminating its nuclear arsenal under Article VI of the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

190 states have signed the treaty, which states that: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” The treaty is reviewed every five years. At the latest NPT Review Conference in New York in 2010, Britain reaffirmed its “unequivocal” commitment to disarm.

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The upcoming General election has found many other questions to be asked of Trident, such as whether or not Trident has become outdated since the Cold War era, and whether it acts as a deterrent or is ineffective in today’s society as there is at present no intent to use Nuclear weaponry.

An Insurance policy, a deterrent only, as has been proclaimed from the beginning of the debates surrounding Trident.

election 2015 too

Most recently in April 2015 David Cameron said “Trident is the ultimate insurance policy for our country.” He also stated at the Conservatives’ Manifesto Launch that he wanted to build four new Submarines not three as the Liberal Democrats want.

The latest debate on Trident has become a key highlight of the Election 2015 and is an issue which seems to have many politicians trying to appeal to a range of their potential voters.

David Cameron made clear his views on Trident making a pledge to renew, whilst Ed tries to work his Miliband magic into the office at No 10, whether Mr Miliband will waver on Trident is awaited by many.

Nicola Sturgeon leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) who has been linked to a potential coalition with Labour, should there be a hung parliament, she said of Trident, that they would make Trident a “red line” issue whereby there is no compromise on whether Trident should be given the go-ahead, “it is a red line issue and will be voted to be scrapped.”

The Green Party who have been outspoken about Trident for a long time said of the pressing issue “The government intentionally pushed the review on our nuclear weapons capability back to 2016 to prevent it becoming a general election issue,” said Lesley Grahame, peace and disarmament spokeswoman for the Green party. “Every pound spent before the decision, before parliament gets to vote on the matter, or a public debate is held, should be considered a very serious blow for democracy.”

Miss Grahame is referring to the blows most recently of an ongoing situation where money is being spent on Trident before the review has taken place which is due in 2016.

Lastly controversy surrounds Trident as it is not an ‘independent nuclear deterrent’ as many like David Cameron and Ed Miliband claim; Trident works with the US which Trident is dependent on and involved with the US; the Trident missiles are manufactured in the US and the alliance has compatible missiles which can be used in the UK submarines as well as the US ones. Yet Trident is still referred to as ‘independent’.

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I spoke to Shasha Khan Green Party Candidate for Croydon North and he gave me his take on an independent  Trident saying:

“It is important to dispel the myth that Trident is an independent nuclear deterrent. These missiles are dependent on US satellites.”

I asked him also what he thought about the renewal of Trident, Shasha told me:

“It is abhorrent to start spending £100 billion pounds on renewing Trident when according to Mumsnet one in five mothers regularly skips a meal so that their children can eat.

There are many dangers and concerns with Trident using the Trident arsenal would cause nuclear proliferation on a destructive scale more powerful than that of Hiroshima. Then there is the threat of Nuclear accidents with submarines, referring to the most recent accident with the Submarine in Russia which caught fire and when in 2011 a sub was carrying atomic weapons and also caught fire.

Many would argue that in today’s world with threats from rogue states and also the threat of international terrorism that Trident is a must, others are saying the costs of Trident is too expensive to the UK and will these weapons of immense destruction ever be used?

Shasha Khan

Shasha Khan and the Green Party believe strongly against Trident and he outlined his concern:

“Renewing Trident sends the wrong message to the rest of the world, it says if you want security you need nuclear missiles.”

To conclude: Trident, scrapped or saved?

Until the General Election 2015 is over Trident will be raged about in debates and the debate will rage on till 2016 which will be ‘decision time’ and Trident will have to be scrapped or saved.

Vince Cable calls for Asian Leaders To Exert Influence

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vince cable

Vince Cable the Business Secretary has made an announcement calling on Asian Business leaders to show themselves “exerting influence” in the world of business and government.

Vince Cable will today (4th March 2013) make a speech at the National Asian Business Association (NABA) in the capital London.

His announcement before his speech was just a warm up, his speech is said to be a focused speech on boosting the economy and creating jobs, and his speech is tailored and aimed directly at his audience of Asian leaders and their businesses.

The NABA is supported by Microsoft and Santander and the association which Dr Cable will be speaking to is made up of 11 local business associations across the United Kingdom which aims to advance the Asian business community in areas of development and growth.

An interesting statistic is there are around 50,000 British Asian businesses in the UK and President of the NABA, CBE Baroness Prashar says however that they have up until now not had a national voice.

Baroness Prashar

President of the National Asian Business Association, Baroness Prashar of Runneymede CBE said: “Asian businesses are significant wealth creators and crucial to local economic growth. They are an integral part of the UK’s drive to tackle the current recession. Regional Asian business associations have made a significant contribution in their local areas to date but have not had a national voice.”

Baroness Prashar said of the NABA that they aspire to help businesses reach their potential and work well with Government in trade missions abroad and the development of policy.

Dr Cable has said before his speech: “I welcome the founding of a new organisation to promote business and provide it with a strong voice. British Asian companies have long played a dynamic role in the business community. Their growth is essential to job creation and national economic recovery, as is the emergence of a new generation of Asian entrepreneurs.”

Double Trouble: UK doubles funding to Syria and Israeli jets strike in Syria

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The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron three months ago was in Jordan where he met with HM King of Jordan  (Abdullah II) and also took time to meet with displaced Syrian refugees at the border, who had fled the conflict within Syria, which has been going on since March 2011 and is known as the Syrian Civil War.

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Mr Cameron was discussing the sinister situation within Syria with the King , which sees fighting on a daily basis. There was a UN – proposal of a four day ceasefire during the time of the Muslim festival, Eid, in October 2012, this was however broken, after a car bomb exploded and killed many people, according to reports from within the country. Images have appeared on all platforms of the media revealing the devastation there and the immense number of casualties (60,000 dead according to the UN, although much more than this number are thought to have died).

There is currently an ongoing UN appeal and $1.5 billion has already been pledged to help the refugees with food, water, sanitation, shelter, medical care and supplies. The following statement is from Mr Panos Moumtzis from the official United Nations Human Committee for Refugees.

PANOS

“Over half a million refugees have now fled the escalating violence in Syria and around 3,000 new refugees are crossing the border into neighbouring countries such as Turkey and Jordan every day. It is estimated that up to 1 million Syrian refugees will need help by the end of the first half of 2013.

“We are constantly shocked by the horrific stories refugees tell us. Their lives are in turmoil. They have lost their homes and family members. By the time they reach the borders, they are exhausted, traumatised and with little or no resources to rely on.

The refugee crisis has seen the UK pledge £21 million to Jordan and the UK are pledging £50 million more than doubling the amount of funding to the UN for Syria.n refugees. This funding was announced by the UK’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening whilst attending a joint emergency conference by hosts Kuwait and the United Nations who set the appeal target at $1.5 billion and received in excess of this from Countries such as the US and Germany and other organisations.

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Justine Greening said “In Jordan on Saturday, I saw for myself the human cost of this conflict and the massive effort by NGOs to deal with huge numbers of refugees.” The UK is currently providing a total of £139.5 million to the crisis.

BANKIMOON

General Secretary of the UN Ban Ki-Moon was at the emergency Kuwaiti conference (held on 30/01/2013)  too, he is quoted as saying: “The situation in Syria is catastrophic and getting worse by the day … And every day Syrians face a cascading catalogue of horrors: unrelenting violence, dwindling supplies of food and medicine, and human rights violations including sexual violence and arbitrary arrests and detention.”

CameronSyria

Prime Minister David Cameron is currently in Algeria after the savage hostage situation which took place there and where six Britons were killed. From 1st January 2013 the UK have been holding the G8’s Presidency and one of the issues on the agenda is tackling Terrorism; Mr Cameron’s visit to Algeria is addressing this issue at hand, whilst the problem of Syria is sure to remain on the agenda too.

israelijets

The latest development within Syria is the air strike that has taken place in Syria by Israeli jets; Syria has confirmed the air strikes although negates the target (which is said to be lorries carrying weapons, near the border of Lebanon). The BBC has reported that “Lebanese security sources, Western diplomats and Syrian rebels say an arms convoy was hit near Lebanon’s border.” This is contrary to what the Syrian Government has reported, they claim that a scientific military facility  was hit by the air strike in nearby Damascus, they also said that this facility was being attempted to be taken over by rebels also frequently referred to as terrorists by President Assad’s regime in Syria. Controversy follows president Assad and his regimes references to national terrorists operating within the country. Russia and China have backed Syria so far, although much of the World and the UN are opposed to China and Russia’s support for President Assad.

The situation is an intrinsic one, the US and Israel have not commented on the incident and it is said that Israel struck with their jets to ensure that anti-aircraft missiles did not fall into the hands of Hezbollah a militant group within Lebanon. Syria is believed to have acquired these weapons including anti-tank missiles from Russia, after a nuclear reactor was taken out by Israel in another air strike in 2007. Israel and the US are concerned that countries such as Syria, Iran, and Lebanon will use chemical weapons in a conflict and therefore Israel have stepped up their security in the North of the country.

Syria’s double – trouble is a problem, the world is watching and also trying to help the refugees, however the country is in need of dire help to sort the problem out peacefully. Finally, the United Nations have warned Syria to not use any chemical weapons as has the US.

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Additional Information:

The UNHCR are still taking donations towards the Syrian crisis: http://donate.unhcr.org/syria-uk

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