Senior clergy are calling on Westminster Abbey to cancel a ceremony that it is hosting to honour Trident submarine crews because it appears to “celebrate” nuclear weapons. Two bishops and more than 20 priests have criticised the abbey over the event, planned for May 3, to mark 50 years of Britain’s “continuous at-sea deterrent”. The Bishop of Colchester, the Right Rev Roger Morris, said he believed that the invitation-only ceremony, which will be attended by Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, was out of keeping with church teachings.
Times 5th April 2019 read more »
Letter Brian Quail: SOMEONE defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time. In which case the UK Government must be King of the asylum. The MoD has been castigated for its failure to dispose of its obsolete nuclear submarines (“Call for inquiry as MOD spends millions on subs no longer in service”, The Herald, April 4). None of the 20 boats decommissioned since 1980 at present stored at Rosyth and Devonport has been disposed of. They lie tied-up, slowly rotting away. The MoD has admitted that it has no developed plan for the disposal of the presently operating Vanguard (Trident) submarines, nor its Astute class hunter-killer support boats. A spokesman said: “The disposal of nuclear submarines is a complex and challenging undertaking”. It certainly is. Plutonium-239 is used in the Trident nuclear warhead. Each warhead has 4kg of plutonium, making the total required around 1.6 tonnes. This is one of the most lethal substances in existence, and has a half-life of more than 24, 000 years – an insane legacy to bequeath to our grandchildren. If the ancient Egyptian had had nuclear power stations, we would still be guarding their waste. Future generations – if any there be – will curse us for our stupidity. And what is the response from our Government? Regrets, apologies, shame? No. It presses madly on regardless with its lunatic schemes. The Vanguard submarines will be replaced by Dreadnought class boats, which will carry the new, modernised and improved version of Trident. This will give us even more of the same insoluble problems. Unless, of course we actually use them for the only purpose they were designed for. In which case, it’s curtains for everybody and everything and there will be no one left to lament our folly. The profound irrationality of this self-imposed intractable problem is a reflection of the innate insanity of having global destruction as a defence policy.
Herald 5th April 2019 read more »