Thanks be to US defence secretary Ash Carter for bigging up Britain on the international stage.
According to reports, Carter has said that the UK needs to keep its Trident nuclear missile system. In words that will rub the woodies of British conservatives everywhere, he explained, that Trident enabled Britain to "continue to play that outsized role on the global stage that it does because of its moral standing and its historical standing".
Yup, Britain is a big-boy country and has big-boy friends like America, and should keep its big-boy toys.
|Trident costs a bomb
"It's important that the military power matches that standing and so we're very supportive of it," he added, causing the martyrdom of uncountable pairs of patriotic underpants.
My first reaction on reading this was that if America wants us to keep Trident, America should fucking pay for it.
But the reality is that Britain is paying America for Trident. Of course Carter Ash wants Britain to feel big about keeping its nukes: corporate America has made a fortune out of Trident and with its renewal will make another fortune out of it.
Trident is going to cost the British taxpayer £31 billion pounds in the next procurement programme with another £10billion set aside for the inevitable cost overruns. (Some sources put the cost at £100billion.)
The US doesn't want the UK to keep Trident because Britain looks good in it on the world stage. The US wants us to keep Trident because it's a big, fat cash cow for Lockheed and the US military-industrial complex.
Let's be clear about this. That's the better part of £41 billion going directly from the pockets of hardworking British taxpayers into the pockets of stinking rich foreign corporations who deal in death and destruction.
Surely I don't need to point out that this massive displacement of public money into the trousers of makers of weapons of mass destruction is happening at a time of Conservative-imposed 'austerity', in which we are seeing the NHS underfunded and sold off by stealth to more corporations, in which the poor and the vulnerable are having their support taken away while being demonised, while rich privileged people whose family businesses don't pay tax are telling us we have to 'balance the books'. Please tell me I don't need to point all that out.
|New improved Trident missile system — artist's impression.
Stop and ask yourself, given your lifestyle, can you afford to be donating money to rich people? That's what is going on. (It's not just arms companies we're funding, it's private providers of what used to be public services like the DWP, prisons, health and schooling. But this is another posting of its own. Watch this space.)
And, hang on a minute: with Ash Carter's comments about Trident, could the greatest democracy on the planet be interfering with the democratic processes of its bestest friend?
Well, look at it like this: Carter has chosen to speak up for renewing Trident just ahead of a big debate and vote in parliament on the future of Trident.
Now, there's not a coincidence.
Could the fine, upstanding patriotic woodies Ash Carter is rubbing belong to the very people who are going to vote over the future of Trident? Fuck, yes!
Trident has nothing to do with security or stature.
Trident has everything to do with bloating the coffers of multi-national corporations.
Carter is massaging these small British dicks into compliance with his corporate sponsors.
Is Trident a matter of the UK's outsize standing in the world? No, it's more a matter of outstanding fraud.