General

By Andrew Barr

Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones has said Wales is ready to become the new home of Britain’s weapons of mass destruction following a Scottish ‘Yes’ vote in 2014.

The Welsh First Minister told members of his minority administration they should consider the "economic benefits such a relocation might bring should West Wales be an option".

In June, Mr Jones said the nuclear weapons imposed upon Scotland would be “more than welcome” in Wales if relocation was required following independence.  He later insisted any discussion on Scottish independence was “entirely academic”.

However it has been revealed that the “academic” discussions have made it into the official minutes of Welsh Cabinet meetings where members are being advised to consider the benefits of trident coming to Wales.

Welsh Nationalists have reacted angrily to the proposals with Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood summing up the attitude of Carwyn Jones as "Edinburgh gets the Green Investment Bank and Pembrokeshire gets weapons of mass destruction."

SNP MSP Bill Kidd – a member of the Council of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament - said:

“Many people in Wales will be horrified that their First Minister is actively trying to have weapons of mass destruction based in Welsh waters.

“If they seriously think there are economic benefits to spending tens of billions of pounds on renewing Trident – especially at a time when the country is crying out for capital investment to support the economy – then it just shows how skewed their priorities are.

“But at least Carwyn Jones is willing to be upfront about his support for Trident nuclear weapons.  Johann Lamont has repeatedly refused to say where she stands on renewing the UK’s weapons of mass destruction.

“In 1999 she claimed to back decommissioning, but her refusal to answer questions from Scottish CND leaves people in Scotland wondering where the Labour leader now stands on this important issue.  It is high time for Johann Lamont to end her silence.

"The majority of Scottish voters oppose Trident. The majority of Scots MPs and MSPs reject Trident renewal. Our Churches and STUC do not want Trident.

“Trident nuclear weapons must be removed from Scotland – and independence is the only constitutional option which will make this happen.”

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament requested the views of all Scottish Labour leadership candidates in 2011.  All candidates responded except for the now leader Johann Lamont who was contacted a total of four times to confirm her position.

Ms Lamont’s position remains unclear.

Becoming the next nuclear backyard of Britain has the potential to push Welsh voters in the direction of greater self-determination.

In June, Plaid Cymru issued a statement condemning the “warped priorities” that surround nuclear arsenal, arguing that money should not be spent on renewal whilst government cuts continue to effect the poorest in society.

Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP, said: "At a time when essential services such as health, education and social care are suffering deep and damaging cuts, the government's warped sense of priorities is a cause for concern.

"This unnecessary spending exposes the Con-Dems' double standards when it comes to balancing the books.

"We are constantly reminded of the mess left by Labour and the claim that the public purse is empty. Yet when it comes to wasteful wars and weapons of mass destruction, money seems to be no object.

"Plaid Cymru has consistently opposed spending on nuclear weapons, on both moral and financial grounds, maintaining that the plight of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society is more important than political posturing on the world stage.

"Calling on other countries to stop developing weapons while renewing our own is plain hypocrisy and threatens to create further global instability.

"We will continue to put pressure on the government to rethink this decision while pursuing our more progressive policies of helping the poor, caring for the elderly and vulnerable, and working towards a green and sustainable economy."

Comments  

 
# hiorta 2012-08-15 06:53
Relocating to Wales would simply be a further waste of taxpayers money when the Welsh folk decide that they, too, will follow the European trend and get rid of them.
A minority Labour Government stands on shaky ground in a changing world.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-08-15 06:58
NEWS FLASH. Lamont diagnosed with a severe case of 'Foot in Mouth' disease. Experts have stated that this highly localised case in unique in Scottish politics to those whose immune systems have been seriouly damaged by the onset of apathy.
So far, there is no known cure. The prognosis is such that those afflicted rarely fully recover and the immediate remedy for the situation is removal of the said individual to a place of long term isolation.
Therein lies another problem for Lamont. Scotland's only palliative institution on the island of Mori, short for Moribund, is already at capacity stuffed full as it is with desperatly sick Conservative and Unionists many who have totally lost the ability to communicate.
A call has gone out for a new breed of politician to inhabit Scotland's spectrum. Those who display a competence to debate from the basis of experience of their subject. They will be required to represent parties which develop policies for governmnet well in advance of putting their names forward. Instilling much greater confidence in the electorate and powerfully presuading them to - engage.
Hacks, and tragically inadequate journalists too, will be required to engage with this new breed on the basis that they too will have done their homework and actively challenge this new breed to tease out political narrative to the benifit of all Scots.
See, from an agressive ailment, good things can emerge !.
 
 
# Angus 2012-08-15 07:01
Wales is stuck in the same conundrum as Scotland was under the Lab/Lib administration under McConnell.
They are a population who want differant things from their leadership.
 
 
# TheNordicCelt 2012-08-15 08:07
As someone who was born in that area I am wondering how they are going to be able to do that with four oil refineries either side of the Haven.
True the area needs investment but I would be very surprised if the good people of Pembrokeshire would accept it.
 
 
# twinpowr 2012-08-15 08:42
It is time for Johann Lamont to pop her head above the parapit, and let the country know her true colours, or has she already done that by her lack to speak out at all.
 
 
# border reiver 2012-08-15 08:46
This story is a unionist pig in the poke to make Scots think of many jobs being exported to Wales. It is nonsense to think that the MOD could just up and move the Subs and infrastructure equipment from its current location:
a. There are few if any suitable locations anywhere in Europe let alone Wales.
b. It would take years to get planning permission, the Welsh people would bog it down in the courts.
c. It would cost billions on top of the billions for Tridents replacement. You cant just move the equipment at Coulport, much of it would have to be renewed.

They are virtualy stuck with Faslane/Coulport or nowhere and this is almost certainly another scare story of their relentless mind games.

banthebomb.org/.../...
 
 
# H Scott 2012-08-15 08:54
Given how the British Establishment works, I suspect this is them lining up Wales as the location for Trident should Scotland become independent. Carwyn Jones is simply starting the propaganda campaign on behalf of London.
 
 
# pmcrek 2012-08-15 08:57
There are absolutely no economic benefits at all housing Britains nuclear deterrant, quite the opposite in fact, the cost of policing the site can be enormous.

On the other hand it was quite heartening to read a poll in Wales recently where support for independence would jump massively high if Scotland left the union. If we go, they'll go. I'm sure this would work the other way around too. Either way its going to become Westminsters headache again.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-08-15 09:21
"On the other hand it was quite heartening to read a poll in Wales recently"

If you can direct me it would be appreciated.
 
 
# pmcrek 2012-08-15 17:37
I'm sorry scottish_skier I've been checking through my browser history but I cant find the article where I read this.

I'm thinking it may have been a comment somewhere, or perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me and I imagined the poll :(
 
 
# davemsc 2012-08-15 09:15
If they want them, they can have them. Why not start building now?
 
 
# Jimbo 2012-08-15 09:22
Scottish CND has every right to ask Lamont where she stands re nuclear weapons. The electorate have a right to know the views of the people who want their votes.

It's well past time she came clean.
 
 
# clootie 2012-08-15 09:28
David Lange 1985 32nd Prime minister NZ
credited for nuclear free policy.

"The simple fact is that I make no pretence that the problem which confronted New Zealand is that same as that which confronts Western Europe. And you point out - and you have the right to point out, and I am glad that you did, notwithstanding that you allege that you oppose me - that people from New Zealand, a country which has never been attacked, have willingly taken up arms in Europe. They have died in African campaigns, they have their bones bleaching in deserts, they are buried in Italy. They have fought in Vietnam. We have forces right now in Sinai. We have a battalion in Singapore where the British used to be!

And the fact is we do not shrink from that responsibility. We never have, and we are not going to. The fact is that we do not choose, we do not choose to be unilateral armers. It makes no sense for a country to surround its waters or to invite into its ports or country nuclear weapons, when there is no balance to be achieved. The balances there now, there are none. And we don't propose to deter enemies which do not yet exist."
 
 
# cardrossian 2012-08-15 13:37
Can't see the problem personally. If Wales wants Trident, or wants to argue about it, that is up to Wales. Nothing to do with us, as long as we get rid of it. In fact if Wales is making an offer then we might get rid of it sooner because Westminster won't have so much head scratching to do.

Anyway, as I see it, Wales will have to compete with Plymouth who want it as well, so lets forget this argument. It's not ours. We have enough things to do to prepare for independence so should be grateful this one is being taken off our hands.
 
 
# Welsh Sion 2012-08-15 19:30
This from a Welsh language magazine at the commencement of our National Eisteddfod (similar to the Gaelic Mod). Apologies that it's not a perfect translation, but I think you get the gist. You will understand that the Archdruid of the Gorsedd is a highly-respected but non-political figure in the Welsh language establishment.

----------------------------------------

Trident - Archdruid 'beseeches' Carwyn

6 August 2012

The Archdruid of the Gorsedd has used his speech today to "beg" on Prime Minister to abandon the idea of inviting interest to nuclear submarines Pembrokeshire.

In his last speech in office, Jim Parc Nest, quoting the poets Iolo Morganwg and Waldo Williams, “in order to try to get the message home to Carwyn” who will be receiving honorary membership of the Gorsedd on Friday morning.

The Archdruid pleads "in the friendly spirit of Waldo, the poet of Pembrokeshire, and the head poet of the peacemakers", he says, "the risk of nuclear submarines moored in Milford would be a thousand times more dangerous than buried weapons in Tre-cwn."
"At the Vale of Glamorgan Eisteddfod Iolo will be remembered, Iolo, the genius who founded the Gorsedd," said Jim Parc Nest. "He would be unanimous and Waldo against 'this false plan'.
"Throughout his life, he opposed every power that endangered life ... the power that gave priority to fighting the war against France rather than fighting against slavery.

"In honour of the two geniuses, Iolo and Waldo, I beg you, Carwyn, to reconsider serving 'this false plan', and to raise us up from our caves.”

"Finally, I would like you to answer one question," said Jim Parc Nest."What do you think about the inhuman system of those unmanned aircraft, the drones, which are being built in Aberporth, the only place in Britain that these ‘nesting birds’ of death reside in?”

"I understand your admiration of the bravery of a soldier who is ready to endanger himself for the sake of others. But with this evil device, the most accomplished coward can kill thousands of innocents.”

"Early next Friday, you, Carwyn, will receive an honorary membership of the Gorsedd, for your obvious commitment to the Welsh language and culture. You will have the company other worthy friends, and we can all, hopefully, raise ourselves out of our caves to “the area of pure breezes."
 
 
# NkosiEcosse 2012-08-16 09:40
I am all for having them moored at Canary Wharf
 

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