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Important Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does: Corbyn Trident Missile Edition

So, off in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour leader, has been against the Trident nuclear missile system: He wants to scrap it.

The hysteria over this has been epic–from the Press, from within his own party, and from the Conservative Party.

His opposition has been characterized as wildly irresponsible, but someone finally polled the issue: 49 percent agree with Corbyn, scrap the missiles. 51 percent disagree.

This is a statistical dead heat.

So, something which half the population supports is somehow massively opposed by the elites and the press.

I mean, issues over which the population is split down the middle can be controversial, but I see no indication that Trident is an important issue to ordinary Britons, compared to, say the NHS, austerity, the EU, or immigration.

As for Trident and its merits, upon investigation, I have come to Corbyn’s position (which I did not support originally).  Trident is not a fully-independent deterrent. The missiles are made by the US, maintained by the US and supplied from the same pool the US uses. While Trident may be “operationally independent,” the US could pull the plug on the program any time it wanted.

Trident is a deterrent as long as the UK is on good terms with the US. But, if it’s on good terms with the US, it has the US umbrella anyway.

Trident is only useful if you think the US might not retaliate for a nuclear attack on the UK (yeah, right, unless there’s been a HUGE falling out, in which case Trident is gone), or if the UK wants to nuke something itself that the US doesn’t want to nuke.

This is worth paying for? A small, first-strike nuclear capacity?

But the larger point is simpler: It’s not a very important issue to most Britons, and it’s not something about which the polls are skewed. So why is the establishment so hysterical about it?

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  1. V. Arnold

    LOL, the Brits still think they are important and influential in today’s world.
    They’re just the U.S.’s poodle; and not a very well kept one at that…
    Corbyn is trying, but the “machine” will prevail in the end, IMO, because the U.S. is in control of the gutted, once great Britain…
    LOL, one gutted ex-empire being controlled by an empire presently being gutted.
    Can it get more ironic?

  2. Jeff Wegerson

    Wait. Everybody has an opinion? There was no “don’t know” percentage or even “don’t care.” Fishy.

  3. shh

    The elites want it because it funnels money into the pockets of the overlords. Same reason every sycophantic fakir in a “leadership” position fucks over everyone in sight. They have never given a pickled rat’s ass about anything else, nor will they. It’s a wonder Corbyn’s been allowed to be a pest for so long unless viewed as a masquerade of democratic processes.

  4. Tom

    Cheaper for Britain to buy nuclear Cruise Missiles to fit to aircraft and then store them. The Aircraft can be used for other purposes when not delivering the nuke.

  5. Bill Hicks

    Why is the establishment so hysterical about it? Because any politician who might gain real power while opposing unfettered war spending is a threat to so many entrenched interests.

    This is also the real reason why establishment liberals are so petrified of Sanders, even though he so far has not shown much indication that if elected he would start to reign in out of control Pentagon spending. They don’t even want to take a chance that he’ll try to effect real change that might threaten their cushy positions.

  6. Hell's Bells

    Trident is basically just a way for the UK to finance the US’ missiles. The UK “owns” those missiles the way a donor “owns” a brick in a church building. Good luck if one day you decide to take “your” brick home with you.

    I see no reason why any self-respecting patriot would go along with that sort of Delian League crap. Canada was offered essentially the same deal, and sensibly rejected it.

  7. It’s a good point, though strictly speaking it is the subs that are being replaced, not the missiles. It probably would not be that expensive these days to make our own if push came to shove. It’s well established technology.

    The subs are very useful though. They can launch conventional weapons just as well a Trident and are undetectable. Would we ever want to make a first strike? No, of course not. But equally who would want to remain unprotected if somewhere like North Korea or ISIL has nukes?

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