OK, let's cut to the chase--let's not get bogged down in statistics or projected spending figures or discussions about "initial gates" and "main gates" (more about them later): Trident is a nuclear weapons system and nuclear weapons are WRONG. Wrong enough to be the primary justification for the war in Iraq. Wrong enough for the International Court of Justice to state, in 1996, that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would, in most cases, violate the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention, the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and for Rabinder Singh, QC and Christine Chin-kin of Matrix Chambers to argue, in December 2005, that "the replacement of Trident is likely to constitute a breach of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty".
Wrong enough, in fact, to get me nodding in agreement with the words of a Catholic priest -and that doesn't happen often, I assure you. On 29 June, Cardinal Keith O'Brien wrote in the Times: "We must simply ask ourselves, 'Are nuclear weapons useable?' The inherently indiscriminate and devastatingly powerful destructive force of a nuclear weapon makes it qualitatively different from any other type of ordnance. Their first use, under any circumstances whatsoever, would be ... a crime against God and humanity. Likewise, a counter-strike in retaliation would be just as immoral, even more so, because it would be motivated not by defence, but by the hollow and hellish vengeance of the vanquished." Keith, mate--I couldn't agree with you more.
So, we've established that the mere possession of Trident is morally wrong. But if it's always been morally wrong, why all the fuss now? Because it's up for replacement. That is going to cost a staggering amount of money and mean that the UK will …