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Antlion

"Scottish Labour" against Trident

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Can someone explain why this is an issue being given any attention whatsoever?

Kezia Dugdale was on TV last night being asked whether or not Scottish Labour's official policy on Trident would be to oppose it. Naturally, she wouldn't give an answer (just like she couldn't give an answer on whether or not the party policy in Scotland would whip the single Scottish Labour MP).

So I have to ask - what difference could it even make? Let's say that all MSPs and the single Labour MP opposed Trident. Surely, if the parent body, UK Labour, was pro-Trident, it wouldn't matter a brass farthing if their one Scottish MP voted against it? He's a lone voice - a single vote - in the wider Labour Party. The Labour Party in Scotland, under a "let's renew it but tell everyone else to disarm" leader could theoretically officially oppose Trident, but it would mean nothing at all and make even less difference.

So why is this being presented in the media as something to watch? It's like demanding to know if Alistair Carmichael will agree with Willie Rennie on an issue which won't be official Liberal Democrat policy under Tim Farron anyway: an uninteresting single Scottish voice drowned out by the party leader and the larger contingent of MPs in Westminster.

Edited by Antlion

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Pretty bizarre that you see fit to start a thread on it, given that it's such a "non issue", m9

You cannot comprehend why someone would ask why such a technically unimportant (given the reasons I've outlined) issue is being given widespread media attention (the latest being a motion put forward by Labour MSPs)?

Understand here that I'm not saying the issue of Trident renewal is unimportant (quite the contrary), but rather that one member of the PLP ascribing to whatever emerges as a branch office's opinion on the matter is. As a reserved issue, the only Labour MP who has anything to do with Scotland is Ian Murray, and so why should we care if he ends up having to dance to Dugdale's tune (if she's ever allowed to play one) when his parliamentary colleagues will be dancing to whatever Corbyn ends up having to play?

It's actually a little irksome that SLAB seem to be making noises about autonomy and potentially separate view on a reserved, Westminster issue when they are part of a much larger parliamentary party whose ultimate party line will hold sway.

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Can someone explain why this is an issue being given any attention whatsoever?

Kezia Dugdale was on TV last night being asked whether or not Scottish Labour's official policy on Trident would be to oppose it. Naturally, she wouldn't give an answer (just like she couldn't give an answer on whether or not the party policy in Scotland would whip the single Scottish Labour MP).

So I have to ask - what difference could it even make? Let's say that all MSPs and the single Labour MP opposed Trident. Surely, if the parent body, UK Labour, was pro-Trident, it wouldn't matter a brass farthing if their one Scottish MP voted against it? He's a lone voice - a single vote - in the wider Labour Party. The Labour Party in Scotland, under a "let's renew it but tell everyone else to disarm" leader could theoretically officially oppose Trident, but it would mean nothing at all and make even less difference.

So why is this being presented in the media as something to watch? It's like demanding to know if Alistair Carmichael will agree with Willie Rennie on an issue which won't be official Liberal Democrat policy under Tim Farron anyway: an uninteresting single Scottish voice drowned out by the party leader and the larger contingent of MPs in Westminster.

I think I heard a couple of soundbites on the radio in the car along the lines of Kez being "open to" discussions about Trident and even independence - is it just labour trying to take a softer tack to try to win back some support from SNP voters at the Holyrood elections (i.e. "if we make noises that SNP voters like to hear maybe they'll show us some support at Holyrood" or longer term with a view on 2020?

Do think that none of the major unionist parties will ever properly campaign against Trident - think renton on here has said a few times that it exists as a poorly disguised codpiece to swing about and get a seat at the big boys table, but in practical terms it doesn't really *deterr* anything.

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I think I heard a couple of soundbites on the radio in the car along the lines of Kez being "open to" discussions about Trident and even independence - is it just labour trying to take a softer tack to try to win back some support from SNP voters at the Holyrood elections (i.e. "if we make noises that SNP voters like to hear maybe they'll show us some support at Holyrood" or longer term with a view on 2020?

Do think that none of the major unionist parties will ever properly campaign against Trident - think renton on here has said a few times that it exists as a poorly disguised codpiece to swing about and get a seat at the big boys table, but in practical terms it doesn't really *deterr* anything.

I think this is it: a relaxed or even anti-Trident view will go down well (they hope) with people who have jumped ship from the SS Labour-in-Scotland. Yet the stark-bleeding-obvious is that the Holyrood contingent and Westminster's single Scottish Labour MP being "officially" anti-Trident (should they ever make a decision on the matter) is ultimately meaningless. It's a reserved matter, and having one Scottish Labour MP voting against it when the bulk of his parliamentary Labour colleagues vote for it is nothing more than the weakest of gestures.

If anything, one would think it might actually backfire and weaken their pro-UK stance. After all, what pitiable message would it send if "Scottish Labour" did actually become a unilateralist "party" only for UK Labour to utterly outvote them, ignore them and vote for Trident to remain in Scotland regardless of their opposition? Again, I get the sense that Dugdale is thinking no further ahead than short-term vote-grabbing in the 2016 election.

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I think I heard a couple of soundbites on the radio in the car along the lines of Kez being "open to" discussions about Trident and even independence - is it just labour trying to take a softer tack to try to win back some support from SNP voters at the Holyrood elections (i.e. "if we make noises that SNP voters like to hear maybe they'll show us some support at Holyrood" or longer term with a view on 2020?

Do think that none of the major unionist parties will ever properly campaign against Trident - think renton on here has said a few times that it exists as a poorly disguised codpiece to swing about and get a seat at the big boys table, but in practical terms it doesn't really *deterr* anything.

Also, totally agree with Renton on that. Anyone can call something a "deterrent" and, with enough repetition, people will just accept that it is, no proof required. Note how often politicians and the media go out of their way to refer to Trident as "our nuclear deterrent", because it just it. They are never questioned on what it is actively deterring or what threats it has demonstrably deterred.

I'm reminded of The Simpsons, when Lisa says she has a rock that deters tigers. "Wow," asks Homer, "how does it work?"

"It doesn't! It's just a stupid rock. But I don't see any tigers around here, do you?"

"Lisa, I want to buy your rock!"

Basically, one can decide to call anything a nuclear deterrent and then point out that, because we haven't been nuked, it's working like a charm and we should spend more on it. Meanwhile, the threats we actually do face - terrorist attacks, shootings, cyber crime, recruitment of people to terrorist cells - are swept aside as not being the things Trident is actually meant to deter (which begs the question, why is that what we're spending defence money on).

Edited by Antlion

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