Monday, 18 January 2016

Jeremy Corbyn: More Idiocy on Trident and the Falklands

Corbyn is definitely cementing his reputation as a complete fruitcake. In an interview with Andrew Marr, he suggested that we should scrap the Trident nuclear missile system, but... get this... retain the actual submarines on patrol, to preserve jobs.

The Vanguard-class nuclear submarines which we use as a platform for Trident were specifically designed and built with the Trident system in mind. It is, in effect, their only reason for deployment. Of course, they could be retro-fitted with other weaponry, but at significant cost, and we would probably be better off by using smaller vessels like our current Astute-class attack submarines. So there is very little point in retaining the Vanguard-class vessels if the Trident system, or a comparable nuclear deterrent, were not renewed.

Corbyn is therefore proposing that HM Government incur significant costs which confer very little military advantage simply to preserve the jobs of a few hundred workers on the Clyde. So he's a fucking twat.

Next, Corbyn argues that we don't need a nuclear deterrent anymore, because the Cold War is over. Really? He might want to tell Vladimir Putin that - the Russian President obviously didn't get that memo. Russian annexation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia, and more recently Crimea in Ukraine go some way to demonstrating that. Russia is a resurgent threat to the West.

We are entering a new period of threats to the West. Furthermore, those threats are manifold - we don't just face challenges from Russia, but Iran (it remains to be seen whether Obama's so-called diplomatic victory will actually dissuade the Iranians from pursuing weaponisation) and North Korea (who have made no small affair of their attempts to develop a nuclear bomb). Never has a deterrent been so needed.

Next, El Corbyno has indicated that he would seek an 'arrangement' with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.

Let's spell this out, shall we? Argentina claim sovereignty over the Islands - they maintain that our 'colonisation' of them breaches their territorial integrity. Never mind the fact that English explorers landed on the Islands before Argentina even existed. Never mind the fact that the Islanders themselves have been continuously living on the Islands for about 300 years, when we booted out a mutinous Spanish garrison in the pay of an American pirate. Never mind that the Falklands have never been under any kind of administration by Argentina or its colonial predecessors. Never mind that. They want them, because they're close. It's like us saying that we have a claim over Normandy, Brittany and Calais because they're nearby.

Argentina tried to enforce their ludicrous and spurious territorial claim in a 1982 war, when their thuggish fascist government invaded and occupied the Islands in an unprovoked attack. In response, we sent a substantial task force to relieve the Islands, and at the cost of hundreds of lives, we succeeded.

Argentina have continued to press their claim through diplomatic means ever since. They still dispute British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, refusing to recognise the results to two internationally-observed referenda of the Islanders. So to put it simply, there is no arrangement to be made with Argentina over the Falklands. The British position is that they are ours, they always have been and that their status will not change until the Islanders themselves, under the UN doctrine of self-determination, wish to change it. They are, in effect, a self-governing overseas territory in free association with the United Kingdom.

Argentina's position is that the Falkland Islanders are an artificially planted population which breaches their territorial integrity. They do not recognise the Islanders' rights to self-determination, they do not recognise British sovereignty and they accuse us of imperialism for daring to defend our own territory. These positions are diametrically opposite. It is highly unlikely that any Argentine government will change their position, as it would be electoral suicide at home. And it would be morally reprehensible for HM Government to abandon the Islanders.

So Corbyn is wrong on Trident, wrong on retaining the Vanguards and completely, utterly, disastrously wrong on the Falkland Islands.