Mass destruction

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For Dr A McCormick’s benefit (Letters, 22 January) the provenance of my “claim” that 60 per cent of Scots are opposed to Trident was a poll carried out by Survation.

I have to say, his minimising of the conflicts I cited as “localised wars” shows a woeful lack of empathy for the many thousands of people who have lost their homes, livelihoods, families and lives in these conflicts.

However, so long as they are happening somewhere else, then that’s all right then. Dr McCormick completely fails to answer my point that these wars happened in defiance of the existence of nuclear weapons.

However, it is the existence of nuclear weapons that makes them more dangerous. And in citing other financial priorities, where does Dr McCormick stand on wasting £100 billion we don’t have?

Elsewhere in the letters columns (same day), Andrew Gray makes the same basic error when he sneers that I am unable to distinguish proxy wars – as if that somehow makes them less dangerous and less tragic.

He does, inadvertently, make my point for me when he says that “it will only take one loose cannon” for a hugely dangerous situation to arise.

That seems like a good reason for us to get rid of them and to remove Scotland from this particular firing line.

However, when assessing Mr Gray’s expertise in this area, we should not forget that when asked previously who might attack the UK with nuclear weapons, Mr Gray cited Pakistan.

My essential point is personal and non-political. Trident is an indiscriminate killer, which, if used, would massacre hundreds of thousands of civilians while the generals, the politicians and the elite cowered in the bunkers. It is redundant in facing current threats.

I recently read an interesting article in which the author said he had never met one 
supporter of nuclear weapons who was prepared to state publicly that he countenanced the mass slaughter they could cause. Maybe he should read The 
Scotsman.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh