Scotland willingly embraced Trident

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I take it that Douglas Turner’s claim (Letters, 21 January) that Scotland is predominantly anti-Trident has the same provenance as the sure knowledge that the referendum result would be a mirror image of what turned out to be the actuality of last 
September.

There has been no impartial definitive test of this claim but we may note that for more than half a century, without coercion, Scotland provided about one third of the workforce of the UK nuclear weapons establishments and our elected representatives at Westminster have just shown that in the main they have no overwhelming urge to discontinue this arrangement.

Wages and pensions plus other side benefits would have injected more than the cost share of the project into the Scottish economy so the oft-repeated financial anti-Trident argument is, to say the least, also rather dubious.

Mr Turner cites a list of predominantly non-European localised wars in refutation of Douglas Gibb’s reference to pan-European and global conflict.

Does anyone seriously believe that his European exception, Ukraine, would have led to little risk of a re-run of the Second World War in a non-nuclear situation?

It is true that many Nato members do not have nuclear weapons, but then they never did and, unlike the current Scottish Government, have made no threats of attempting to deprive Nato of part of its nuclear capability.

The volte-face with regard to the once-trumpeted anti-Nato stance of the SNP leadership is indeed one of the wonders of the modern 
political scene.

Former justice secretary Kenny MacAskill summed up the reason nicely in his “power before principles” conference speech.

We note that Nicola Sturgeon is loudly proclaiming a removal of Trident deal as part of her generous offer to shore up a minority Westminster government. Tuesday’s result is perhaps indicative of the likely response.

Isn’t it now time that she finally forgot about the symbolism of Trident and put a bit more effort into tackling Scotland’s real tridentate problem of obesity, alcoholism and drug abuse?

(Dr) A McCormick

Kirkland Road

Dumfries

George Kerevan (Perspective, 21 January) is reminiscent of someone desperate to win at Twister by saying the most outrageous things in the hope that someone does not spill the beans and make him fall over.

Rarely have I read anyone spout such utter tosh. Does he really believe that “we do not face any existential threat from another nuclear power”?

If so, thank goodness he has no defence role in the United Kingdom.

Rather like Douglas Turner, who cannot distinguish proxy wars like Korea, Vietnam et al from a war between nuclear powers, he does not seem to realise that it only takes one loose cannon to change the current status quo into a terrifying reality of nuclear blackmail.

If he and Mr Turner do not understand that Pakistan is under a real threat from 
Islamic extremists (the ones he thinks represent no nuclear threat) taking over and using their nukes as would North Korea to blackmail weak, Western governments with no nuclear shield, then he should change his specialist subject from 
economics to international relations. Now.

One day soon, their missiles could reach us too. How would we then react without a nuclear defence?

Royal Navy submarines’ visits to the USA for weapons checks and maintenance have no relevance to maintaining Faslane.

Apples and oranges, Mr Kerevan.

Labour, please note: an alliance with the SNP will spell electoral oblivion.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

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