At HMNB Clyde there are 589 jobs “directly dependent on Trident” – at least according to Des Brown when he was Labour’s defence secretary in 2009. That is rather less than the “thousands” cited by former frontbencher John Park (your report, 18 November).
Faslane is not only a nuclear weapon base, but home to other ships and submarines that would still need workers servicing them if Trident were scrapped. But whatever the numbers, these are real people’s jobs which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Plans for defence diversification, like those being researched by the Scottish TUC, are crucial for moving jobs away from projects like Trident and towards the greening of the Scottish economy.
Investment in other industrial sectors – such as sustainable energy – could help reinvigorate the economy and create skilled employment.
The reality is we are discussing spending £100 billion on a weapons system that was designed for the Cold War that has no logical place in the changed environment of the 21st century.
In defence budget terms, keeping Trident means that thousands of armed forces personnel have lost their jobs; and the huge cost of every post maintained by Trident is money not available for delivering many times more vital public sector jobs.
Imagine the impact of just 10 per cent of the Trident replacement budget being invested in modern equipment at the Clydeside shipyard – the best shipbuilding and maintenance plant in Europe.
That’s the progressive vision our politicians should project.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Deputy General Secretary