Scrap Trident

I very much appreciate the tone of Professor Gerard DeGroot's analysis (Opinion, 22 April) as to the usefulness or otherwise of Trident and its predecessors in their role as the UK's "independent nuclear deterrent" which are neither independent nor a deterrent to any known threat; though Gordon Brown has erroneously cited Iran and North Korea as imminent nuclear threats and David Cameron has thrown China, a major trading partner, into the mix.

However, when it comes to the costs of Trident's replacement, the professor veers somewhat off the track in stating the cost would amount to "only" 65 billion rather than the 100bn that Alex Salmond and Nick Clegg quote.

Whilst it is correct to state that the costs would be over a period of years, Trident replacement is a major capital project at a level of expenditure which, in these financial times, is an extravagance that simply cannot be afforded in order that Britain can continue in its pose as a post-imperial world power, indulged in by the United States because its weapons manufacturers have an over-weaning customer.

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In fact, 100bn may prove to be a considerably conservative underestimate as major capital projects are commonly known to run over cost.

Further, in the case of the SNP Scottish Government, the intention is the Trident project should be immediately scrapped so that savings would start now and the money freed up from buying and maintaining weapons of mass murder on the Clyde can be ploughed into hospitals, schools and renewables projects that will provide more jobs than "Son of Trident" ever could.


Scottish Parliament