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Hall Green CND draws attention to the January debate in Parliament. The motion by Angus Robertson (Moray) (SNP) was: “That this House believes that Trident should not be renewed”. It was supported by members of the Green and Plaid Cymru parties and some from the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, but was voted down.

Roger Godsiff (Birmingham, Hall Green) (Lab) who spoke in the Commons debate explains on his website that he considers that the two arguments put forward for the ‘so-called’ independent nuclear weapons deterrent are both myths.

  • “The first myth is that the system is ‘independent’ . . . The UK does not own the missiles. It leases them from America where they are made, maintained and tested. Our 4 submarines have to go to the American naval base in Georgia to have the missiles fitted. Therefore our nuclear deterrent is totally dependent on America.
  • “The second myth is that the UK would lose its seat on the United Nations Security Council if it did not have nuclear weapons. This really is nonsense. When the United Nations was set up in 1945 the 5 permanent members of the Security Council, who have a veto, were the victors of the Second World War. Of the 5 countries only America had nuclear weapons. To suggest that a country has to have nuclear weapons in order to be a member of the Security Council is totally untrue”.

In addition to membership of the NATO defence pact, Roger Godsiff stresses the need to be able to deal with threats from domestic terrorist groups and make sure our police and internal security organisations are properly funded to disrupt their activities. He recalled an incident some years ago in White Street, Sparkbrook, where a terrorist cell planning to set off bombs in central Birmingham was monitored and the premises raided before any atrocity was carried out. The individuals involved were all convicted and received long prison sentences and Godsiff concluded:

“Committing £100 billion to renew our nuclear deterrent is ridiculous at a time of austerity when so many of our services, including conventional defence forces, are being dramatically cut. This is why I voted against renewal.”

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 Hall Green CND are to ask Hall Green and Yardley election candidates about their views on the renewal of Trident and post their answers on their website.