The Green Matters column with Barry Crossland
The United Kingdom has not been threatened with invasion for over 70 years and there is no likely threat in the foreseeable future.
The Green Party acknowledges that it is in the interests of all nations to feel secure and would like to create a culture of trust so that we do not threaten other nations and they do not threaten us. Real security cannot be built upon a balance of nuclear terror.
A logical question to ask is “Which country is our nuclear deterrent deterring?” We are dependent on the USA supplying us with our independent deterrent. We are allied to the USA and France under NATO. As members of the Commonwealth and a significant number of their countrymen living in the UK, India and Pakistan pose no threat. This leaves Russia, China and North Korea as nuclear weapon states. London is the financial centre for tax havens and very convenient for Russians.
The Russians would not want to shoot themselves in the foot. The Chinese sell us so much stuff that it is against their economic interest to annihilate the UK.
This leaves North Korea which is thousands of miles away and does not have the capability to attack us.
The Green Party is opposed to offensive weapons, nuclear and non-nuclear. Using nuclear weapons is the quickest way to wreck our planet. I am pleased that the Green Party occupies the moral high ground and has a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament.
The Green Party is not pacifist and believes that defence expenditure should be the minimum to ensure the security of the United Kingdom. Getting rid of offensive weapon systems will save huge amounts of money which can be utilised in tackling our real security needs, or on the NHS, schools and other socially useful activities.
A Green defence policy would be democratic and accountable. Too often the costs of weapon systems are hidden under official secrets and many costs, such as nuclear decommissioning are dumped on future generations.
The Conservative Party have a military policy based on nineteenth century nostalgia and singing “Rule Britannia”.
Consequently, £7 billion has been spent on two aircraft carriers before buying the planes. With satellite surveillance the Russians know where the carriers are located and have christened them “the sitting ducks”.
A couple of missiles could take them out.
The Greens look at the real threats to our security, such as terrorism, cyber security and climate change. I also look how these threats might impact on my family or myself.
If 9/11 had occurred a month later my wife and I would have been staying in a hotel in NewYork which was flattened by one of the falling towers.
My granddaughter, a undergraduate at Manchester university, could easily have been at Manchester Arena when many young people lost their lives.
One of the consequences of Brexit is that our security is reduced. We will lose access to EU terrorist databases and hurling insults at our European allies will damage co-operation.
A lot of our infrastructure is dependent on computers and the internet.
A nuclear power station going out of control, owing to a cyber attack, is a far greater worry than a physical invasion by troops. Consequently, ensuring that our infrastructure is protected should have a higher priority.