Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Ground Zero, Faslane

Now you know how it feels to live in uncertain times. The nervousness created by a shift in the established order. The worry of a new warlord in our nearest neighbour due west of Glasgow. The fear of the imposed, extreme, policies - the anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-migration policies of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump in the White House, with his finger on the nuclear button. The nuclear button that would fire Trident warheads from submarines based in Faslane - be clear, it is the US that controls 'our' bomb. Meaning that Faslane, and thus Scotland, would be obliterated in the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) retaliation.

We in Europe are not used to these levels of unease, of nerves.  We have allowed ourselves to get richer at the expense of the world's poor - both at home and abroad. We have felt comfortable with that wealth when, in fact, it was riches built on a false premise. Abandoning the masses whilst the few enrich themselves is fun (for the rich) for a while, but as Brexit and Trump have shown us,  eventually 20, 30 or 40 years later the poor get back their voice and either by vote, by revolt or by war overturn the established order.

Feel glad that in the UK and USA this revolt has come by vote; in too many other places - the Levant, north Africa - it has come with a bullet or a bomb.

Until now we have been the ones exporting the uncertainty, supplying arms to regimes around the world that use them to supress, to kill and to ensure fearful, compliant populations. 

Arms trade, Scotland, source

Now we're getting a spoonful (no more than a spoonful - our lives are still going to be comparatively comfortable) of that medicine back.

What can Scotland do? We're a wee country with no power, little influence and a lightweight (in comparison to the USA) economy.

There is much we can do.  Scotland can be a model for tolerance, decency, peace and the environment. We're already showing ourselves to be more international, and much more tolerant, than the voters of England. Scotland is building a sustainable, green future for itself, despite the hollowing out of the sustainable energy business by Westminster.

Now we need to take the next step. We must become a country of peace. A country that converts its arms manufactures - which still employ more than 12,000 people in Scotland - into factories for products that conserve energy, feed people or improve science.  We must, absolutely must, get rid of the weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde, handing them back to England so that she may store them in a more appropriate location, such as the Thames.

We can only reach that state of peace if we rid ourselves of Westminster. An independent Scotland can be a wee beacon for good, in a world that is Trumped.

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