Freesteel Blog » Last hustings before the Election

Last hustings before the Election

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 at 11:01 am Written by:

I knew I had diversity overload here when I was watching a Chinese immigrant speaking as the Conservative Party candidate for Liverpool, Riverside about the Trident nuclear weapons system in a Methodist Christian church in Toxteth where the front four rows were packed with young giggling muslim women in headscarves.

It was lively.

There was uproar on the question of Palestine when the incumbent MP Louise Ellman stated categorically that there was no blockade of Gaza.

As the saying goes, You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

The fact was Louise Ellman didn’t need to be there, because with a majority of 33% she would still get elected if she stood Margaret Thatcher in her place.

So all due credit, considering her position. (The LibDem candidate Richard Marbrow didn’t turn up.)

Candidate hustings are a rare and unique moment of political equality. At all other meetings the MP has the seniority and the power, and what they say has the weight of significance — even if it’s complete bollocks. Even more so if it’s bollocks, because they have the power to implement what they say, and you’re going to live with the resulting balls-up.

But at this brief window they are officially on the level of the citizen and they have to debate about things in a row with other equal citizens. We get to hear what’s popular and what is not.

That’s why I like audiences that hollar and shout. It’s mainly to hear our own thoughts to ourselves, and to get the feeling that the powers have actually heard it. If we’d sat through these hustings in silent deference, our sense of despair at hearing what we know are lies would have been private and unknown to one another. Now it’s clear.

My take on the Trident nuclear weapons system? Thanks for asking.

Like most weapons systems, it is not a general purpose resource. Trident was designed to respond to an all-out nuclear threat of annihilation from another nuclear weapons state with whom we had insignificant economic relations (the Soviet Union) with an armed retaliation that was unlikely to be destroyed in the first attack by virtue of being on-board a fleet of submarines.

Such a threat no longer exists. And if one emerged in a future “uncertain world” — as the official position defines it such fine detail — then it could only occur over a time span sufficient to rebuild a similar nuclear weapons capability.

An enemy fleet of a thousand ballistic nuclear weapons, sufficient to destroy all parts of the United Kingdom where land-based missiles were situated, cannot appear overnight.

Come to think of it, maybe the reason they put the missiles in submarines is to keep them away from us. People don’t want missile silos littering the countryside. It’s too much of a reminder that Governments are in the business of mass murder.

In any case, they’re boxed in by their own irrational needs. Nuclear weapons have nothing to do with national security. They are needed to satisfy other deep political fetishes. It’s not possible to admit to them openly.

And, no, China is never going to be a military threat to the UK. They can already defeat us totally without raising a single weapon, because our financial system has a number of very sensitive national self-destruct mechanisms built into its structure. All they need to do is glance at the button to make our entire economy implode, and then there will be riots in the street within four weeks.

Politics is not a game.


  • 1. Freesteel&hellip replies at 8th June 2010, 2:10 pm :

    […] fits with my MP’s categorical statement that “there is no blockade of Gaza”. It’s just a little local difficulty […]

  • 2. Freesteel&hellip replies at 16th June 2010, 8:43 pm :

    […] your re-election by the voters of Liverpool Riverside, you were kind enough to speak at a somewhat rowdy hustings in the Methodist Christian church in […]

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