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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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steepholm steepholm
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Trident Tested
I asked this on Facebook yesterday, but so far haven't had any substantive replies, so I thought I'd try my luck here. Though I suspect that in both cases my friends lists may not be the ideal targets for the question.

If there's anyone out there who thinks that renewing Trident is a good idea, I'd love to know what the arguments for it are. The only three I can see are a) it provides employment - which I'm fairly certain could be done in more cost-effective ways, b) it provides a pretext for the UK having a permanent place on the UN Security Council, and c) it means the French haven't got one-up on us. The last two are pretty specious, surely?

So, what are the other arguments? And specifically, what are the arguments that apply to the UK but not to other constitutional democracies that might also wish to have an independent deterrent, and are as threatened if not more so than the UK? Like, shall we say, South Korea? Unless you think S. Korea should have the bomb, in which case feel free to say so.


Two riders: a) note that I'm asking not about NATO membership, but about Trident specifically; b) even if you don't believe in the arguments, if you know what they are I'd still like to hear them.

But surely that ship has long since sailed? We "granted" independence to pretty much the whole Empire generations ago. Few people are old enough to remember the Empire when it was still worth the name, and many of them are glad it's gone.

Oh, but you just reminded me of this exchange on the (unjustly forgotten) Nicolas Craig's Masterclass. You're right: we're dealing with powerful fantasies here! Now I'm going to watch the rest of the show...

It's a very powerful fantasy- I'd almost go so far as to use words like "national myth".

And politicians are deeply invested in national myth. Every PM wants to be elevated to the pantheon- as a great leader of a great nation. Hence the constant invoking of Churchill- our most mythical leader. Trident is one of the attributes of the "kingship" they aspire to. Consider the name: it's not accidental. The trident is the chief weapon of Britannia as ruler of the waves- one she grabbed off Father Neptune and has wielded on the coinage since the 18th century. Symbolism matters here more than commonsense.