So last week (you know, that time when only most of the news coverage was of the royal baby rather than all of the news coverage) the review of alternatives to Trident was published. Trident being our nuclear weapon system.
The review came about because Trident needs renewing at a cost of £20 to £100 billion and the Lib Dems oppose the renewal of it. So this review is meant to come up with nice alternatives which prove we can have our cake and eat it - the ability to start world war three and pay next to nothing for it.
Unfortunately, the review has proved that if you want a full time nuclear deterrent then you have to have Trident. The only alternative is to have a part time nuclear deterrent which will cost almost nearly as much as a full time deterrent.
So, now that's nicely established, can we please just scrap our nuclear weapons altogether? At the very least can we make that Lib Dem policy?
For decades the Liberal Democrats have had to put up with a bloody stupid, decades old compromise which basically involved the leadership (who were terrified of being seen as a bunch of hippies who weren't serious about national security) and most of the membership (who actually wanted us to get rid of our nuclear weapons completely) agreeing that we'd just oppose renewing our current nuclear weapon system when the time came.
Well the time's come and we can't dodge the issue any more. Either it's Trident or it's nothing.
And, given that we are no longer in a cold war, given that anyone crazy enough in the modern world to use nuclear weapons isn't likely to be deterred by the thought of retaliation, given that we're still protected by NATO and given that it would be a monumental crime to ever use them to slaughter millions of innocent civilians, please could we just have the guts to grow up and say that we think we shouldn't have nuclear weapons at all.
We don't need them, the money could be spent better elsewhere (such as on our conventional armed forces) so lets just be honest about the fact and publicly admit what most people in the party believe already. It's not like our current position has fooled anyone into thinking we're not closet unilateralists anyway.