Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Silent Debate

Remember this:

Today the prime minister's official spokesman hinted that MPs would get a vote on the issue, without committing the government to anything specific.

"Decisions will be taken in due course and there will be a proper debate," he said, adding: "The issue of the replacement of Trident is one that the government will address in this parliament.

"It is undoubtedly a difficult issue; it will undoubtedly lead to proper debate and proper discussions. But the prime minister believes we have to face up to these decisions in the interests of the country." (The Guardian June 22nd 2006)

Of course you do, we all participated in the debate, didn't we? I guess I shouldn't be surprised about what 'proper debate' means to Blair. There is no debate. The decision was undoubtedly taken before June 2006, and Blair just paid lip-service to his democratic responsibilities. But, this raises more questions than simply Blair's disregard for public scrutiny.

In a world where we are threatened by shadowy figures that could blow us up at any moment (if you believe the authoritarian bilge we are bombarded with), what use is a submarine with a nuclear warhead??? It is hardly going to stop someone from detonating one of those ubiquitous 'dirty bombs'. There is all this talk of new threats that we have never encountered before, and yet we are using the same old tactics. Still, I guess nuclear proliferation is ok when it is us proliferating.

(If you have been involved in the public debate, please get in touch, I want to know what I was missing.)