Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon made a typical red-meat rant to the swivel-eyed Tory faithful “representatives” at the 2015 Conservative conference in Manchester on 4 October.
Having played the Tories-are-the true-patriots card for starters, he turned to Labour’s equivocation over Trident (leader against; most MPs for), highlighting:
“Efficiency savings mean we will be able to spend more on cyber, more on unmanned aircraft, more on the latest technology, keeping ahead of our adversaries. Labour’s approach couldn’t be more different – or more dangerous. How did they respond to their election defeat? By electing a leader who would weaken our national security – who would scrap Trident, leave NATO, and can’t think of circumstances in which he would use our Armed Forces. This is no time for Britain to retreat from the world, to let terror triumph, or to put our people in peril.”
“The biggest investment decision this Parliament will have to take is to replace the ballistic missile submarines that provide our nuclear deterrent.
For 46 years our deterrent has been deployed every hour of every day. Anyone thinking of ending this unbroken patrol has to be absolutely certain that no nuclear threats will emerge in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s. I’m not prepared to take that gamble so we will ask MPs of all parties to put national security first and support building four new ballistic missile submarines.
And we won’t let any coalition of left-wing Labour MPs and the SNP stop us.”
However, the self-same Fallon sensibly told Parliament on Trident renewal on 20 January this year “we also share the vision of a world that is without nuclear weapons, achieved through multilateral disarmament.” (Hansard column 105, 2015;www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150120/debtext/150120-0002.htm)
Stand up the real Fallon