Letter to Daily Mail:
On 21 April (Mail) you reported Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon as criticizing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for voting against the Trident nuclear weapons system renewal.
On the same day The Mail on Line reported a very important independent study released by the United Nation's Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDR) which concluded “The risk of an 'accidental' nuclear war is higher than ever and 'when luck runs out, the results will be catastrophic”.
The report’s expert authors stress that nuclear deterrence works “up until the time it will prove not to work,” adding ominously “accident, misunderstanding or inadvertent escalation” are real risks.
The report interestingly points out that it is, ironically, complex automated systems – such as those for early warning, plus launch command and control - that could malfunction and start a chain of events which could lead to millions dying in an accidental nuclear exchange.
The authors recall the UN General Assembly observation in 2013 that “'As long as nuclear weapons existed, there remained the risk of their use, either intentionally or accidentally, or of their further proliferation.”
A so-called expert UN ‘high-level’ advisory group has concluded “the only guarantee against the threat of nuclear weapons is their total elimination.”
Surely when there are huge pressures on taxpayers to fund the ever increasing demands of the health service, schools and pensions, it would be better to negotiate away Trident in multilateral nuclear disarmament talks at the UN, than commit over £200 billion of taxpayers’ money on replacing Trident.