Friday, 25 September 2009

A Generous Offer To The World





Our esteemed Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, made a speech to the United Nations this week, in which he outlined Britain's commitment to reducing the world's arsenal of nuclear missiles.
Britain has, hm, so far as the country will admit, about 160 nuclear weapons. Some of those are always at sea, in our nuclear submarine fleet, in the Vanguard class, designed to launch Trident missiles. However, its replacement is in development, how many will we need? Current plans are for a fleet of four submarines, but mister Brown said we might be prepared to get by with just three.
Of course, this largesse would have nothing to do with the fact that these things cost billions, and the country's broke?

And of course, as the nature of world politics changes, nuclear weapons seem less of a deterrent.
So if we Brits buy one less megasub, the world can breathe a sigh of relief.
Whilst trying not to think of the 2,200 nuclear surprises that the U.S. holds, or the 2,800 the russians have, or the israeli ones, the pakistani ones, the indian, the north korean, the chinese..... Or the 300 in France.
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5 comments:

  1. Well, it isn't how many you have, anyway. It's how fast you can make more. But making huge submarines employs many welders. And, ummmm, others.

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  2. As usual, Max, you cut to the nub. Pretty much everybody in the town of Barrow in Furness, and its environs, owes their living, directly or indirectly to the shipyards. Other places supply the metals and the components, the paints, paintbrushes and lightswitches, lots of people required to build each one. Then, once it's built it needs to be supplied, maintained, and crewed.
    Each one has its own comet-trail of workers, their spouses, children, dogs, cats, paperboys, plumbers, roofers, the guys who fix their cars, and so on down the line.
    Cancelling a nuclear sub leaves us wondering how many fewer loaves the baker, twenty miles from the shipyard will sell.

    And how many will draw unemployment, how many mortgages will foreclose, how many men will stare aimlessly into the fire and pop open another bottle. Because if you're a submarine builder, and that's what you do, it's kinda hard to get a different job. Especially when things that need heavy welders, like wind-turbine towers, are being shipped to your region from china, (complete with faulty welds).

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  3. Jim, oh yes, stupid we are, clever little stupids. We can build these incredible things, yet seem not to understand the basic flaw in our plan of mutually assured destruction.
    I really would like to see an alternative form of warfare, where the chief politician of a country, president, prime-minister, respected and beloved leader, whatever, leads his army, composed of his immediate cabinet, his secretaries of state and his aides and advisors, all out onto the battlefield, and there'd be an offside rule, that no lower ranking grunt could ever be in front of a higher ranking officer.

    I'd bet we'd soon see a change of battle plan, if you couldn't throw disposable pawns at the problem.

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  4. maybe we should just blow the sh!t out of the Russians? That would solve all the problems!

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