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Issue #1721      March 2, 2016

“We’re not safe with Trident”

BRITAIN: Trident whistleblower William McNeilly warned last week that the nuclear weapons system was a “risk to the people and a risk to the land.”

The former nuclear submariner spoke out in an interview with Russia Today before the huge Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) protest against Tory plans to renew Trident at a cost of £167 billion.

McNeilly said that Trident had “huge” disadvantages and argued that rather than acting as a deterrent, the nuclear submarines “create a target” for extremists. He said it was “an attraction to the people who were radicalised to carry out an attack on our homeland that could bring the UK to its knees.”

Last May McNeilly leaked a report exposing 30 safety and security failures documented over his three-month tour onboard one of Britain’s Vanguard submarines. He was dishonourably discharged after the leak.

He told Russia Today that the media were quick to try to discredit him by claiming he was on the run and trying to learn Russian and said he feared that he would be “set up” for crimes that he didn’t commit.

Giving an insight into potentially fatal security breaches at the Faslane naval base, McNeilly warned that the navy “doesn’t check your bags [at Faslane]” because “its attitude is it will take too long.”

He added that “all you need to get on board is a couple of fake IDs. Terrorist groups like ISIS have already shown it can produce legitimate documents,” he said. “Thousands of Royal Navy IDs go missing every year as well, so it could come across one.”

McNeilly said that around 180 people are onboard for patrols, warning that “they’re all bringing on big bags unchecked. All it would take would be for one of them to have a bomb.”

He accused the Royal Navy of being “willing to lie just to protect the image of nuclear weapons just so they can keep them” and said that disarmament “may encourage others to disarm.”

McNeilly also spoke of the staggering cost of Trident renewal, saying the government “doesn’t have to make as much cuts if it cuts out Trident.”

He said: “You’ve got floods, police, fire brigade, NHS [National Health Service], our real defences that we use every single day that people need. People don’t want the boats and we don’t need them. We’ve not needed them in the wars we’ve been fighting.”

McNeilly called for action to protect future generations, adding “times have changed. It’s a new world and they need to wake up, create real change, create a sustainable system.”

Thousands of anti-war campaigners and trade unionists descended on Parliament last Saturday to call for the cancellation of the Trident nuclear submarine system.

The CND Stop Trident demonstration was the largest anti-nuclear demonstration in a generation, as Trident renewal costs skyrocket to a staggering £167 billion (AU$335 billion).

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said the huge public interest in the event revealed that stopping Trident was “not a minority protest” but a rational demand “from across society, from every corner of our beloved lands, from every age, faith and walk of life.”

Hudson said: “We are the majority and we will prevail.”

Morning Star

Next article – Problem of union members voting for Trump

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