Tag Archives: Faslane Naval Base

Cut Military Spending? Scrap Trident?

john stewart

In 1998, the UN estimated that we would need $40 billion annually to sustain the entire WORLD population. This translates to roughly $58 billion today and would cover housing, food, clothing, health care, education, and a lot lot more. Any one of the countries listed in the picture above could provide that money if that where all it took.

You might be thinking that all that is needed is for a party to get in that will get into power that can reform the system and divert some of the money to meeting our needs, but capitalism cannot be reformed.

The closer a group gets to controlling power, or at least as groups get absorbed into the decision making structure, the divisions between rich and poor disappear from view and the status quo becomes less and less flawed. Preserving the current order (with the odd cosmetic difference here and there) becomes the goal.

As elections draw near there will be more and more calls to scrap trident, with the vulture political parties circling around our anger and horror about nuclear war and hoping to pick it apart for votes. No matter if we vote or not, or if the candidate agrees with us or not, the demand to scrap trident, by itself, is doomed to failure.

Many supporters of the SNP, the Greens, and the smaller socialist parties all think that the lip service for scrapping trident that their parties give now will translate into action if only we all get behind them and vote them into power, but lets look at what has already happened to see what will come down the line.

As the SNP have gotten closer to power they have had to change their posture so that they look appropriate for that power. This has manifested in their U-turn on leaving NATO, instead guaranteeing that an independent Scotland with them at the helm would remain a member.

The Trident missiles themselves (if not the warheads on them) are an american weapons system housed at Faslane under lease to the Royal Navy through a NATO treaty. It is impossible to scrap it without leaving NATO and the pissing off the US government.

The only reason the Greens and smaller parties can get away with still saying they would leave NATO is because they are not getting any closer to power at this time. They can remain a minority voice that will ultimately be ignored by whoever has power.

So let’s keep in mind that the cry to scrap trident is falling on deaf ears and by itself leads to a dead end of supporting political parties and electoral politics. Instead, as we shout out for trident to be scrapped, let’s also start shouting out for what we really need – a world without wars and a life where our well-being is met because we are alive – and let’s do it through building working class power with those who are around us.

After all, why back one party when we can build so that any of them would have to give us what we want least we take it for ourselves? And if we can take it for ourselves, well, that’s where real freedom lies!


Protesters Arrested On-board Nuclear Sub

The following update came from the Faslane Peace Camp Facebook page:

“Two peace campers were arrested on board a nuclear sub yesterday morning. Press release to follow when we’ve finished writing it!”

That two protesters can breach such a high security area shows how unsafe these weapons really are and only backs up the popular idea that nuclear weapons need to be decommissioned now.

We talked with the camp and they could really do with folks heading out to stay even for a night or two while they look after those who were arrested, put together press releases, and keep the camp functioning. If you can help contact them on 01436 820 901.

EDIT: Here is their press release on the situation



Two campaigners from Faslane Peace Camp were arrested on Wednesday morning aboard the Royal Navy submarine HMS Ambush at its berth in Faslane.
Security at the site – home to Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons and headquarters of the Royal Navy – was again called into question by the protestors’ actions.

Speaking today following her release from custody, boarding party member Heather Stewart (29) expressed surprise at the success of the action. ‘I am amazed and disturbed by the accessibility of the UK’s top defence site. Up to eighty nuclear warheads are often stationed here, along with several nuclear reactors. We thought we could get in, but not that we would be arrested within meters of nuclear materials.’

HMS Ambush is one of the new Astute class of hunter-killer submarines. Two of a planned seven Astutes have been completed, with all seven intended to be based alongside the £100 billion Trident replacement at Faslane. The base is currently undertaking a £31 million expansion to accommodate the additional service personnel for these submarines.

‘These submarines use the same leaky reactor which has recently been disclosed to have caused problems at Dounreay. Bringing another five to Faslane will double the chances of nuclear accident and increase the amount of nuclear waste on our roads and railways,’ said Jamie Watson (29) on release from Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

Having been charged with bye-laws offences, malicious mischief, and offences under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, the protestors were allowed to leave custody with no trial date set. Stewart said, ‘Direct actions such as this are necessary, to reflect the overwhelming public support for scrapping Trident and to show that we won’t accept a Trident replacement or new nuclear submarines.

‘Since there’s nowhere else for them to go, a “Yes” vote in September will help pile on the pressure for these engines of destruction to be sent to the breaker’s yard as part of a programme of unilateral disarmament.’

Faslane Peace Camp has been a base for anti-nuclear action for almost 32 years. Consisting of a line of caravans along the A814 opposite the submarine base, the Peace Camp calls to all opposed to war, militarism, and weapons of mass destruction to join us.

HM Naval Base Clyde is a number of sites on the Clyde, Gareloch, and Loch Long, in the West of Scotland near Helensburgh. The main sites are Faslane, which hosts the Vanguard submarines which carry Trident nuclear warheads on constant patrols of the Atlantic, and Coulport, which stores undeployed warheads. Nuclear waste from the sites is set to be moved following public consultation on a temporary disposal site this year.

Both the Vanguard and Astute submarines based at Faslane use the same type of reactor as HMS Vulcan, the test reactor at Dounreay. A leak detected at this reactor was not publicly disclosed for two years, despite a tenfold increase in radioactivity in the surrounding area and obvious implications for the UK submarine fleet. HMS Vanguard is now scheduled for refuelling in 2015 at an estimated cost of £120 million, with the remainder of the UK’s nuclear submarines likely to follow.

Faslane Peace Camp / Jamie Watson 01436 820 901
Heather Stewart 07910 332 329