Wednesday, January 13, 2016
There is, unfortunately, not always a close congruence of view between Conservatives and Trade Union leaders.
However, there does appear to be one topical issue where the views of the Conservative leadership and supporters and those of many trade unionists are absolutely aligned.
That is the question of whether Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent should be maintained and in due course replaced by a successor system.
The Conservatives believe that we are living in a dangerous world, and need to be able to deter potential aggressors. There is no way we can be certain that in the decade it will take to build and deploy the successor to Trident there will not be developments in the world against which that deterrence will be urgently needed. Playing games with that is risking our national security - and the financial security of thousands of people in both the Royal Navy and the industry that supports it, those employed in operating, crewing, maintaining and building the Trident force, and their families.
Sir Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, told Radio 4 on Monday that the union will continue to support the renewal of Trident in no uncertain terms:
“If anybody thinks that unions like the GMB are going to go quietly into the night while tens of thousands of our members’ jobs are literally swannied away by rhetoric then they’ve got another shock coming.”
There is a good piece by Kieran Pedley of GfK on Political Betting at
which points out some of the problems for Labour if they try to axe the nuclear deterrent.
Nevertheless, while Corbyn remains leader of the Labour party, for the thousands of people whose jobs depend on Trident and its' replacement, and for those who believe as I do that we need this deterrent to protect our national security, a vote for Labour is not a safe option.