Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The PM

I'm a little late in addressing this issue, but I think that the Government should be congratulated for convincing Parliament to vote for the new Trident nuclear defence* system. It’s extortionately expensive and completely useless, and Tony Blair managed to convince a majority of Parliamentarians to blow twenty billion pounds on it.

Jolly well done, sir. Truly, this man could sell tits to Hugh Hefner.

It’s just a little disappointing that we’re too polite to ever actually use it. I can’t really imagine any of our recent Prime Ministers ordering a massive thermonuclear strike on Moscow - they’d think it was terribly rude.

Actually, I tell a lie - I could envision Lady Thatcher ordering a strike on Moscow. Now that I come to think of it, I can easily imagine Mrs. T nuking French Guyana, just to annoy Jacques Chirac. At least now, with our shiny new missile system, we could theoretically do so.

That’s assuming the damn thing works, of course. Picture the scene - as the Iranian missiles shriek towards London, placid senior civil servants calmly explain to a panicked Prime Minister that our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work in desert conditions.

Still, nukes seem to be the weapon of choice as far as bloggers are concerned. Every time some crank in the Middle East burns a flag, I wind up reading feverish demands that we turn the entire region into a sheet of radioactive glass.

I can see why that might appeal to certain figures in the Bush administration. After all, it’d make prospecting for oil a lot easier - you’d just have to walk about looking down.

So if we can’t use these missiles, why don’t we take that twenty billion pounds and spend it on something we can use? If they junked the Trident program and just handed every Briton their own big pointy stick, we’d have enough left over to buy a round and crisps for 55 million people.

I’d think better of New Labour come polling day, I can tell you.

In coming to this conclusion, I've had to consider what would happen to the concept of deterrence. The arms race would brutal, as countries competed to build ever larger and sharper sticks. I suppose that the worst case scenario is the Iranians developing a stick so big and pointy that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could lean out of his Tehran window and poke us all in the eyes.

I’ve considered that eventuality, and we’ll need to keep a secret weapon of near infinite destructive capabilities in reserve - Britain's enemies will have no response to the shock and awe of the sock and 8-Ball.

We should take great care to use this awesome power wisely.

*You can tell this is the British government we’re talking about - the Americans spell the word “defence” differently, and imbue it with a wildly different meaning.

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