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Showing posts with label NATO and the SNP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NATO and the SNP. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Scotland and NATO – a US view. The questions and contradictions that just won’t go away …

This is a right-wing Republican argument - but - who knows when the US will have another right-wing republican president? In less than four years? And who knows exactly what Obama and the Democrats think of Scotland and NATO?

The essence of the argument is all here - it contains all the contradictions inherent within the SNP's hotly-debated policy shift last October. They weren't successfully addressed or answered then - and Angus Robertson did not successfully address them in the debate that immediately followed this. Jim Murphy was of course in his usual backroom Glasgow political brawler mode, and betrayed all the intellectual poverty and hypocrisy at the heart of the Labour position.

Only independence - and an election in 2016 for a truly independent Scottish Parliament - will resolve these matters.

Since the Scottish Labour Party that contests that election will be a very different beast to its present expedient, power, money-grubbing and militaristic incarnation, who knows what the outcome of the 2016 election will be? The same will be true to a lesser degree of the LibDems. The Tories will still be Tories ...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Alex Salmond on NATO and nuclear submarines – Radio Scotland 18th Oct. 2012

Gary Robertson: On the issue of NATO, which your party is discussing at your conference, is a change in policy crucial to reassure Scotland when it comes to voting in the referendum?

Alex Salmond: No, I think a change of policy is the right thing, because all parties should change their policies to equip them for the modern, and the long-term consistency in SNP policies has been our opposition to nuclear weapons. I mean – the SNP in my lifetime has been pro-NATO, we’ve been anti-NATO, we’ve been in favour, as we are now, of Partnership for Peace, which is a NATO organisation. So that’s been an emphasis in the policy, but the underlying consistency is our opposition to nuclear weapons and the best way to remove Trident from Scotland.

Gary Robertson: So would an independent Scotland allow nuclear-armed vessels from allied countries to enter Scottish waters or ports?

Alex Salmond: Well, an independent Scotland would not have possession of, or allow nuclear weapons on Scottish territory …

Gary Robertson: So you’re saying no to to NATO members with nuclear armed vessels ..

Alex Salmond: As you well know ..

Gary Robertson: .. to enter Scottish waters?

Alex Salmond: As you well know - that – the presence of nuclear weapons on a vessel is never confirmed by any power. There’s many examples of this, but 26 out of the 29 countries in NATO are non-nuclear countries. It’s perfectly feasible for Scotland to be one of these, but still engage in collective defence with our friends and allies.

Gary Robertson: But it is a nuclear – broadly, it’s a nuclear umbrella as it were – so it’s all very well saying on one hand you’ll get rid of Trident – but you are suggesting here that, if nuclear weapons arrive on Scottish shores from NATO members, they would be welcome.

Alex Salmond: I didn’t say that, Gary, as you’re well aware. I’m just pointing out that no country ever confirms the presence of nuclear weapons on its ships. But what you’re trying to tell me is that the policy, for example, pursued by the Canadian Government is somehow inconsistent, or the policy pursued by 26 out of the 29 NATO countries is inconsistent. I mean, I can’t wish away nuclear weapons of the United States of America: what I can do is remove the nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction from Scotland called Trident – and I can do that if Scotland votes for independence in two years time. and we can devote the enormous resources that are wasted on these nuclear weapons just now to things like employment for young people and further investment in Scotland’s colleges.

Gary Robertson: But when we go back to Kosovo – when you called that an act of unpardonable folly, you also talked about it being “an act of dubious legality”.  Why would you want to be part of an alliance that acts in a dubious legal way?

Alex Salmond: Because we are under no requirement to follow any provision of international policy which is not sanctioned by the United Nations. If you look at my attack on the Kosovo policy, it was specifically because it wasn’t sanctioned by the United Nations – and if I can take you to a more recent example ..

Gary Robertson: But Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty says an attack on a member is seen as an attack on all NATO members, so you could well find yourself being involved in conflicts that you don’t agree with

Alex Salmond: An attack on a member state – it’s a  - it’s a collective security alliance. Kosovo was not an attack on a member state – and I if was going to point out to you a much more recent example, of course … If you remember back to the famous debate between two nuclear – two NATO countries, that is France and America over the illegal war in Iraq, with the American Government along with Tony Blair and the UK Labour Government and Conservative parties arguing to get into that illegal war – and the French Government and other NATO countries arguing against that illegal war ..  Membership of NATO doesn’t commit you to taking part in international engagement which are not sanctioned by the United Nations and of course, the motion before the party conference explicitly makes it clear that we’d only be in NATO on condition that we were a non-nuclear country, like the vast majority of members, and that we had the right to follow United Nations precepts on international engagements. That doesn’t tie our hands at all in engaging in collective security with our friends and allies.

COMMENT

The essence of this vital short exchange is in the following questions, posed by Gary Robertson, and the First Minister’s responses. I won’t say answers, because he didn’t answer them. But in failing to answer directly, his responses, despite the evasion, gave a vital and, for me decisive insight into just what is in the SNP leadership’s mind.

EXCHANGE ONE

Gary Robertson: So would an independent Scotland allow nuclear-armed vessels from allied countries to enter Scottish waters or ports?

Alex Salmond: Well, an independent Scotland would not have possession of, or allow nuclear weapons on Scottish territory …

Gary Robertson: So you’re saying no to to NATO members with nuclear armed vessels ..

Alex Salmond: As you well know ..

Gary Robertson: .. to enter Scottish waters?

Alex Salmond: As you well know - that – the presence of nuclear weapons on a vessel is never confirmed by any power. There’s many examples of this, but 26 out of the 29 countries in NATO are non-nuclear countries. It’s perfectly feasible for Scotland to be one of these, but still engage in collective defence with our friends and allies.

Gary Robertson: But it is a nuclear – broadly, it’s a nuclear umbrella as it were – so it’s all very well saying on one hand you’ll get rid of Trident – but you are suggesting here that, if nuclear weapons arrive on Scottish shores from NATO members, they would be welcome.

Alex Salmond: I didn’t say that, Gary, as you’re well aware. I’m just pointing out that no country ever confirms the presence of nuclear weapons on its ships.

No, you didn’t say that, First Minister – you didn’t say very much at all …

The question is avoided completely in its initial. straightforward, crystal clear formulation , by a simple repetition of SNP nuclear policy by the FM. When Robertson persists. the FM retreats behind the eyes closed, don’t know, don’t want to know position, followed by yet another repetition of the mantra of what the non-nuclear NATO member countries do.

But in not answering, the First Minister has answered, by default.

An independent Scotland in NATO will offer, without question, safe havens to any nuclear submarine of any NATO nation without insisting on an inspection – perfectly feasible – to determine whether they are carrying nuclear weapons.

In other words, we will become a passive, notionally non-nuclear dock for nuclear armed vessels of a nuclear alliance committed to first strike, NATO.

SECOND EXCHANGE

Gary Robertson: But when we go back to Kosovo – when you called that an act of unpardonable folly, you also talked about it being “an act of dubious legality”. Why would you want to be part of an alliance that acts in a dubious legal way?

Alex Salmond: Because we are under no requirement to follow any provision of international policy which is not sanctioned by the United Nations. If you look at my attack on the Kosovo policy, it was specifically because it wasn’t sanctioned by the United Nations – and if I can take you to a more recent example ..

Gary Robertson: But Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty says an attack on a member is seen as an attack on all NATO members, so you could well find yourself being involved in conflicts that you don’t agree with

Alex Salmond: An attack on a member state – it’s a - it’s a collective security alliance. Kosovo was not an attack on a member state – and I if was going to point out to you a much more recent example, of course … If you remember back to the famous debate between two nuclear – two NATO countries, that is France and America over the illegal war in Iraq, with the American Government along with Tony Blair and the UK Labour Government and Conservative parties arguing to get into that illegal war – and the French Government and other NATO countries arguing against that illegal war .. Membership of NATO doesn’t commit you to taking part in international engagement which are not sanctioned by the United Nations and of course, the motion before the party conference explicitly makes it clear that we’d only be in NATO on condition that we were a non-nuclear country, like the vast majority of members, and that we had the right to follow United Nations precepts on international engagements. That doesn’t tie our hands at all in engaging in collective security with our friends and allies.

The First Minister’s response to Gary Robertson’s simple question - Why would you want to be part of an alliance that acts in a dubious legal way? – is distorted to make it sound as if he said that the Kosovo was an attack on a member state, thus allowing the FM to mount a defence based on his strawman. Robertson did not say that. If I may offer my understanding of his question, it was -

The Kosovo attack was an illegal, unilateral attack on another nation by NATO. Why would anyone, least of all Alex Salmond who had rightly condemned that attack, want to be part of an alliance that had so recently been capable of such a crime?

What follows in the FM’s closing statement offers a fairy tale world, in which moral, non-nuclear Scotland is partners with this international nuclear gangster, NATO, permitting it to come and go as it please with it WMD-armed submarines in Scottish waters, using non-nuclear Scotland as a key base to launch attacks at any time that would carry unimaginable destructive power to the four corners of our planet, but somehow escapes any responsibility for what it does because the Scottish Government prefers not to ask what the subs are carrying, and can draw its skirts back in mock horror, disassociating itself from anything morally dubious.

This is the morality of someone who rents his property to a whoremonger, but claims no knowledge of what is done on his premises.

Has your pragmatism and flexibility come to this Blairite position, First Minister? Do you expect the Scottish electorate to endorse such a contemptible course of action on their way to – independence?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Unhappy NATO tweeting time–the NATO U-turn and the Perth Conference

There are a dozen more personally rewarding and pleasant things I could have been doing with my day than this. But none more important.

Have a good Conference, delegates! I wish you all well.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

SNP is willing to protect vulnerable species - sharks and pandas - but not protect the vulnerable peoples of the world from NATO and WMDs.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

SNP press release:"SNP MEP Alyn Smith swims with sharks .." SNP must not swim with NATO sharks and be complicit in nuclear warfare and WMDs.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Only time in NATO's history that Article 5 of North Atlantic treaty has been invoked as an attack on all NATO members. It led to Afghanistan

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

@AlynSmithMEP Why swim with the NATO sharks, Alyn - no tank safely contains them. Say NO to NATO at Conference!

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Perth delegates: tell your leaders you love them and trust them but that they are wrong on NATO. Say NO and move on to the independence YES!

Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Better Together will smile and crack a bottle of champagne if SNP Conference says yes to NATO U-Turn. Liam Fox and arms dealers will rejoice

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Perth delegates: at Conference you will hear from committed SNP CND brothers and sisters asking you to say NO to NATO. Trust them and say NO

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

SNP Perth delegates - on arrival you will see committed veterans of the Faslane Peace Camp asking you to say NO to NATO. Don't betray them!

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Perth delegates: the NATO U-turn presents a tactical, strategic and moral challenge. Doing the right thing is the right thing to do - say NO

Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Most flawed pro-NATO U-turn argument of all - "It's disloyal to SNP to oppose the motion and support the amendment." Be loyal to Scotland!

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Flawed NATO arguments:

1:"We need it" We don't!

2:"Influence from within" You can't!

3:"We need it to get a YES" You don't - risks a NO

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Pressures on delegates at Perth to close ranks on NATO U-turn will be formidable. Resist them - NATO is bad for SNP and for Scotland. Say NO

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

An independent Scotland will present a moral example to a troubled world, one however that will be seriously compromised by joining NATO.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

I feel strongly about NATO (you noticed?) - I speak only for myself, from a deep concern for the Scottish people http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/my-reasons-for-cancelling-my-snp-party.html …

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

While the SNP MPs pursue their 'Ladybird Book of Nuclear WMDs', one ordinary Scottish voter tries for detailed argument http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-snps-dangerous-nuclear-nonsense.html …

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

NATO – a nuclear alliance: membership may lead to party fission http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/nato-nuclear-alliance-membership-may.html …

5h Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

SNP keep invoking the non-nuclear NATO members as a kind of desperate mantra. Contrast this simplistic approach with > http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/scotland-in-nato-core-arguments-against.html …

Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

@AngusMacNeilMP None of them remotely compare with Scotland's situation as the base for the UK's WMD's crucial to NATO strategy. You know it

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Influence NATO from inside the tent? Enter this tent and be silenced and suffocated by money, influence and pressure. NATO=WMDs=WAR Say NO!

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

The SNP playing with NATO membership is like a child playing with a hair-trigger revolver. Don't do it, SNP. Vote NO to NATO at Perth.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

@theSNP @AlexSalmondMSP Then abandon the NATO folly, First Minister. You are creating a potential San Andreas fault line in the party.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

@Tarzan123 NATO is dangerous, lethal. I turn away from the US military/industrial complex and an rUK that support WMDs and foreign wars.

5 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

@AngusMacNeilMP Don't be foxed by NATO, Angus. You're aligned with some very dubious people and organisations. Naivety is not in my nature..

Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

#NATO There's something nasty in the woodshed in the SNP's NATO/nuclear position. There's a distinct aroma of NATO influence in all they say

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

SNP support unilateral nuclear disarmament. Why then are they quoting organisations and think tanks who support multi-lateral disarmament?

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Look hard at organisations who support NATO while arguing for multi-lateral disarmament. There's nice consulting, travel and lectures perks!

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

NATO 'influences' a number of organisations with 'PEACE' in their title. They argue for multi-lateral disarmament while arguing for NATO.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

@PeterMurrell @theSNP Why not add a couple of replica Trident warheads for delegates to admire? They go with NATO - or rather, they don't go

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

LIAM FOX says "I support your NATO membership, Alex but warn you to keep Trident on the Clyde for as long as it takes" http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-independence-alex-salmond-s-nato-u-turn-is-right-but-trident-must-stay-says-liam-fox-1-2583433 …

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

#NOtoNATO NATO membership will keep Trident on the Clyde "for as long as it takes" Who says so? Liam Fox, Alex Salmond's new supporter.

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

A wee reminder of what Liam Fox (new supporter of SNP's U-turn on Trident) was and is. He "warns" FM to keep Trident! http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/uks-nuclear-panic-and-devo-max.html …

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

#NATO Liam Fox supports Alex Salmond's NATO U-turn but "warns" him to keep Trident. What more does the Party need to know to say NO to NATO?

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Disgraced former Tory defence secretary Liam Fox backs SNP's Nato U-turn but warns Trident must be kept on Clyde “for as long as it takes ..

Expand

Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Reid Foundation on security threats:".subject has been treated not as real issue of national significance but in terms of political sloganeering"

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Security threats to Scotland:"has failed to give any consideration whatsoever to security responses other than military ones"Reid Foundation

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Security threats to Scotland:"failed to consider the most pressing security threats Scotland faces" REID FOUNDATION

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

Security threats to Scotland:"been based on no credible assessment of the form of or response to security threats Scotland might face" REIDF

 Peter Curran Peter Curran@moridura

@NConway2 That is unquestionably true. NATO membership will make it infinitely more difficult to do so, and presents major ethical

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Scotland in NATO - the core arguments against

1. NATO is a nuclear organisation, committed to the possession and first-strike use of Trident nuclear missiles.

2. NATO is comprised of 28 members countries, but controlled by three of them - the U.S.A, France and the UK. Of the three, the U.S.A. is the dominant controlling entity.

3. Any proposal to NATO by the 25 non-nuclear states can be vetoed by the Big Three - the U.S.A, France and the UK. (This is my practical interpretation of the complexities of the NATO consensual decision making structure where each member country remain sovereign and has right of veto - other interpretations are possible. Please advance them if you have them)

4. Neither the consent nor the involvement of the 25 non-nuclear members is required - nor would it or could it be sought - to authorise a nuclear strike launch. Only the President of the United States, the President of France and the Prime Minister of the UK have the launch codes. No prior approval by the democratically elected bodies in these three countries would be sought prior to launch. (This is my practical interpretation of the complexities of the NATO nuclear command structure - other interpretations are possible. Please advance them if you have them)

5. The time elapsed from launch order to the missile striking its target is dependent on the location of the nuclear submarine at the time the launch order is given, but it is typically 25 minutes.

6. Any member country of NATO by definition is approving the possession and use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction by being a member of NATO, regardless of their stated non-nuclear policy. Any member country is therefore responsible for the consequences of such an act, even though they play no part in the launch decision process.

7. The Scottish National Party's policy proposal - which is effectively the Scottish Government's proposal - to seek membership of NATO for an independent Scotland on the condition that the UK (rUK) accepts the removal of Trident is simplistic and unrealistic, and is recognised as such by any objective and informed political commentator.

It is being presented to the SNP membership as a deal breaker, i.e. no Trident removal, no Scotland in NATO. If presented as such in the negotiations after an independence YES vote, it will be rejected out of hand by the UK (significantly influenced if not controlled by NATO and America). 

But despite the manner of its presentation to the SNP membership, it will not be a deal breaker - it will simply be an opening position in negotiation. The scope for movement by the UK(rUK) is to negotiate -

i) an immediate disarming of Trident warheads (approx. 2 days) which could be reversed in as short a time.

ii) an extend timescale for removal of Trident submarines and decommissioning of the nuclear aspects of the Faslane base - a minimum of 10 years, probably extending to 20 years - effectively never.

iii) the acceptance that an independent Scotland will provide 'safe havens' for any NATO nuclear-armed submarines and nuclear-powered submarines in perpetuity.

It is conceivable that rUK would seek a long-term lease of the Faslane base, or even seek to negotiate the base and relevant area as rUK sovereign territory, thus allowing the Government of an independent Scotland to claim that Scotland is a non-nuclear nation.

ANALYSIS AND COMMENT

The implications of this dangerous and far reaching proposal (Scotland's NATO membership) are of such significance that it is unacceptable that it should only be discussed and voted on by a few hundred  delegates from one political party. Once adopted by the SNP as policy, it will then be the official negotiating entry position in 2014 after a YES vote. It will not be submitted to the Scottish Parliament for approval - if it were, it would be carried by the SNP majority.

The Scottish electorate could not question it until May 2016 at the Scottish Parliamentary elections, by which time the negotiations on this item might either be concluded or at a crucial stage. A change of the power balance in Holyrood or a change of government could result in a chaotic situation under such circumstances, dependent on the voice of the electorate.

The electorate should at least be consulted now. Relying on university polls some years old (The Mitchell Report) or ephemeral opinion polls conducted with an under-informed electorate on this crucial topic is democratically unacceptable.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

NATO – a nuclear alliance: membership may lead to party fission

NATO is a defence alliance, controlled by the U.S.A. Its model of defence has invariably been attack on other nations. It is a nuclear alliance – the possession of weapons of mass destruction, with a first strike policy, is central to its ethos. Its raison d’etre, the Cold War between the Soviet Bloc and the West, symbolised by the Berlin Wall, ended when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, a generation ago. Since then, it has been it search of a role.

NATO, a nuclear military alliance, is the lynchpin of the military/industrial complex  – the war corporation – the dangers of which were first articulated by an American President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Every American President since then has been essentially powerless in the face of this amoral conspiracy of defence industry contractors and political parties, with the military and brave servicemen and women helpless pawns in a game that recklessly sacrifice their lives and the lives of millions of innocent civilians across the globe.

Among the highest levels of the military there is a dangerous blurring of the line between industry, politics and the honourable profession of defending a nation, with revolving doors between the military, the defence industry and politics – an immensely lucrative trough of money at which politicians and civil servants also feed.

NATO has - like any large amoral corporation - a powerful PR and propaganda machine, one that can dominate and in many case, intimidate even the largest media organisations.

NatoCommunity  -  NATO-OTAN

In my view, the Scottish National Party is composed of principled men and women with a commitment to the unilateral nuclear disarmament of an independent Scotland – a goal that can only be achieved by Scotland’s independence. In fact, in the modern world as currently structured politically, only Scotland can achieve that.

But I also believe that the leadership of the SNP has now started on a path – membership of NATO - based not on principle but on flawed, short term expediency and flawed judgements about electoral advantage and negotiating dynamic and strategy, relying on simplistic arguments – that will lead to one of three outcomes -

possible rejection of a YES to independence vote by the Scottish electorate.

(A minority of Scots voters appear to favour independence, a majority seem to favour more devolution within UK, and since apparently 75% of Scots voters want to remain in NATO, they may come to the conclusion that remaining in the UK is the best way to achieve that. Since every recent policy movement of the SNP is towards reducing the perceived difference between the UK and Scotland, and the vision of independence becomes ever more blurred, the NATO policy shift may clinch that decision to remain in the UK)

outright rejection by the UK of the SNP’s terms for NATO membership (influenced by the U.S.A. and NATO) – with serious damage to other aspects of negotiations on independence and to attempts to remove Trident

to being insidiously sucked into a gradual retreat from unilateral nuclear disarmament of an independent Scotland by a deal that will result in Trident and nuclear submarines still being at Faslane for twenty years or more.

I don’t want an independent Scotland to become such a country.

Saor Alba



Monday, 6 August 2012

The SNP’s dangerous nuclear nonsense

Wikipedia excerpt

The first fission ("atomic") bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 10,000,000 tons of TNT.[1]

A modern thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds (1,100 kg) can produce an explosive force comparable to the detonation of more than 1.2 million tons (1.1 million tonnes) of TNT.[2] Thus, even a small nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast, fire and radiation. Nuclear weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction, and their use and control have been a major focus of international relations policy since their debut.

What is the destructive capacity of Trident missiles?

The Trident I warheads are 100 kilotons each, about six times the power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb dropped 67 years ago today. (RIP the 200,000 victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs)

Each Trident submarine with Trident I warheads therefore carried over 1,000 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb.

Trident II replaces the 100 kiloton weapons with 475 kiloton weapons mounted on missiles with greater accuracy and longer range.

Each Trident submarine will therefore carry 4,750 time the destructive capacity of the Hiroshima bomb.

Four Trident submarines, each carrying 16 missiles - a total of 64 missiles - operate out of Faslane, Scotland, and represent the total UK nuclear deterrent.

After the launch order, the typical flight time of a missile is 25 minutes, depending on how close the submarine is to the target.

25 minutes after the US President, the UK Prime Minister and the French President activate the launch codes, unimaginable destructive power will be unleashed on millions of human beings, with consequences for the planet for centuries, perhaps millennia in terms of radiation pollution.

These decisions were in the hands of politicians of the calibre of Ronald Reagan, a George W. Bush, Tony Blair and in a very short time, could be in the hands of a Mitt Romney,  a David Cameron …

NATO

The Trident submarines operate under the auspices of NATO, a military alliance committed to their use in a first strike authorised by USA, France and Britain. The other 25 member countries of NATO have no say in this decision, and zero influence over NATO.

THE SNP leadership and Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson and Angus MacNeil want Scotland to remain/become a member of the NATO alliance after independence.

They intend to try to persuade the SNP delegates to the October Party Conference in Perth to vote in favour of a defence policy that includes NATO membership.

They will try to square the manifest inconsistency of seeking membership of a first strike nuclear alliance, one that they will have zero influence and control over, with the Party’s anti-nuclear policy by telling the members that they will ‘negotiate’ the removal of Trident from Scotland by offering the UK, as a quid pro quo, Scotland’s willingness to join the NATO nuclear alliance.

In other words, an independent Scotland will graciously deign to join NATO if the UK promptly removes Trident, and, since the UK has nowhere else to put it, UK ceases to be a nuclear power, it removes from NATO a substantial part of its European-based nuclear capacity, and almost certainly loses the UK's Security Council seat in the United Nations. Aye, right …

The UK, NATO, former Secretary General of NATO Lord Robertson and a legion of unionist politicians and commentators have treated this proposal with derision and contempt.

As a bargaining chip, the only possible validity it could have would be to give the UK government (controlled on this matter by NATO and the USA) an opportunity to offer a quick disarming of the Trident warheads (two days to do, reversible about as quickly) while retaining Faslane under UK (i.e. NATO) control (maintenance of the base is being outsourced to private contractors!) retaining the full infrastructure, allowing ‘safe haven’ to nuclear-armed submarines for other NATO countries, while going through a token – and endlessly delayed – decommissioning process that would take a minimum of ten years, almost certainly extended to 20 years, with the high likelihood of never – or until NATO and the world abandoned the lunacy of the nuclear deterrent.

The other negotiating option is that the Faslane base and related sites would be leased to rUK as rUK sovereign territory, thus allowing the SNP to claim that they had achieved a non-nuclear Scotland, since “Faslane has nothing to do with us, it’s rUK territory”.

All of these option have been explored by the Scottish Affairs Committee on the Referendum for the Separation of Scotland, acting as thinly-disguised proxies for their UK masters, but, frustratingly, unable to question representatives of the Scottish Government directly, since the SNP is boycotting the committee.

Pronouncements are issued daily by former senior military men who, however brave, capable and distinguished in action, have political views of the level of  a Boy’s Own Paper reader of the 1930s. The apologists among SNP party activists supporting the NATO initiative have even more simplistic arguments to offer, with cries of “What about Norway?” and “If they don’t remove Trident, we won’t join!” etcetera, with much use of the phrases END OF, and “It’s simple!”

Meanwhile, our bishops and religious leaders are obsessed by same sex marriage, and our elected MSPs and MPs spend their summer vacation eagerly tweeting about the Olympics, and congratulating the latest sporting hero …


Sunday, 5 August 2012

My reasons for cancelling my SNP party membership

I have decided to cancel my SNP party membership, effective immediately. This will come as no surprise to readers of this blog, nor to Twitter followers.

A few words of background -

I have only been an SNP member for about four years, and an SNP supporter and voter since Iraq, so I have a very short history with the party. During my party membership, I have not been a very active branch member, but in the contacts and the meetings I have attended I developed the highest respect and regard for the branch members I met, and especially for the elected officials. I have some idea of how they have worked over decades of loyal party support, especially in the active campaigning, leafleting and door-knocking that led to the election of Colin Keir, MSP in 2011 as part of the new intake in the party landslide victory. (I played little or no active part in all that hard work for personal reasons.) I am sad to longer be a part of such a committed and loyal group of political activists.

MY REASONS FOR RESIGNING

I have been a Labour voter for most of my life, but never a party member. I had a brief membership (a few weeks) of the SDP when they broke away from Labour in 1981. It lasted until I met David Owen at a Durham branch meeting and realised what an awful mistake I had made!

In joining a political party, however briefly, I had broken a vow I made in the early 1950s that I would never be a member of a party that supported nuclear weapons. None of the parties that opposed nuclear weapons seemed to me to have any chance of being elected to government. But I had – and have – a democratic commitment to voting, but qualified by the criterion of electability, so I voted for what I saw as the least worse option among the major parties – i.e. Labour – on that basis. This included the awful mistake of voting for Tony Blair and New Labour, until 2003 and Iraq.

Watershed moments that took me gradually to the belief that the SNP was electable included hearing Alex Salmond speak at the New Club in Edinburgh in the late nineties and hearing John Swinney speak at a regional Question Time in Meadowbank at which I was an audience member. I also had the privilege of working briefly with the late Douglas Henderson of the SNP as a colleague on negotiating skills courses for Professor Gavin Kennedy’s company Negotiate Ltd for a period in 1990.

Of course, devolution was a key moment of realisation that the SNP was not only potentially electable as the Government, but that they could actually deliver Scotland’s independence and a nuclear-free Scotland, as the government of an independent Scotland. For the first time in my political life, there was an electable party that met my key requirements of being anti-nuclear and a social democratic party of the Left, and that they were not a least-worse option, they were the best option. Party membership was the next logical step.

My reasons for leaving – which must be self-evident to anyone who has read my NATO blog – are as follow -

1. I believe NATO membership is inextricably bound up with nuclear weapons, and that an independent Scotland must not be a member.

2. I believe the SNP leadership has behaved disingenuously at best in the way they have approached this issue, and at worst have deliberately manipulated their supporters in order to push through a volte face in NATO policy under the disguise of open debate.

3. I believe that their stated negotiating position is either ludicrously simplistic over NATO (unlikely) or is a deliberate attempt to conceal a planned retreat from any early removal of Trident and nuclear submarines from Scotland within a ten to twenty year period, regrettably highly likely.

I won’t rehearse yet again my detailed arguments on why I find this unacceptable.

THE FUTURE FOR ME

I am one voter, one voice and I claim to speak only for myself.  What I had to offer the party from 2008 on was not what they wanted from me, and I am unable to offer what they rightly value highly – active doorstop campaigning and leafleting. They have every right to take such a view.

I will continue to campaign for YES in any way I can be useful.

I will not join any other political party ever again.

I will continue to support the SNP with my vote in any local or by-elections before 2016, and I will continue to support the SNP’s policies across their range of policies, since I agree with most of them.

At the 2016 Holyrood election, I will judge against the deal breaker criteria that any other party that supports independence, is anti-nuclear and anti-NATO, and is broadly social democratic in philosophy will be a candidate for my vote, with electability as an important criterion, but not a deal breaker.

COMMENTS

A secondary consideration in reaching my decision to leave the SNP was the increasing volume of abusive, obscene and sometimes threatening emails, blog comments and YouTube comments received. All comments are pre-moderated by me, and all such comments were deleted without being published. 90% of these were anonymous and claimed to be from SNP supporters. 100% of them supported NATO and that told me a lot.

Any comments that I have published on this blog or on YouTube were within my range of acceptability – some totally acceptable expressions of disagreement, couched in rational, civilised arguments, some less so (see yesterday’s comments). Again, a majority  - but not all - were in support of the SNP’s NATO U-turn.

I have received direct contacts – email and Twitter direct message – from MPs and MSPs, all in confidence, which I have respected. All were pro-NATO – I have received no direct contact from any anti-NATO MPs or MSPs.

If my critics regard this as evidence that my viewpoint is a minority one within the party, I readily accept that, indeed Professor Mitchell’s report appears to confirm this.

I will not be publishing any comments on this blog post – there is little point, so please don’t offer comment or advice. (I will be happy to receive emails.)

Normal blogging service will be resumed tomorrow, but perhaps with a change of emphasis, since the only party line I must now respect is that of independence and the anti-nuclear voice.

Friday, 3 August 2012

My Twitter lead-up to the NATO U-turn

After the denial period by SNP supporters in the Spring of this year, when a NATO U-turn was something being got up by the wicked media – encouraged by me, apparently – and no senior party person was even considering it – so said the true believers - there was a period of quiet.

Then a press release from the SNP on the cost of Trident, emphasising the Party’s non-nuclear stance came out, and I loyally tweeted various facts from it. Maybe I should have recognised the danger signs – fifteen days later, the press began to speculate authoritatively about a U-turn on NATO, and on the 16th came the Angus Robertson/Angus MacNeill defence paper.

1 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Labour claims a social conscience, yet squanders billions on WMDs, claims to be internationalist, yet makes war on other nations. Johann?

1 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Scotland’s share of WMD costs, £215m could have funded 11 Community Hospitals (at £20,000,000 per hospital). Your turn, Johann Lamont? ...

1 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Scotland’s share of WMD costs, £215m could have funded 5,972 teachers or 27 single stream Primary Schools or 11 Secondary Schools. Johann?

1 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Scotland’s share of WMD costs = £215m - could have funded up to 430 doctors (at £500,000 per doctor) or 5,119 nurses (at £42,000 per nurse)

1 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

£2.54bn was spent on running costs of WMDs in Labour’s last 3 years in office. Labour says Yes to WMDs, but NO to Scotland's independence.

1 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Angus Robertson: "The social cost of the UK's nuclear obsession. ...warped priority of investing in WMDs before better local services"

1Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Over next 6 yrs Scottish taxpayers will spend £83m a year on nuclear warheads that can't be used. Enough for another 1500 service personnel.

Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

When Scotland goes, UK lose its WMDs, its oil and whisky revenues, its raison d'etre. Scotland, England, Wales recover their

2 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

The negotiations on the terms of Scotland's independence will be dominated by the defence debate, Everyone is commenting on it - except ..?

2 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

RUSI: "..were Scotland to dissolve the Union, then the question of the UK's nuclear deterrent may be the most serious and difficult of all"

2 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

RUSI: "the future of UK nuclear deterrent should Scotland go it alone, an issue likely to dominate security agenda in event of a Yes vote."

2 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

NATO, dominated by the US, says it would never use Trident in a first strike attack. The US is the only nation that has used nuclear weapons

2 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

The two events of August 1945 - Hiroshima and Nagasaki - are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date. A first strike attack by the US

4 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Defence and an independent Scotland - Sitting on de fence on defence http://moridura.blogspot.com/2012/07/sitting-on-de-fence-on-defence.html … via @moridura

4 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

UK Committees with no SNP voice - Sitting on de fence on defence - http://moridura.blogspot.com/2012/07/sitting-on-de-fence-on-defence.html … via @moridura

4 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Defence - a big yawn for the Scottish electorate? Will they still be yawning at ground zero when the WMDs rain down? http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/sitting-on-de-fence-on-defence.html …

4 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Labour AM Mark Drakeford opposes Trident fleet in Wales http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-18707465 …

5 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Defence is lynchpin issue for independence negotiations. Most of my blog readers must be indy supporters, yet they don't read defence blogs?

7 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Dean Acheson, Kennedy's NATO advisor in 1962 "Britain's role as an independent power is about played out." 50yrs on, fiction kept up by UK

8 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Will an Independent Scotland Throw Out UK Nukes? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-T2iFNpG6A … Aye, but how long after independence before it's done? Say no to NATO

9 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Back devomax and you back WMDs - the continuation of Trident in Scotland and more misguided foreign wars. I say NO to devomax, YES to indy.

9 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Two news discussion tonight on indy and devo max. Both managed to avoid the nuclear/WMD aspect. BE CLEAR - Yes to devomax means Yes to WMDs.

10 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Only independence will deliver a WMD-free Scotland. Devo max advocates are lethally compromising this key objective

10 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Devo max = Trident stays = foreign wars = zero international influence for Scotland. So does devo-anything else. Say YES to independence

10 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

We are told there is a majority in Scotland opposed to nuclear weapons, but also that a majority that favours devo-max. Does not compute ...

 

10 Jul  Gregor Murray@grogipher

@moridura People said that about Devolution (not in favour of devo-max, but neither do I buy your argument!)

10 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@grogipher You think a vote for devo max will remove nuclear

11 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Why do the nuclear bombers love devo max? Why do politicians slide away from defence matters? The UK’s nuclear panic http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/uks-nuclear-panic-and-devo-max.html …

11 Jul  Hugh Hunter@Gabicabi

@moridura Absolutely. I feel everyone is hedging their bets until someone throws their hat into the ring with a definitive position.

11 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Gabicabi I wish I could escape the gnawing suspicion that a nuclear fudge is being contemplated. October SNP Nato vote will be litmus paper

11 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Gabicabi Should qualify my last tweet - non-SNP party activists don't give a damn about Trident or WMDs. The activists most certainly do.

11 Jul  Hugh Hunter@Gabicabi

@moridura Yet again I agree. I believe SNP may sacrifice their position on Trident as a concession to appease scared/undecided voters.

11 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Gabicabi Voters don't give a damn about Trident, defence. If they did that, it would be as a negotiating bargaining chip after a YES vote

The Watershed: 16th July 2010 - Angus Robertson’s media announcement on the NATO U-turn

16 Jul  NConway@NConway2

@moridura SNP could drop opposition to Nato if Trident is removed from Scotland - Politics - http://Scotsman.com - http://po.st/K9PjwU

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@NConway2 I saw it - something I've blogged on and expressed concern about for some time now.

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Who now doubts that the SNP leadership and Angus Robertson want to join NATO? What the Party will say in October is another matter.

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

NATO - SNP preparing to join? If the Party votes to remain in NATO after independence, I will resign my membership. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4It72lFwzR8 …

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

The SNP leadership wants to join an alliance- NATO - committed to the use of nuclear weapons so they will remove nuclear weapons. Aye, right

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Trident poisons Scotland: Nuclear leaks, Faslane - a 2009 clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQhGJushOEc … This is what we will STILL have if we join NATO. Say NO!

16 Jul  Stuart Crawford@509298

@moridura Peter, I did say this would happen. Where now for people like you? #Labour is pro nuke, so only the #Greens seem to fit the bill?

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@509298 Resign from the party, campaign for independence, vote SNP in by-elections, re-assess Scottish parties policies after independence.

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@509298 The $64 question is - will Labour be pro-nuclear in an independent Scotland. I say NO, with a reasonable amount of

16 Jul  Paul Clarkson@Clarkson77

@509298 @moridura If you read @thesnp defence proposals you'll see the provision for joining #NATO is removal of Trident anf Nukes #yesscot

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @509298 @thesnp I know that - and they're nuts if they think they can negotiate any such thing - it will go into very long grass

16 Jul  Paul Clarkson@Clarkson77

@509298 @moridura If you read @thesnp defence proposals you'll see the provision for joining #NATO is removal of Trident anf Nukes #yesscot

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @509298 @thesnp NATO is going to surrender Trident and the UK nuclear deterrent of we join NATO? Dream on: the idea is ludicrous

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @moraymp @509298 @thesnp He'll have answers. It will depend on the interviewer whether they cut any ice. I'm not sure at all.

16 Jul  Paul Clarkson@Clarkson77

@moridura Then an Independent Scotland won't be joining #NATO , the conditions are clear. Non-negotiable. @509298 @thesnp @yesscotland

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @509298 @thesnp @yesscotland They're calling spirits from the vasty deep - it is not that simple, but it's beyond Twitter scope.

16 Jul  Paul Clarkson@Clarkson77

@moridura Angus Robertson ( @moraymp )is on #scotnight as he helped write the proposal I'm sure he'll have answers. @509298 @thesnp

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @moraymp @509298 @thesnp He'll have answers. It will depend on the interviewer whether they cut any ice. I'm not sure at all.

16 Jul  Paul Clarkson@Clarkson77

@moridura It is simple, no nukes or no NATO. Clear as day @509298 @thesnp @yesscotland

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @509298 @thesnp @yesscotland I wish I had a pound for everyone who said that before getting monumentally screwed in negotiation.

16 Jul  Paul Clarkson@Clarkson77

@moridura It is simple, no nukes or no NATO. Clear as day @509298 @thesnp @yesscotland

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @509298 @thesnp @yesscotland You could try finishing your tweets with END OF - you're headed that way ...

16 Jul  Paul Clarkson@Clarkson77

@moridura It's clear to me, if @thesnp can't deliver, we'll just have to vote someone else in 2016 who can. @509298 @yesscotland

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Clarkson77 @thesnp @509298 @yesscotland If we join NATO, we'll either be locked into an unbreakable deal or be in open-ended negotiation.

16 Jul  Jim @jafurn50

@moridura @Clarkson77 @thesnp @509298 @yesscotland Serious question Peter. how do the other non-nuclear countries in NATO do it?

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@jafurn50 @Clarkson77 @thesnp @509298 @yesscotland They don't have the UK's nuclear fleet in their waters - read my blogs.

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

To save trying to answer endless queries on complex arguments, please go to my blog, check the index for NATO. Complex arguments need space

16 Jul  Jim @jafurn50

@moridura @Clarkson77 @thesnp @509298 @yesscotland I do read ur blogs The point is with #indy WE decide. Do you not trust SNP (if elected) ?

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@jafurn50 @Clarkson77 @thesnp @509298 @yesscotland If you've read, you haven't understood. I have no more to say that would be helpful.

16 Jul  Isobel Waller@IsobelWaller

@moridura @Clarkson77 @509298 @thesnp But surely that is a given with SNP? no trident?

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@IsobelWaller @Clarkson77 @509298 @thesnp I'm beginning to wonder just what can be taken as a given with the SNP at the moment.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@ElaineKY2 Of course I'm not against the YES vote. Try reading my tweets of yesterday and my blog. And see today's tweet re Norway.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

#NATO Norway parallel is false as is that with other non-nuclear NATO members. None of them have the UK's nuclear arsenal on their doorstep.

16 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

NATO, the SNP, Angus Robertson, Isabel Fraser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbI6jn2p0HU … This was effectively a filibuster by Angus to stop awkward questions.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

The idea that UK/NATO will give up Scottish nuclear base for Trident as quid pro quo for an independent Scotland joining NATO is ludicrous.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

I feel utterly deceived by the SNP's posture on NATO up to yesterday's news - smoke and mirrors over whether such a thing was contemplated.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@bordersbankie May 2016 SNP will still be negotiating terms. If they're voted out, incoming Labour-controlled coalition won't reverse indy.

17 Jul  David Munro@bordersbankie

@moridura Not sure but presumably then we would say bye bye to Nato. Bigger worry is if pro-Union parties comprise first Government imo.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@bordersbankie The NATO 'offer' is a way for SNP to get an empty promise to disarm/remove nukes, then have the issue shelved for i20 years.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

NATO resolution seems clear-cut - but is it?

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

SNP will maintain Nato membership subject to agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons and will only take part in UN operations.

17 Jul  Pat Kane@thoughtland

@moridura: SNP NATO resolution seems clear-cut - is it?” Seems 2 b. Vote should b on B-plan tho. A-plan pines unnecessarily 2 b "credible"

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@thoughtland I'll need to anwer in full in blogs, Pat. Meanwhile, this will have to do for the moment. http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

NATO is a nuclear alliance: it will brook no interference on its WMDs from member countries with non-nuclear policies e.g. Norway, Scotland.

17 Jul  David S. Berry@DavidSBerry

@thoughtland @moridura May not legitimise but are examples to follow. A non-nuclear world needs us "inside the tent" of NATO to change it.

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@DavidSBerry @thoughtland The utter folly of that argument is Labour, inside the UK tent since 1945 - zero influence on nuclear policy.

17 Jul  NConway@NConway2

@moridura Peter that would be a shame are you not better inside the tent arguing ur case than outside

9:28 PM - 17 Jul 12 via TweetCaster for Android · Details

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@NConway2 I'm not outside it till the vote in October. But I don't believe in staying inside wrong tents - it never works. Look at LibDems.

17 Jul  Lilly Hunter@LillyLyle

Those of you complaining about @thesnp tonight, have a look south of the border & count your blessings

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@LillyLyle Those of you afraid to confront your party when they're fundamentally wrong - remember Robin Cook, the last decent Lab MP

17 Jul  NConway@NConway2

@moridura @LillyLyle nato is a non issue who says SNP will ever form the 1st or 2nd government or any government of an independent Scotland

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@NConway2 I heard the non-issue argument months ago when naive SNP supporters were denying that the SNP had any such plans. It's an issue.

17 Jul  NConway@NConway2

@moridura Thanks Peter...please stay in the tent :-)

17 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@NConway2 Until - and if ...

18 Jul  David S. Berry@DavidSBerry

@moridura @thoughtland Perhaps that's more down to Labour's folly and not my arguments: they sold out any principle on this in the 1980's.

18 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@DavidSBerry @thoughtland Long before that, David - it started with Aneurin Bevan's "going naked into the conference chamber" remark.

18 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

SNP leadership want to maintain nuclear virginity by getting rid of Trident yet join a nuclear alliance committed to retaining and using it.

20 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Jim Sillars view of Scotland:"NATO's aircraft carrier" If this remotely reflects the SNP view what's the point of indy? http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/opinion/comment/jim-sillars-scotland-is-bound-to-stay-in-the-club-1-2422109 …

20 Jul  NConway@NConway2

Jim Sillars: Scotland is bound to stay in the club - Comment - http://Scotsman.com - http://po.st/xzVbK6

20 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@NConway2 A club I won't want to be in - Scotland as NATO's aircraft carrier. What point to independence if this view holds sway?

20 Jul  David Robertson@Daveinmaryburgh

@moridura what would your thoughts be on membership on same basis as Iceland ?

20 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@Daveinmaryburgh NATO exists as a reality that we must interact with, David. The only interaction I support is through Partnership for Peace

20 Jul  Ron Wilson@TartanSeer

@moridura @NConway2 The point being the people can vote for parties opposed to NATO & if given demo assent remove Scotland from alliance

20 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@TartanSeer @NConway2 If that means "join and we can get out later" Ron, I say no - it means "go along with anything till indy then get out"

20 Jul  Ron Wilson@TartanSeer

@moridura It means playing hardball 4 the prize, NATO a Unionist fox shot by Robertson, real choices after indy when you & the people decide

20 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@TartanSeer I disagree fundamentally with that, Ron. I'll have a blog up on Sillars later today.

20 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Twitter is not exactly awash with tweets from our fearless, outspoken MSPs about how they feel about NATO. How do whips work in Holyrood?

21 Jul Stewart McDonald@StewartMcDonald

@freescotlandnow like the UN?

21 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@StewartMcDonald @freescotlandnow UN does not endorse the use of nuclear weapons, nor the policies of member countries. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32223&Cr=disarmament&Cr1 …

21 july Peter Curran@moridura

If SNP votes to join NATO they will move from being the best option for a nuclear-free Scotland to least worst option. I'll still vote SNP.

Peter Curran@moridura

NATO Kosovo campaign 2001 failed to avert a humanitarian disaster - a questionable model of humanitarian intervention. http://ics-www.leeds.ac.uk/papers/vp01.cfm?outfit=pmt&folder=4&paper=816 …

21 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Kosovo - NATO's shining hour? Absolutely not. Review of NATO’s War over Kosovo Noam Chomsky http://www.chomsky.info/articles/200005--.htm …

Peter Curran@moridura

What NATO says about its nuclear policy. Support NATO membership and you support this http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_topics/20091022_Nuclear_Forces_in_the_New_Security_Environment-eng.pdf …

21 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Presence of US nuclear forces in Europe committed to NATO provides essential political/military link between European and N.American members

21 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Alex Salmond - against NATO intervention in Kosovo http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2008/02/19/demand-for-alex-salmond-apology-over-kosovo-86908-20324118/ …

Peter Curran@moridura

Public support for NATO won't translate into YES votes for indy, but "Why leave UK if in NATO?" Most NATO supporters support the deterrent.

Peter Curran@moridura

Whatever most Scots think, Scots won't be allowed to determine nuclear status. If we join NATO, indy Scotland won't get rid of Trident.

22 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Poll shows majority of Scots in favour of Scot.Govn. making decision on nuclear weapons. Most of them mean a devolved government, not indy

22 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

Pro-NATO nats rejoice in poll showing majority of Scots in favour. Hardly surprising - most want to stay in the UK if other polls accurate

AngusBMacNeilMP@AngusMacNeilMP

Independence for Scotland contains all the Devo Max you could ask for- free!

23 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@AngusMacNeilMP And we won't get it if the party goes down the NATO route you favour, Angus - a golden gift to the devo/status quo brigade.

24 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@AngusMacNeilMP If you haven't read my blogs on this, I don't plan to repeat it all here. You'd better get beyond such simplistic thinking.

24 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@AngusMacNeilMP @bordersbankie Powers? What 'powers'? NATO = 3 nuclear states with a veto dominating 25 non-nuclear. Scotland's 'powers' = 0

AngusBMacNeilMP@AngusMacNeilMP

@moridura so long as u move powers from.Westminster to Scotland ..Scots can decide what forums they are in. I'd choose NATO :-)

23 Jul  Peter Curran@moridura

@AngusMacNeilMP I know you would, Angus - you've put your name to the motion. You're giving up on independence with this one