Foolhardy to ditch defence

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I read with increasing incredulity the defence of Jeremy Corby’s thinking on ditching Trident and our deterrent put forward by W Quinn (Echo, February 11).

Mr Quinn is selective in quoting third parties to defend his unilateral stance.

At a recent Parliamentary Labour Party meeting, Labour MPs were stunned to hear Labour’s Shadow Defence Spokesman claim that the nuclear submarine fleet was as outdated as the World War Two Spitfire.

The MPs left the meeting addressed by Emily Thornberry pouring scorn on Mr Corbyn’s plans for defence and heckled her speech.

Former defence minister Kevan Jones declared at one point during the heated gathering “you’re an embarrassment”, and left the meeting saying she was “waffly and incoherent, cringe worthy”.

Former First Sealord Lord West and backbencher Madelaine Moon won applause as they both urged the renewal of Trident and warned that the United States was worried about Jeremy Corbyn dumping the nuclear deterrent.

Ex-Shadow Cabinet Minister Caroline Flint said the move to unilaterism would be a ‘disaster’ and declared: “Jeremy’s made up his mind hasn’t he?” 

Lord West, who has intimate knowledge of the Trident system, in his article in The House magazine recently in which he pointed out that Mr Corbyn’s idea of submarines without nuclear warheads would be ‘dangerous and nonsensical”.

As he left the meeting he said that Emily Thornberry failed to understand the “physics, basic physics” of the working of the Trident system, perhaps a reference to the way its missiles are difficult to defend against because they go so high into the atmosphere.

It is a shame that Mr Quinn lets his need to defend Labour blind him to the reality of a defenceless UK.

Keith O’Brien