Trident -- or catfood?

By Whisky, the Black & White Cat

The Prime Minister tells us that the cost of renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system is likely to be in the region of £40 billion. This excludes the cost of securing it against cyber attack (£3.2 billion and soaring rapidly), without which, when you press the button, nothing is going to happen.

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Ken Livingstone says this is an awful lot of money to spend on something that isn’t going to go bang if and when it is needed. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, one-time Defence Secretary, says it doesn’t matter whether it goes bang or not. The whole point is whether an enemy contemplating aggression would be prepared to take the risk it might.

Yes, Sir Malcolm – but what if that same enemy knows he can clobber the system whenever he likes, to make sure it doesn’t?

Ian has just interrupted me to say that he doesn’t think a mere cat should concern itself with such weighty affairs of state. I’m compelled to point out that, with all due respect, it’s my home just as much as his, and that we are up for losing a lot more than a few slates off the roof.

I’ve done some calculations trident-or-catfood.png and I estimate that at today’s prices the projected cost of Trident would buy a mountain of catfood – or more precisely a cube standing 252 m high. This would feed 36.5 million cats for life, more than enough to give a free cat to every household in the UK. What’s left over could go into funding a National Veterinary Service (NVS), free at the point of use.

Surely this is a better contribution to national security than buying an absurdly hazardous toy that is unlikely to work as intended? And is only there to let us play my-willie’s-bigger-than-yours with the Americans, who do it all the time and are far better endowed for it than we are.

updated: 07:18 24/11/2015