ARGYLL and Bute council regrettably may have passed up on an outstanding global marketing opportunity of the type that comes around once in five billion years. Gillie David Mundell, Theresa May’s factor in Scotland, was at Faslane on Monday to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government, the Royal Navy and Argyll and Bute Council. This will see them work together on infrastructure projects as Faslane becomes the home of the UK’s entire submarine fleet over the next few years. I fear though, that the council may have undersold itself in a marketing sense.

The little brochure that was produced to mark this event had a picture of a nuclear submarine gliding through the waters. Puzzlingly though, the local authority and the Navy were a little bashful about conveying the earth-shattering, strategic import of Argyll and Bute.

When the Dreadnought class of ‘deterrent’ submarines arrive in a decade or so Argyll and Bute will become Europe’s capital for weapons of mass destruction. Oh I know that there are some shadowy inlets in Vladivostock and Murmansk which are home to key submarine units of Russia’s Northern Fleet, but the achievement of little Faslane in attracting world class weapons of mass destruction to the west of Scotland in the face of stiff competition deserves to be saluted.

In some ways it’s the global mass destruction equivalent of Moussa Dembele joining Celtic when he could have had the pick of England’s big billionaire football clubs.

And, look, there’s no point in beating about the bush here; all of us know why Argyll and Bute was a little reticent about marketing itself as Europe’s go-to destination for seeing nuclear attack submarines at repose. They were afraid that those whiny Scottish nationalists would soon be casting all sorts of aspersions on the project and saying that it was a shameful day for Scotland.

They were still at it even though the council depicted only one big shiny submarine in its beautiful setting. So, I can understand why Argyll and Bute were a bit diffident about telling it like it is. In future though, I would expect the local authority to have no such qualms about telling the world what it has on its doorstep.

Mundell was eager on Monday to talk about the economic opportunities, but he was missing a trick. Fewer than 1,500 jobs will be created over several years, most of them of uncertain long-term sustainability and many of which will be decidedly short-term sub-contracted. That’s not exactly setting thy economic heather on fire when you’ve just painted a big red nuclear target on the nation’s back. And it’s not exactly a healthy return for the tens of billions of pounds Scotland will have contributed to the £205 billion cost of renewing Trident.

If I were Mundell I’d have been a little bit more adventurous and less timid about Argyll and Bute’s new global status. Hasn’t he been experiencing a few wee frissons of excitement over the last few weeks at the antics of President Trump and his wee North Korean brother from a different mother, Kim Jong-un? Trump wants to upset the entire Muslim world and the Kim decided to kill another of his brothers from a different mother. I’d say the odds against nuclear Armageddon are now shorter than they have been for some time. Way shorter.

So what’s Argyll and Bute hanging about for? Their entire tourism marketing campaign should be built around your last chance to observe a full squad of nuclear submarines. Helensburgh and some of the local villages have struggled economically in the last decade or so. But the holiday let market would be blown sky high with pure tens of thousands coming down through your wee bit hills and glens in the expectation of witnessing a big black sub ripping over the waves.

In fact the council could ask local schoolchildren to design a new nuclear booklet and think up a marketing slogan. You know, something like: “Your last chance to visit Boom-Town.” Or how about: “Visit the Gare Loch and experience the thrill of having the future of the world in your hands.”

You could have a nuclear destruction theme park on the banks of the loch with the usual visitor centre and (yawn) educational interactive pods to secure inclusive outcomes. But if they did this properly and with feeling they could make it work. I’d have an entire wall depicting previous nuclear blasts and incidents with the numbers of casualties listed beside each. You could have fun for all the family with maw, paw and the weans using their skill and knowledge to predict how many casualties there would be from a nuclear strike launched from Argyll and Bute. Could Faslane blast itself to the top of the nuclear bomb league table? Might it even overtake Hiroshima and Nagasaki? We can but dream.

On another wall I’d have a list of the world’s favourite animals and a scientific guide to which ones would still be alive after a nuclear strike in their neighbourhood. In this way children could increase their knowledge of other species and perhaps stop wasting their pocket money saving those species whose chances of surviving a nuclear strike are the square root of damn all.

At the end of the lesson the children would be given bright crayons and asked to guess what colour the cows and sheep would be in the decades after a nuclear strike. And how many heads they’d all have. In this way a connection would be made between the 21st century technology of nuclear science and the rural traditions of Argyll and Bute stretching back millennia.

We could have a virtual classroom where children would use the latest interactive, 3D digital technology to predict how many of them would die and how many would merely be maimed for life if Argyll and Bute were to sustain a pre-emptive nuclear strike. The centrepiece of this experience would be a simulated bomb hitting Faslane. Then the children would be asked to use their map-reading skills to estimate how many of them would still be standing based on distance and terrain.

Obviously, if you found yourself out on the hills doing a bit of thon Munro-bagging you could crouch down in the shelter of a slope. In this way we could encourage the little children to adopt healthier lifestyles through hill-walking.