A FORMER commander of the Clyde Submarine Base has launched an astonishing attack on peace campaigners such as CND and the Faslane Peace Camp.

In an article to plug his book, entitled On Her Majesty’s Nuclear Service, Commodore Eric Thompson says that Trident submariners are the true peacekeepers, while “pacifists and anti-nuclear protesters have done absolutely nothing to safeguard our peace”.

In an article for Forces.net, Coatbridge-born Thompson, who has stood for the LibDems in both Holyrood and Westminster elections, wrote: “One of the unseen crosses servicemen and women have to bear is that of not being able to defend their role in public.

“That is the job of politicians and, on their behalves, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) press office.

“The MoD, however, tends to issue bland, defensive and non-controversial press releases, eg: ‘The Ministry can neither confirm nor deny’. Rule 1 being that the Minister must never be embarrassed.

“As a submarine officer, I found it galling to drive past a so-called Peace Camp at the gates of Faslane and having to suffer (along with other law-abiding citizens) from the traffic jams caused by CND ‘Peace’ demonstrations forming roadblocks, the latter being attended by left-wing politicians hoping to create a photo opportunity of themselves being arrested at the main gates of the base.”

Thompson continues: “The facts are quite simple. In the first half of the 20th century, there were the two most horrific wars in the history of the human race and that was before nuclear weapons were invented.

“The First World War was dubbed ‘the war to end all wars’, yet a mere 21 years later, we had the even greater horror of the Second World War in which 60 million people were slaughtered. World War 2 was terminated by the first use of nuclear weapons, not begun by them.”

Thompson claims the mutually assured destruction philosophy has been proven. He says: “The success of this policy has indisputably been proved twice.

“First, in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 when the Soviets had secretly smuggled intermediate-range nuclear missiles into Fidel Castro’s communist Cuba, missiles capable of targeting the whole of the USA.

“President Kennedy had an election to face and had to be seen to act tough; President Kruschev had the prestige of international communism at stake and could not be seen to back down.

“In the end, Kruschev backed down, claiming correctly that ‘human reason had won’. There would have been no winners in a nuclear world war.

“The second clear proof is that, after 46, the Cold War never did degenerate into a third world war.

“I would argue that a third proof in today’s world is President Putin of Russia did not simply invade Ukraine to reclaim the Crimea.

“He could have done so easily but did not want to risk things escalating out of control into a third world war. So, he reclaimed the Crimea by stealth and subversion.”

Thompson concludes: “The bottom line is clear. Pacifists and anti-nuclear protesters have done absolutely nothing to safeguard our peace.

“It is the submariners on continuous at sea deterrent patrol who are the true peacekeepers.”

Ellen Renton, convenor of Helensburgh CND which is the nearest branch to Faslane, said she was shocked at the former commodore’s claims that his submariners were the “true peacekeepers”.

She said: “Nine crew were kicked out of the Navy last October for having hard drugs and committing other offences aboard HMS Vigilant, on which he [Thompson] was an officer.

“Drugs violations while on a ‘live’ Trident submarine? Commodore Thompson might think so, but the rest of us can’t see that as a suitable defence of the country.

“I wasn’t going to be buying his book, but I think it will be interesting to find out what he really thinks and whether he is typical.”