THE Sunday National is to be congratulated on the report “Yes vote could see Trident scrapped” (July 26). The resolution to be submitted to the SNP AGM this October is excellent, and I commend it to all branches and members for discussion.

I would add a caveat, however. There is a fundamental problem it does not tackle. Assuming the motion is successful, the question follows – what happens to Trident in the period between independence and its removal, however many years this may take?

The sine qua non of independence is control over the life-and-death question of war and peace. If you don’t have that, you do not have independence. On the morning of independence, defence is entirely in the hands of the Scottish Government. Does it permit Trident to go on patrol as usual hoping that it will not actually be used, or does it insist that Trident remain berthed and inoperable pending its removal? There is no third option.

Many siren voices are calling for the former option. The distinguished defence authority Trevor Royale cites Iceland leasing the base at Keflavik to America as a model. But this analogy takes no cognisance of the vast moral gulf between a conventional military base and the deploying of illegal nuclear WMD.

It is depressing to note that on the very next page, Gerry Hassan quotes from a whole series of vox pop opinions (Independence: The New Normal), not one of which mentions the T word.

READ MORE: Gerry Hassan: Tory troubles and the long-running crisis of Unionism

This is dire proof of how the unthinkable has become normalised, and our moral sensitivities corrupted. The world’s most powerful machine for the mass killing of human beings has been so domesticated it has become almost invisible. It is a source of anguish to me that I live in a society so corrupted by nuclear idolatry that it is blind to its own degradation.

A similar lack of focus is exhibited by Douglas Chapman MP, who rightly deplores the near accident involving a nuclear submarine and ferry on the Belfast-Cairnryan crossing in 2018 and is thankful nobody was injured. But what of the Antares, which was sunk in 1990 with the loss of all four crew members? And what of the collision between HMS Vanguard and French nuclear sub Le Triomphant in 2009, or the potentially catastrophic crash that occurred in November 1974 when the American SSBN James Madison, armed with 16 Poseidon nuclear missiles, hit an unidentified Soviet submarine that was shadowing it?

These near disasters place our current complacency under the harsh spotlight of reality. We need radical change as soon as we are independent, not some years thereafter.

Arundhati Roy hit the nail on the head when she wrote: “Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behaviour. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meathooks deep in the base of our brains. They are the purveyors of madness. They are the ultimate coloniser. Whiter than any white man that ever lived. The very heart of whiteness.”

Brian Quail


WITH reference to the article in the Sunday National regarding Scottish independence and the removal of Trident and all its associated obscene equipment, why will it take three years to have it removed after we (inevitably) gain our freedom? That monster should have its arse kicked out of Scotland in a matter of weeks. We will be a nation in our own right and can demand the immediate withdrawal of foreign forces from our waters and so the actual subs can leave immediately (avoiding any ferries en route, of course) and park there respective bums in Englandshire (Tilbury Docks sound nice and cosy). For once we will happily allow the transportation of the filthy weapons by road, out of our land forever.

There is, I am sure, a very strong feeling on this matter amongst Yes voters of all parties and persuasions. These weapons are totally disgusting and their use would be non-discriminatory. We must not allow them in Scotland after independence for anything like three years.

Ian Heggie