Finally the Ministry of Defence have admitted what many of us already know, 'our' neutron generators - a vital component of the Trident warheads stationed on the Clyde, are imported from the United States. The Sunday Herald confronted the MoD with undeniable evidence.
In making this admission the Westminster government is now under a barrage of criticism from assorted experts, politicians and campaigners, who now claim that Britain is not in full independent control of its own nuclear deterrent.
“This is another deceit of the British public by Westminster,” declared Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London.
“It’s another smoking gun in the arsenal of evidence that shows that there is no such thing as a British bomb. The weapon will become unusable should the Americans withdraw their support,” he said.
“We can’t use it if they don’t want us to. The Westminster village’s delusions about Britain’s importance in the world prevents them from accommodating this reality.”
Neutron generators are vital because they initiate nuclear explosions by bombarding plutonium or uranium with neutrons at a precise time and they have to be regularly replaced. The neutrons are generated by fusing together two radioactive isotopes of hydrogen, tritium and deuterium.
The SNP's Westminster leader and defence spokesman Angus Robertson, has twice asked ministers to say where the neutron generators for Britain's nuclear weapons are made, first in July 2004 and again in April 2005. On both occasions ministers withheld the information citing 'defence, security and international relations'.
A detailed report just released under FOI law by the US Government's National Nuclear Security Administration has blown away British secrecy. It says that 14 neutron generators made at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, were delivered to the UK in three batches in 2008.
More lies, more secrecy, more cover-ups. As MP Jo Swinson of the LibDems says: "This news further undermines the idea of an independent British nuclear deterrent and demonstrates that it is increasingly reliant on the US.
"If Trident does not serve as an independent deterrent then there is little point in spending so much money on replacing it in its current form."
I'll refer you to this as well
"Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.
There was no other security on the Bomb itself.
While American and Russian weapons were protected by tamper-proof combination locks which could only be released if the correct code was transmitted, Britain relied on a simpler technology. "
They really are totally incompetent.
The UK's military is a subdivision of the Pentagon. We're a branch plant as the Yanks would say.
As I keep saying the UK has not been independent since 1942 when the money ran out and American troops began to land at Greenock. Soon even our chocolate bars will be offshored, never mind any nuclear stuff.
Herald site is broken :) - coincidence or conspiracy?
Ref Britain's RENT A NUKE.
If Britain wanted to deploy an independent nuclear strike it would have to take the cobwebs of the bomb and charter a plane from EasyJet.
All the scientists involved in nuclear weapon development in the UK are paid by American wage packets.
Thank you QM I wasn't aware of that. They are more than incompetent, they are useless.
Of course we're just a spin-off for the US. It must be handy to know you've a few islands with a population of 65m at your beck and call scunnert.
My generation thought once the financial debt was paid that would be it Demetrius. Sadly we've become even more servile.
Coincidence I think Chris. :)
Buy a nuke more like Crinkly. It's a bit like buying a house yet the law allows someone else to put the deeds in their name.
...and I always thought it was meant affectionately when the septics called us Aircraft Carrier 1.
Illusions shattered. But seriously, this is a bit like the Herald reporting as breaking news that the Suez Crisis is taking an ominous turn. I thought this was done, dusted and public domain years ago?
Sorry for the double post but a thought occurs ref Quiet Man and his bicycle lock.
And why not, really? If someone with malicious intent gets that close to a nuclear bomb then we're pretty much stuffed regardless. They've shown enough ingenuity to have got past an enormous amount of security by that point so needing to have a scientists gouged eyeball on a pin to fool the retina scanner on the detonator is going to be well within his skill-set too.
Well, I’ve probably said it on your blog before Subrosa, but at the risk of boring everyone to death I shall say it again.
I think that we are subservient to America, because successive Presidents have made it clear to successive Prime Ministers that we are tolerated at the top table in so many things, but particularly the Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council, because the Americans want us there. They want us there so that we support them.
If we get a bit chippy with them, they will do to us what they did to Taiwan... remove us and replace us with a more relevant country, the EU, Japan, India, Germany, Brazil....
France is safe as long as we are (they can’t have France removed unless they have us removed too), but we are easier to control than France, so we are controlled.
Since Suez the UK couldn’t ever get involved in anything without America’s express permission. It comes as no surprise that our so called independent deterrent is about as independent as Scotland is.
Frankly that’s why I have a bit of a giggle about people complaining that the EU and Brussels runs everything in the UK. America has far more influence on the way we do things. To be honest, I wish it was Edinburgh that controlled things, but if it has to be somewhere else I’d back Brussels against Washington any day, and in my opinion, millionaires excepted, we’d be far better off with Europe than with America.
It's common knowledge ASE but it's never been acknowledged by the MoD before. I think that's their point.
A thought I had earlier. We store US weapons AND we've only stopped paying them back (at horrendous interest rates) for their help in WW2. Who are the mugs?
Thanks for that post Tris and you didn't bore me in the least. I would agree with the preference of Europe over the US but I would still like the idea of an independent Scotland becoming part of the EC instead of full membership.
If I had more detail of the SNP's policy and the date of it then I may be able to convince myself, and others, that the EU is worthwhile.
Aye I see your point about security too Eye. By the time the intruder reached the bicycle lock then it was kinda too late. But it would have to be an American with the code of course - nobody British would be trusted with that. ;)
How kind of you to say so SR...LOL
I'm not for Scotland being in the EU, at least I would have to be convinced of its merits, but I have always though that were the UK not in the EU, America would have had even more influence on the governments' policies.
Some presidents might have warned us that free hospital care was a drain on the nation's finances, whereas it is at least possible that the EU has encouraged improvements in the NHS. Blair promised to raise the standards to the average of the EU countries.
An independent Scotland would probably have a more European attitude to social policy and wouldn't have interfrernce from the USA, who wouldn't be in the least interested in us. We don't need the calming influence of European social democracy. We have it here in spades. For sure England does.
I would prefer, from the limited knowledge I have, for us to be part of the EC or EFTA Tris as I think the influence Europe is too expensive and unnecessary for a small country. But we certainly don't want or need the US. Be friends yes, but that's it.
You've just reminded me. I must do a post before midnight or I'll be a criminal.
That might well be a good alternative for an Independent Scotland SR. I still think the EU is probably the best thing for the American puppet that is the UK.
I've worked with EU grants, and they fund help for people who would get nothing from Westminster, so they are not all bad for the UK, not for an Independent Scotland.
Erm, may I ask why you have to do a post before midnight?
I've been warned I may turn in to a pumpkin, but not a criminal if I don't keep up with the posts!!
I had always understood that the "British" nukes could not be launched (physically) without the approval of the President of the USA, an elementary safeguard against them being launched against America, one would have thought.
The Americans being the best businessmen in the world, I also suspect that the price we have been persuaded to pay for them is way, way too high. In fact so high that the Yanks probably get their own nukes at a substantial discount.
However, successive British P.M's have thought this a price worth paying for, as they see it, a seat at the top table - or as I see it, maintaining the failure to come to terms with the reality of Britain's true world status - and all this financed by North Sea oil.
Roll on Independence.
Yes Tris, you have far more experience of the EU than me but, think about this, the grants we receive we pay for. Are we contributing far more than we receive in grants?
I'll let you into the secret. From midnight we are Europeans and it will be a crime to criticise the EU then. That's why and I don't want to end up spending time in Brussels against my wishes.:)
Yes that's right. The code is kept in the US I believe.
Oh we possibly are. If I remember we paid horrendous interest rates on the money they lent us to get back on our feet after WW2, so nothing surprises me.
Your last paragraph says it all Rab.
Oh... I didn't know that things changed erm....3 minutes ago....
Well, I shan't say anything nasty about them. Is it alright to call Jim Murphy a chump now?
The UK does pay in more than it gets back, but it's the way that it comes back SR.
It's hugely difficult to explain on in writing but we can chat about it sometime elsewhere.
It's basically about a fairer distribution of money. When I was working with Social Inclusion areas in Dundee a few years ago, the EU money let us do all manner of things that SIP money (internal funding) would ever have done.
It funded so many people back into work...truely it made a huge difference that could never have been achieved on SIP money. We would never have got that money from a British funding set up.
Can't really say any more on here, for business confidentiality reasons, but like I say, I'll explain it elsewhere...
Right... now you be nice about that sweet baroness that is our new master or should that be mistress (don't want to be politically incorrect. I was gonna say, at least she's prettier that Jim Murphgy, but.... well.... what was that knock at the door???????
Good byyyyyyyye ...............
I'm sure it is Tris, we come under European law now I think and our politicians are little more than social workers really.
OK young man. A coffee on the cards one day perhaps.
Did the door knockers wear white coats or grey suits????
I was going to say something pointy about "The weapon will become unusable should the Americans withdraw their support" not being news until I saw your clarification that this is the first time that the MOD has acknowledged the fact.
Your commenters are correct to observe that we have been entirely subserviant to the US since at lest Suez and yes, we paid off Lend-Lease about 3 years ago, in full and with interest.
The USA did more than 'assist' us in The Falklands, they gave us permisssion. Personally I regard America as among our friends and regret that their turn as Top Country is nearly done.
I'd like to see a world where we live and let live banned, but then the 'elite' in the world wouldn't make much money would they.
Gone are the days when men and women made money through hard work. Now it's all through what we know are scams, just like the banks, sending our troops off to fight so as their arms pals can make a few more billion. Don't get me started.
Yeah, for sure SR...
I dunno what they wore. I hid under the bed!!!
Tris I would have hid in the wardrobe.
Remind me to give you a super photo of the Tay Bridge at night.
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