Throughout his political career, Corbyn has based his political integrity on a steadfast commitment to a set of principles regardless of public opinion, not least on nuclear non-proliferation. Asked about his adamant anti-Trident stance, Corbyn said: “I’ve been involved in peace transformation all my life … [but] I recognise people are going to take some time to get into that position.” Corbyn seemed isolated and hemmed in by Parliament’s decision to replace Trident. However worthy, standing ground in Parliament is an inadequate way to rally people to a new position. By contrast, the largest cohort opposing Trident, the Scottish National Party, injected a populist flavour into the debate. Unlike Corbyn, their interventions appealed not just to moral opinion but to a Scottish popular mood, driving up against the consensus of the Westminster Parliament. One would suppose from SNP House of Commons leader Angus Robertson’s tirades against Trident that a majority of Scots oppose its replacement. This is not so. Not all polls indicate that the SNP has the support of a majority on this issue but it acts as if it does — and it does it no harm. This weekend thousands marched against Trident in Scotland. The SNP’s ability to present opposition to Trident as Scottish common sense is impressive. Indeed, the groundswell against Trident has grown to such an extent that Scottish Labour also opposes its replacement. The SNP combines the moral case for disarmament with a popular pledge to redirect the billions that would be saved and invest in childcare and the NHS. Trident has become part of an anti-austerity message that resonates well beyond the core group of voters whose opposition to Trident is purely moral.
Morning Star 20th July 2016 read more »