So everyone here in the UK is buzzing about Tony Blair’s Trident proposal – essentially, to spend 20 billion pounds replacing the country’s aging nuclear submarines with new nukes. According to this BBC news piece, “Mr Blair said although the Cold War had ended the UK needed nuclear weapons as no-one could be sure another nuclear threat would not emerge in the future.”
Aside from my obvious revulsion to the idea of nuclear weapons on principle, I am particularly surprised that Blair would go with such an outdated form of defence. I mean, nuclear weapons? That’s SO 1950s. I thought we were in the age of sophisticated, high-tech biological warfare? I thought modern politicians had left the dream of mutual nuclear annihilation behind, along with drive-in movies, hair grease, and pink cadillacs? I thought Blair wanted us to believe he puts the New in New Labour? Turns out he’s as much a sucker for retro kitcsh as trendy gay couples who collect Eisenhower-era lampshades.
See, it being 2007 and all, I thought we were going for 1980s retro fun – leggings, ugly off-the-shoulder baggy tops with poufy skirts, terrible mullet-esque haircuts and obnoxious trendy hipsters sporting “Frankie Says Relax” t-shirts. Shouldn’t our politicians and policies be in the 80s retro spirit as well?
So if the trendy defence policy of the 1950s was to stockpile nuclear weapons, which would eventually spark a global nuclear war (or gather dust deep inside mineshafts for the next millenium) what was the trendy way to forgo social spending and waste tens of billions of dollars on redundant and ineffective weapons in the 1980s? Bingo: Star Wars.
That’s how Blair should be wasting Britain’s money – on massive lasers in the sky that will shoot down foreign missiles – lasers which are later found to be completely ineffective. Impractical and wasteful – but high-tech and shiny! That’s exactly what Bush is doing – building missile defence systems. Blair should take a page from the President’s book – he’s been doing it for seven years, why stop now?