Skip to comments.Williams Attacks Blair Plans For Trident Fleet (UK)
Posted on 12/03/2006 7:40:49 PM PST by blam
Williams attacks Blair plans for Trident fleet
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:32am GMT 04/12/2006
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is today expected to launch an attack on plans to replace Britain's nuclear deterrent.
Dr Williams, whose opposition to the Iraq war infuriated Downing Street, is to respond to the long-awaited White Paper on the future of Trident.
He is also preparing a new year statement exploring the morality of nuclear weapons that will reflect the concerns of 19 bishops who warned Tony Blair in July that the possession of Trident was "evil".
The Prime Minister will today announce plans for a new generation of nuclear-powered submarines which carry the Trident missiles.
The plans, which are backed by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, would enable the deterrent to continue into the middle of the century.
But the issue is causing growing unrest among Labour MPs, and Dr Williams's intervention could add fuel to a parliamentary revolt when it is debated in the Commons early next year. The Government could find itself relying on Tory votes.
Dr Williams has held confidential meetings with a number of the 19 bishops who have attacked Trident. They said in a letter to the Independent: "Trident and other nuclear arsenals threaten long-term and fatal damage to the global environment and its people."
The Archbishop, a prominent peace campaigner, was arrested during a CND demonstration at a US airbase near Cambridge while he was a university college chaplain. He proved a significant thorn in the side of the Government over the Iraq war, and his views on the morality of nuclear deterrence are likely to unsettle Mr Blair, a committed Christian.
Although Dr Williams's views are not shared by all Church of England bishops, many senior Christian leaders have issued strong condemnations of Trident. However, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, said yesterday that he had not yet made up his mind and that a "multifaceted" look at the global situation was needed.
Peter Kilfoyle, the former defence minister, urged Mr Blair not to rush to a decision. He told BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend: "It is a very inopportune moment to be replacing Trident. It sends out the wrong message.
"We don't even know the putative enemy these things will be pointed at in the future.
"It was a weapon that was designed for the Cold War and it is not necessarily appropriate in the future."
Mr Kilfoyle is the latest prominent Labour figure to question the need for a speedy decision. But ministers say a decision is necessary as the submarine fleet starts coming to the end of its life from 2020 and replacements will take 14 years to design and build.
Speculation is growing that Mr Blair will announce a reduction in the size of the fleet from four to three submarines and a cut in the number of nuclear warheads, as a gesture to opponents.
Julian Lewis, the shadow defence minister, said it was "highly probable" that the Conservatives would back the Government in the Commons.
Why protect/defend yourself when you should be begging and yielding. Asking those that want to kill and subjugate you to "just be nice"?
Bloody Twit !!!
Hints: Iran, North Korea, ...
Actually, do we want a country that will someday be majority muzzie to remain in possession of nukes?
A boat is "evil"?
I guess this guy never heard of The Crusades.
To clowns of this sort, Britain building Spitfires before WW2 was probably also "evil"......
No we do not and to allow them access to the Trident program is folly of the most extreme kind.
Throw them out of JSF as well. Let Israel take their place.