Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lying for nukes in the UK

Last July, the UK Parliament voted to renew the hugely wasteful Trident missile programme, at a cost of £40 billion. Now it turns out that that vote was based on lies, with the government covering up a failed missile test which might have caused people to question the spending:

Downing Street has been accused of covering up a Trident missile malfunction weeks before a crucial Commons vote on the future of the submarine-based missile system.

The Sunday Times reports that a Trident II D5 missile test ended in failure after it was launched from the British submarine HMS Vengeance off the coast of Florida in June last year.

The newspaper reports that the cause of the failure remains top secret, but quotes a senior naval source saying the missile, which was unarmed for the test, suffered an in-flight malfunction after launch.

It was reportedly intended to be fired 5,600 miles to a sea target off the west coast of Africa but may have veered off towards America instead.


“Ultimately Downing Street decided to cover up the failed test. If the information was made public, they knew how damaging it would be to the credibility of our nuclear deterrent.

“The upcoming Trident vote made it all the more sensitive.”

And they're still trying to cover it up today, with the Prime Minister refusing to say whether she knew about it and the Defence Secretary telling parliament that the test was successful even as US sources confirm that it was not.

There is a name for this: it's calld "misleading parliament". And any legislature should take it very seriously, especially when there are billions of pounds being spent on the result of that lie. Those involve din this cover-up, including the Ministers who have lied to parliament about it, need to be sacked. As for the UK's stupidly wasteful nuclear status symbol, Parliament should revisit its vote, and insist on all the facts before even considering approving it.