Saturday, 3 November 2012

Scottish Labour Leader Backs Trident Over Scotland's Social Gains

The SNP have seized on confirmation from Scottish Labour – after a year of silence from Johann Lamont – that her party favours retention of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

News of the Labour leaders position, which exposes a split in Ms Lamont’s party in Scotland, was revealed in response to an enquiry by BBC Scotland’s Derek Bateman programme today (Saturday).

The SNP expressed amazement at Ms Lamont’s commitment to spending hundreds of millions of pounds on Trident renewal at the same time as the party has established a cuts commission which threatens key services including prescriptions, higher education, apprenticeships and the council tax freeze.

Commenting, SNP MSP Bill Kidd who is a Co-President of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), said:

"After a year of silence, Labour in Scotland has confirmed it wants to retain these obscene weapons while slashing vital services that really matter to people.

"Johann Lamont's Cuts Commission is attacking universal benefits and her remarks about Scots living in a 'something for nothing country' while backing Trident shows just how out of touch Labour really is.

"Labour lost its way on social justice a long time ago but this commitment to spend billions on WMDs while wanting to cut vital services is a new low for a party that once prided itself on representing hard working people.

“The £163m that Scotland is currently paying towards Trident could be spent on 3,880 nurses, 4,527 teachers or a host of new schools and hospitals in our communities. This is even before we consider the extra £84 million a year that is proposed we spend on its replacement over the next 15 years.

"Ms Lamont is now in direct opposition to the politicians she is supposed to be in charge of - including her own MSP Neil Findlay and deputy leader Anas Sarwar and his MP colleague Ian Davidson.

“With this leadership shambles it is no wonder Labour members in Scotland are now looking at the merits of voting Yes in the independence referendum and have formed the 'Labour for Independence group'.

“It is now clearer than ever that only the SNP stands for a fairer society and stronger Scotland and only a Yes vote for an independent Scotland in 2014 will see Trident removed from our waters."
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