...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Day 2161: Unclear Deterrent


I have learned that there are two sides to every deal. You give up something in order to get something. Daddy gives up a sticky bun and he gets a hug. See.

This is worth remembering when you consider the NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY.

(Not the NUCLEAR NON-PROFITEROLE TREATY which is about the banning of glowing chocolaty pastries.)

The agreement goes something like this: everyone else in the world will NOT try to make atom bombs and in return the five six eight nine countries that have them will reduce the numbers of atom bombs that they have until there are none left.

That second part seems to be the SNAG.

Since Russia, America and the United Kingdom signed the non-proliferation treaty in 1968 we do rather seem to have gradually reduced our number of atom bombs by MASSIVELY INCREASING the number of atom bombs we possess.

This must be some form of NEW MATH that my fluffy brain does not comprehend.

(There is actually a THIRD part to the agreement which is to let countries use nuclear power peacefully for the production of energy – but that is a whole other can of spare parts for uranium enrichment!)

Anyway, it seems that Lord Blairimort has decided to fulfil his part of the deal by buying a whole lot more atom bombs.

As usual when he has made up his mind about something, he has called for a national debate and a vote in the House of Commons.

"It is vital," Lord Blairimort told the assembled news journalists on the sofa, "that... in these days of lone... terrorist... bombers... with no thought other than to die... in a fiery holocaust... that we have the ability... to grant that wish to them... and any several hundred thousand people standing near to them!"

Nice Mr Dr Reid chipped in to add: "our one defence against the terrorist seeking martyrdom is the thought that nice Master can vaporise a random country that had nothing to do with the attack! If we wants to, Master, My Precious!"

Replying on behalf of Her Majesty's opposition, Mr Balloon said: "I entirely agree with what Lord Blairimort says! These are the nicest shiniest nuclear missiles to be found anywhere in the world. Britain is the best and we ought to have the best! And lashings of them!"

It was up to Sir Mr the Merciless to say: "now just hang on a minute. Haven't we already got a whole load of these bally things? And aren't they due to keep working until at least 2014? This isn't like just getting a new game for your X-Box, you know!"

"Listen," said Lord Blairimort, "this country… demands… Absolute Megadeath 3000… for X-Box 360… and we are going to give it to them!"

"So will we!" squeaked Mr Balloon. Or that might have been "So will Wii!" what with him being so down with the kids and up to date and all.

The argument for retaining the deterrent (apart from "it makes Britain Great") seems to be that we face a threat from ROGUE STATES. (No, NOT the UNITED rogue States!)

Although, funnily enough, having the deterrent does not seem to have deterred the top rogue states of North Korea and Iran from trying jolly hard to join the club. In fact, they want to have atom bombs to deter US from deterring them! From deterring them… to DEATH! And it seems to work, as we have noticeably not bombed North Korea flat recently.

The replacement submarines will cost between fifteen billion and twenty billion pounds, depending on whether Lord Blairimort buys three submarines or a fourth for taking out on Sundays. It seems to be an awful lot of money to spend on something we will probably never ever use just in order to say "hey, we're still in the nuclear club".

Some people think that – what with our increasing commitments to destroying Middle Eastern countries peacekeeping and security missions – that the money could be better spent on some other things. Like hiring some more soldiers or making sure they are properly equipped.

We need a BETTER ANSWER on military spending, like Sir Mr The Merciless's entirely sensible proposals to wait and see, and to reduce our capacity to retaliate against a threat that is at best imaginary in line with our promise to do so!

Incidentally, the five Nuclear Powers are, of course, The United Kingdom, America, Russia, China and France.

Sorry, the SIX nuclear powers are, of course, The United Kingdom, America, Russia, China, France and NOT ISRAEL AT ALL.

Sorry, the EIGHT nuclear powers are, of course, The United Kingdom, America, Russia, China, France, India and Pakistan and that's not at all worrying and NOT ISRAEL AT ALL.

Sorry, the NINE nuclear powers are, of course, The United Kingdom, America, Russia, China, France, India and Pakistan and that's not at all worrying and barking mad North Korea which is frankly terrifying and NOT ISRAEL AT ALL.

We know that one of the club is NOT ISRAEL AT ALL because their Prime Minister Mr Omelette has definitely said that he is definitely not saying that they definitely have the Bomb. He just won't definitely say that they definitely don't. And don't look at the Knesset funny, all right.

And a Very Lucky 13th Day of Advent to All of You at Home!

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