I am appalled, but not surprised, that the Tory-led Coalition Government has set out on the slippery slope towards a new generation of nuclear weapons, by placing a £1.1 billion contract with Rolls-Royce to produce reactors for the next fleet of nuclear submarines ("SNP attacks spending on submarines", The Herald, June 19).

No doubt a few more such contracts will be placed between now and the final decision date in 2016, moving us closer to the point where we will be told that it is cheaper (!) to complete the build programme of £25bn (and probably very much more) than cancel all the ongoing contracts already placed.

This was the implausible reason given for continuing with the two useless aircraft carriers, one of which will have no planes and the other mothballed.

What role if any did the Liberal Democrat Coalition partners have in making this latest decision?

This is a far more important issue for the country than reform of the House of Lords or whether Jeremy Hunt broke the Ministerial Code of Conduct. Yet the LibDems seem to have abandoned their long-held and principled opposition to nuclear weapons, when instead they should be threatening to leave the Coalition and bring about a General Election. At least that would let the people of the UK have some say in whether they wanted another 50 years with a nuclear arsenal on these shores.

The real reason for the UK having a nuclear capability is simply to keep its seat on the UN Security Council, and thus be able to maintain the pretence that we are still a world power. Trident missiles have very little to do with national defence, as the real threat now is from international terrorism, against which nuclear weapons offer no protection.

The days are long gone when the perceived threat was a possible nuclear attack from the Soviet bloc. Today Russia is too much involved in profitable trade relations with the West to even consider military action.

For that reason Nato is also a largely pointless organisation, and the sooner it ceases interfering in areas beyond its remit and is disbanded the better. Nato has no business supporting American intervention in Afghanistan or anywhere that poses a threat to the security of North Atlantic countries or beyond the eurozone, within which military conflict is extremely unlikely in future.

I will be very disappointed if the SNP abandons its long-held policy of staying out of Nato, as has been rumoured. Any such U-turn would find little favour with the Scottish people. The vast majority of Scots are opposed to nuclear weapons and want them removed as soon as possible.

Iain AD Mann,

7 Kelvin Court,


The proposed upgrading of nuclear-powered submarines by the Coalition Government proves once and for all that David Cameron and his colleagues are not listening to the people.

If the 9/11 message means anything it is to show that a nuclear deterrent is ineffectual in the terrorist methodology of today.

It will be interesting to see whether the fine ethics of the LibDems will be adhered to – or will they be able to massage their consciences yet again?

Janet Cunningham,

1 Cedar Avenue,


It is time people in the UK woke up and challenged how the Coalition Government is spending our money – £1 billion could usefully be deployed to help ordinary people struggling against cuts and the lack of employment opportunities.

M Bryden,


Rashfield, Dunoon.